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24 September 2007

Jon Carroll: Voice of Reason

I haven't touched on the "Is 20 miles really leaving or not?" debate in a while, and was surprised when Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll chimed his with his take. His view is sober and pragmatic, with a good dose of glass half full:

And besides, I wouldn't really be "losing" the A's. They would be right where they've always been, on my television screen. I go to maybe one game a year - partly because I dislike the ballpark so much - so I follow them the way almost everyone follows them.

(I do go to more Giants games, but that's partly because I like the experience. I can take the ferry from Jack London Square and arrive right in McCovey Cove, mere steps from the right-field entrance. AT&T Park is a pleasing place to be and raises my spirits even when the team is losing, which it is a lot. If the A's are going to get a stadium of equal quality, more power to them.)

In many ways, the A's are essentially a television show, and I don't care where they play any more than I care where "Mad Men" is filmed. I understand that this is a heretical notion. Baseball is the nostalgia game. Many people like to think that it preserves the old values. That's why steroids are such a big deal in baseball. Does anyone care if a linebacker is a little juiced? Not really. But baseball is different. It's a church. We must never, ever suggest that it's a branch of the entertainment business.

Kudos to Carroll for his level-headed, casual fan take. And for those of you who want to debate this, I've intentionally left this post short so that there's room for snippets of comments to be placed in the post later today/this weekend.

Comments:
bleacherdave said...
Note what he didn't say - that he would be driving to Fremont. It just doesn't have the sentimental aura of catching a ferry to the game. Which is by the way, a world class approach to a ballpark on a sun-kissed summer morn.

linusalf said...
yes but as jon caroll says he only goes to one game a year. to many many more of us that go to more that one game a year the a's are alot more than just a televison show and the change from oakland a's to silicon valley a's @ fremont would be a big deal.

anonymous (kevin) said...
I personally can't stand the game experience at AT&T Park. It's just so dull and listless. I find everything from the way the batters are announced to the "slash hits" counter totally obnoxious. Contrast this with the energy at the Coliseum -- where "Atomic Dog" by Parliament can be heard.
Then again, I don't like spending time in Mall food courts either.

Oakland Si said...
I take BART to many, many games at the Coliseum. Obviously the Coliseum doesn't bother me nearly as much as it does Carroll...and he doesn't sound as if he would drive to Fremont either. For all he really could care the A's could be playing in Las Vegas.

Jeffrey said...
He didn't say he would be driving to Fremont, but did say he doesn't go to many games in Oakland because of the stadium.
There are more people who will go to Silicon Valley A's @ Fremont games than will be turned off by "Oakland" no longer being in the name of the team. There just aren't that many people who share the passion they have for the A's with the City of Oakland.
I go to way more than one game a year, and I will continue to do so in Fremont, provided I can still get tickets.

Sixto said...
Jeffrey is exactly right... the number of fans who will stop going to A's games because of the move will be far outnumbered by the influx of fans/money from the south bay. And that's why the A's are moving; it's really that simple.

bleacherdave said...
Hey Jeffery,
ever hear that old saying, "If you have to ask, you probably can't afford it."

Jeffrey said...
Did you ever hear the expression "Money is no object."
Seriously, though I am not a millionaire it isn't that I couldn't afford them, it is that I don't know how available tickets will be with the limited capacity.
I could afford to take my wife and kids to a game per home stand at Giants ticket prices.

anthony dominguez said...
Fans that the A's lose from Oakland because of a Fremont relocation "will be far outnumbered by the influx of fans/money from the South Bay." Tell that to Peter Magowan!

transic said...
If Yankee Stadium can be (and is about to be) replaced, then the A's can move to Fremont. It's not like they haven't moved twice before in their entire history.
9/24 22:15 - As much as fans obsess over the daily tribulations of our favorite teams, it is always important to keep that obsession in perspective. Most people in the Bay Area simply don't place any of the Bay Area's six major franchises as part of their daily consciousness, let alone their priorities. For most here and around the country, baseball is merely a form of entertainment. For a growing percentage of fans television is by far the primary method of enjoying home games, not just away games (this despite today's announcement of MLB breaking its seasonal attendance record again). The casual fan's opinion is not worth less than ours because they don't religiously follow the team. It's worth more because they vastly outnumber us, and they have to be convinced to either directly or indirectly support any new venue, from conception through the end of its life. The hardcore fan views a team as relevant, but the casual fan makes the team relevant. That trend will continue into the forseeable future.

30 comments:

linusalf said...

From the Chron letters to the editor today:

The Fremont A's?
Editor - I can't see the logic in the plan for the A's and how it benefits the East Bay. How is more traffic on the 880 a good idea? Has everyone missed the congestion stories? A ballpark five miles from BART, which is used by a decent portion of fans now, will add more congestion.

And the thought of Fremont on the uniform for away games? No offense to Fremont, but any Marketing 101 student could tell you that it does not have appeal. It all seems so surreal. I can only think that the A's owners are making business decisions with other goals; they want to be shop owners and the new park (planned as the smallest in the league) is a means to get shoppers to Fremont. It isn't that Oakland couldn't find space for the new park, they could not find space for a new mall. When the A's are good, the seats are filled. Spend good money on the team and I am certain a nice stadium could mimic the draw that the Giants have at AT&T Park.

KRIS KUPFERMAN

San Leandro

Marine Layer said...

Once again I have to ask:

What is a $450 million dollar stadium? Chump change? The goal first and foremost is to pay for the ballpark, and that is no mean fight. So to dismiss the concept as just a plan to bring in shoppers is to completely lose sight of that original goal.

And Fremont on the uniforms? Someone's not paying attention to the team's current branding.

Jeffrey said...

http://exhibits.baseballhalloffame.org/dressed_to_the_nines/detail_page.asp?fileName=al_2004_anaheim.gif&Entryid=2073

Find Los Angeles in this picture.

Jeffrey said...

Sorry I emant ot link to a picture fo the Angels uniforms. Both home and road say "Angels" on the front. If I were the A's I'd do the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, A team without an identity.

This move to Fremont will put the A's so far back in the Bay Area sports scene. Only the Sharks will be lower in Bay Area fan appeal. Gone, will be the Oakland vs SF rivalry. The dominant San Francisco media will make the Fremont A's a footnote in the Bay Area sports scene. In its place we can have a Fremont/San Mateo rivalry.

This idea is ludicrous. Lew Wolff has already destroyed the Oakland A's on the field. Now, Mr. Wolff is going for the destruction of the entire franchise.

This is simply a relocation disguised as a new ballpark/shopping mall.

SexFlavoredPez said...

jeffrey,

If you remember, earlier in the season the A's were wearing the alternate green unis on the road. There was no mention of Oakland on those away unis. It's already begun my friend. It wasn't until a few road trips into the season that they started wearing the Oakland greys on the road.

What people in Oakland fail to realize is that this brand name is associated with a baseball team, not a city in nortern California. Sorry Oaklanders, but when I said I was moving out to Oakland in 1998 the first question was "Is that the one near San Francisco?" However, when I told them I was relocating for work in the Silicon Valley, they ALL knew what I was speaking of. This team will relocate for greener pastures, it will benefit not only the A's and the city of Fremont but also many of the buisinesses in the south bay that can associate their brand name with a soon-to-be international one, the A's.

Jeffrey said...

Ruined on the field? Ha ha ha ha.

The A's and Giants rivalry will live on as long as they play each other 6 times a year and occupy the same geographic region. Both of those things will still be true.

I think the San Francisco centric media will be offset by the fact that the A's will be covered by San Jose/Silicon Valley centric media, which will do a much better job of prioritizing A's news than the current Oakland/East Bay media outlets do.

You'd think the Tribune was based at 3rd and Folsom with their Giants worship.

James said...

Anon 6:32 said: "This move to Fremont will put the A's so far back in the Bay Area sports scene. Only the Sharks will be lower in Bay Area fan appeal. Gone, will be the Oakland vs SF rivalry. The dominant San Francisco media will make the Fremont A's a footnote in the Bay Area sports scene. In its place we can have a Fremont/San Mateo rivalry."

James replies: Please back your baseless assertions with facts. Tell us why you believe this to be the case.

transic said...

The truth is no one truly knows how the A's at Fremont would do, long-term. Even the best-case scenario is an assumption. It's basically a gamble that assumes that more people from a given area will attend once a facility is located nearer them.

However, the trick is to make it easier for people to get there, hence, the back and forth on the approval and planning process.

I'm pretty much neutral on the idea, in general, as I don't live over there. But I wish the new ownership luck in finding a way to succeed. I would have liked to see them find a way to stay at Oakland, long-term, as I consider "Oakland A's" one of the more venerable names in pro baseball, along with "Boston Red Sox" and "New York Yankees". Unfortunately, politics and money say otherwise.

Anonymous said...

James, the A's are near the cellar in their devision and are drawing a mere 23,000 fans per game. I would say that Mr. Wolff's policies are not working. The fans have voted with their feet and with their wallets.

The verdict is in. The A's will draw around 1.8 million fans this year. That's roughly 400,000 fewer than they drew just a few years ago. That's the same as the entire population of the City of Oakland. Mr. Wolff has alienated many fans with his policies of closing the third deck and relocating the franchise.

As far as how the move to Fremont will affect the San Francisco centric media? First of all, San Francisco resents the fact that Oakland is a separate city with its own institutions and sports franchises. San Francisco refers to itself as the "City," and would like nothing better than to relegate Oakland to "East Bay."

Having said that, Oakland and San Francisco are geographically linked. Therefore, there has to be some sort of begrudging acknowledgment. This 100 year rivalry between these two neighboring cities, is so much bigger than the A's and Giants. You have the Raider vs Forty Niners. You have the Oakland Zoo vs San Francisco Zoo. You have Chabot Space Center vs The Exploratorium. You have Lake Merritt vs Stow Lake. Jack London Square & Fisherman's Wharf. It's a sports, business and cultural rivalry.

The move to Fremont will negate any obligation, and much interest, by the San Francisco centric media. Anyone who thinks that Silicon Valley, as a location, is more identifiable than Oakland with its six World Championships, must be living South of Milpitas.

Anyway, even the local San Jose NBC affiliate starts its telecasts with shots of San Francisco and the Bay. Let's face it folks, the heart of the "Bay Area" is San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley.

Mr. Wolff is leaving the Bay Area in hopes of getting some support from land-locked San Jose. Unfortunately, San Jose has not been able to benefit from being part of "Silicon Valley" as far as National recognition. I'm afraid, a move to Fremont will make the A's irrelevant to many sport fans in the Bay Area and make them less identifiable with the Bay Area.

1)San Francisco Forty Niners
2)Oakland Raiders
3)San Francisco Giants
4)Oakland Warriors
5)California Golden Bears
6)Fremont A's
7)San Jose Sharks

Marine Layer said...

Amazing that the A's at/near the cellar, yet they'll draw 50,000 less less than last season, when they won the division handily on the way to the ALCS.

Oakland may be more identifiable regionally and nationally due to history, but Silicon Valley is far more identifiable globally. The team will not be named the Fremont A's. Fremont doesn't have enough of a stake to make that happen.

Heart of the Bay Area? The concept is fallacious at best. Most people tend to stay in the little areas where they're used to their amenities and microclimates. I know plenty of Peninsula people who rarely venture out to the East Bay, as well as East Bay dwellers that rarely head to the South Bay. Many Bay Area residents don't go to SF except for events or specific types of shopping. Same for SF residents who only leave city limits to go to a big box store.

Negate obligation? You've got to be kidding. It's still an MLB franchise. It's going to be covered largely because coverage means money. Are we to expect that there will be no beat writers covering games and scant mentions during local newscasts? That's ridiculous.

This reminds me of the righteous indignation that comes up when the Raiders or Warriors are on national TV and someone complains that the bumper shot is of SF or the Bay instead of JLS or somewhere else in Oakland. It's so misplaced and ineffectual that it's laughable.

anon-a-mouse said...

The "I won't step one foot outside Oakland city limits!" crowd sure must be getting more clear that Pacific Commons is a near certainty because their claims and positions are getting more and more hysterical and outlandish by the day.

That's OK. They're just going through the normal stages of change adoption. We had to endure the denial stage, and clearly they're now in the anger/reactionary stage. Before long they'll hit depression and, finally, acceptance.

Anonymous said...

Marinelayer,

We both know that the effects of this cellar dwelling season will be felt next year, and possibly for the next few years. So, by saying the A's will draw only "50,000 fewer fans than last season when they won the division," you're actually reinforcing my point. They drew lousy last year also, despite making the ALCS. And, next year, will be even tougher to get people to the ballpark based on this horrible season and the ongoing failed policies of this ownership.

Also, "Silicon Valley" maybe known globally, but baseball is a minor sport throughout most of the World. And, the physical location of "Silicon Valley" remains a mystery to most of the World. Let's take a look at the City of San Jose for a minute. Can you name a city in this country with a million residents which has the lack of stature and recognition level that San Jose, California has? Has "Silicon Valley" really helped San Jose gain the stature and recognition befitting an American city of a million residents?

