Friday, May 28, 2004

sorry ravi, but if it aint getting mathematics, something's gotta give. shouldn't mess with a former budget analyst. first of all, the yankees have never been terrible. hmm, no, guess not, no, hmm, the late 60's, the early 70's. the early 80's after the last gasp of the bronx zoo v. the dodgers, the late 80's/early 90's, perhaps the final bottoming out came when George was SUSPENDED from baseball for spying on one of his players. no, you're right the yankees have never been bad. although i guess it's fair that when they've been as amazingly good as they have been it's hard to ever remember bad times.

below please find year-by-year attendance totals for each team, yankees listed first, then mets. 62+63 the mets played in the polo grounds, in 74+75 the yanks played in shea stadium. until the start of the yankees run (which i pegged as 94-the strike year when the year finished with the yanks in first) the mets up until that point had outdrawn the yanks in total numbers (59,36,147 v. 56,058,972) and also outdrew them more seasons than not. the current yankees run changed things, but only a little, the totals since 1962 show the yankees at 83,979,303 v. the mets at 80,353,821. i'll also note that it is the most dominating run by a team in any sport in our lifetimes and probably since the 60's celtics, oh wait, the early 80's islanders, BRO, the yanks' recent run also coincides with an absolute explosion in the amount of tourists coming to new york city that began in the last term of the giuliani administration, it went from the high teens during the dinkins years, to 36 million a year last year, ever go to a yankees game and notice all the out-of-town visitors?

what it boils down to is my earlier assertion that there are probably close to an equal amount of mets and yankees fans.

62: 1.4 .9
63: 1.3 1.0
64: 1.3 1.7
65: 1.2 1.2
66: 1.1 1.9
67: 1.2 1.6
68: 1.1 1.8
69: 1.0 2.2
70: 1.1 2.7
71: 1.0 2.3
72: .9 2.1
73: 1.2 1.9
74: 1.7 1.7
75: 1.3 1.7
76: 2.0 1.5
77: 2.1 1.0
78: 2.3 1.0
79: 2.5 .7
80: 2.6 1.2
81: 1.6 .7
82: 2.0 1.3
83: 2.2 1.1
84: 1.8 1.8
85: 2.2 2.8
86: 2.2 2.8
87: 2.4 3.0
88: 2.6 3.0
89: 2.1 2.9
90: 1.8 2.3
91: 1.8 2.3
92: 1.7 1.7
93: 2.4 1.8
94: 1.6 1.1
95: 1.7 1.2
96: 2.2 1.5
97: 2.5 1.7
99: 3.2 2.7
00: 3.2 2.9
01: 3.2 2.6
02: 3.4 2.8
03: 3.4 2.1
Apparently you name belies your knowledge of baseball attendance.

Going back to 1974, the Yankees have finished amongst the top three teams in AL attendance 18 times.

The Mets? 6 times, all from 1985-1990. The closest since then was in 2002 when they were 5th out of 16 NL teams.

Sure the Yankees only got 3 million fans and have stayed at that number over the last five years, but they have been more consistent in keeping the Stadium packed than have the Mets. And the only two years the Mets did it were 87-88. But you know why? Because the Yankees, unlike the Mets have never gone thru stretches of being terrible, so there is always a demand to watch an average (at worst) product. Sure the Mets when good will draw fans, but that has as much to do with NY being able to support 2 baseball teams than it does with Mets fans being trooer or whatever you think.
I've been to yankee stadium and to shea when both teams were terrible, and there were FAR fewer people at Shea than I remember at Yankee stadium.

The fact is this: The mets suck. Apart from a few aberrations in the past, they always have. And until they get better owners and operating personnel, they will continue to, and when people go to see them it’s only because their success is a novelty.

And Bryan, will you say the same thing about Pedro when he’s wearing pinstripes next year? I know the fans polled in SI article won’t.

I miss baseball.

But I now understand one-day test cricket completely.

I think the only difference between one-day and other test lengths are the number of overs, of which there are 50 (6 balls in one over, 300 total "pitches") per inning (nine outs (which is each batter one one team had a turn), or 50 overs, whichever comes first) in one-day matches.

