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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Hartman: Selig takes pride in MLB’s attendance growth

Cutting, burning or freezing. Skin tag…and you’re it!

Despite the Twins’ poor 44-60 record, they will draw at least 2.7 million to Target Field, and maybe 100,000 more than that. Overall, Major League Baseball went over 48 million in paid attendance this week. According to Selig, that’s the earliest MLB has exceeded the 48 million mark.

“The last eight years have been the eight greatest years in baseball attendance, the last five years have been remarkable and we’re going to show an increase this year,” Selig said. “I mean an absolutely enormous year in terms of attendance and revenue, and we have great races going.”

Selig was asked if he ever considers how he’ll be viewed historically as commissioner in light of all the recent positive news about the game.

“I’m a history buff,” he said. “I’m a kid who wanted to be a history professor, so I’m going to let historians go through and do all that. But [I would not have believed it] if somebody would have told me back in 1992 that this sport’s gross revenues would have grown from $1 [billion], $2 [billion] to this year $7.8 billion, and attendance would be where the average team is going to draw 2.5-2.8 [million]—think about that, the average team.”

As a baseball fan, I would like to see a return to the balanced schedule, in which the Yankees, Red Sox and the other AL East teams played more than one series at Target Field each season, but Selig said there isn’t any hope of that happening. He believes the present system, in which teams play more games in their own division, is the way to go.

“You have to win your division,” he said. “The Minnesota Twins have got to play the White Sox and the Tigers and Cleveland and Kansas City more often. That’s what has produced the record attendance. In September, for instance, when all the teams are battling, they’ll be playing teams in their own division. So the answer is, ‘Not as long as I’m commissioner.’”

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2012 at 11:58 PM | 66 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mlb, twins

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   1. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4198616)
Attendance is up about 2.4M over 2011. Non-ticket revenue has undoubtedly increased even more than attendance. MLB is very healthy.
   2. Dale Sams Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4198620)
Parity.

Places like Baltimore and DC are competitive, Pittsburgh. While places that arn't, but were recently haven't fallen so out of favor as to hurt attendance very much.

...and then there's Tampa.
   3. Brian C Posted: August 02, 2012 at 01:14 AM (#4198624)
Good thing they addressed the giant money suck hole that was the draft. Probably that made all the difference.
   4. Erix Posted: August 02, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4198626)
I SAID WHAT!?
   5. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 02, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4198627)
NFL attendance has dropped every year since 2007.
   6. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 02, 2012 at 02:24 AM (#4198642)
and attendance would be where the average team is going to draw 2.5-2.8 [million]—think about that, the average team.

Well they don't draw that or anywhere near that, every game I see has huge swaths of empty seats. Somehow you have come up with a methodology, whether it be third party brokers or whatever, that allows you count nearly every ticket printed as part of the paid attendance. It's all a fraud. The next Dodgers or Angels game that I see that doesn't have half a dozen foul balls into the seats hit ten empty seats before a paying customer can get to it will be the first.
   7. Bhaakon Posted: August 02, 2012 at 02:26 AM (#4198643)
Well they don't draw that or anywhere near that, every game I see has huge swaths of empty seats. Somehow you have come up with a methodology, whether it be third party brokers or whatever, that allows you count nearly every ticket printed as part of the paid attendance. It's all a fraud.


It's not a really a fraud if the tickets are paid for.
   8. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 02, 2012 at 02:52 AM (#4198650)

It's not a really a fraud if the tickets are paid for.


Sure it is. You just move them to a team-aligned broker, call them all "sold", and maybe they sell from the broker and maybe they don't. It's easy.
   9. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: August 02, 2012 at 03:26 AM (#4198658)
Sure it is. You just move them to a team-aligned broker, call them all "sold", and maybe they sell from the broker and maybe they don't. It's easy.

