Corporate Domination ?

– PhilliesOutside –

The
Phillies
v BoSoxDemolition
Derby’
turned out to be just that, Boston
demolished the Phillies in the first 2
games, the Phillies did however manage to
scrape out a win on the final day, by way of a Raul Ibanez homer and some
inventive base running by Jayson Werth.

The crowd continued to express the desires to ‘Beat LA’ even
though they were referencing a different sport. The Phillies
get a day off, before heading to Yankee
stadium, Charlie Manuel managed to play switcheroo with his starting
rotation so that Halladay and CC match up, not sure if this was
all Chuck’s doing or if there were any financial or other compensations
involved. Did I just infer that there may be some kind of bribing going on,
naaaa, I would never do that, but Sony Online Entertainment might
or at least that’s how I read it, might infer that money should make a difference
to official controlling bodies of sports.

How about a headline “World Cup Needs America, Like It Or
Not”
, is this just someone trying to encourage the development of a
sport, or encourage the involvement for financial gain.

This head line was the headline of a blog post from the “Senior
Director of Global Public Relations”
for “Sony Online
Entertainment”
, yep way to go with the public relations there ‘Mr.
Big Shot’
actually I don’t know the guy, he may be a very nice person and
his name isn’t really Mr. Big Shot, it’s Mr. Scott Gulbransen,
and some of what he says maybe perfectly true, but it’s the end of his post that
my concern is with, he says:

“With a global recession, Americans and their wallets –
including the large television networks – throw more money at the
tournament than everyone else combined. FIFA and the World Cup
increasingly need American interest and money to keep the expensive show
afloat. Yes, it might be the world’s most popular sport, but America is
its richest and most important benefactor.”

This is why players of the sport stay in this country to play the game, so
they can benefit from all the big bucks that are invested so readily and easily
into the sport. (note the sarcasm).

I would probably agree that most Americans are going to say, ‘yeah and what’s
wrong with that statement’
, to someone who was not born here, who has
experienced how people have over the years perceived Americans, this does
nothing more than play into the typographical role of the rich arrogant American
who believes throwing money at it will get them preferential treatment, the same
way a lot of Americans have seen the Yankee
organization. The humorous part of this post was the closing statement, where he
said:

“For once, this non-soccer fan will be rooting for our US
team to kick some arrogant international soccer booty. Even if that
means I have to wake up at four in the morning to watch it.”

Something like this from an everyday person, would probably be excusable,
even laughable, after all it is a free country with freedom of speech, but let
me remind you this came from someone claiming to work for what could be
considered a very large global corporation and their job is high up in global
public relations for that corporation, so to me this sounds more like a gripe
from a company that wasn’t able to ‘BUY’ it’s own way, or even rights to a FIFA game, say World Cup 2010.

Yes my post also sounds like a gripe, but I am not associated with a large
corporation, my post will not receive preferential promotional treatment from a
website that seems to pay attention to the bigger names, now it’s grown, and
honestly it just goes to show that corporate is in the belief that it can buy whatever
or into whatever it wants whenever it wants. You can read the
full post from the man from Sony Online Entertainment here

…or…

click
here to see my review on how the World Cup and 1876 get linked


Virals and Conspiracies ….

– PhilliesOutside –

There are something’s happening in baseball that just don’t compute, if
baseball was a computer game you’d be running some virus protection or a seek
and destroy program, because you’d be convinced there was a virus of some kind
affecting the program.

It’s not just the fact that the Phillies are probably in the worst stretch in
the history of the club, it’s not that they gave up 12 runs in 3 innings
to the BoSox last night, but when you look at everything going on you’ve got
to question the reality of the situation. When normally the Phillies bats launch
balls into oblivion, you’ve got opposing players that do that and Phillies balls
seem to die as they reach the warning track. It’s not just the Phillies either,
how does the St. Louis Cardinals get swept 2 times in 2 months, and not just
swept by contending teams, we’re talking Astros and Dodgers.

There is actually a long list of divisional things that have happened or are
happening that seem just out of place, one or two of them okay but every
division there is at least two things going on that seems out of place. Ask the Giants
fans or the ChiSox fans or even the Rays
and Yankees fans, everywhere there is just
something a little odd.

