The Phillies were a hot ticket in 2008 but could be even hotter in 2009.
They set franchise records in attendance (3,422,583) and sellouts (50) at Citizens Bank Park during the regular season. Those numbers could improve next year with the Phillies' coming off their first World Series championship since 1980.
"Obviously, our fans supported us in great, great numbers this year," said John Weber, the team's vice president of sales and ticket operations. "That's going to be tough to match. But hopefully, their loyalty and passion will carry over, and I'm sure it will in the 2009 season."
The Phillies will raise single-game ticket prices in most areas in the ballpark, while keeping prices the same in others.
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," 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."
The Phillies will send out season-ticket renewal invoices beginning next week.
Utley honored. Chase Utley won his third straight Silver Slugger award, which goes to the top hitter at each position in each league.
Utley led National League second basemen in hits (177), runs (112), home runs (33), RBIs (104), on-base percentage (.383), slugging percentage (.583), and extra-base hits (78). He is just the third second baseman in baseball history to record four straight 100-RBI seasons. Jeff Kent (1997-2002) and Charlie Gehringer (1932-36) also accomplished the feat.
Phils hire Perlozzo. The team has hired Sam Perlozzo to coach next season.
His role is undetermined, but he will be either the third-base coach or bench coach. The Phillies are expected to interview other coaching candidates next week, which could include Jim Tracy and Terry Collins.
Perlozzo, who managed the Baltimore Orioles from 2005 to '07 and has extensive experience as a third-base coach, will be the team's infield instructor, the role held by former third-base coach Steve Smith.
"I've known Sammy for a long time, and I couldn't be happier to add someone with his experience to our coaching staff," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Right-hand man. 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.
Open market. Free agents, including lefthander Jamie Moyer and leftfielder Pat Burrell, hit the open market today. The Phillies remain optimistic that they will be able to re-sign Moyer, who went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA.
Iguchi's gone. 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.
In the hallowed Hall. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will open its 2008 postseason exhibit at 1 p.m. Monday in Cooperstown, N.Y. Artifacts include Ryan Howard's bat used during Game 4 of the World Series, Carlos Ruiz's batting helmet from his game-winning hit in Game 3, the bat Joe Blanton used to hit his home run in Game 4, and the cap Brad Lidge wore during Game 5.