Tuesday, June 10, 2008

If an MLB player hits a milestone home run and no one sees it, was it actually hit?

Well, yes, because 16,003 people at Florida's Dolphin Stadium did see it. So really that's a faulty headline since someone was there, but the point is clear: Ken Griffey Jr. hit home run No. 600 in front of very few people (they did cheer, though!).

No need to go the Griffey route here. We'll leave it at this: The guy still has the sweetest swing in baseball. And a fucking awesome rookie card!

Instead, we want to get back to the attendance figure. The Marlins, through 32 home dates, are averaging 14,840 in paid attendance, last in the league. That's not a shocker, but coupled with the fact that Tampa Bay is No. 28 with a 18,418 average, it's bothersome.

The Fish and Rays have been arguably the two most exciting teams so far this season, yet they're doing it in front of mostly-empty ballparks. How come?

Is it the stadiums? The lack of marketable superstars? Or, is Florida not a suitable place for Major League Baseball? Are these numbers a sign that each city is ill-equipped to support a team?

Eh. Probably just a lot of old people.


Signal to Noise said...

To be semi-serious about it: there probably are and were a sizable number of transplants in that state who brought team loyalties with them. Those who were natives before the Marlins and Rays existed latched onto teams who held spring training nearby, too (it's why there are a lot of Cubs fans in AZ.)

Finally, the ownership has flat out sucked for both franchises. The Marlins are good despite the constant penny-pinching of Loria, and the Rays are in the process of throwing off the yoke of stupidity its first ownership group placed on it.

It'll take some time to build up fanbase trust.

GMoney said...

Oh, shut up S2N, and just admit that it's because of old people!

Signal to Noise said...

Old people have to do something with it. I mean, all those retirees...

(eagerly awaits a "get off my lawn!")

The Beautiful Game said...

you know its bad when mls teams are outdrawing you...

Travis said...

I've lived in South Florida for 6 years now, so, I'm learning the climate. The only team that does well, every year, is the Dolphins. They are the only team that has been around long enough to have a fan base.
Also, finding a native Floridian is about as rare as finding someone who thinks Bill Bavasi has done a good job in Seattle.
The Heat only drew well for two seasons.
As for Tampa, that is the "too many old people" scenario.

The Big Picture said...

nicely put, folks.

Bokolis said...

Florida is not a viable place for any baseball. Grapefruit league games, even with all the vacationing northerners, don't draw like the cactus league. The Dodgers packing up and leaving, after all these years, should drive home the point.

Even the FSL doesn't draw like other minor leagues. It never has and it never will.

To state the obvious, Florida is football country.

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