I have watched
the Phillies and I have watched other teams
games and it seems like the same thing
going on, the teams that have been leading things all of a sudden are hitting
weak fly balls instead of homers, and balls that look as if they are a weak fly
balls go deep into the stands. Doubles by one team score runs yet by another it
puts players on 2nd and 3rd or turns out to be a long single. This, I understand
is how baseball can be, and from time to time this will appear somewhat odd,
like the fans of some teams have just a little to much go juice at times and
appear over-hyped as we saw at the Rays v Marlins
game last night.

There is one thing I have noticed with the Phillies this year, the
bats, they aren’t shattering like they have done over the last few years, is
this the norm across baseball or is it just certain bat suppliers or makers that
links this occurrence. I know it sounds like the ‘BAT CONSPIRACY’, that’s
because it probably is a conspiracy.

Then we have the ‘INTER-LEAGUE CONSPIRACY’, I know everything
is a conspiracy today, just asking is all how does the two New York teams
draw probably the best inter-league schedule. You know the place where MLB
makes everything happen, the place where the officials of MLB get
drunk with the folks from the Yankees and
the Mets (if it’s dark and they can’t be
seen),
yeah, that city, the city where everyone plays fair, the city where
nothing happens under the table or in a dark corner of a deserted underground
parking garage, you got it, the place umpires call if they have any doubt
about a home run ball, the city where everyone is unbiased because they don’t
have a favorite team, okay I made my point, maybe, unless your a New York
fan then you think I am being petty, I probably am, after the BoSox
v Phillies game last night I am entitled to
be petty.

Where was I, oh yeah, ‘INTER-LEAGUE CONSPIRACY’ and the New
York
schedule, so the Yankees get to
play Arizona and Houston, yeah there
tough ones, and the Mets get to play, Baltimore
and Cleveland, again tough scheduling, all
we can hope for is that the ‘unknown happening’ in the baseball
universe happens during those series.

Back to today and the World Cup is off and running with 2 games
gone and both games ended in a draw, don’t forget at 2.30 est today the long
awaited match-up of…..

…then it’s straight into the next round of the Phillies
and Boston demolition derby.


Weekend from Hell ….

– PhilliesOutside –

Well maybe not from hell, but a weekend to move on from, one to let settle in the back of your mind till
one day you may need the knowledge to use as some stupid inconsequential pieces
of data. It wasn’t so much that the Phillies had a losing weekend against the
BoSox, obviously a losing weekend is never good, but inter-league play has not
been a National League strong point since it started. Also don’t forget, in
my
post of May 19th
I had gone into details of why ‘it is that time of the
month’
and for those doubters, let it be known that between now and the end of
the month, the Phillies, will lose at least 4 more,
there is 7 games left in May all against division rivals, which means if they
prove me right could put the division lead back into tight contention, which
makes for some excitement as the season goes on.

News broke that the Phillies were scouting for pitchers, because they had
scouts at the ChiSox and Marlins
over the weekend. I am not sure the White Sox have much to look at, it is
possible they were looking at the Marlins, since
we will be meeting them this week. The Phillies
front office did acknowledge the fact that looking is part of the game, and as
any normal person would do the media asked what of Martinez, just because
the Phillies picked him up last year and it
worked out, doesn’t mean they’ll do it again and again. Amaro did
indicate that since Martinez, just casts them money and no talent then
they keep checking in with him, but they haven’t seen him throw or had any face
to face time with him.

Forewarned is forearmed, so Amaro, here is your warning, “You
got lucky last year with Martinez, regardless of how desperate you think you may
be this year, DON’T do it again”
. I know I was not a big fan of
Martinez last year and I stand by that, I believe we would have had the same or
similar results had they not spent the time and money on Martinez. I
believe he had no influence on how things turned out and was at times more of a
distraction than an benefit.

Let’s face it the only real addition we may need is a solid closer, because
no matter what anybody says, if it’s Lidge out there then everyone is going to
be holding their breathe
for every pitch, knowing that this could be the pitch that blows the save. It’s possible
that Contreras could be converted to a closing role, he’s only had 1 save
in his career thus far, but I have to admit I was more comfortable watching him
close than I have been watching Lidge close.