It sure is. If you want to split the game with the visiting team, and potentially pay into revenue sharing, for tickets you never sold or collected real revenue on. Yup.
   10. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 02, 2012 at 03:39 AM (#4198659)
If you want to split the game with the visiting team, and potentially pay into revenue sharing, for tickets you never sold or collected real revenue on.

Funny. Team's books are so transparent that this would naturally happen. I mean, obviously.

Thanks for the laugh.
   11. Bhaakon Posted: August 02, 2012 at 06:51 AM (#4198664)
Funny. Team's books are so transparent that this would naturally happen. I mean, obviously.


What publicly available and what the league office has access to are very different things. There's enough info out there to at least give a reasonable estimate of gate revenue, and 29 others owners ready to throw a fit if a team turns in overcooked books.
   12. Bob Tufts Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4198707)
Is it time to acknowledge that MLB's strength in the past decade or so make Selig the # 1 commissioner of a major sport? The recession affected MLB far less than the others, they were out front via MLBAM, a lack of salary caps/collars did not result in economic and labor troubles.....

Is the cult worship of David Stern justified?

   13. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4198756)
Is it time to acknowledge that MLB's strength in the past decade or so make Selig the # 1 commissioner of a major sport?


I'm not a fan, but I'd still take Selig.
   14. Swedish Chef Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4198757)
Is it time to acknowledge that MLB's strength in the past decade or so make Selig the # 1 commissioner of a major sport?

Maybe MLS should be recognized for establishing a new sport, that's a tough task.
   15. Bob Tufts Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4198792)
Maybe MLS should be recognized for establishing a new sport


I do give Don Garber some credit, but soccer is not a sport - it is similar to peace talks. A lot of back and forth "progress" that gets people unjustifiably excited, theatrics/faking to enrage the crowd, very few actual results and most of the people involved still want to kill each other before, during and after the event.
   16. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4198845)
...and then there's Tampa.

Indeed. Attendance at major-league games in Tampa is terrible...practically nothing!
   17. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4198861)
if somebody would have told me back in 1992 that this sport’s gross revenues would have grown from $1 [billion], $2 [billion] to this year $7.8 billion, and attendance would be where the average team is going to draw 2.5-2.8 [million]—think about that, the average team.”

Apples to oranges. People went to baseball games in 1992 to watch baseball. Millions go to baseball games in 2012 to do anything but.
   18. Brian C Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4198863)
Is it time to acknowledge that MLB's strength in the past decade or so make Selig the # 1 commissioner of a major sport?

I think so. If he didn't always sound like such an idiot when he's actually talking, I think his superiority over the other commissioners would be much more obvious.

But if the NHL can get through this round of labor talks without imploding the league, I think we'll have to acknowledge a moderately surprising comeback by Gary Bettman. He's gotten a better TV deal than most people thought he could, the on-ice product is as good as its been for at least a generation, and the league is in the process of unwinding some of its bad Sun Belt decisions from the 1990s. The NHL has some inherent disadvatages, but as a league it's riding as high as it has for some time. The current CBA negotiations could torpedo that, in which case it's all for naught and Bettman can go right back to being thought of as a joke, but if they're playing hockey in October I think Bettman gets the clear #2 ranking.

Stern is a disgrace. Labor problems, bad markets all over the league, hideous officiating (easily the worst of the big four sports, IMO) that's getting worse instead of better. If he didn't have a handful of marketable stars the league would be in utter shambles.

Goodell is a stuffed suit, seemingly incapable of doing anything that doesn't make him look like a dope. He's like Selig was back in the 1990s, only more telegenic.
   19. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4198866)
The current CBA negotiations could torpedo that, in which case it's all for naught and Bettman can go right back to being thought of as a joke, but if they're playing hockey in October I think Bettman gets the clear #2 ranking.
It seems awfully kind to give Bettman a good ranking for undoing his previous years of disastrously bad leadership.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4198869)
Apples to oranges. People went to baseball games in 1992 to watch baseball. Millions go to baseball games in 2012 to do anything but.


Why the hell should it matter to Bud why the money is pouring in?