It's pretty cool.
However the batter can be at bat until he gets out or chooses to stop which could go for something like 150 minutes! ONE BATTER!

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Pedro rules.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Sports Illustrated covered New York this week (they are covering a state a week), in a poll of state residents, the yanks clocked in at 50% of the state as their favorite baseball team, the mets at 25%. pedro edged out steinbrenner as enemy of the state, and the mets finsished second to the yanks as favorite sports team overall.

at first glance, the matchup 50% to 25% might seem depressing. i think it's actually encouraging. this poll was taken a few months ago, before the season started. think about it, the yanks just got a-rod, they've been the best team in baseball for the past 7 years, the mets coming off their worst year in some time, which in turn came on the heels of a bad year before. the mets got swept by the yanks last year, all the embarrassment of mo vaughn, alomar, etc. and we still clocked in at 25% favorite baseball team and 2nd favorite team out of any sport overall. that's encouraging.

my own opinion is that before the yanks run got steamrolling in 1998, there were more mets fans than yankees fan. i base this on general perception and cold hard numbers. the mets consistently outdrew the yanks through 1999. the yanks never hit more than 3 million fans in a season until 2 or 3 years ago, the mets hit it several times throughout their history.

i would garner that this recent yankees era coupled with mets embarassment will hurt the mets in the long-run as all these kids are yankees fans now, but i think once the mets get a little better you will see them close to even in terms of fan suppport.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

In retirement, and while sitting around the fire during a camping trip, Van Slyke said Kent Hrbek played a tape recording of his best farts.
I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE EMBARASSED TO BE A METS FAN than i was last nite. hiro, pete and myself went to the game, sat in field level (rather easy to sneak in if one person has a field level tick by using the ol pass-back). first of all, mama's of corona ran out of sandwiches in the fifth. but that wasn't the problem, in the 6th, runners on 1st and 2nd, ONE OUT, cameron up. me hiro and pete stand up and try and start a cheer. a few other heads do so as well. the rest of the crowd? nothing doing. nothing. people are sitting not even clapping. then, the ultimate indignity. this middle-aged putz mutters "down in front!" so we sat down, feeling embarrassed for trying to cheer. cameron grounds out, and pete turns around and goes "that's what you get"
then again, in the bottom of the 9th, the house should be on its feet when matsui comes to the plate with runners on 1st and 2nd. we're trying to get the crowd going, on its feet. nothing, everyone's sitting on their hands, half the crowd had left after that 6th inning. only AFTER matsui tied it up did the crowd finally stand up and make some real noise when floyd came to bat. i feel embarrassed for hiro, who came to shea as a guest, i feel embarrassed for mets fans themselves.
have the past 3 years ruined us? made us too jaded to cheer? or maybe it was because we were in field level? whatever it was, it was sad.

Monday, May 17, 2004

That might have been the worst call I've ever seen during yesterday's game. Easily could have blown the game for the Mets. I don't think anyone should be fined if they say that ump sucks. The ump should get fined though.
"The New York Daily News says David Weathers is suffering from triceps tendinitis."

This is nonsense. David Weathers clearly does not have triceps. He, Stanton and Karim could put the Sizzler all-you-can-eat bar our of business.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Arthur Rhodes is back on track after putting together three straight scoreless innings. Rhodes lowered his disappointing ERA to 4.20

-that's not disappointing. man.

As for Bonds swinging at intentional balls, isn't it illegal to step across the plate to swing? Although somehow, Dave Winfield once hit a home run on an intentional ball- it must not have been outside enough.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Astros catcher Brad Ausmus says that if Barry is sincerely tired of all this intentional walking, he can fix it himself:

"If he doesn't want to be walked," Ausmus said, "try swinging at the first two intentional balls. Managers would pitch to him much more if the count was 0-2."

