Attendance down, dog bites man

DMZ · May 9, 2006 at 9:52 am · Filed Under Mariners 

The headline is perhaps a little dire: It’s Official: The Wheels Are Off In Seattle but here’s a short summary from Maury Brown, who’s (among other things) the co-chair of SABR’s Business of Baseball committee. Short version: yow.

Also today: the Answer Guy in the PI on the team’s “mental skills coach” plus Jason Churchill’s got a farm report on some of the system’s pitching talent.

Fallout from Everett slagging the team’s offense: Hargrove has a meeting with the hitters! The article manages to get in this subtle jab:

Hargrove is a proponent of a set lineup, but the one he’s gone with is on pace to score fewer runs than any Seattle team in a decade and a half.

Hee hee hee. It also says on the Lawton release issue that now they’re saying didn’t actually ask for a release so much as ask to be moved for an infielder who might help the team, which uh… I don’t think you can trade him yet anyway. But Matt’s happy watching hits drop around him in the outfield now, so that’s good.


76 Responses to “Attendance down, dog bites man”

  1. billT on May 9th, 2006 2:30 pm

    Do not equate refusing to shell out $38 per ticket to watch Gil Meche and Carl Everett with being a bandwagon fan.

    Or you could pay $7 for a CF seat and move wherever you want.

  2. Jim Thomsen on May 9th, 2006 2:31 pm

    Look at Lincecum’s mechanics. They are tres messy.

  3. billT on May 9th, 2006 2:32 pm

    That guy’s almost certain to undergo TJ surgery in the next couple of years, if not worse.

    That’s certainly very likely, but not 100% for sure. Didn’t Matsuzaka throw 200+ pitches in a 17 inning start in HS? And his pitch counts remain pretty high today, despite being a power pitcher with a pretty small frame. Besides, any pitcher the M’s draft is likely to have one surgery or another.

  4. pdb on May 9th, 2006 2:44 pm

    Is it everyone who didn’t support a team during it’s darkest years (like the Behring years for the Seahawks or the pre-Junior years for the Mariners)? How long do you have to be on the bandwagon before you’re a “real fan”?

    First, you’re right – it’s hard to define these things. But, to me, a bandwagon fan is an inconsistent fan – they watch when it’s good, because it’s easy to like a team when they’re good, and they don’t watch when it’s not so good, because it’s harder for the casual fan to find something to latch onto in the lean years.

    Again, I’m not trying to pass judgment – people can be whatever kind of fan they want to be. I’m just trying to help define the terms.

    And what is a bandwagon, anyway?


  5. Grizz on May 9th, 2006 3:00 pm

    Or you could pay $7 for a CF seat and move wherever you want.

    For the one game I did attend this year, those tickets were sold out (and attendance that night did not exceed 30,000). Seriously, there are only a couple thousand $7 seats, and according to the nice lady at the ticket window, they go quickly.

  6. eponymous coward on May 9th, 2006 3:02 pm

    Every franchise has bandwagon fans.

    Here, let’s go to 1991 and do the infamous Team A- Team B comparison as a demonstration.

    AL Team A attendance: 1,863,733
    AL Team B attendance: 2,147,905

    Team A is the New York Yankees. Team B is the Seattle Mariners.

    Or how about this one from 1998?

    AL Team A attendance: 2,651,511
    AL Team B attendance: 2,314,704

    Team A is the Seattle Mariners. Team B is the AL Wild Card winners, the Boston Red Sox.

  7. dw on May 9th, 2006 3:08 pm

    Of interest to “Moneyball” fans: Jeremy Brown was called up by Oakland.

    He was killing the ball in Sac-Town after three years in the Texas League doldrums. Maybe he’ll stick.

  8. ChrisK on May 9th, 2006 3:09 pm

    Another significant portion of the team’s revenue comes from their TV & radio contracts. Does anyone know when those deals come up for renewal? I remember reading on this board that TV viewership was still high, which means they could still generate a lot of revenue from this crap product even with attendance slipping.

    Does anyone have any insight into the TV & radio deals, how much revenue they get from it, and how much they might expect to get in the future? Thanks!

  9. msb on May 9th, 2006 3:09 pm

    Do not equate refusing to shell out $38 per ticket to watch Gil Meche and Carl Everett with being a bandwagon fan.

    or pay less and watch the other 23 guys.