We still need Happ to return from the DL healthy and give us a solid last two
thirds of the season, and then if we could convince Seattle to let us get Lee
back before July 31st, then we would be in good shape. Lets face it, we don’t
have many prospects to trade, but I don’t think Lee will stay in Seattle
after this year and there is a chance the Phillies
could unload 2 or 3 players, like Kendrick, Dobbs, Bastardo, or mix them
up and throw in a couple of minor leaguers, who knows what Seattle
would do, and Lee would probably sign with a 3 year deal where both Lee
and the Phillies would be happy. A dream
maybe, but after the weekend that’s all I have today, a dream.

 


You Can’t See Me ….

– PhilliesOutside –

I guess the rivalry between the BoSox and
Phillies has built somewhat over the last
few years, not to the same extent as between other teams. The stage was set
however for the first game of this weekend series, the opener to inter-league
play for the Phillies, and almost every
major league team.

Cole Hamels on the mound for the Phillies,
although he has pitched well in his last few starts, there is still some
elements in the back of your mind, asking who will show up to pitch tonight. The
fears were dispensed after the first inning hiccup, as he gave up a home run to V-Mart,
who by the way doesn’t look right in a BoSox
uniform, from then on he shut the Red Sox
down through 7 innings allowing just the 1 run on 3 hits and a walk, while he
picked up 8 strike outs.

John Lackey took to the mound for the Red
Sox,
some of the media in Philadelphia
had labeled him as somewhat of a Halladay clone, when he is on his game.
It appeared as though Lackey was on his game and the Phillies
were in trouble through the first 3 innings. Then the bottom of the 4th inning
came and so did Ryan Howard, who started the Phillies
offense with a home run to left field, then it was like the Boston
Red Sox
outfield was playing a game of….

….‘now you see me now you don’t’ or was it WWE‘s
John Cena’s ‘You Can’t See Me’ they lost a fly ball from Jayson
Werth
somewhere in the night sky and lights, from then on it was all Phillies
who as a team ended the day with 5 runs on 9 hits, winning the first game by a
score of 5-1. The big set back for the Phillies was that Jimmy Rollins disappeared
into the dressing rooms half way through the game after feeling a twinge from
his right calf muscle. Rollins has just returned from the DL after the strain to
his calf put him there earlier in the season, Rollins will be day to day at the
moment.

Tonight the Phillies send Kendrick
to the mound, Kendrick has had a number of shaky starts this year, but
his last 3 have been fairly strong, inline with most 5th place rotation guys.
The Red Sox have the right handed Matsuzaka
who has really only had one good outing this year against the Blue
Jays
, he has given up more hits than innings pitched and in 4 games
has served up 19 runs to the opposition.

We all expect our teams to win, but after the was the Phillies
offense failed to produce against both the Pirates and the Cubs,
we must realize you can’t win them all, just be nice to win the more than the
other teams.

 


Phillies give away 2 in the Desert….

– PhilliesOutside –

A weekend in Arizona may have been a vacation for some, a daily
routine for others, but for the Phillies it was a disappointing series
loss, we can search through every aspect of each game and pinpoint things that
we all would have done differently, but that won’t change the fact that we lost
the 2 out of 3 and now head into San Francisco, where the Phillies
need to at least take 2 out of 3 to stay the dominant force in the NL East for
the first month of the season.

While we spent 3 days at Chase Field in Arizona, there
was some noticeable things, not unlike the fact that they have to have the team
logo on the pitchers mound so their guys remember they’re at home. I don’t know
if any other teams have done this, all I know is I noticed it here in Arizona,
it could be that I haven’t paid that much attention to other mounds, all I
remember being there is the cleat cleaner and the sack of powder.

There were other things to see and since the Phillies were being
a little less than entertaining this weekend I decided to check out some of the
other sights of the D’backs, for example they, like other teams have fans that
attend the games and cheer when they are winning….

 

….they also have an owner who attends the games and occasional
invites friends along to entertain them as we see here they look very
excited….

….I have it on good authority that that’s the Dbacks owner on
the right, they call him ‘Mr. Excitement’, according to an undisclosed inside
source.

There were more Phillies fans having a little trouble figuring
out which way to look….

