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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Early ticket sales 'encouraging' for Angels-Indians series

If I lived in the vicinity of Milwaukee, I would have loved to attend all three games for $10 a pop. It also doesn't hurt to have two potential division winners squaring off against each other.

By DINESH RAMDE, Associated Press Writer
April 9, 2007

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Get ready for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim against the Cleveland Indians of Milwaukee.

Hours after officials at Miller Park agreed to let the snowed-out Indians host the Angels at the Milwaukee Brewers' home stadium, fan interest was "encouraging" and ticket sales outpaced tempered expectations.

Brewers spokesman Tyler Barnes said nearly 10,000 tickets total were sold for all three games of the series within the first four hours of availability.

"We still don't have any idea of what to expect but so far we're encouraged," Barnes said Monday afternoon.

About 4,000 tickets were sold for each night game -- 7:05 p.m. EDT starts on Tuesday and Wednesday -- and about 2,000 tickets for Thursday's game scheduled for 1:05 p.m. EDT, Barnes said.

Chris Williams, a Cleveland native who studies finance at Milwaukee's Marquette University, said he felt lucky to have the Indians coming to town.

"I think it'll be really interesting," said Williams, 21, as he headed to Miller Park to buy tickets for Tuesday's game. "Any time I'm able to support my team, I always try to take advantage of it."
Tickets for all games and seats will be $10 each. The 9,000 field-level seats will be sold first and loge seats will be available if necessary.

A storm in Cleveland left several inches of snow on the Indians' open-air Jacobs Field.

As the news of the Miller Park series trickled out, local fans seemed intrigued by the idea of watching an Angels-Indians matchup on the Brewers' home turf.

Robin Meyer, a 21-year-old business major at Marquette, said he planned to attend at least one game.

"I'm just a fan of the sport," he said. "I'll be going for the fun of it, for the fun of baseball."

The Brewers went from the American League to the National League in 1998. The last AL game in Milwaukee was the Baltimore Orioles' 7-6 victory over the Brewers on Sept. 28, 1997, at County Stadium.

Michael Constantine, a University of Wisconsin-Madison student and passionate Brewers fan, planned to attend Wednesday's game.

"Being able to get tickets right behind home plate or right behind the dugout for $10, that's a unique opportunity," the 21-year-old Racine native said. "It's like getting courtside seats at a basketball game for $10."

It was unclear how revenue from the games would be distributed but Rick Schlesinger, the Brewers' executive vice president of business operations, said he was more concerned with getting the park's operations in order on short notice.

"Let's not worry about cost or the revenue aspect -- we'll figure that out after the fact," he said Monday. "At the end of the day we'll do what's appropriate."

Constantine said he'll root for a good game and low attendance.

"When I first heard about the series, my first thought was, 'Ooh, I'll be able to get a foul ball now,"' he said.

Use what you learned in this article to dominate at Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball '07

Updated on Monday, Apr 9, 2007 11:03 pm EDT

Padres' Young gets $14.5 million, four-year contract

April 10, 2007

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- At 6-foot-10 and Princeton-educated, Chris Young would stand out in any crowd.

The 27-year-old right-hander has impressed the San Diego Padres enough to earn a $14.5 million, four-year contract that would be worth $23 million if the team exercises a 2011 option.

The new deal was announced Tuesday, about 12 hours after Young beat Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants 1-0 at Petco Park.

Young seems to be a no-hitter waiting to happen, hasn't been beaten on the road in nearly two years and is the only Padres pitcher to win a playoff game since 1998.

"This is more than I could have asked for," Young said. "It's a tremendous opportunity for me and my family and I'm extremely grateful for everything they've done for me."
Young already was under contract for this season, with a club option for next year. He gets an immediate raise for this year, from $600,000 to $750,000, plus a signing bonus of $500,000.
He locks in a salary of $2.5 million for next year. Under his old deal, the 2008 option would have been between $1.8 million and $2.5 million, depending on innings this season.

He'll get $4.5 million in 2009 and $6.25 million in 2010. The club option for 2011 is worth $8.5 million and could go as high as $11 million, depending on accomplishments in the previous two seasons.

Young, who starred in baseball and basketball at Princeton, is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA in two starts this year. He allowed Bonds' only homer of the season so far last Wednesday in San Francisco, getting a no-decision in a 5-3 Padres win.

"It's pretty indicative of the type of pitcher that Chris is," general manager Kevin Towers said. "He's one of the bright young pitching stars in the National League as well as all of baseball. He's a fresh arm, someone who hasn't pitched a great deal but you wouldn't ever know that watching the way he approaches each and every game."

Young's deal came less than two weeks after first baseman Adrian Gonzalez got a $9.5 million, four-year deal that would be worth $15 million if the Padres exercise an option for $5.5 million in 2011.

Young, Gonzalez and left fielder Terrmel Sledge came over from the Texas Rangers in a six-player trade on Jan. 4, 2006, a deal that has turned out to be one of Towers' best.

"These are the type of individuals we want wearing the Padres name on the front of their jerseys," Towers said. "These are the type of guys we'd like to have around, the guys that are championship-winning type players."

Young was 11-5 with a 3.46 ERA last season, when he came within two outs of the Padres' first no-hitter on Sept. 22 against Pittsburgh. He also took a no-hit bid into the eighth against Colorado in May.

He also became the first Padres starter to win a postseason game since 1998 when he won at St. Louis in Game 3 of the division series, throwing 6 2-3 shutout innings with nine strikeouts. The Padres lost the series in four games. San Diego was swept by the Cardinals in 2005, their first time back in the playoffs since being swept by the New York Yankees in the 1998 World Series.

Hitters have struggled against Young because of his deceptive delivery.

"Hitters just don't get a good look at it," Towers said.

"He reminds me a lot of Trevor Hoffman, but a a starter," Towers said, comparing Young with the Padres' closer, who is baseball's career saves leader with 484. "It's tough to track his arm with the downward plane and the stride. His fastball is very deceptive. He's smart and he's got a lot of Hoffman-type intangibles. He's a fierce competitor, establishes his fastball and never gives in to the hitter."

Dating to June 25, 2005, Young is 9-0 with 16 no-decisions in 25 starts on the road. Only one other pitcher in big league history went undefeated in 25 straight road starts, with Allie Reynolds also accomplishing the feat during the 1948 and 1949 seasons.

Agent Lon Babby said he and Young prepared in the offseason in case Towers approached them about an extension, which he did at the end of spring training.

"I'm very happy with the way it worked out," Young said. "It's a great deal for both sides and I look forward to going out and concentrating on baseball."

The deal will allow the Padres to avoid arbitration, and the option year is the first season Young would be eligible for free agency.

"To avoid that process is great and to control one year of free agency is huge for us," Towers said.

Babby said the option year "is at a number that's slightly below market value but one Chris can live with. It's pretty fair compensation.

"You hope with a deal like this that he outperforms it," Babby said. "That means he's doing great, and that's good for club. He goes into it with the expectation that he'll perform at a level that justifies that and beyond."

Use what you learned in this article to dominate at Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball '07

Updated on Tuesday, Apr 10, 2007 6:48 pm EDT

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