  10. Zero Gravitas on May 9th, 2006 3:10 pm

    I was thinking about this ‘bandwagon’ issue just the other day when that story about Guardado was the #1 most-read story on In a town full of bandwagon fans years removed from seeing a competitive team, a story about whether or not a pitcher is designated ‘closer’ or ‘setup guy’ would never be the #1 story in the newspaper. So people here are definitely following the M’s closely, even though the team’s sucked for a long time, and continues to suck in a most predictable and depressing fashion. Meanwhile, USSM had to sell t-shirts and upgrade to a new hosting service so they could handle the bandwidth they were getting – what’s that say about fan interest in this crappy team?
    For me the ultimate example of bandwagon fans is from back in the 90s – people showing up in sports bars on Sundays all over America wearing their brand-new Dallas Cowboys jerseys. Oh, how I hated those people.

  11. jtopps on May 9th, 2006 3:24 pm

    Re:Cowboy jerseys — exactly!

    If you live in a city and that city’s sports teams do well, it shouldn’t be called “bandwagon-ing” (i don’t think anyone uses that term anyway, so we’re safe). I jumped on the Seahawks bandwagon last year and I am proud of it. The team played well. Its called hometown pride. Am I supposed to ignore them simply because I used to not care?

    If you want to talk about bandwagon, let’s talk about how every city in America has “diehard” NY Yankee and Boston Red Sox fans. Who are these people? I mean, if you grew up in those cities going to games with your dad, fine, but I get the feeling that it is fashionable to cheer for these teams and these folks want to portray themselves as backers. If those teams sucked for 3 years, I bet people wouldn’t be yelling “Go Sawks!” every chance they get.

  12. revbill on May 9th, 2006 3:31 pm

    I always wonder where the handful of Devil Rays fans you see at Safeco come from. Are they tourists who were tired of paying too little for beer? Did they fall in love with the Rays during their short existence and then move here, refusing to give up their 8-year history? Did they decide to give up on the Mariners at some point, and make a horrible mistake on which team to start following?

  13. Evan on May 9th, 2006 3:40 pm

    62 – Why does it matter where you’re from? Or where you live?

  14. msb on May 9th, 2006 3:48 pm

    Ivan Rodriguez is starting at 1st base for the Tigers tonight. just what sort of vertical leap do you think Pudge has?

  15. joser on May 9th, 2006 3:49 pm

    Actually, most of the diehard Yankees and Red Sox fans I’ve met here in Seattle and the Bay Area came by it honestly — they either grew up in the northeast, lived there at some point, or married someone who was a fan of those teams. Though I have a sneaking suspicion that some Cubs with no connection to Chicago (and pre-2004 Red Sox fans with no connection to Boston) actually adopted the team because they liked cheering for a team that was sure to disappoint them, in the same perverse way there’s always some guy chasing a woman who’s taken / out of his league / absolutely uninterested.

    As for me, I followed the Mariners as much as I could ’77-87 or so; I’ll still watch them on TV over dinner, but I figure I’ve done my time and they’ll get my butt in a seat at Safeco again when they’ve gone back to fielding a good team (summer weekday day games with Felix pitching the only exception). I don’t know if that makes me a bandwagon fan or not, and quite frankly I don’t give a damn.

    Speaking of day games with Felix starting, I wish he was pitching tomorrow instead of tonight. I’d seriously consider going to that game (if for no other reason than it’s only going to be on the radio, so I don’t have the option of switching media halfway through the game to avoid Rizzs).

  16. pdb on May 9th, 2006 3:55 pm

    Ivan Rodriguez is starting at 1st base for the Tigers tonight. just what sort of vertical leap do you think Pudge has?

    I’m not sure “leap” is the right word. “slight upward motion”, maybe?

  17. Evan on May 9th, 2006 4:00 pm

    He can raise his glove above his head. That’s as good as it gets.

  18. Ed on May 9th, 2006 4:07 pm

    My dad’s a Yankees fan who grew up in Montana, but when the M’s don’t exist yet, the nearest franchise is like Milwaukee (or wait, didn’t they get the Pilots? Probably KC or SF then), and you can root for Mickey Mantle, I can see how he came by his fandom.

    That understanding of why he likes them doesn’t prevent me from gloating whenever they’re behind in the East, though. And to his credit he converted me to Seahawks-love back in the Dave Krieg years, of all times.