if biz can hit towering home runs this way, why couldn't barry?
huge props to glavine, an important game on many levels, one of which being the bullpen has been overworked these past few games.
mild debate on the FAN about trading glavine, leiter and piazza in late june. sid and mac made the point that the mets didn't get much back in the trades last summer of alomar, benitez, burnitz etc, so it's not as if someone like glavine will bring back much of value.
still, as ryan has pointed out, by the time the mets are trooly ready to compete, glavine and leiter won't be much help. if glavine and leiter go this year, this year as an interim year will trooly be unbearable as there's no one who can step in to help this sorry ass rotation.
who had money on the mets offense being carried by spencer, garcia, valent and danny garcia this year?
Regarding Billy's post below about the BOB, obviously, it doesn't come close to comparing to Coors. Colorado's park factor is 1179, which means that it's overall increase to offense is 17.9% over the average park. The BOB only increases 3.4%. So, it definitely was a ridiculous comment by Howe. Plus, if he does believe that the BOB is such a problem, why did they bring up a flyball pitcher like Baldwin to pitch there and in Houston?
I heard Howe on Mike & the Mad Dog yesterday, and he said that players on the DBacks told him that the wind the other night was the strongest they'd ever seen in the park, which is why Baldwin got killed. Without seeing the game, I obviously have no idea how much of an impact the wind had. The wind does seem to be conspiring against the Mets. Last Saturday, the Mets had four homeruns robbed by the left field wind (in conjunction with Geoff Jenkins) at Shea.
In an unrelated note, big props to Tom Glavine for outdueling the Big Unit yesterday. This is a ridiculous stretch of facing Johnson, Webb, Pettitte, Oswalt, and Clemens. If we can win 2 of those games, I think I'd be happy, and now we're half way there.
Alex Cora homered to conclude an 18-pitch at-bat against Matt Clement.

Mike Hampton is 0-4 with a 7.41 ERA.
Travis Lee had season-ending surgery Tuesday on his left shoulder. Lee ended up making a million dollars per hit this year.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

from a NY Times article today mentioning Pittsfield as an earlier place where baseball was possibly played in the EIGHTEENTH century:
"Abner Doubleday, Santa Claus and Dracula are equally mythic figures."

Abner Doubleday is NOTHING if not a Mythic figure-- bigger than Santa Claus, Dracula, Elvis, The Beatles, Eskimos and Jesus.
Art Howe didn't blame Baldwin for all the homers, he said that the BOB is very similar to Coors Field with respect to balls traveling far. Ryan, please use "park factor" or some such stat to prove that this is an absurd comment so that I can hate Howe even more.

We should've hired Steve Howe.
non-baseball: apparently Furdz is going to India? I think it's a lie. him and ravi are going to a burmese stickball camp where they will learn to pitch 100 mph.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

here's my 2-cents on a new schedule, (from a mets-centric point of view)
12 games v. 4 other nl east teams=48 games
9 games v. 11 other nl teams=99 games
that equals 147 games, for the 15 remaining to get to 162, it's either 6 v. the yanks and 9 v. 3 teams from a division (the mets and yanks would both demand that the 6 games be left intact in any rescheduling) or 3 v. the yanks and 12 games v. 4 random al teams (could do it based on last year's record like the nfl).

of course, i'd rather see 2 divisions in each league rather than three so there's less of a chance for a bogus division winner, i would then have 2 wild card spots to hand out to the 2 next-best teams based on record. i don't think fans in tampa bay, pittsburgh, montreal, or kc feel any better that their teams are in 5th place rather than in 7th or 8th in a 2-division format. no one gets fooled, and for the teams in the middle of the pack, they'd be watching the wild-card standings after the all-star break rather than their division standings anyway.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Bruce Chen, at 26, is on his NINTH team. Braves, Phils twice, Mets twice, Spos, Reds, Stros, Jays, Red Sox and now Orioles. He's definitely goingto pass Zeile.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

from some site: "The Rangers have announced a 30-year agreement establishing Ameriquest
Field in Arlington as the new name for The Ballpark in Arlington. Too bad
the Rangers' highest-paid player didn't get into the bidding. Chan Ho
Park sounds better than Ameriquest Field."