Also, if the A's are not going to be called the Fremont A's, then what will they be called?

chacho said...

That's OK. They're just going through the normal stages of change adoption. We had to endure the denial stage, and clearly they're now in the anger/reactionary stage. Before long they'll hit depression and, finally, acceptance.

You forget the "barganing stage" as in "Maybe if they can have a BART station to that location and have a giant parking lot like at the Coliseum then I might go."

;0)

Anonymous said...

They will be called ATHLETICS AT FREMONT which is a fancy way of saying Fremont A's.

BleacherDave said...

SexFlavoredPez has forgotten that the starting pitcher picks the uni.

ML,

Aren't you letting your opinion get in the way of the facts with this statement?

"For a growing percentage of fans television is by far the primary method of enjoying home games, not just away games (this despite today's announcement of MLB breaking its seasonal attendance record again)."

Italics and emphasis added.

I referred Carolyn Jones, the Trib writer to your blog, she's impressed and wants to reach you.

Marine Layer said...

The A's haven't drawn well pre- or post-tarp. They haven't drawn well regardless of their regular season or postseason success. So exactly which part of this "policy" is responsible for attendance failures? Throughout this period they've had reasonably priced tickets, tons of promotions, farm-raised stars who leave, and the same lackluster venue. Exactly what should ownership have done? Tell me, oh marketing genius.

The mystery of Silicon Valley is exactly the reason why they would move towards a "Silicon Valley A's of Fremont" name. To give it a sense of place. I wrote about this a year ago.

BD - Considering how families are being priced out of MLB and the shrinking of ballparks, it's not an unreasonable assumption to make. Especially when we consider that MLB uses paid attendance instead of turnstile count - the A's hit only 80% if using the latter measure.

SexFlavoredPez said...

BD,

I could be wrong but it was my understanding that the team has to request to wear a jersey other than the 'home' or 'away' jerseys which are defined in the rule book. The starting pitcher may wish to pick to wear any jersey he pleases, but it's MLB that has to give the OK.

As far as attendance goes...it's not the fault of the owners. It's YOUR fault for not going. Granted, this season has provided me much less motivation to go to a lousy stadium in a run down town over 30 miles from my home, but I still chose not to go. The ownership cannot be faulted for your choices. They've opened up the purse strings a little and hit a bit of bad luck this season with injuries. I cannot speak for others but I don't doubt many others share my sentiment. I simply don't like going to the coliseum.

Anonymous said...

It absolutely IS the fault of the owners! It's their fault for alienating me. People aren't obligated to purchase a product from a business which doesn't value them, or, value their community.

Marinelayer, the A's drew 2.2 million fans as recently as a few years ago before Mr. Wolff closed the third deck and announced he was relocating the team. Now, they're drawing 1.8 million. You can downplay that all you want, but it's a fact that attendance is down.

Also, I seem to remember a gentleman by the name of Walter Haas who drew 2.9, 2.7, and 2.6 million fans in Oakland. Mr. Haas did very well indeed in Oakland. So, we know that it's not Oakland's fault. It's the fault of lousy ownership from Steve,(one-foot-out-the-door) Schott, to the current, Lew "Don't-break-your-pick on-this-one" Wolff.

Mr. Wolff is darn lucky to be able to get 1.8 million fans from the Oakland Metro Area to contribute to his Fremont relocation fund.

Also, while Wolff salivates over the supposed South Bay riches, the San Francisco Chronicle featured an article in yesterday's paper regarding the San Francisco/Oakland Metro area having the second highest per capita income in the Nation. San Jose was third!

Wow, Wolff wants to leave the second richest area in the country for the third richest area in the country. I suppose for the South Bay infatuated Lew Wolff, that kind of logic is par for the course. It may explain why his team is currently in the cellar and he's drawing roughly 400,000 fewer fans since he decided to close the third deck and announce he was relocating to Fremont.

Marine Layer said...

The Haas-era argument baffles me. Times change. That team had one of the highest payrolls in baseball. Haas went in the red to keep the team at that level, and he knew he couldn't sustain that for long. Nearly twenty years later almost every other team in MLB has passed the A's by with new stadia and cable networks.

So the A's are where they are largely because they haven't kept up with the Joneses, yet when they try to do that they get criticized. That ivory tower must be comfortable.

It's also funny that on one hand you say "Oakland Metro Area" to prop up Oakland and then when convenient switch to "SF/Oakland Metro Area" for a different argument. Guess what happens to be in both the "SF/Oakland Metro Area" and the "Oakland Metro Area"? Fremont, that's what.