   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4198870)

Attendance is up about 2.4M over 2011. Non-ticket revenue has undoubtedly increased even more than attendance. MLB is very healthy.


And should remain so, as long as cities build new stadiums every 15 years.
   22. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4198886)
Why the hell should it matter to Bud why the money is pouring in?

It shouldn't. But any insinuation that baseball has become more popular or better in any meaningful way as a result of his stewardship needs to be cut off, and quick.
   23. Bob Tufts Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4198900)
At least we can be spared a round of low attendance porn (to cite Calcaterra's phrase) and "baseball is dead" articles.

   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4198910)
At least we can be spared a round of low attendance porn (to cite Calcaterra's phrase) and "baseball is dead" articles.

Never fear, SugarBear Blanks will always be here to give updates on how pathetic the TV ratings are.
   25. Lassus Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4198913)
But any insinuation that baseball has become more popular or better in any meaningful way as a result of his stewardship needs to be cut off, and quick

The idea that baseball isn't more popular now than in 1992 seems completely ridiculous. We're not comparing now to 1922 for god's sake.
   26. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4198914)
Ten years ago, I thought Selig was a total disaster, coming off the clumsy contraction threats and the rigged, dishonest Red Sox/Expos/Marlins franchise sale and the embarrassing tie All-Star game, after all the other ridiculous crap he'd done. But he hasn't done anything really terrible in the past decade, and the game has been thriving. Sometimes people learn how to do their jobs.
   27. Brian C Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4198925)
It seems awfully kind to give Bettman a good ranking for undoing his previous years of disastrously bad leadership.

Maybe so, but we're judging him relative to other commissioners, not in absolute terms. Even the smallest positives get disproportionately magnified with this bunch of clowns. If you're asking me if Bettman would be a good choice in an ideal world, I'd say hell no. But compared to his counterparts, he looks pretty good at present.
   28. phredbird Posted: August 02, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4199303)
But he hasn't done anything really terrible in the past decade, and the game has been thriving. Sometimes people learn how to do their jobs.


if you mean he somehow learned to get out of the way i would agree. but i think that's a pretty low bar. he's been a terrible steward of the game. the aforementioned expos/red sox/marlins stuff, the tie allstar game, the 94 lockout. he bumbled through those.
trouble is, he's been a helluva good commissioner. by that i mean he's used every ounce of his weaselly consensus-building back room conniving skills to make money for the guys who hired him. i think baseball as its run on the business side is an incredibly short sighted money-grabbing racket who's only redeeming feature is that its the only place you can go to see major league ballplayers play. if it wasn't for that, i'd feel the same way about MLB that i do about the NFL: if the earth swallowed up every NFL team tomorrow, i wouldn't give a cr@p.
its disgraceful to me that he's introduced interleague play and unbalanced schedules and hasn't used his power to try to eliminate the DH. i think those omissions have really hurt the actual game itself, but since my idea of the game has a lot to do with when i was 12 -- like a lot of people -- i suppose i have to take things with a grain of salt.
   29. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4199304)
Is it time to acknowledge that MLB's strength in the past decade or so make Selig the # 1 commissioner of a major sport?


I argue yes, but he still has a missing world series and the Expos debacle hurting his legacy. (I hope there are no thinking fans who give a crap about the tied all star game---seriously who would care about that?)

I do give Don Garber some credit, but soccer is not a sport - it is similar to peace talks. A lot of back and forth "progress" that gets people unjustifiably excited, theatrics/faking to enrage the crowd, very few actual results and most of the people involved still want to kill each other before, during and after the event.


Awesome.

It seems awfully kind to give Bettman a good ranking for undoing his previous years of disastrously bad leadership.


It probably hurts his overall ranking of course, but a good leader recognizes mistakes(regardless of who did them) and proceeds to correct them(instead of using it as an excuse for whatever issues they are having)

Apples to oranges. People went to baseball games in 1992 to watch baseball. Millions go to baseball games in 2012 to do anything but.