Friday, May 07, 2004

gee, do you think barry was a bit salty there? i bet if the bases were really poo more heads would play stickball.

bryan, without turning the blog into a debate on which sport is more steeped in tradition, soccer or baseball, i'll point out that while both leagues date back to about the same time, almost every team in england dates back to the early 20th century, as opposed to a handful in m.l.b., plus each team began, and continue to remain, deeply tied to each community through their existence as not just teams, but community organizations which are partly owned by the fans themselves. almost all stadiums date back to the 1920's, when stadiums were cathedrals, almost all fans in attendance are clad in team colors and scarves and sing team chants in unison that date back decades as opposed to sitting around and clapping when the screen says so.
Barry Bonds summed up the Spider Man controversy pretty well:
"What the [bleep] are you asking me for? I don't care. Our job is to play ball, not to worry about what add is on the billboard. I don't care. They can have [bleepin'] dog-poo as bases so I have to step in [bleep] as far as I'm concerned. What the hell."

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Another reason the front office has no idea of what they're doing... Stubborn morons.
What's the difference if they fire him now or at the end of the season? Do it. Do it!
Yeah, the ads were inevitable. Hard-line purists can complain all they want, but they can't scream about there being only four black starting pitchers (obviously due to a lack of effective marketing w/r/t the NBA and NFL) and criticize marketing efforts. Or they shouldn't, but I'm sure they will anyway.

I'm not sure British sport(s) is more steeped in tradition than baseball is.
Bob Nightengale of Baseball Weekly:

"According to sources close to owner Fred Wilpon, the Mets are expected to fire manager Art Howe at the end of the season, eating the final two years of his contract."


Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The owners can do whatever they want, it's their business. They have to weigh how much revenue advertising on uniforms and the field can bring in against possible lost revenue over the years by turning off fans. Honestly, I have no idea how many fans will watch less because of it, and it would be very hard to speculate. My instinct is that its a lot of nostalgic media types (i.e., Bob Costas) who will complain, but few actual fans will stop going to ballgames. NASCAR is wildly popular despite all the ads. Ravi's soccer jersey that says "Sega" is pretty dope; I don't even know what team it's for. I think there will be some old-timers who may turn away from the game, but a lot of young people are used to seeing advertising everywhere.
I think the key is for MLB to take it slow. If they cover the uniforms in ads, and people are outraged, then it'll be hard to undo the damage. But if they take it slow (like this Spiderman thing), people will gradually get used to the ads, and if there is a lot of backlash, MLB can reconsider when it has a better idea of the costs and benefits.
remember when spider-man married mary-jane at shea stadium before a game in 1987? yeah.

as long as people continue to support professional athletics whether it be at the stadiums, watching on tv and buying the merchandise, in greater numbers, the salaries of all involved will increase. so owners are perfectly allowed to seek out any soucre of revenue they want. soccer in europe is more tradition-bound and steeped in history than american sports teams, in fact england had its first ever franchise relocation last year, yet they began to have advertising on uniforms over 15 years ago.
WASHINGTON -- Presidential candidate Ralph Nader called the advertisements on uniforms during major league baseball's season-opening series an "obscene embarrassment" and sent a letter of protest Tuesday.

"This overcommercialization is sapping the fun out of being a fan of major league baseball," Nader wrote in his letter to commissioner Bud Selig. "Now, you have sunk to a greedy new low."

The ads appeared on the uniform sleeves and caps of the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays during their two-game series in Tokyo on March 30-31.

While the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs wore similar ads when they played in Tokyo in 2000, and baseball said in advance that the Yankees and Devil Rays would wear patches, Nader said the ads this year "ambushed fans across the country and left them shaking their heads at this obscene embarrassment."

Tim Brosnan, baseball's executive vice president for business, has said he is open to considering additional uniform advertising in the future, but Selig and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy have said it is not under consideration.

"We urge that you immediately put this issue to rest once and for all and eliminate any current or future possibility that major league baseball will accept advertisements on uniforms," Nader wrote.
Mets designated RHP Grant Roberts for assignment.

--that is dumb.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

No Pete Harnisch, but they do have a pitcher named Damon Ponce DeLeon.
from New York magazine, how to rebuild the mets to contend in 2006:

Monday, May 03, 2004

we've been given a second chance. let's go see rickey in newark! i think they have pete harnisch too. is he finally over his depression/chewing tobacco addiction? should we wear dallas green masks and watch him freak out and run away sobbing?

rumours of the yankees' demise were greatly exxxagerated.
Rickey Henderson has signed a deal to play with the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League.