How scandalous is it to want customers from a so-called poorer area? The SF-Oakland MSA is served by 5 teams, while the SJ MSA is served by 1. I'd argue that one is saturated while the other is underserved. That means a lot more than who's #2 or #3 in the nation in income.

BleacherDave said...

This is a good thread. Lots of valid propositions.

"BD - Considering how families are being priced out of MLB and the shrinking of ballparks, it's not an unreasonable assumption to make. Especially when we consider that MLB uses paid attendance instead of turnstile count - the A's hit only 80% if using the latter measure."

I say it is an unreasonable assumption. If stadia are shrinking, yet gross attendance is higher than ever,doesn't that indicate that a HIGHER proportion of customers are attending games? Since paid attendance instead of turnstile count has always been the measure, we're comparing apples to apples.

The thesis that fans, rather than managers, are responsible for creating demand is ludicrous.

More current A's attendees come from SF than any other single city. A move to Fremont is particularly difficult for them and for Marin County fans...two of the wealthiest areas in the county; wealthier even than the Silicon Valley.

In addition, the A's should be locating a stadium not just for the now, but for the future. And future regional growth is to the East and North, not to the South. If you disbelieve, simply check out the resistance that development of the Coyote Valley is encountering.

Marine Layer said...

No. Local TV contracts have expanded significantly since the 80's. Remember when the A's were jumping around from KBHK to KPIX to KRON to KICU all within the span of about a decade? Remember when there was no FSN/Sportschannel? For many home games there were only two choices: radio or Coliseum. Having more home games meant greater choice for the consumer. Many chose and continue to choose to stay home.

It's a big leap to infer that anyone's blaming fans for attendance woes. There is a set of circumstances at work that make A's games less compelling than other entertainment alternatives and the ballpark is a major part of that. That's it.

There will be a large loss of SF fans, who currently make up 13.5% of the base. Marin is only 1.5%. That's 300k admissions or 3700 fans per game. I don't there'll be any trouble getting the South Bay to make up that gap.

Until the 90's the AL and NL had two different methods of measuring attendance. AL used paid whereas NL used turnstile count.

Anonymous said...

Marinelayer,

You forget one thing. This was supposed to be about building a new ballpark for the OAKLAND A's IN OAKLAND. This was not suppose to be a RELOCATION. The HOK studies initially had five Oakland sites ahead of Fremont. The Fremont site was thrown in at the last minute by Haggerty.

Somehow, that site, located in an area which has always been an obsession with first, Steve Schott, and then, his director of venue development, Lew Wolff, happened to come to the top of the list. It's one thing building a ballpark in Oakland, it's another thing to RELOCATE the franchise in order to build a ballpark. That's where you, and Wolff lose me as a fan.

I grew up in Oakland and the Oakland A's had always been a big part of my life. Wolff, decided that the connection to Oakland wasn't a big deal. That's where the disrespect comes in. There are people in the Bay Area who view anything positive in Oakland as being better if it just were located somewhere else. That's the mindset of people who don't understand what the big deal is with the position of the "Oakland only crowd." We are here as direct contradiction to the "Oakland NEVER crowd."

We are a direct contradiction to people from Fresno who claim they would NEVER step foot into Oakland except for an A's game. We are a direct contradiction to the San Francisco snobs with their noses in the air. We finally bloodied those noses in 1998 and it felt SO GOOD. Ralph Barbiere was practically in tears. Oakland had finally gotten up off the ground and knocked out the bully at the beach who had been kicking sand in its face for years. It felt good. That's what the Oakland A's bring to an underdog town like Oakland.

BleacherDave said...

ML,

You say, "It's a big leap to infer that anyone's blaming fans for attendance woes." There's no leap at all. Here's a quote from Pez, "As far as attendance goes...it's not the fault of the owners. It's YOUR fault for not going. " This is the traditional frame that the sports media, and MLB, have fe foisted on us. How ridiculous! RIM doesn't blame me for choosing iphone over Blackberry.

"Until the 90's the AL and NL had two different methods of measuring attendance." I'd forgotten that you had taught us that previously in this thread; but it's not relevant. MLB broke last year's record, not last decades.

Finally, the South Bay may replace the 3,700 today, but they can't replace the growth that is happening in CoCo county. I think they had more housing starts than anywhere else in the Bay.