Doubt it, there is probably the same number if not larger number of people going per game to watch the game, there are just extras going for other reasons. And it's hilarious to see a year in the 90's listed as a time people went to see the game "to see the game" (were you alive in the 90's people went to games to be at a game, not to watch the game. Crowds left in the droves after the 7th inning etc)
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4199310)
When people complain about the tied A-S game, are they speaking of the resolution that night, or "This Time it Counts?"

If it's the former, what do you think should have been done? Clearly it was an embarrassing outcome, but I'm not sure how it was Selig's fault.

If it's the latter, well we've hashed that out plenty of times before. While I wouldn't choose the A-S game as the method to choose HFA in the World Series, it isn't any worse than the old system so I've never gotten the hand wringing over it.

Interleague play, Wild Card, Wild Card 2: Electric Bugaloo, however, remain the devil's handiwork.

   31. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4199329)
I remain amused by the idea (not necessarily being espoused by anyone here) that the All-Star tie was some kind of horrible event in itself. It wasn't even the first one.
   32. GregD Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4199336)
I remain amused by the idea (not necessarily being espoused by anyone here) that the All-Star tie was some kind of horrible event in itself. It wasn't even the first one.
And one of the teams have 5 unusued pitchers, the other 4!
   33. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4199338)
If it's the former, what do you think should have been done? Clearly it was an embarrassing outcome, but I'm not sure how it was Selig's fault.

If it's the latter, well we've hashed that out plenty of times before. While I wouldn't choose the A-S game as the method to choose HFA in the World Series, it isn't any worse than the old system so I've never gotten the hand wringing over it.


Agreed, it wasn't a change really, it was a lateral move in how the hfa was determined. It shouldn't be held against him or for him. But what the "this time it counts" mantra has added was some changes to the way the game is played, most notably catchers being allowed to come back into the game (I thought this was expanded for all players, but I'm not sure about the specifics on that) Some good changes to the roster construction (expanded roster size, the 5th vote--even though almost everyone on that list eventually makes it anyway---incentives for the players to not miss out on the game etc) along with some bad (players vote = good, methodology they chose where the players second choice gets in if the first was elected = bad)


Interleague play, Wild Card, Wild Card 2: Electric Bugaloo, however, remain the devil's handiwork.


Love interleague play, hate the implementation of it right now, would have preferred it to be all year long so that it could be marketed as marquee games, and the team rivals shouldn't have been forced on non-rivals. Wild card was more or less a necessity until they expand to 32 teams, in todays sports environment you have to have 3 rounds of playoffs, wild card 2 fixes some of the flaws with the wild card, making winning the division a better incentive.
   34. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4199346)
The AS debacle has almost everything to do with the image of Selig throwing his hands up in the air on national TV.
   35. PeteF3 Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4199363)
Minor nitpick, but the catchers being allowed to re-enter the ASG was on the books before the '02 tie. I doubt that it ever actually happened, but I distinctly remember Buck & McCarver mentioning the rule during the long extra-inning discussion.
   36. JJ1986 Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4199372)
I could excuse everything else, even chasing the Expos out of Montreal, but it is absolutely inexcusable that he had MLB buy a baseball team. You're creating a conflict of interest for every team in the league that lasted a few years.
   37. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4199381)
Minor nitpick, but the catchers being allowed to re-enter the ASG was on the books before the '02 tie. I doubt that it ever actually happened, but I distinctly remember Buck & McCarver mentioning the rule during the long extra-inning discussion.


Really? Learn something new everyday. I see that the change I was thinking of, is that the managers can designate one position player to come back into the game in case of injury...that seems ok, but not really enough. (I would rule any of the starting players eligible to return to the game after the 10th innning)

Checking some of the rules, DH every year now, good. (yes I prefer the pitchers to bat in real baseball, but the all star game is an exhibition, and I would rather see it set up to get as many of the star hitters as possible in the game)
   38. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4199388)
I could excuse everything else, even chasing the Expos out of Montreal, but it is absolutely inexcusable that he had MLB buy a baseball team. You're creating a conflict of interest for every team in the league that lasted a few years.


