During the second inning of the YES Network broadcast of Tuesday's White Sox winner over the Yankees, the conversation between Michael Kay and Ken Singleton turned to a subject we're all quite familiar with: low attendance.
It was a brief exchange, but Singleton (who is one of the game's better analysts) -- took a direct line to the heart of the matter.
Michael Kay: The Yankees are in town. [The White Sox] have been in first place now for 82 days, and this is kind of startling, Kenny, to see this place with so many empty seats. And they didn't even sell out for their games against the Cubs.
Ken Singleton: Well, Michael, when certain teams come into town -- and this is not only the White Sox who do this -- but they have the premium prices, which means that it's going to cost more to see the Yankees or the Red Sox or some of the big-name teams. Maybe the Angels? Probably? Certainly when the Cubs come here. So, you know, a lot of the fans, they'll stay home and watch it on TV.
That's all that needs to be said. Anybody who is legitimately surprised by the attendance the last two games didn't pay attention last year, when White Sox-Yankees games set distant lows for the post-championship era.
While the turnout for this series is underwhelming, it's also a step in a positive direction:
|Monday, Aug. 1||24,142||Monday, Aug. 20||27,561|
Tuesday, Aug. 2
||21,661||Tuesday, Aug. 21||24,427|
At any rate, we already talked this all out Tuesday, as well as last month. To summarize: If the Sox wanted to boost the overall attendance, it wouldn't take much creativity. But charging small-market prices doesn't mesh with the desire for big-market prestige (and the prestigious fans who buy much more than a ticket), so the Sox are forced to put the cart before the horse and wait for their vision to be realized.
That results in a lot of negligence, mockery and/or scorn from the outside in the interim. Galileo knows the feeling. So does your cut-rate megalomaniac. Time will decide which one the Sox more closely resemble. In the meantime, enjoy a neverending edition of Rain Delay Theater starring people telling each other how they're not spending their money correctly.
At any rate, it's just fascinating to see Singleton -- somebody who gets paid to attend games, and also works for the team that charges the most per ticket -- come to the conclusion that so many others seem to miss. And that's not even counting those who have the incentive to ignore it.
Dewayne Wise continues to pay massive dividends on the Sox's extremely small investment, and so he gets attention from the Trib. I like this line from David Haugh: "The player major league baseball can't get rid of fits perfectly on a Sox team that won't go away."
James notes that Wise, who will be filling in for Alejandro De Aza during his stay on the disabled list, had to fill the shoes of a very valuable regular in 2008. Think of that what you will.
This summer, many Chicagoans planned vacations around the time the city was scheduled to host the NATO and G8 summits. Those same people might want to start thinking about places to be around Memorial Day next year.
More interesting is the idea of the Sox and Cubs playing two two-game series back-to-back.
Brett talks value, whether it's across the entire team or just the historically underappreciated stock of Gavin Floyd. Or at least he was undervalued until this year.
Addison Reed keeps a ball from every one of his saves, which means 22 and counting. Also, this quote is worth highlighting: "In the past, I've heard rookies are usually kind of treated a little differently. But they treat us awesome up here, and we all feel a part of the team."
- Juan Pierre: Thank Goodness for Adequacy - The Good Phight
- Juan Pierre And The Curse Of The Average-Dependent Player - Baseball Nation
Juan Pierre's season line with the Phillies: .307/.345/.373, 31-for-36 stealing bases. When you think of the value he's provided the Phillies when nobody expected much, it reminds me a lot of the guy Pierre replaced when the Sox traded for him.