Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Day Games

I've always wondered why there aren't more day games. I know they don't make as much money and a lot of people can't go to them because they have to be at work, but we couldn't at least schedule one day game each day of the season? Is this too much to ask?

I mean, right now, at 3:34 on a Tuesday afternoon, you're telling me that Pirates-Reds or Dodgers-Rockies or Royals-Indians wouldn't hold your attention? You wouldn't have the GameCast up at work, or be monitoring your fantasy team's box score to see if J. D. Drew hit one out?

If a game like that were up against nothing but "Stump The Schwab" reruns and "Celebrity Poker Showdown" in the afternoon, and any average baseball fan happened to be at home flipping channels... you don't think they'd watch for at least a few innings? Isn't this nothing but good exposure for teams who usually aren't seen outside their own market? What am I missing here?

I can't imagine that playing one extra home day game a month would cripple any of these teams. I was in Pittsburgh last year for a Wednesday afternoon game between the Pirates and Nationals. The game wasn't sold out, but it was a gorgeous June day, and there were plenty of people there - it couldn't have been much less than what the Pirates usually draw. The next day in Philly, it was the same thing with the Mets in town. The minimal loss in attendance has to be worth the potential for increased national exposure, right?

Maybe I just get so bored at work that I need something to hold my attention in the background. But even if that's the case, I bet there are plenty of people out there just like me who would watch or follow the game somehow. I think having that kind of attention paid every day to a game that might otherwise get lost in the shuffle could be nothing but good.

1 comment:

Sully said...

Well, I did some follow-up research (thanks, retrosheet and ESPN), and those two games I was at last year only further illustrate my point.

The Pirates-Nationals game drew 24,064, while the average Pirates game in 2005 drew 23,003. Almost 1,000 more people turned out to see the Pirates lose when the sun was out.

The Phillies-Mets game drew (are you ready for this?) 45,449, vs. an average 2005 Phillies attendance of 33,316. 12,000 more people bought tickets, beers, and cheese steaks for a day-game match-up between Kaz Ishii and Cory Lidle.

Obviously, this is a small sample size, and the fact that both road teams were from relatively close by helped the draw. But still...