….this of course could have been attributed to the fact that
the roof and all was open to the Arizona air, and this may have confused and disorientated
the visitors….

….they certainly made it clear that with all the doors and
roof open a fly ball in the right place catches the jet stream through the
stadium and goes for miles, which is probably why the D’backs have so many
homers this early, I am sure that will even itself out when the temperature
forces the doors and roof to be closed.

With the doors and roof open there was definitely people there
for sun and fun, with Phillie fans there is always going to be fun as I am sure
these guys were having their share….

….although it looks like the cheese could be melting, and the
masked warrior on the end looks like the heat may have gotten to him too.

We also had fans there, for maybe, decoration, I am not sure, but
after a number of captions, of what the 2 guys were saying and some of what she
was thinking,  I decided best to leave it alone as I am sure it
could have had serious repercussions….

….here’s hoping San Francisco is little more
entertaining.

I did manage to flip to some other games to catch moments of
what I thought maybe excitement, I switched to the 9th inning of the O’s
and BoSox game yesterday to see if the O’s were
going to lose another, only to see them hold on to win, but what got me was the
commentators for the BoSox, who said ‘that was a disappointing one
to lose’ or words to that effect… wait a minute didn’t you guys just get swept
at home by the Rays and they think this was just disappointing,
why?
because the O’s have the worst record in baseball at the
moment or because the BoSox couldn’t complete a come back in the
9th inning, hey BoSox commentators, let me tell you a secret, your
whole season is disappointing, if the O’s had gotten off to an
average .500 start, your team would be sitting at the bottom of the division and
now you have to go to Toronto, which could make you a .500 team or
completely demoralize you and your fans so early in the season.

San Diego Padres had their hopes dashed at being
the first team this season to hit 10 wins in a row, after taking 8 in a row they
were finally beaten by the Reds yesterday in a close game that saw
the Reds get the winner in a 2 run 8th inning.

The Pirates suffered their 6th straight loss,
after sweeping the Reds they got swept back to back and are now 4
games under .500, still lots of time for them to make it a .500 season.

The Cardinals are the only NL Central team above
.500, but lets face it they have only had to face one real competitive team and
they only managed to salvage the 1 win against them, (the Giants),
now they are back home for the Braves, we’ll see if they’re easy
to win games too.


WTF Award – April 2010

philliesoutside 41

What did we miss in the last few days.

Nationals Sneak a Win

Thursday, April 15th, 2010 – Philadelphia,

The Phillies tried to sweep the Nats, but as we saw last year
on those days that the Phillies decided to have some type of ceremony
the team didn’t meet the expectations on the field. This
year seems to be going that way too, with the presentation of the 2009 NL
Championship rings
on Thursday before the final game against the Washington
Nationals
, this laid down the jinx and the Phillies failed
to deliver. It was not a very fitting end to a day that honored Jackie
Robinson
and saw 19 current Phillies receive the rings.
All seemed to be good up to the 8 inning, Baez came in to pitch the 8th
and hold a 3 run lead, for Madson. Unfortunately the reason Baez
was acquired did not pan out in this game he gave up 3 runs, which allowed the Washington
Nationals
to tie the game at 5-5, then in the 9th Madson gave up
a couple giving the Nationals the win.

The good news was that Happ pitched 5 good innings, although his pitch
count was high, he only gave up 1 run on 3 hits. Utley managed to hit his
5th home run of the year and his 3rd in consecutive games. Polanco is
still hitting at a plus .450 clip and doesn’t look like slowing down soon.

Halladay has Fish on Friday

Friday, April 16th, 2010 – Philadelphia, 

Roy ‘The Doc’ Halladay faced the Florida Marlins
Friday, some say after facing less than dominant teams, this weekend against the
Marlins would be the real tell for the Phillies. Halladay
stepped up like an old time mailman and delivered through rain and sleet, well
okay no sleet, but he delivered regardless of the weather conditions, which
seemed to bother the Marlins manager.

Halladay was all business, even when it came to the 8th
inning and he had an 8-1 lead, and was holding the Fish to just a
hand full of hits, the intensity he showed was that as if it was a tied game in
early innings.