Marine Layer said...

anon - I've said in the past if all things were equal I'd prefer a ballpark in Oakland. But that clearly isn't the case. So what to do? Fans all have to make their choices as to whether or not to support the effort. Again, it really comes down to how much value you place in the city in front of the name. If it's a major issue as it is with you, then you're likely to be upset. If like me you're aware of the compromises and difficulty involved and as a result place less emphasis on the city, then you may be more accepting of it.

At the same time, those who blame Oakland residents for not supporting the A's are being patently unfair. It's a regional team and issue. And there's really no blame to go around unless you're looking to point fingers - which is really easy to do at times.

Jeez BD, if you're going to nitpick at various bits of semantics you might as well be consistent. You first say that teams all had the same accounting measure then when I point out the differences from years ago you dismiss the whole thing as irrelevant. It's not irrelevant because of the market landscape. Did AL teams pump up attendance figures despite a bunch of no-shows? They did in the Mausoleum days, and they continue to do so now. Now NL teams do the same (witness the Marlins). Pure attendance figures should be taken with a grain of salt. At the other end the Yankees, Cubs, and Red Sox are examples A1-A3 of pricing their fans out of the market, which makes their games less accessible to the less well-heeled. Over the same period TV accessibility has grown significantly and has become the de facto alternative to attending games in person.

In the last 4 years attendance has gone up 8% (much of it thanks to a 4% boost this season). At the same time ticket prices have gone up 16%. Do you really think that baseball has gotten that much more popular? I don't. If it were true then this growth could be sustained into the forseeable future. I expect attendance to plateau sometime in the next decade after the new NY ballparks have opened.

The East Bay is growing but it's not where the money is. As you pointed out BD, the money is in other parts of the bay.

BleacherDave said...

ML,

If I'm not mistaken, MLB has set attendance records the last 3-4 years running. And as far as I know, there hasn't been a change in methodology during that period. Thus, it's apples to apples. If MLB were breaking an attendance record from the 80's, then I'd concede that the change in methodology was a factor.

There's money everywhere in the Bay Area, ML. Last time I checked, CoCo County was hardly a paupers paradise.

If price were currently keeping folks from attending, I'd say that you're point had more merit. But, I don't think cost is keeping folks away.

Marine Layer said...

My point is that this attendance record is only one piece of the overall consumption pie. If you're going to view that number as the major indicator, I have to ask if you're drinking some of the commish's Kool-Aid.

Again, my statement was this:

"For a growing percentage of fans television is by far the primary method of enjoying home games, not just away games (this despite today's announcement of MLB breaking its seasonal attendance record again)."

During the first month of the season, local TV ratings for all 30 teams were up 20% over 2006. Even if they dipped to only 5-10% over the course of the season they would still outpace the reported 4% attendance increase. The TV audience's growth is more a function of population than stadium size and amenities.

The price issue isn't affecting A's fans yet. It has hit Giants fans and everyone else with a new stadium. It will hit A's fans too.

By "money" I mean corporate money. As I said before, pure population is not that meaningful - and considering the way population is spread out, is likely a wash.

BleacherDave said...

I can't quibble with that. You've laid out a case that points to pretty amazing growth in baseball's popularity both in person and on TV, not to mention the amazing prduct offerings by MLB.tv.

Maybe performance enhancing drugs are and were good fo the game!

SexFlavoredPez said...

Performance enhancing drugs were absolutely good for the sport! There should never be any question about that. The aftermath has been ugly but they were certinaly good for the sport's bottom line. I still feel that it is the fans fault for not showing up to games, though. The owners have put together a quality product that noone goes to see. Meanwhile, across the bay, there is an inferior product being sold. It's bought not because of the quality of the product (or the value the owners place on the community, for that matter) but the quality of the packaging.

ML, we need a 'reply to' option!

@annon4:05:

"People aren't obligated to purchase a product from a business which doesn't value them, or, value their community."

If someone with a product says they value you and your community, RUN! No business man values you and your community. They want what you want, to be propsperous. What's best for his product and his bottom line is what he values. Tales of morality are for the fans. I never said you were obligated to go to a baseball game. I said if YOU don't go YOU only have YOURSELF to blame. The owners are the only ones doing something about attracting fans to a superior destination to watch a superior product. What fault is it of theirs if YOU dont show up?

I also dont buy the common arguement here that baseball is pricing out the average fan. You cannot convince me that a family of 4 in the bay area cannot afford to go to a game and sit in the bleachers at $12/ticket.

Ed said...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2007/10/16/DDT6SP4O4.DTL

Jon Carroll receives a rebuttal.