I understand the sentiment, but I disagree with the point. If the league has to buy a team to keep it solvent, it should do it and hold it in some type of trust until a suitable owner becomes available. Although it should be set up that there is limited conflict of interest, and for the fans of the team, it should be given some type of autonomous control and a workable budget, until the time that a suitable owner can be found.

It's better for the league as a whole and the fans to have the league own it in stasis, than it is for a broke owner to own it and drive it to the ground.
   39. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4199394)
Well, that is great and all but leagues clearly don't do that thus leagues shouldn't be buying teams.
   40. JJ1986 Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4199396)
It's better for the league as a whole and the fans to have the league own it in stasis, than it is for a broke owner to own it and drive it to the ground.


Loria wasn't broke; he bought a more expensive team with the money. There was no crisis at all. The whole deal was done so Bud's guy could own the Red Sox which is not a good enough reason to #### up the integrity of the league.
   41. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4199404)
I could excuse everything else, even chasing the Expos out of Montreal, but it is absolutely inexcusable that he had MLB buy a baseball team. You're creating a conflict of interest for every team in the league that lasted a few years.


But we're talking about a man so craven he solved his conflict of interest as Commissioner and owner of the Brewers by passing his position with the team to his daughter. Then he lavished her with millions in free money, confiscated from more popular and successful teams, and lo! The Brewers were suddenly the most profitable team in baseball.
   42. KT's Pot Arb Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4199413)
NFL attendance has dropped every year since 2007.


I wouldn't be surprised if NFL revenues are growing faster than MLB revenues. NFL is a TV sport.

And Goodell is far more proactive at addressing problems and improving his sport than Selig.
   43. fra paolo Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4199416)
It's better for the league as a whole and the fans to have the league own it in stasis, than it is for a broke owner to own it and drive it to the ground.

Well, the Expos-Nationals were basically driven into the ground by a very tight budget, so it didn't really make any difference. I bet if they'd offered the DC market to Loria in 2001, he would have taken it, and baseball would actually have been better for it.

he's been a helluva good commissioner. by that i mean he's used every ounce of his weaselly consensus-building back room conniving skills to make money for the guys who hired him.

There's a point about the commissioner's role that I think gets overlooked in all discussions about the current incumbent. Once upon a time, the job of the commissioner didn't really involve running the business of baseball. He was basically an arbiter of disputes, and someone who could act as a spokesperson on behalf of both leagues in matters where it suited having a single voice.

The idea of the commissioner as 'baseball's CEO' emerged under Ueberroth. One could easily say that Walter O'Malley was baseball's CEO in the 1950s and 1960s, rather than any of the several individuals who sat in New York with 'Commissioner of Baseball' painted on the office door.

If I owned a big-league baseball team, the last thing I would want is for the next commissioner to wield the kind of power that the current incumbent does. Unless, of course, it was me.
   44. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4199417)
And Goodell is far more proactive at addressing problems and improving his sport than Selig.

It helps when your sport is constantly encountering problems, i.e. threats of labor stoppages, dog-fighting rings, sex boats, billion-dollar class-action lawsuits from the various concussion-addled ex-players who haven't yet committed suicide, coaches paying players to hospitalize opponents, the sport's biggest star sending women unsolicited photos of his wang despite being over 40 years old, etc. Just like the wartime presidents are the ones who get a chance to be highly rated.
   45. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4199421)
I wouldn't be surprised if NFL revenues are growing faster than MLB revenues.


From memory about 2-3 years ago baseball had nearly caught up with the NFL, then the NFL exploded past them again. If judging a commissioner's job strictly by money, then I guess that is a good thing, but the silliness of the NFL salary cap, the way they treat their players, just makes me think its a horrible place to be affiliated with.


