No, really, they weren’t trying to deceive buyers. It was a totally innocent case of simply wanting more money.
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times tells the story of Mariners fan Dave Hope, who was stunned to see his season-ticket price plan go up $692 when he got his bill this month.
When the Mariners sent out a mass email renewal letter to season-ticket holders, they said nothing about increasing prices. Season-ticket packages climbed as much as 7 percent in certain areas of the ballpark, and partial packages were up as high as 11 percent. However, some less desirable seats actually had their ticket prices cut by three percent.
“It varies from section to section,” Mariners senior VP Randy Adamack said. “That’s why it’s difficult to show on the map.”
Huh? What? It would have been remarkably easy to show on a map. In fact, that’s exactly what you should have done.
In their defense, Mariners tickets are still better priced than most. Still, the team has finished in last place three straight year, attendance has declined five straight years and payroll has dropped four straight years. A price hike is going to be a very tough sell.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.