The Giants came to town on Tuesday and will stay until after the
game Thursday, giving the 2 teams the opportunity to mix it up 3 times and
between them one of the teams will go into the weekend the wild card leader.
These games should the Phillies dominate, also help the Cardinals and the
Braves, should the wild card be needed by these teams.
The return of ‘Pat the Bat’ to the Bank was a warm
welcome by many fans, Pat also honored his return with a run long ball in the
1st, but was quieted by Oswalt after that…….
…..but was kept busy in left field his normal hunting
ground when he was with the Phillies.
The other player in a return to the Bank was the
Phillies 2nd baseman Chase Utley…..
…..he may have been dormant in his return, but it’s good to
see the familiar moves at 2nd base and the ease in which he slipped right back
into his role, although tonight should see him batting in his regular 3 spot
against Matt Cain.
Useless stats 101 – Tuesday’s game against the Giants saw
the Phillies start a 24 game stint with out a day off till September 9th, in the
middle they have a double header against the Marlins. The 24 games will see the
Phillies play at home then travel to the west coast with no travel day, then
after 6 games travel back to the Bank stopping in Colorado on the way. Get ready
for some jet lag at the plate…
The Phillies played the Blue Jays in two games today. A morning game saw the first outing of Jamie Moyer and a afternoon game saw the first outing of Cole Hamels.
In the morning game Jamie Moyer showed he still has a little something left, after enduring an off-season of operations and hospital visits, Moyer took to the mound Friday morning in a ‘B’ game against the Blue Jays and threw three scoreless innings. Moyer gave up 3 hits and picked up 3 strikeouts in his 3 innings. The Phillies ended up losing this one 3-2, this game doesn’t affect preseason standings.
The afternoon game started by giving the Philadelphia fans a moment of anguish as Hamels second pitch was hit long by Bautista for a home run, then Hamels managed to walk the second batter, Hill, after which Hamels seemed to settle down for the remainder of his 2 innings work, striking out 2 batters. He did manage to mix in some of his newer pitches, which for Hamels is good for his first outing in preseason games. The pitching staff following Hamels didn’t fair quite so well as the 4th inning saw Toronto put 8 runs on the board, Bastardo was the only Phillies pitcher to come away with a clean slate on the day. The Phillies also managed to knock in a few runs as they ended up losing this game 14-9, needless to say both teams had pitchers and players working on the revolving door process, good luck if you kept a full score card on this one.
The Tampa Bay Rays almost threw away a 7 run lead to the Yankees, but ended up holding on to win the game 12-7. For awhile in the middle innings it was touch and go as to whether the Yankees/Rays game or the Phillies/Jays game would have more runs.
The Nats and the Braves were also trying to have the highest scoring game of the day as the Braves beat the Nats 11-8, however the honor of highest score went to the Astros and Tigers as the Tigers beat the Astros 17-7. I am sure the Tigers fans will savor this achievement, since it could be the last this year.
The Mets were playing split squad games today against the Cards and the Marlins. They managed a win against the Cards, but lost to the Fish.
Of course Jose Reyes found a reason not to play in either of the Mets games, but instead flew back to New York with a possible ‘thyroid imbalance’. Speculatively speaking, the blood in his brain could just be dizzy from all the spinning, this claim could be squashed if they prove he’s not brainless, but then who knows, now a ‘roid‘ has been attached to his name the possible outcomes are almost endless.
any sarcasm is not meant to offend, unless it does, then consider the possibilities of more during the season.
The last few weeks have been a confusing
time for a lot of people, with talks of players going here and there, we
now have to make sense of the moves that have happened and look to see
if teams will continue to confuse with more moves before
spring training places are set.