Loria wasn't broke; he bought a more expensive team with the money. There was no crisis at all. The whole deal was done so Bud's guy could own the Red Sox which is not a good enough reason to #### up the integrity of the league.


Agreed. I meant to put in my original comment, that in this particular case, the league shouldn't have gotten involved.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4199425)
And Goodell is far more proactive at addressing problems and improving his sport than Selig.


He's not proactive at improving his sport, he's proactive at doing something even if it's the wrong thing. Bud prefers to get the permission of the players, the other owners etc. And he is quick to act when a decision of his rallies the opposition (case in point spider man bases)

The NFL has a controversy on a catch in replay? Let's make a rule that basically redefines what a catch is, removing all subjective and internal logic from it, so that the replay system can be right.

Everytime something silly happens, the league over reacts, I wouldn't call it reacting or improving.
   47. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4199431)
But [I would not have believed it] if somebody would have told me back in 1992 that this sport’s gross revenues would have grown from $1 [billion], $2 [billion] to this year $7.8 billion,

Hey, congratulations! And you've had the kind heart to allow salaries to triple while revenues have nearly octupled.

Make sure you don't let those pesky amateurs earn too much right out the gate.


Clearly it was an embarrassing outcome, but I'm not sure how it was Selig's fault.


Leadership.
   48. caprules Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4199436)
Make sure you don't let those pesky amateurs earn too much right out the gate.


How much do you think major leaguers should get out of the gate?
   49. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4199465)
Don't forget the Brewers to the NL after a few decades in the AL, instead of putting one of the expansion teams there. Which then 15 years later lead to the Astros moving to the AL after 50 years.

For a guy who claims to love history, he sure doesn't seem to respect it.
   50. Paul Antonissen Posted: August 03, 2012 at 01:04 AM (#4199474)
If the league has to buy a team to keep it solvent, it should do it and hold it in some type of trust until a suitable owner becomes available.


Why?
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: August 03, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4199486)
Why?


Because it's better for the sport all around to have an absentee owner, than an owner who is raiding the coffers of the team in a desperate attempt to stay solvent.

Again, in certain situations, the Expos was not one of those situations.
   52. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 03, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4199558)
Because it's better for the sport all around to have an absentee owner, than an owner who is raiding the coffers of the team in a desperate attempt to stay solvent.


Now raiding the coffers of other owners? Oh, go right ahead!
   53. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4199570)
The most repreentative single marker of Selig's reign is the perpetually half-filled moat at New Yankee Stadium.

I happened to have the good fortune to take a tour of the Colisseum in Rome recently, and took note (among other things) of the distinct caste system in the seating -- the separate sections for Senators, the Emperor's 50-yard-line luxury box, cut-rate bleachers for the plebes in the upper reaches. By the 1970s and 1980s in the United States, we had risen above such silliness in our major public amphitheatres. Their return in the 21st century is a distinct and unassailable mark of cultural recession. (As is the return after over a century's absence of bare-knuckle fighting.)
   54. Lassus Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4199571)
I clicked over here specifically to see YR's shtick. Not disappointed! It's like that stuffed animal from childhood you can't throw away even though it's festering with ants and worms.
   55. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4199580)
(As is the return after over a century's absence of bare-knuckle fighting.)


Where would one find that? Irish pikeys? Kimbo Slice on YouTube?
   56. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4199581)
I happened to have the good fortune to take a tour of the Colisseum in Rome recently, and took note (among other things) of the distinct caste system in the seating -- the separate sections for Senators, the Emperor's 50-yard-line luxury box, cut-rate bleachers for the plebes in the upper reaches.
If you're interested in a (perhaps overtheorized) discussion of the seating in Roman arenas, you can check out: Gunderson, Eric. "The Ideology of the Arena." Classical Antiquity 15 (1996), 113-151.
   57. fra paolo Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4199604)
The most repreentative single marker of Selig's reign is the perpetually half-filled moat at New Yankee Stadium.

