There are a number of ways
For example you could be an
It has been some time since
What the hell was she
I guess we can think
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
Cliff Lee takes his 3rd straight win as the Ace in the Phillies rotation and
drives the Phillies to a sweep of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. After suffering the embarrassment of being swept at home last weekend the Phillies issued there own 3 game sweep on the road.
Lee pitched outstanding for 8 innings, like me, most thought Madson would come on in relief at the start of the 8th inning, but he didn’t, Lee came out for the 8th and got through it like an Ace. Lee ended his day after throwing 122 pitches with over 67% of them for strikes, he gave up 1 run on 6 hits and walked 3 batters. It wasn’t till the 4th inning that the Phillies offense gave Lee the lead, he managed to get himself out of a couple of jams during the first 4 innings, it wasn’t till the 5th inning that the Cubs managed to drive in a run and that was the only time a Cubs player would cross the plate. He held the Cubs to a 1 for 5 with runners in scoring position, obviously the Phillies defense played a role in this too. Lee seems to like this playing in the NL where he gets to show case his bat swinging abilities, he hit his 2nd double, but was eventually stranded on 3rd at the end of the inning. With the Phillies, Lee is now 3-0 with an ERA of 1.13 through 24 innings as a pitcher, as a hitter he is 3 for 9 (.333) with 2 doubles.
Ryan Madson came on in relief of Lee to start the 9th, he pitched a scoreless inning giving up just 1 walk with 2 strike outs.
The Phillies offense came off of 10 hits and 3 walks, the big offensive inning was the 4th, when Ryan Howard hit a 3 run home run to the opposite field, this was Ryan’s 1st home run in August, ironic really, I had said at the end of July, that it seems when
Raul Ibanez goes deep then Ryan goes deep and visa versa, and in Wednesday’s game Raul went deep and so Thursday Ryan went deep. In the same inning Pedro Feliz took Dempster deep too, giving the Phillies a 4 run lead. Utley picked up an RBI in the 6th and Feliz picked up another in the 7th giving the Phillies a 6-1 lead that they never relinquished.
The Phillies headed to Atlanta last night to start a 3 game series against the Braves today, before heading home for the only day off between now and the end of August. Joe Blanton is scheduled to start tonight against the Braves, Saturday is an afternoon game and although it’s Hamels rotation spot, it is currently being listed as TBA, have they not announced it yet or are they holding back to the last minute because of a possible problem? I am sure we will find out soon.(update: Hamels is now listed as the starting pitcher for Saturday). It does though, seem to be freaky days of late in Philadelphia sports, everybody has heard by now that Vick signed a 2 year deal with the Eagles, what were they thinking? I am sure they will let us know soon enough.
Still with freaky things, the ‘Idiot Cubs Fan’ turned himself in to Chicago police yesterday, probably wants another 15 minutes of fame, or a beer commercial contract.
Over the weekend the Phillies at home were very charitable to the Florida Marlins, the Phillies, we hope, have moved on from that, now someone else should take a turn to be charitable at home.
On the road this week, with the road trip opener at Wrigley Field it was hopeful that the Cubs would be the one’s to be charitable at home, as luck would have it they obliged, at first it didn’t look as if they wanted to be nice and play the charity game, the Phillies had to show then the way to encourage them.
J.A. Happ started the ball rolling by giving the Cubs a taste of the charity bug…
through 6 innings he gave the Cubs, 11 base runners and 2 runs…
During those 6 innings where Happ was trying to encourage the Cubs with his charity work, you would have thought that…
Harden was more interested in pitching a perfect game…
I think he must have started to feel guilty about all the fine charity work Happ had been doing for the Cubs, and realised that charity begins at home, 1 out in the 6th inning he very charitably gave us, (the Phillies), our first base runner. Yes, I have to admit it came out of the blue and was not expected, hoped for, but not expected, I am sure he felt bad that our guys couldn’t hit his pitches.
Mr Harden very kindly gave up a walk to our very own 8th hole hitter and #1 catcher…
and of course he graciously accepted the free pass to 1st base
with Ruiz on first and 1 out, Happ who having seen the charitable donation by Harden bunted the ball into the air, high enough to allow 1st baseman, Lee, to make a spectacular diving catch to give them 2 outs, 1 on in the 6th. Now is when you would find out if Harden was truely playing the charity begins at home game. With Rollins at the plate, having swung at the very first pitch of the game making a lame infield out, on one pitch, was now looking to Harden to be charitable, so as not to make himself (J-Roll) look so foolish again.
Rollins being a recovered struggling lead-off man had become greedy…
he wasn’t content with a line drive hit, he had to go the whole 9 yards, or in this case 350+ feet into the bleechers for a home run.
Now with the game tied at 2 each we were in the 7th and Harden had gotten the charity bug really bad, with a hit and a walk and a fly ball he managed to have a couple on 2nd and 3rd base, Piniella, wanted to do his part, but wasn’t sure what that was,
so he wandered out to the mound to ask his players
they weren’t exactly sure what his charitable role should be,
so he asked the homeplate umpire, who I am guessing told him staying in his dug out was more than anyone could hope for, so with his, out of this world, I’m on something look about him, he aimlessly wandered back to the dugout as if he forgot why he went out to the mound in the first place. so the Phillies, feeling sorry for Piniella did the charitable thing and got themselves out of the inning.