  19. Karen on May 9th, 2006 4:17 pm

    RE: #63 about where Devil Rays fans come from…

    I remember about 6-7 years ago on the “official” M’s message board a smegmalicious-like crank who rarely had anything good to say about the M’s announced he was moving to Tampa, and he was happy to abandon the Mariners to adopt his new favorite team, the Devil Rays, and ha ha all you sucker M’s fans…!!!!

    I think of him wallowing in his despair, and I just smile…

  20. joser on May 9th, 2006 4:34 pm

    He’s probably moved on to New York by now. Things have a way of finding their natural home. Cream rises and other… things, well, don’t.

  21. JMHawkins on May 9th, 2006 4:57 pm


    My dad has the same story – grew up in South Dakota in the 30’s, so he figured he could pick any team, so he took Ruth and Gehrig, etc. But now, and I don’t know if this makes him a bandwagon fan or not, in 2001, when I told him I had World Series tickets *if* the M’s went to the series and that I’d take him, well, he was happy to root against the Yanks then. And just to confuse people, he’ll sometimes go around wearing an M’s jacket and a Yankees cap.

    But anyway, the whole bandwagon M’s fan thing seems overdone. I have season tickets and I watch more games when they’re winning and fewer games when they’re losing. When they’re winning, every game matters because they’re fighting for a playoff spot (or, in 2001 when they had a playoff spot wrapped up by, oh, now, they were fighting to break a record). When they’re so bad that thinking of the playoffs is a cruel joke, individual games don’t matter so much – just check in every once in a while to see if Beltre’s figured out how to hit again, or if Felix is doing anything exceptional.

  22. msb on May 9th, 2006 5:30 pm

    you gotta love it– some guy just called KJR to ask Tim Kurkjian (with voice quivering with barely repressed rage) how close was the Reed for Arroya deal, and should Bill Bavasi be fired just for not getting that deal done? Tim gently pointed out that his understanding was that the deal was no where as close as some had reported, and that it was the Sox who felt that Reed wouldn’t provide enough offense in the outfield in trade for one of their pitchers….

    oh, and someone else just proposed Nageotte & Reed to the Nationals for Jose Guillen.

  23. jefffrane on May 9th, 2006 6:34 pm

    And speaking of the Yankees — they’ve gone to Ron Villone in a blow-out loss (3-11) to the Red Sox. One out, two men on . . . why does this feel so familiar?

  24. Smegmalicious on May 9th, 2006 10:48 pm

    KAern: I know this thread is dead, but I resent that. I’m a die hard M’s fan who’s been going to games since the early 80’s. I love the team and hate to see them suck. Just because I bitch about the things they do that I don’t like or the thing I don’t understand that seem to actively be making the team worse doesn’t mean I’m any less of a fan. I go to about 20 games a year and scream myself hoarse cheering for the only sports team I like.

    Complaining about the things I don’t like doesn’t make me less of a fan.

  25. BelaXadux on May 10th, 2006 2:01 am

    Enjoy Lincecum while you can. He’s pitching for his signing bonus, but a guy with his usage, hideous mechanics, and velocity is highly likely to explode in the near future. Let someone else draft him; we can pick him up after the T-J in a modest deal.

    I’m very interested in Santiago and Lowe pitching in the minors, although hearing that Julio is hurt is worrisome indeed.

    Is LaHair for real? I’ve been waiting for the Future Forty update to see a glimmer on the guy, but a LH hitting 1Bman with power who walks? In _this_ organization??? I can dream, but this one would be a sweet vision indeed.

  26. BelaXadux on May 10th, 2006 2:05 am

    Part of being a long-time fan is finding things to like in an organization when some of the things in the foreground are ugly. The Seattle club’s offense is offensive. The empty seats are ugly. But I can still get interested in hopefuls coming up through the minors, the upcoming draft, and the skill refinement of young guys who’ve made the Big Club. I may tune out stretches of games now, but I’ll still be looking in on guys like Betancourt, Lopez, Soriano, Sherrill, Felix, DOYLE!, but LaHair, Santiago, Kahn, Cabreara, Jones, and Clement, too.

    Find something to like; the FO’s floundering can’t suck all of the joy out of it. —Unless you’re in KC or Pittsburgh, but they need some mob action there.

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