Monday, September 24, 2012

End-of-Season Grabbag

As is customary, here are a few miscellaneous stories I've been following that I wanted to get out there before the end of the season:

- There was an interesting and insightful story on (I know, I'm as shocked as you) about actual attendance versus paid attendance at a ballgame.  It talks about how teams will always announce the paid attendance but that doesn't necessarily mean that is how many people are in the stands.  This article was written particularly in response to the fact that the Red Sox supposedly have a consecutive sellouts streak remaining in tact, when in fact anybody who watches a game can easily tell the park has seats available.  Erik and I always have sort of a running joke, particularly when we go to Beloit Snappers games, of how we can physically count the number of fans in attendance but the number announced is always way more than that.  Things like donated tickets, standing room seats, suites, and even people who just buy season tickets but don't show up, all factor into actual attendance numbers.

- Speaking of the Snappers, in 2013 I will be watching them play not as an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins for the first time.  The Twins signed a new PDC with Cedar Rapids this past week, displacing the Angels who had previously resided there for nearly 20 years.  The Twins had had their A-ball affiliate in Beloit since the Brewers left in 2005.  There's been a lot of shuffling in the Midwest League this year as teams scramble to find a better fit for the future of their organization.  The Cardinals have returned to Peoria after an 8-year absence, and the Cubs made a sensical geographic move in putting their team in Kane County.  Burlington and Beloit are two of the worst attended ballparks in the minors, and Erik and I agree it will be a fight to the finish to see who's left standing in these two unfortunate situations.  With the case of Beloit in particular, I wouldn't be surprised if the next MLB parent to reside there will already have a plan in place to move the team or build a new park.

- Congratulations to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, who took home their first Midwest League title in franchise history!  I was proud to attend a victory in one of their first round playoff games a few weeks ago.  With this new hardware, a major stadium renovation next year, and an extended contract with the nearby Brewers, exciting times are in full swing in Appleton.

- In a long overdue ceremony, "Mr. Baseball" himself Bob Uecker received a bronzed 8' tall likeness of himself outside of Miller Park last month.  Despite all of the fame he has attained over the years in movies and television, Mr. Uecker has always stayed true to his roots in Milwaukee, and calling Brewer games on WTMJ radio has always been his first love.  Brewer fans recognize the struggles to keep prominent stars in town because of its market size, and in cases like Ueck, are always proud to honor its "homers."  I wish I could have seen the ceremony in its entirety, but with Bob Costas as MC and a speech by Uecker that went way past its alloted time, I can only imagine how hilarious it was.  I saw the statue at a game last week and it looks great next perched next to the other Milwaukee legends of Bud Selig, Robin Yount, and Hank Aaron.

Brewers 79-73, -12.5, -2.5 WC (3 @ Reds, 3 v. Astros, 3 v. Padres)
Reds 92-61, +10.0 clinched NL Central, (3 v. Brewers, 3 @ Pirates, 3 @ Cardinals)
Twins 64-89, -17.5 E (3 v. Yankees, 3 v. Tigers, 3 @ Blue Jays)

Erik - 31
Peter - 40

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