The 8th inning came around and the Cubs felt Harden had done enough giving, so they sent Marmol to the mound to keep up the charity work, Marmol turned out to be in a very giving mood,
his charitable donations started with a walk to Ruiz…
Dobbs came in as a pinch hitter and gave himself up with a lazy fly ball, Rollins tried to take advantage of Marmol’s kindness, but the inbound wind prevented another charitable donation of a ball into the bleechers. Marmol wasn’t very happy with his donations so far, he decided to give some more, so he hit Victorino with a pitch, who by the way was on his best behaviour, he didn’t charge at anyone today, then Marmol walked Utley to load the bases, then his generosity got the better of him, he walked Howard to push Ruiz across the plate for the go ahead run.
What could be more exciting than this, 1 run lead bottom of the 9th, time for the Phillies closer, who last year was putting the fear of god into every hitter he faced, this year however he’s putting the fear of god into the fans for every hitter he faces.
Don’t worry though this was a giving game so the Cubs would give themselves up for Lidge…
Someone should have explained the rules of charity begins at home to Lidge.
He thought he was the one supposed to be doing the giving, cause he gave them a walk , a hit and a run to even the score 3-3.
Each side played the charity thing as best they could into the 12th inning, then the Cubs didn’t realise that Francisco is new to the National League and doesn’t fully understand,
with Francisco at the plate…
Gregg tossed a donation to him…
Francisco, not really understanding everything in the NL, sent the ball on a line drive to left field and instead of it hitting the wall it dropped nicely into the basket on top of the left field wall. Once again the Phillies get the go ahead run. This time the make sure everyone is aware that it’s the home team giving the charitable donations,
fresh off the DL, Chad Durbin comes into to halt the donations…
and halt them he did, Durbin picked up his 2nd save on the season,
giving up a charitable walk, and a strike out he gave the Phillies the win in the opener of a 3 game set in Chicago.
With this game in the bag, I thought I would just flip over and see if the Rays could do the same to the Angels,
I was just in time to see…
Crawford let a ball go to the fence and give the Halo’s 3 more runs…
this was not what I hoped for, the Angels bea the Rays 6-0, but it was somewhat ironic in a way since these 2 games had something in common, just different outcomes.
The Cubs and Angels each had 10 hits, the Rays and Phillies each had 3 hits, but the outcome was the Angels had 6 runs and the Rays 0, while the Phillies ended with 4 runs and the Cubs 3 runs.
Tomorrows game at Wrigley sees the return of Martinez, in a Phillies uniform for the first time, ironic that his last game in the majors was against the Cubs. All Philly fans are looking for the win, and all are very curious as to how Martinez will fair in his first start after fan favorite Moyer was bumped from the rotation to make room for him.
|What can anyone say about a game that your team gets demolished 12-3 to complete a sweep, in your own ball park, by a team that just got swept by the Washington Nationals. Just about the same as has been said for the last couple of weeks, offense, defense and pitching, without these you don’t have a ball club. A little unfair to Jamie Moyer, since he put in a good performance, held the Marlins at bay, between a couple of bad located pitches and some bad located fielders, the Marlins edged a small lead and Moyer was replaced by the bullpen. Not so bad 2 runs down the Phillies have come back from worse. So with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd and a runner on 1st, who else but Ryan Howard could come to the Phillies rescue, he’s been the hottest hitter the last couple of days, so now the Phillies have a chance, one big hit and it’s back in the lead, or he could walk then we would have bases loaded for Ibanez, almost as good, you would think….
That’s when the home plate umpire, Ed Rapuano decided the Marlins needed some assistance, so he called Howard out on strikes, wrong call, okay I am biased, so you decide…
The home plate umpire had been having issues with his strike zone depending who was on the mound and who was in the batters box, but that wasn’t it, this was a critical call and he got it wrong (in my opinion), the interesting thing was before Howard came up to the plate, you could hear the audible of Ed saying to Howard “it’s hot out here big fellow” I’m sorry but out of context that sound bite could be very damaging for Ed…
You’d think that would be the end of it, ‘in Philadelphia’ I hear you saying, okay so the crowd probably won’t let him forget it, but they didn’t get the chance. With the Marlins now batting and Helms at the plate and Lopez on the mound the sequence of balls and strikes went something like this…
You guessed it the crowd went absolutely crazy, as you can imagine the Phillies players weren’t that impressed either…
Rollins shows his displeasure…
Look closely in the back ground behind Feliz you can see Victorino, who also shows his displeasure…
And then… it can only be described as all hell breaking loose, I may have only been watching baseball for 24-25 years, but I have never seen an outfielder be ejected for raising his arms, and needless to say it upset Victorino…
He came racing in from the outfield, almost threw Bako to the ground to get at the umpire, fortunately for Victorino, Howard is bigger and stronger and man-handled Victorino to the dugout, otherwise he would have surely ended up with a suspension.
That sort of put a damper on things, the Marlins went on to score 6 runs in that inning, and yes you guessed it, the crowd let Ed know of their displeasure at every opportunity. The Phillies managed to scrap back just 2 runs and the Marlins went on to add another 3 runs in the 9th.
So to finish a brief message to Ed Rapuano, stay out of Philadelphia, the fans have long memories, and if the league have any sense they will not assign him a game with the Phillies for sometime or this poster could become the norm around the City of Brotherly Love.
The Phillies go on the road to Chicago, they have a day off Monday, which if they are wise, it will be used to find their missing offense and defense. Then on Tuesday we will find out if the fact that, “Jesus hates the Cubs” according to the book of Psalms, or was that RSBS, I sometimes find it hard to distinguish between them, they are on occasion both full of useless, but humorous information. The point being we will find out if the umpires take pity on them for the curse cast upon them by this #2 blogger, yes it’s true and fortunately for everyone here, we would never live it down if there wasn’t a she fan with a confession to keep the combined efforts of a lonely Tigers fan and a (insert your own word here) Cardinal fan in their place.
|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.