I hate his handiwork as much as the next person, but there's no way I'd hold him responsible for the moat.

The moat is connected to broader changes in American society, changes which are arguably unprecedented in their extent (although not in their principle). One can hardly hold a commissioner of a sporting trust responsible for these developments.
   58. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 03, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4199637)
If you're interested in a (perhaps overtheorized) discussion of the seating in Roman arenas, you can check out: Gunderson, Eric. "The Ideology of the Arena." Classical Antiquity 15 (1996), 113-151.

That's awesome, thanks. This passage neatly sums up the social anxiety that 21st c. pro sports all exploit with their "clubs" and moats and club seats and expensive seats that a lot of patrons can't really afford, but buy anyway:

"I would then propose that there is no radical "outside" to the arena and that when a Roman takes up a position on the sand, in the seats, or or outside the building a la Juvenal or Tacitus' Messala, the apparatus of the arena serves to structure the truths of these positions. Indeed, the spectacle of the arena has a specular effect which makes a spectacle of its own observers, revealing them and determining them through their relationship to the image of themselves produced by their relationship to the arena."
   59. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 03, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4199710)
anyone notice how bats breaking has become less common? mlb noticed in 2008 it was getting crazy and have worked the problem

trying to make things safer and no big production

that stuff matters
   60. Esoteric Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4199754)
Because it's better for the sport all around to have an absentee owner, than an owner who is raiding the coffers of the team in a desperate attempt to stay solvent.
Yes, and in this respect I actually think Selig's well-executed move to strip the McCourts of the L.A. Dodgers may go down as his finest moment. It's hard to underrate the importance of that one.
   61. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4199757)
anyone notice how bats breaking has become less common? mlb noticed in 2008 it was getting crazy and have worked the problem

trying to make things safer and no big production
This corresponds almost exactly with the drop in offense, too. The breakable whip-handled bats of the 90s and aughts have been hypothesized as a significant cause of sillyball. I tend to think that minor changes in equipment (bats and balls), were the main cause of both the offensive explosion and its recent fading.
   62. just plain joe Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4199758)
And Goodell is far more proactive at addressing problems and improving his sport than Selig.


It also helps when you don't have to deal with a player's union that has any real effectivenes. The NFL doesn't have to bargain with with the NFLPA, it essentially tells the players the way it's going to be and throws them a bone or two for PR purposes.
   63. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4199790)
Yes, and in this respect I actually think Selig's well-executed move to strip the McCourts of the L.A. Dodgers may go down as his finest moment. It's hard to underrate the importance of that one.

And what about him letting McCourt, Wilpons, Loria, and Crane into the club?
   64. JJ1986 Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4200828)
Selig didn't let the Wilpons in.
   65. McCoy Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4200843)
Okay, as owner Selig approved letting the Doubleday group by the Mets, and then again as owner he approved Doubleday and Wilpon buy the team from themselves, and then as Commissioner he allowed the Wilpons to buy the whole thing. Better?
   66. TerpNats Posted: August 05, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4200866)
...and then there's Tampa.

Indeed. Attendance at major-league games in Tampa is terrible...practically nothing!
Years from now, baseball historians will look back at the 1990s and wonder in retrospect why MLB put franchises in Florida when Washington was an available market. They will forget the double whammy of Marion Barry at one end of the B-W Parkway, and later Peter Angelos at the other.

It's better for the league as a whole and the fans to have the league own it in stasis, than it is for a broke owner to own it and drive it to the ground.

Well, the Expos-Nationals were basically driven into the ground by a very tight budget, so it didn't really make any difference. I bet if they'd offered the DC market to Loria in 2001, he would have taken it, and baseball would actually have been better for it.
Baseball might have been better, but not D.C. On behalf of the fans of Washington, we're glad we waited another four years, even if it meant suffering through Elijah Dukes and Jim Bowden. Jeffrey Loria is essentially Bob Short with money.

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