Its not just baseball that has had confusion,
I am sure there would be more women
Yes they’re the women who are confused
There’s confusion in the NFL,
The Phillies, however haven’t confused me
Yes I know it’s only December and spring
So far they have managed to secure an
With bench players Ben Francisco and
The only confusion would be the lack of
Smoltz is obviously a good
It’s 2 weeks to Christmas and this
Now it feels like Christmas
A million dollar hole in one
Yankees – without
Detroit – are
Angels – are
Boston – look set to
Phillies – sitting on
Cardinals – with the
Dodgers – still have
Colorado – sit on top
My choices at this time
It is September ball and we
In a week when individual
Pedro Martinez has
The Phillies played
My choices at this time
It is September ball and we
…make the right choices and
|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.
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.
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.
Yesterday the Phillies posted 14 runs, but the Cards out hit the Phillies 14-15. It is clearly evident the Cards are team on a mission, and that mission is to get to the post season.
The bottom of the 1st is when the Phillies started the onslaught, driving in 3 runs off Kyle Lohse, the former Philly. The Cardinals, like the Phillies never give up without a fight, top of the 2nd inning they started their come back run at the Phightins, Lopez was able to hold them to just 1 run, the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings saw the Cardinals post runs to the board giving them a 4-3 lead, it caould be that something was said in the dougout, or could be that the Phils players just get their groove back, bottom of the 6th with a hit and a couple of walks the bases were loaded for J-Roll, who had been running an O-fer with bases loaded this year, today would be different, with his short swift swing, Rollins launched the ball to right field and it just kept going over the fence and into the stands…. GRAND SLAM HOME RUN JIMMY ROLLINS… things were going right for the Phillies and when J-Roll is hot the Phillies are hot, Motte had that,’Ican’t believe I threw that pitch’ look upon his face… a fiercesome looking pitcher that Motte is, pitched to Victorino, while Jimmy was still taking his congratulatory cheers from the crowd, and then the unthinkable happened, Victorino lauched the ball deep to right center field for back to back home runs off Motte, the Cards somehow managed to quieten the Phils bats and get out of the inning leaving the Phils with a 4 run lead.
Top of the 7th with Chan Ho Park on the mound and Lugo at the plate, some one in the stands decided to play the fool and shine a green laser pointer at Lugo, this is one of the worst things you can do to a hitter, take his clear vision away,
the results can be nothing more than deadly… Lugo was eventually struck out on a good breaking ball from Park, but it certainly doesn’t take away the fact that there would have been some part of him still looking for that green light. It didn’t stop there, with Pujols at the plate the light re-appeared, this time the umps put a halt to the game and confered with the Phillies dugout who had security trying to locate the fan responsible… This does nothing more than add to the already tainted reputation of Philadelphia fans, regardless of the sport, not only should this person be barred from sporting events in Philadelphia, but anyone with him that allowed it to happen should suffer the same fate. My suprise was that with all the cameras there, and the fact that Lugo had made people aware of it, was that no one was able to spot who was doing it, the search seemed to have the effect of stopping this person from doing it anymore, still they should be found and punished.
The Cardinals did manage to score another run in the top of the 7th, but the bottom half of the 7th brought on another onslaught from the Phillies, with hits a plenty the Phils drove in another 6 runs making it 14-5.
St. Louis tried to start a comeback in the 9th, but was finally held to just 1 run, giving the Phillies a 14-6 victory.
There were moments in this game when, personally I thought Ankiel
was going to single handedly prevent the Phillies from winning this game, he made 2 tremendous catches, 1 tight against the outfield wall and the other where he saved a home run off the bat of Werth. Following the last series between with Cards and Phils, we all know how hard he plays.
As usual both Holliday and Lugo hit the Phillies well, if the Phils hadn’t recieved some of the same luck the Cardinals experienced Friday, they could have very easily lost this one.
The Phils and Cards go at it again today, and to be honest, it’s anybodys game. Wellemeyer is on the mound for St. Louis looking for his 8th win to give him a .500 record on the year, while the Phillies have the workhorse Blanton starting and he’ll be trying to keep the Phil’s with an above .500 record at home this year, while looking to remain unbeaten in July. He is currently running a 0.83 ERA in the month of July through 21.2 innings of work.
With less than an hour to first pitch, it’s time for me to get ready for the ball game, lets hope it’s another Phillies win