Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Road Attendance Myth

One commenter yesterday noted that the Yankees have the highest road attendace in baseball. In fact, I was once listening to Yankees-Royals game at Kauffman Stadium when John Sterling said, "The Royals usually draw 15,000 a night, but during this three-game set, they've drawn over 30,000 a night. Who said the Yankees were bad for baseball? Look at all these extra fans they're bringing in!"

Sterling's moronic statement ignores the big picture. Why don't the Royals draw? Because they can't compete. They don't have the money to buy all-stars. When the Yankees spend like crazy, small-market teams can't get those marquee players and build a team. And the disparity has reached the point where many teams feel like they're out of it before they start spring training. How does that motivate fans to come to the park?

And baseball wasn't always like this. In his great book The Last Night of The Yankee Dynasty, Buster Olney quotes a old GM of a cruddy team as saying, "back in the day, we felt like if we can make one good trade or have a solid young starter come up, we've got a shot. But it's not like that anymore."

Think about the '80's. Back then, every small-market team had a chance to win and players worth watching. The Expos had Tim Raines. The Royals had George Brett. The Brewers had Yount and Molitor. And the Reds had Eric Davis. You didn't need to wait for the Yankees to come to town to watch a good team play. And these teams didn't need the Yankees to come and help them draw 30,000 a night.

I recently saw an ESPN Classic playoff game from '81. It was Dodgers-Expos in Olympic Stadium. The place was packed. None of this bull that "Canadians are more into hockey." Baseball's system wasn't as screwed up back then. If the Expos were competitive, the fans would come. But once they got shafted by the system in the mid-late '90's and couldn't afford their young stars, the fans said "screw you" and stopped showing up. I don't blame them.

And nowadays, who do the Royals have that's worth watching, Ken Harvey? And the Brewers-- Geoff Jenkins? Please. The Yankees have screwed up the system so much that the small-market teams are out of the race on April 1 and are stuck with a lousy team and inexperienced players that don't attract fans to the ballpark.

The Yankees, on the other hand, have an all-star at every position, basically. So when a traveling all-star team comes to town, of course you want to see them!

Perhaps there's hope, though. With teams like the Brewers and Indians surprising in '04, fans showed up in record numbers. The more competition, the more fans will come. And more record-breaking attendance. And they won't need the Yankees to help them, either.

Also, after seeing how a Red Sox world series get much higher TV ratings than the Yankees series the past few years, perhaps the public has had enough of the Junkees. I know I have.


Anonymous said...

BOO HOO! Where’s my hanky?

You losers (loser = someone who dwells on what they don’t have instead of what they do have) can make up whatever weak excuses and rationalizations you want to explain the Yankee road attendance. The numbers speak for themselves: more people are willing to spend their hard earned money to see the Yankees (hate them or love them) than any other team in baseball. In fact, there was even a point in mid-August where the Yankee road attendance surpassed every other team’s home attendance – in the AL and NL. That’s how big the gap is.

You bring up the Royals. What about in ’03 when they were contending well into the second half? The Yanks were still their biggest draw.

The funny thing is that people like you say it’s ruining the game of baseball. In reality, it’s ruining the game of baseball FOR YOU. As far as the rest of the league, revenue is UP and the Yankees play a major role in it while subsidizing half of MLB via the luxury tax.

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE MONEY – since the Sux have won the Series, you are no longer lovable losers – even though RSN still has a loser’s mentality. It’s funny how a team with a 120 million dollar payroll (2nd highest in baseball) is crying poverty. It’s like a millionaire complaining that he’s not a billionaire. The rest of the league now views you as a team that bought a Series – which you did. Only a stupid narcissistic Red Sux fan would be so blind not to realize it.

The martyr party is over, now the Sux are just a poor man’s version of the Yankees. The Sux can win a championship, but can’t build a dynasty. The Yankees own YES, the Sux own NESN and draw a fraction of the ratings. (The only reason this past Series pulled down higher ratings for FOX is that the Sux were a novelty.) Your best players are only biding their time until they can become role playing contributors in the Bronx, even if it means switching positions.

Who is willing to switch positions to play in Boston? Um, oh yeah my bad - Pokey Reese.

If you chain-yankers hate the Yankees so much, why do you spend soooo much time following them? You regularly read the newspaper articles about them, you watch YES and listen to games close enough to quote broadcasters, and you have dedicated an almost daily blog to the Empire. YOU FOLLOW THE YANKS MORE CLOSELY THAN THREE QUARTERS OF YANKEE FANS. The funniest part of it is that, out of all the teams in all the sports you could hate this much, you pick the one team that will disappoint you the most.

I’m on vacation for the next couple of weeks, that’s why I have time for this stuff. What’s your excuse? You probably don’t have any worthwhile thing in your life to take a vacation from.

Three tips for a healthier and more meaningful existence:

Get girlfriends (or boyfriends if that’s your thing). If your number one passion is hating anything, much less a baseball club, you need to turn that around real quick. Otherwise, you’ll end up sad and lonely. Wait, you probably already are. Well, at least you two have each other.

For God’s sake, get the MLB Season Ticket. Call your cable operator today to qualify for the early bird discount. Instead of spending what precious time you have on this earth in a state of hatred while watching YES and boosting their ratings in the process, you can watch the Sux choke on prosperity in ’05.

Use your internet(s) savvy to read the Boston papers. That way you can read even harsher criticism of the Sux than any Post or Daily News writer could ever conjure up.

It’s amazing (and pleasurably ironic) that the two of you are probably some of the biggest contributors to the very institution you hate the most. George and the rest of the Empire thank you for your time, energy and, believe it or not, your money as well.

Anonymous said...

You have had enough of the Yankees? It sure doesn’t look like it from this site. It looks like you can’t get enough of them.

The first post has you pegged. I would add that you need to spend some time on a shrink’s couch and work out some of your childhood issues.


Anonymous said...

Yankee fans / Red Sox fans: both groups are a-holes who don’t know how to win with class.

I rooted for the Red Sox this year because the team showed guts and character. This site and much of what has been written so far seems to be the antithesis.

Sadly, RSN has proven to merely be a suburb of the Evil Empire.

Anonymous said...

Here. Here.

Give it a rest guys, the world does not revolve around Yankees/Red Sox. This is like an extension of this year’s presidential election.

I’ll be psyched when you BOTH lose!

vintrino said...

Alright come on, this yankee dispiser crap run by a bunch of Red Sox fans has got to stop. The Yankees and Red Sox both buy their players, and if you actually think about it the Red Sox buy more. Look at this current Yankees run: Jeter, Bernie, Posada, Rivera, Soriano, Pettitte all came from the Yanks farm and won championships. All you have is Nomar(who never won a championship) ,Trot Nixon and I guess you can sorta count Varitek. I mean come on you've bought more of your championship team then we ever did. Plus the only reason the Sox have had this resurgance and could spend as much money as you did the last few years is because you became the Yankees and people who liked teams like the royals and brewers bought Red Sox hats and shit.

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