Even though the umpires let the game go on through the rain,
it was clear that the Marlins manager was doing all he could to
try and get a delay, primarily to get Halladay out as early as
possibly, since his players were going nowhere fast against him. In fact Halladay
was the main reason Florida’s Cantu had his record run of
hits halted.

It wasn’t just Halladay that caused the Fish
to have a slow day, even though I am told fish like the rain, believe it or not
the empty bench in the picture of Halladay, does not infer that the rest
of the players took the day off, Halladay had some very good defense
behind him too, even Raul Ibanez got into the act, showing that age
hasn’t stopped him taking the needed dives to make a catch, obviously events
like this, especially in the rain draw comments from his fellow team mates, I
think it took another 2 batters for Victorino to stop poking fun at Ibanez
for his attempt at gaining as much air time as an NBA player.

It’s still early in the season and with a 6 run lead going
into the 9th Manuel didn’t want to tax Halladay too much, so after last
nights disaster
it was time to see if the Pen could step up and show that they could hold
a 6 run lead.

In steps Herndon, a rule 5 pick from the Angels,
who won this spot fair and square at spring training, I just hope that this was
just a glitch in his capabilities, because he managed to give up 4 runs and only
get out 1 hitter, now this is a little unfair to him, because the rain was still
coming down and everyone that came up to bat seemed to hit a little bloop in the
infield or to a spot where no one was and everyone kept going point to point. So
Charlie had seen enough, made his AT&T call to the bullpen
using up those roll over minutes, although by now he was on his unlimited nights
and weekends minutes. This time it was Madson called upon to find out if
the Pen is mightier than the Sword, or Sword Fish in this case.

As it happens ‘Mad Dog’ Madson was mightier, it took
just 6 pitches to get the final 2 outs and give Halladay his 3rd win as
the Phillies ace.

WTF Saturday all around baseball

Saturday, April 17th, 2010,

Philadelphia,

Jamie Moyer took the mound for the Phillies
and Norlasco for the Marlins, the 1st inning was the Moyers
achilles heel, he gave up 5 runs, and that was it, after that he struck out 7
through the next 5 innings. Norlasco for the Marlins was
just as devastating and held the Phillies bats in check, he was on
target for a shut out game except for Jason Werth’s 9th inning home run,
ironically his first of the season. The Fish went on to win 5-1
against a Phillies offense that seemed to be sleeping all night.

Boston,

Boston Red Sox has been hosting the Tampa
Bay Rays
this weekend, Friday nights game got rain out and since it was
tied up at 1-1 they postponed it till Saturday, hoping to squeeze it in before
the start of the scheduled Saturday game, I am sure no-one expected this to go
to 12 innings, but it did and the Rays came out on top, the
scheduled game started late, obviously, but only went 9 innings and also saw the
Rays squeeze another win at Fenway by a score of 6-5, I am sure
there are some Tampa fans with brooms in hand for Sunday’s game.

St. Louis,

Well this was one of those games where even the commentators
were wondering if anyone had the capacity to end this game, I’m guessing that
the Mets bench figured the only guy that could possible end it
would get walked and so he did 4 times, although in 20 innings and 9 times at
home plate with a bat in his hand, 4 walks wasn’t bad, and as it also turns out
he got the only Cardinals run in the 19th. Both these teams were
suffering from some variation of the ‘canthitaball-phobia’, both teams
posted a lot of ‘zeros’, over the 20 innings of work, this was definitely
a marathon no-one expected, just like the outcome, Mets finally
won it 2-1.

Atlanta,

There has been a lot of hype in spring training and early on in this season
about how good the Atlanta pitching
staff is, personally I think hype is all it is, yes they are good, but it’s more
about the only thing the Braves can push in order to try and make Bobby
Cox’s
final year a pay off year. Anyway during the Phillies
game the commentators started to mention a no-hitter going on in Atlanta,
I thought okay, maybe I was wrong, so I flicked to the Atlanta
game to see the Rockies up 4-0 and Jimenez for the Rockies
throwing the no-hitter, okay so he had 6 walks, but he also had 6 strike outs, I
have to admit he wasn’t the first pitcher I would have selected to throw a
no-hitter this season, in fact I didn’t expect a no-hitter before mid May from
anyone in baseball, so to see one this early, by a guy who obviously needed all
the stars to align for this to happen, and for it to happen against a team who
has been hyped for it’s pitching staff, in my eyes definitely wins the ‘WTF’
award for April. I know there’s still lots of playing time in April, but it
would take a Kyle Kendrick to throw a no-hitter to beat this ‘WTF’.

