13 April 2010

One Week In

There's a tendency to overproject, good and bad, during the first week. Dan Haren got lit up like the Eiffel Tower at the millenium. Chris Young briefly wrested the NL's RBI lead from Albert Pujols and Kelly Johnson's on pace to knock 81 homers. Even Mark McClune conducted a palatable sideline interview.

More sustainably, Miggy Montero's out for a couple months after feeling a pop on his way to first base. He sustained a torn knee meniscus, however the hurt to the team is unclear, as Snyder's the superior glove, and had five RBI's on Sunday. This season's more balanced offense may better absorb the loss of Montero's bat. Snyder's main drawback, really, is he wears his emotions and is not much of an organizational advocate. You could see the blood drain from his face when Hinch was installed, and they've wanted to get rid of him ever since. Now, they need him and will talk about what a pro he is. Incidentally, base stealers are eight for eight against Miggy and Snides so far.

Over the weekend, our Sedona Reds set a franchise attendance low for a Saturday game - 22,400. I mentioned my bit of b-ref research on azcentral.com and, alas, didnt win many friends. Even fewer, when I piled on with the next day's gate (21,093) - the all time franchise low for a Sunday. Besides me, the Sedona Redheads blamed NASCAR and the Pirates. If only they knew the Padres finale was our franchise low (17,673) for a Wednesday!

Not sure exactly what it means yet, in terms of walk up versus other sales, but these are early indications that the season ticket base may be its smallest in thirteen years. Which should give acolytes, who buy the FO mantra about the lowest prices in baseball, pause. Maybe you buy the mantra, but you sure as hell arent buying Derrick Hall's incredibly affordable tickets to watch this ascendant team you adore. Or there arent very many of you. Maybe if Hall and Kendrick provided tangible value to a wider array of fans, instead of bloviating hollow, misleading mantras, their historic and categorical inability to draw valley fans wouldnt be so pronounced.

While Kendrick and Hall established their tangible Wednesday "record" downtown, I attended the A's game on the wrong side of the tracks in Oakland. It's a crummy, bare bones facility in a miserable slice of town, that makes Chase Field feel like the Taj Mahal. Yet the structurally disadvantaged A's outdrew our sunny Sedonas that day, principally because me and fifteen thousand other cheapskates partook of a $2 seat promotion they've been running on Wednesdays for years. We slid down to the lower bowl and enjoyed a 6-5 nailbiter, when we werent biting into dollar hot dogs. It was a far better value than any game orchestrated by Derrick Hall, baseball's self proclaimed affordability king.

In winning two of three from the Padres, the offense averaged just under five runs at home against Garland, Young and Correia. Not bad. Pirates' ace Zach Duke tamed the bats convincingly (as did Young, above), and the Dbacks went hog wild against Pittsburg's back end, Morton and McCutcheon. McCutcheon's already in Triple AAA. The good news is they still bashed these guys. That's what good hitting teams do, and you take your chances with the better pitchers. The bad or temperate news is that Arizona hasnt faced much of that yet.

Gonzo provided color on a telecast or two and seems more comfortable in the booth. He's still cliche ridden and not terribly interesting, but better than before and certainly easier on the ears than Matt Williams. His presence, and relative ease representing today's organization is a critical marketing bridge for this front office, even moreso in light of valley resident Randy Johnson's rather clear preference for the Seattle organization.

Onto Los Angeles

No comments: