Quick self-promotion

DMZ · August 24, 2004 at 12:59 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Check out this (free) column of mine at Baseball Prospectus on how to become a fan favorite. See if you can count all the Mariner references that snuck in there.


21 Responses to “Quick self-promotion”

  1. Paul Covert on August 24th, 2004 1:08 am

    “Shane”? As in “Monahan,” you mean?

    Which reminds me… is there any connection between having a hockey background and fan-favorite status?

  2. Kevin on August 24th, 2004 9:01 am

    You forgot to mention that your many outs should be of the “productive” variety. This will help reinforce the perception that your replacement-level stats don’t capture your value to the team. “Sure, Willie was 0-for-4, but a couple of those weak grounders moved the runner over. It doesn’t show up in the line score, but he does the little things that help the team win.”

  3. Dash on August 24th, 2004 9:02 am

    That whole article was about the best darn utility player ever. Wee Willie Bloomquist. Well except the part about the backup catcher thing adn the part where I wrote ‘best darn utility player ever’.

  4. Seishi on August 24th, 2004 9:47 am

    Also, be a fast runner. Eventually you will pinch run in a tight situation and become the hero by scoring the winning run.

  5. Paul Weaver on August 24th, 2004 9:55 am

    It appears that only batters can become fan favorites.

  6. Andy on August 24th, 2004 10:03 am

    Actually, Paul, hasn’t “Everyday Eddie” (aww, don’t you just want to cheer — he’s so blue collar!) been a fan favorite? Kinda tubby but cuddly, acts cute-tough, is a “gamer.” You can blow a lot of saves with those creds and still be “worth” millions.

  7. Paul Weaver on August 24th, 2004 10:40 am

    (I was actually commenting on how the article is void of pitcher specific referrence.)

    However, you’re right, Andy – I’d forgotten how bad the closer has to be to lose status as a fan favorite.
    Fatties are Favorites! a la Hrbek, Kruk, David Wells…..
    This article needs an addendum:
    8. Be tubby.

  8. John on August 24th, 2004 11:55 am

    While I sympathize with the point you’re making because as Mariners fans we are continually being served up more Willie Bloomquist, I for one admire a marginal player who (a) is a good guy and not a complainer or spoiled brat, (b) has made the most of his limited ability to join the elite 600 of MLB for a brief time. The one I don’t admire is the manager who overuses him, or perhaps the general manager who keeps him on the roster when his usefulness is ended.

    One other note, do I detect a note of cynical and elitist smugness when I read your comments about repeating cliches like you really believe them. Some people actually live their lives around good principles that many in this so-called sophisticated day and age view as cliches. While I agree the hypocritical cliche is cause for contempt, not all cliches are hypocritical. Some are true, just not fashionable enough. Dan Wilson is a genuinely good guy who may talk in cliches, but he really believes them and lives by them. His usefulness as a major league catcher has diminished, but don’t mock his way of life.

  9. Jon Wells on August 24th, 2004 12:48 pm

    Sorry, but by my calculation, Dan Wilson has been stealing money from the Mariners for the last six seasons, money that could have been spent on productive players, rather than a guy that’s averaged 35 RBI a year and a .330 slugging pctg. for those six seasons. He’s made $24 million these last six seasons so if myself or others want to mock him for his cliches (we don’t really care whether he believes them or not) we should be free to do so…

  10. Kevin on August 24th, 2004 1:08 pm

    It’s not Wilson’s fault he’s overpaid. Management overpaid him, Wilson didn’t steal anything. We all wish he performed better (Dan does too, no doubt) but let’s place the blame in the right place.

  11. Troy Sowden on August 24th, 2004 3:14 pm

    Agreed, Wilson didn’t steal anything. Attacking his character because he is over-paid is childish. It’s not like he held-out and demanded that money, the Mariner’s willingly handed it to him. Any of us would have taken it to the bank just as he had, and most of us wouldn’t have been as classy in the process. Of course, most of us could have produced about as well as he did, but that’s the point huh?

    By the way, I’m not a Dan fan and hope he’s not here next year. Still, I think the stealing comment is way off base.

  12. Troy Sowden on August 24th, 2004 3:16 pm

    Seishi, you don’t even have to be fast, just faster than a few of the veterans on your team. And it helps if your head is large enough to get in the way of thrown balls.

  13. Jeff Wood on August 24th, 2004 4:38 pm

    It’s strange that Derek’s exercise to the extent that he ran it out really only works with baseball and no other major sport. Maybe he’s just tapped into some of the reasons baseball still draws a live audience 7 days a week for more than 6 months of the year.
    I can’t wait until Matt T. (I won’t even try) hits Safeco stadium.

  14. Troy Sowden on August 24th, 2004 6:30 pm

    Great point Jeff. I would also posit the theory that, while possible throughout baseball, these steps work better in the Pacific Northwest than anywhere else. Whether that’s because of the way the team is marketed or because of the market is a chicken-egg argument that I’m unsure of, but I’m pretty confident Seattle produces these types easier than anybody else.

  15. Jeff in Fremont on August 24th, 2004 9:47 pm

    Speaking of Wee Willie…strike three, looking, to end the game. So was that a productive out?

  16. Troy Sowden on August 24th, 2004 11:14 pm

    Absolutely productive.

    For Tampa Bay.

  17. R.J. on August 25th, 2004 10:15 am

    Jeff’s point about other sports isn’t totally right on. In some other sports, the underdog is a lovable, scrappy guy. I don’t want to sound like I’m race baiting, but in basketball, that guy is white 98% of the time. On the great Bulls teams, Bill Wennington, John Paxson, Steve Kerr and Bobby Hansen were all fan favorites at one point or another. As well, the Bears had a white running back for one game last year and the fans (and media) went totally bonkers for him. He lasted a game.

    As well, here in Washington, the Wiz have two guys from UMd (which is all of five miles from MCI Center) on the team. Juan Dixon, while popular is about a quarter as popular as Steve Blake, the lesser player.

    And look what has happened with Pedro Martinez. Somehow, in the past two years, he went from being called Pedro to ‘Petey’ by the fans and broadcasters.

  18. G-Man on August 25th, 2004 10:42 am

    I would give anything to get a look at the Mariners’ long term marketing plan. Does it list traits of players that they should have on the team in order to increase fan interest? Does it say they shouldn’t dump over-the-hill veterans and risk fan backlash? Does it say that your shortstop who didn’t take a Breathalyzer test must be ditched?

    I’ll bet that it does advise fielding a competative team every year instead of trading away prospects in July deadline deals to improve chances of winning it all one season. Howard Lincoln let that strategy out of the bag. Actually, I understand the benefits of that approach, but it sure doesn’t look good when you Stand Pat, much less when it turns out that saving for the future led us to an ugly season like 2004.

  19. Eric on August 25th, 2004 3:32 pm


    Given that they had to drop about half their commercials this year becasue the guys featured in them were traded or cut I don’t think the mktg plans have much influence over player acquisition

  20. Pat on August 25th, 2004 4:05 pm

    Does anybody have an information source for game ATTENDANCE, not ticket sales? I know the M’s are likely to be over the 3 million mark this year, but at all the games I’ve been at – even lat night’s Buhner celebration – the place was far less packed than it would have been in previous years.

    I think the marketing crew has a huge task on its hands this next offseason.

  21. Jon on August 25th, 2004 5:01 pm

    There actually is no souce for “actual attendance” as all the MLB teams are now required to report tickets sold and not how many people come thru the turnstiles. The Mariners would be the only ones that would have that info, as they know how many tickets were used for a given game (i.e. scanned at the gates), but there’s no reason for them to want to give out that info (if someone has a mole within the M’s offices I’d be glad to have that info too).

    In my opinion, it’s not the marketing department that has a huge task.
    It’s Lincoln, Bavasi et. al. No matter how much marketing they do (unless they give out a bobble head doll at every game) they’re going to lose a ton of season tickets unless they make some bold moves that are perceived by the season ticket holders as enough to turn this disaster around for 2005. They’ve lost 15% of their season tickets in each of the last two years and are now down to about 20,000. I’m predicting they’ll lose at least 5,000 of the remaining season ticket holders and possibly more for 2005, unless they get really busy this winter with some moves that are atypical of this organization…