 


A. L. East Crystal Ball….

ALeastcrystalball.jpg

How will the American League East surprise baseball fans come October 2010….

Like it or not here are my suggestions for
the fans of the AL East teams…


Toronto Blue Jays have nothing left in the tank and so fans in Toronto should….

bluejaysseason.jpg

…buy themselves a fishing pole and enough beer to get through, what will be a long painful season for the Blue Jays fans.

Down in Baltimore things may not be much better, fans should consider buying…

orioles.jpg

…an Orioles bird feeder, so at least they’ll get to see one type of Oriole happy this year.

New York Yankee fans enjoyed the ultimate result in 2009 and have probably spent enough on the memorabilia covering the World Series celebrations, this year however they may need to be more practical with lots of…

yankeeseason.jpg

…cheese for their WHINE WHINE WHINE during the season and some specially formulated tissues for those Yankee tears as they experience a season of ground outs, fly balls and strike outs instead of the walk-off wins of last year.

Down in sunny, warm Tampa Bay, the Rays fans should be prepared….

raysseason.jpg

 …with their sweatshirts and hoodies so they can enjoy the cooler air in the stands at Tropicana Field during the post season with their Wild Card winning ways in the AL East.

Up in Boston, Red Sox fans should consider…

RedSoxseason.jpg

…this selection of CD’s to get them through the season to win the AL East, but be warned save the ‘Pain Relief in a box’ CD to help overcome the Red Sox early exit from post season play.
 

any sarcasm is not meant to offend,
unless it does, then consider the possibilities of more during the
season


trademarks, trade names,
copyrights and patents are the property of their respective owners.


MOUNTAINS to CLIMB…

 

A million dollar hole in one
(Golf), a $25,000 message on shoes (NFL), mountains to climb (MLB)…

 

American
League Mountains…

 

Yankees – without
question lead the AL east 6 games up on the BoSox with
just 14 games left to play, at the extreme they have to play better than
.500 ball for the rest of the season. The last week of the regular
season is going to be the easiest week for the Yankees and should have
no problems winning this division.

Detroit – are
currently the AL central leaders, I say currently, because
they are the team most likely to blow their post season chances, having
just a 3 game lead and still 6 games left against the Twins. Detroit
has a 4-8 record against the Twins this season, which puts
the odds in the favor of the Twins to clinch the division.

Angels – are
favorites for the AL west, holding a 7 1/2 game lead,
although they have 6 games left against the Rangers and are only
4-9 against them this season, they should be able to hold a lead in the
division based on the other teams they play. Still with 15 games left
they have to play better than .500 ball through the end of the season.

Boston – look set to
clinch the AL wild card, with 16 games left they have what
should be the easiest schedule left in the season of AL
teams, still they will have to play better than .500 ball to get a post
season spot.

 

National
League Mountains…

 

Phillies – sitting on
an 8 game lead in the NL east have 8 games left against
division rivals, with 16 games left to play just 1 game better then .500
ball will give them a third division title in a row.

Cardinals – with the
largest divisional lead in MLB currently at 10 games, they
are odds on favorites for the NL central. A fairly safe
schedule left for the Cards, they are now fighting for
home field advantage and of course pride against the Cubs.

Dodgers – still have
the hardest challenge in the NL to clinch their division,
they are in a much better place now than they were a week ago and so are
now looking like favorites for the NL west, especially
since they probably have the easiest schedule left of all the NL
division leaders.

Colorado – sit on top
of the NL wild card at the moment, but with just 4 1/2
games covering the top 4 teams this is the race that should be where the
excitement is right down to the last couple of days of the regular
season. The 4 teams in the hunt for the NL wild card
probably have similar schedule strengths, with maybe Florida
having the hardest and the Giants having the easiest.

More…

Streaks… I
have decided that 5 or more games in a row are the only ones worth a
mention under streaks, so the current streaks. Win streaksPhillies
with 6 games  and the Twins and Oakland
with 5 games. Losing streaksIndians and Mets
with 6 games and the Astros and Rangers with
5 games.

Spoilers
the Royals have killed what was left of the CWS hopesthe
Mariners
are currently trying to do as much harm as they can to
the Yankees… the Reds are trying to end the hopes of the
Marlins… the D’Backs are beating up on the Rockies…

Race… the
tightest race is now the AL central, with the Tigers
looking as though they are about to crumble under the pressure, when
your website’s slogan is: "The Pennant Race Is On"
you know you have problems. The NL wild card has the most
teams locked in a battle. This will heat up next week and I believe we
will see the Giants and the Braves emerge as
the two fighting for the winning spot.

 

My choices at this time
still put the Angels and the Yankees in the ALCS and
the Cards and the Phillies in the NLCS.

It is September ball and we
all know that can change in a matter of a week….

For the
Phillies and Charlie this week Thanksgiving comes early…

…being
thankful for what you’ve got …  Got Phillies !!!


MLB Clubs, Liars, Cheats and Thieves…

Since yesterday was a day off for the Phillies, I decided to do a little research on various aspects of going to a ball game. At times this may get complex and hard to follow, but I will try and make as easy as I can, hopefully, and as short as I can, which maybe a problem.

Some of the comments from different team websites, indicated that fans were un-happy with what the club has been doing by way of trades etc., in most cases the clubs are promoting the fact that they have to run the club like a business, so money is a deciding factor and a large contributor to that is the volume of fans visiting the ballpark. Obviously there are a number of other factors that allow clubs to generate income, but it seems a number of fans saying ‘if it was cheaper to go to the game then we would’.

Personally I think a number of clubs are pricing themselves to high, considering the city they represent, especially during this economic environment. I believe a lot has to do with the way a club is marketed, and the way the clubs evaluate the methods of income. 

The safe, comfort zone type income to assessed gross required, has been and still is, done by looking at how much income the club needs to generate from seating, looking at the history for the quantity of fans that come to games during a season, the different seats that are purchased, then from this they calculate the amount they need to generate from that specific seat. This is obviously a simplified methodology for, what I call ‘comfort zone marketing’.

It is my belief that it is time for some clubs to look at new (to them) innovative methods, to get fans to visit the ball games, and go for lower seat prices and work off generating a higher volume of visitors. I tried to see what different clubs were doing to encourage fans to the ball park and it seems, some of the struggling clubs use high dollar incentives on a less than regular basis, instead of lower cost incentives on a regular basis.

In doing this research I also ran into some other questionable information, with regard to the claimed numbers of attendees at ball games, this to say the least seemed to be very creative by some ball clubs, of which I will highlight later on in this post.

Below is the information I was able to gather, I can only assume the information is accurate with regard to attendances, the seat prices were taken from each clubs online website, some were easy to obtain others made it a lot more difficult to determine how much you would pay if you came on game day to buy a ticket. The low prices reflect, the cheapest seat or standing ticket I could find and the high price reflects being able to sit as close to the end of the dug out as possible. All prices are US Dollars.

The attendance numbers are through the first 50 home games of 2009, where a team hasn’t played 50 home games they had played sufficient to estimate to that number. All attendance numbers are in millions.

AL ————–Attd.——-Low——-High———NL ————Attd——-Low——-High

NYY               2.27           14             375             PHL              2.20          18             60

BOS              1.89           12             325             FLO              0.90          14            100

TB                 1.20           10              85               ATL              1.47           6               40

TOR*            1.18            9               62               NYM             1.96          23           450

BAL               1.20           8               55              WSH              1.19           5              75

DET              1.50           5                52               STL              2.03          21            115

CWS             1.37          23              57               CHC             2.01          20             230

MIN               1.42          10              52               HOU             1.49           7              39

CLE               1.13          9                70               MIL                1.99          8               48

KC                 1.20           7               43                CIN               1.23          5               72

LAA               2.02          21             200              PIT                 0.98          9               35

TEX              1.39           11             115              LAD              2.22          11            285

SEA              1.39           8                65               COL              1.62          15            100

OAK              0.89          9                 95               SF                 1.74          25            110

                                                                               ARI                1.28           5             145

                                                                               SD                 1.22          10             55

 

*Toronto prices are Canadian Dollars.

