The Phillies were a hot ticket in 2008 but could be even hotter in 2009.
They also will be more expensive.
The Phillies, who set franchise records in attendance (3,422,583) and sellouts (50) at Citizens Bank Park during the regular season, will raise single-game ticket prices in most areas in the ballpark.
For example, tickets from Sections 115 to 132, in very high demand because they are located in the lower bowl close to the infield, have increased from $50 to $60 for single-game tickets and $44 to $50 for season tickets. Increases in other parts of the ballpark, based on ticket information at Phillies.com and in the team's 2008 media guide, are in the $1 to $3 range. Prices for standing-room tickets ($13) and some of the next-cheapest seats ($16) remain unchanged.
Last week in Dana Point, Calif., commissioner Bud Selig talked briefly during the general managers' meetings about how the struggling economy could affect baseball revenues.
"Obviously, you have to be worried about the economy and those issues," vice president of sales and ticket operations John Weber said. "Hopefully, there is something for everybody who wants to come see a Phillies game next year. For all of us, for the city of Philadelphia, for any business, for all 30 baseball teams, you have to try to make the best decisions possible based on each team's situation. Obviously, the success of our team insulates us a little bit more, but you're always worried about your fans."
Welcome to free agency!
It's that time of year when every player in baseball could be a fit for the Phillies. It's tough sifting through the bogus, but we will try our best. Today is the first day free agents can sign with other teams. The Phillies have had serious talks with Jamie Moyer about a contract extension, but haven't come to an agreement yet. Despite the fact that Moyer can talk to other teams, the Phillies remain optimistic they can re-sign him. In fact, I woudn't be surprised if something happens as early as next week.
What about Pat Burrell? I think if that happens at all, it will be slow developing.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. finished interviews for the vacant assistant general manager's position, which he held under former GMs Ed Wade and Pat Gillick. Amaro interviewed four candidates: former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky, former Mets and Orioles GM Jim Duquette, former Royals assistant GM Muzzy Jackson, and Scott Proefrock, Baltimore's director of baseball administration.
An announcement could come before the end of the weekend.
The Phillies have outrighted infielder Tadahito Iguchi off their 40-man roster. He can accept or decline an assignment to triple-A Lehigh Valley, although he is expected to decline. Iguchi made $3.85 million in 2008 and would have been eligible for salary arbitration. Why did the Phillies do this? Simple: it's too much money to spend on a utility infielder. Iguchi could re-sign as a free agent for lesser money, but that only would happen if he can't find a starting job elsewhere.
The market wasn't hot for Iguchi last winter, so it will be interesting to see what happens to him.