Report: MLB sets new record for revenues at $10.3 billion in 2018

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Once again, Major League Baseball has set a new record for revenues at $10.3 billion for 2018, Maury Brown of Forbes reports. It’s the 16th consecutive year in which MLB has topped its previous record.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, however. As Brown notes, revenue growth was slower compared to previous years as a result of a decline in attendance, which also negatively impacted concessions and parking. Still, $10.3 billion is a pretty hefty sum.

Despite team owners largely making money hand over fist, we are once again twiddling our thumbs during baseball’s offseason as the free agent market has grinded to a halt, just like last year. On Twitter, Matt Winkelman of Phillies Minor Thoughts said, “It is January 7 and 6 teams have not signed a major league free agent, and 5 more teams have [spent] less than $10M. That is over a third of the sport just not participating in free agency.”

Along with that, there has been no progress made on addressing the issue of paying minor leaguers a livable wage. In fact, MLB lobbied extensively over the last handful of years in order for language in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to be amended, classifying minor leaguers as seasonal workers and thus depriving them of a minimum wage and overtime pay.

So, that’s where we’re at. There’s really no reason for these issues to persist, given record revenues, aside from avarice.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.