I reviewed a number of playback footage from different games to try and evaluate the accuracy of attendance numbers at different games, tried to get a feel for visiting fans and home fans, so the following is probably going to be the mother of all assumptions, but I am going to lay it out anyway.

 

Liars and Cheats:

They are so easy to pick on, and I probably shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself.

Yankees- I tried to be fair about this, but having reviewed a number of games it is clear that the attendance numbers are somewhat generous. Where they show near sell out crowds it is clear on the replays that there is an abundance of empty seats especially in the high dollar sections and yes at a number of games believe it or not the visiting fans seemed to out number the home fans. The other noticeable thing at the Yankees new stadium was the visiting fans seemed to occupy the majority of the high dollar sections. Especially for the games they played against the Phillies and Red Sox. So are they cheating the visiting fans, we know it’s a ball park visitors would attend, the city has other attractions plus the city is one of the easiest, if not easiest to visit, so why not cheat the visiting fans.

Mets- Although in some respects they appeared to portray much the same results as the Yankees they were not quite as bad, but then the overall attendance at the Mets games were lower than the Yankees, even for visiting fans.

Braves- You will also find them under thieves, simply because i don’t believe all the field seats by the visiting dugout are sold out for the season. They are cheating the fan base here because of what they were and not what they are now.

 

Thieves:

This one was kind of a tough one to ascertain, but I have to say those that I placed in this category it is basically for the same reasons.

Indians- They have the most expensive ball park to visit within the central division, the city does not have huge alternative attractions and the ball park is not that easy to get to by any mode of transport. The Cleveland airport sucks, directions from major highways/interstates suck, local signage to get to the ball park sucks, and parking is expensive for the area. Does not encourage or attract many visiting fans and there is not much in the way of encouragement for local fans to attend games. This is bad especially as it’s a NFL town 1st and an NBA town 2nd, leaving the Indians in a weak 3rd spot.

Marlins- Yes the club is doing well, but attendance is very weak, the low priced entry is reasonable, but the higher priced seats are to much for the stadium, it’s hot there, the concessions seem high in price, again not so easy to get too, its more expensive to get to since its vacation season most of the time, so area prices are geared to tourists. The club should have better incentives to attract more home and visiting fans, the visitor fans normally out number the home fans.

Cubs- Lots of visiting fans, although home fans do out number the visiting ones, the problem here is Wrigley is a well known ball park and they play on that, high prices for the name.

Braves- This one was had me concerned, for one I couldn’t get close to the seating area I wanted unless I was a season ticket holder, which confused me since the attendance there sucks. That or there driving visiting fans as far away from the field as possible so as too encourage home fans to buy the more expensive boxes.

 

Fair and Reasonable:

Well everyone will accuse me of being biased, so we’ll get this out of the way first.

Phillies- Seat prices all around are reasonable, home fans definitely out number visiting fans, the ball park is easy to get to, parking is easy, food and concessions are quality and reasonably priced.

Rays- Easy to get to via car or air, lots of parking around the stadium, nice enclosed stadium, considering they are reigning AL champions, pricing is fair, even high value seats put you right where you expect, concessions are reasonable. It is somewhat of a confusion as to why they don’t draw more attendance, some visiting teams will out number the home fans, but that depends on the team.

Pirates – Royals – Astros – All these clubs exhibited the same elements and have to be the best 3 clubs for visiting fans to attend. These have to be the cheapest ball parks to visit, they appear to be fan friendly for both home and visiting fans. These 3 clubs definitely get 5 stars as value for money ball clubs.

All other clubs- Seemed to be fair to both home and visiting fans, with no major distinguishing benefits that would make them great or make them a part of the Liars, Cheats and Thieves lists.

If you managed to read all this and follow it all, you probably have more patience than most.

~peter~

If you think that any numbers I have displayed here are grossly inaccurate let me know and I will do my best to verify the findings and correct any errors which may or may not be present. I will not however change my assessment of the way I  see the ball clubs, this is purely my opinion of how I see the club representing itself to home and visiting fans.