BOB:  Yankees make their annual luxury tax contribution

MLB looks to keep pitchers safe

Major League Baseball is looking at six different manufacturers to develop baseball caps that keep pitchers safer while they’re on the mound. It’s early in the game because the players union hasn’t been part of the discussion, but the hope is to have a prototype available for pitchers to use on a voluntary basis during spring training. If everything goes well, we could see these new caps rolled out for the 2013 season.

Two companies MLB is looking at are Unequal Technologies Co. and Evoshield. The protection of the cap from Unequal will be an eighth of an inch thick and weigh 4.3 ounces. EvoShield’s cap will be a quarter of an inch think and weigh five ounces.

Yankees hit with luxury tax

The New York Yankees got their luxury tax bill and it came out to $18.9 million. While this is a far cry from the record $34 million they paid in 2005, it’s the most they’ve paid since the $25.6 million of 2009. The Yankees’ final 2012 payroll was $222.5 million.

The Yankees have paid just under $225 million into the luxury tax pool over the last 10 years. This was the 14th straight year that they had the biggest payroll in baseball. The Yankees have until Jan. 21 to pay the tax bill.

The Boston Red Sox just avoided the luxury tax with a payroll just under the $178 million threshold. Right behind them were the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at $176.7 million and the Philadelphia Phillies at $174.5 million.

Dodgers look to take salary throne from Yankees

The Yankees’ 14-year biggest-payroll streak could end in the coming year, with the Los Angeles Dodgers having a chance to take that crown. The Dodgers have over $210.6 million committed to 21 current players, with money still going to pay off Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones.

The Yankees have been talking about getting below the luxury tax threshold by the 2014 season. If that does happen, the Dodgers should easily be the team with the highest payroll for years to come.

Of course not everyone looks at this frivolous spending as a good thing. A nice article by Bill Shaikin talks about how many sports business analysts see trouble down the road. While the Dodgers are set to get a record-breaking television deal, many still feel the new ownership group paid way more than the team is actually worth. Team insiders think they have a plan to make everything work.

Ballparks top social media check-ins

When Facebook recently released its Top 10 check-in sites and Top 10 sports topics among users, baseball dominated the list of check-in sites. Of the top 10, seven were major league ballparks. AT&T Park in San Francisco was third on the list and the top ballpark with Yankee Stadium, Rangers Ballpark, Fenway Park, Dodgers Stadium, Wrigley Field and Angel Stadium all making the list. Status and infrequency of visits to the ballpark were listed as the main reasons people check in when they go to a ball game.

It was a quiet week so this is an abbreviated version of the BOB Report. With that, I hope all of you have a pleasant holiday.

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Does the posting fee the Dodgers paid for Ryu count towards the luxury tax? If so, does it all count for 2013 or is it prorated over the life of the contract or something?