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Where’s the Beef?

Not sure how many of you regular blog-readers are familiar with the famous Wendy’s ad campaign from a couple of decades ago (and I’m dating myself with this entry), but I’m thinking the same line can apply to the seats at McAfee Coliseum.

In other words, another very sparse crowd. Can’t be more than 10,000 in the house and that’s generous. It’s in keeping with a bad trend for the A’s, who are on pace to draw only 1.5 million fans, their fewest since 1999. And that’s with two sellout crowds in Tokyo counted. The A’s entered the night outdrawing only Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Florida and Kansas City.

I have a whole slew of reasons I could list. But I want to know what you think.Why aren’t fans coming out to see this team? It’s much better than advertised, though hardly a world beater. But it’s shown more energy and excitement than their recent teams. Any theories for why all  the beef has left the stadium?

rhurd

  • http://ibabuzz.com Bruce South

    May 20th newspaper mentioned an article taking a closer look at how the team is constructed, but I am unable to locate it. With all the new faces on the team, some players coming via trades and others by unknown–it would be wonderful to have an newspaper article saying this is how the players were assembled. I have alreay gone to the Oakland A’s website, but that is a waste of time. There website is only useful for purchasing tickets. This is one of the reasons I have not yet attended any games this year – hard to identify with strangers. Thank you.

  • Byron Shirley

    I did read another article about that, i think from Ray Ratto, comparing attendance at Giant”s games vs A’s games. Simply put, Ray summed it up well when he said that despite the fact that Billy Beane can put together an effective team even with relative unknowns, they are still just that—relative unknowns. He does not reallyworry about marketability, which this team might suffer from a lack of. If that was the case, he’d of signed Barry Bonds, not Frank Thomas, for starters. Imagine how much excitment that would bring!

    And the Giants still have that great stadium…

  • ghostrunner

    I think there is a sentiment among many A’s fans, myself included, that goes something like this: Why should I spend my money and time on a team that won’t win anything this year and probably won’t be together long enough to win anything in the future. Entertaining baseball will only get you so far with fans. People want to see championships. A’s fans have seen this team get close only to falter and then get dimantled and rebuilt. Beane has proven he can build a competetive team, but he has yet to build a winnner. People can only take so much disappointment before losing interest.

  • Asfan

    The A’s are responsible:
    - Tarp discourages walk ups for the most popular games. when the tarp went on they had 13 sellounts of 50+ the season before.
    - The A’s public dissing of Oakland and westward cities for their beloved Silicon Valley comrades. Why support a quitter.
    - A’s schedule is experimenting with new start times, why aren’t they promoted?
    - Casual fans don’t know anyone on the A’s except Frank who is just waking up. As soon as they remember a name BB trades them. Next time we see them they are pushing other teams deep into the playoffs or getting a world series ring or beating the A’s at the coliseum.
    - The Cisco lands deal has some stink on it. Does Wolffisher give the land back if they fail to locate the A’s there? Or will they build something mega profitable to themselves there?
    - BB is not the wheeling, dealing, wiz the public thinks; Kendall? LOaiza? Piazza? Kotsay? …
    - The BB style focuses on a winning regular season, his rosters lack the short series dynamics to win playoffs without L U C K and lots of it.
    - Likes the star billing over his players.
    - Geren instead of Macha? Geren uses up players like I can’t believe. Tony Defrancisco is better!
    - Outside medical opinions rightfully contradicting the A’s staff’s.
    ..gotta go!
    e intentionally builds teams that lack

  • Bee

    All this blathering about the tarp, relative unknowns, Billy Beane’s star image at the expense of the team, and bad trade deals, etc. really misses the point. The City of Oakland shares most of the blame by bailing on the A’s: they lured the Raiders back to the Oakland Coliseum and ruined it, nearly bankrupted the city over the deal, and couldn’t get behind a new stadium deal in Oakland. The Coliseum is better with the tarp, as it has a more intimate feel and smaller crowds don’t feel so lonely. Yes, it means that the average ticket costs a few bucks more, but, hello, everything costs more these days.

    And why are these supposed A’s fans so negative about what is going on on the field? Hey, guys, this is the best first two months we have had in a long time. They are above 500, they just swept the Red Sox, Duchscherer nearly pitched a no hitter, what more do you want?

    As for the low attendance, I’ve already mentioned that the Coliseum was ruined when Mt. Davis was built. But the media has something to do with it too. Early in the year all the guys in the media painted this picture of the A’s as winding up in the cellar at the end of the year. Well, the team has proved you wrong. Why don’t you get on board and tout how great they are and, yes, but some background in about the new players so the fans get to know them.

    We have something special here. The A’s are what baseball is really all about: young players playing their hearts out, winning ballgames (and you can’t get to the post season without doing that, Ghostrunner, and doing it cleanly. It sounds like most of you want celebrity players, not good players. If you were real baseball fans, you’d rather win games than pay homage to marquee stars strutting their stuff.

    Go A’s!

    Bee
    P.S. About the bad trade deals, where is Loaisa now? Released by the Dodgers recently. Or Piazza? One thing I will say about Billy Beane is that when he trades some of our best players, he trades them to National League teams, so they don’t come back to bite us on the field. Swisher is an exception to that.

  • greenmachine

    The stadium does not feel more intimate because of the tarps. That’s a Wolffism. The stadium is just as big as ever, only now peasants like me cannot sit in the section they frequently patronized in the past–the third deck. If Lew Wolff had ever sat in the third deck, he would’ve realized they were not bad seats. Being the gracious man that he is, he is now making some third deck seats available at $35 a pop (as all-you-can-eat-seats).

    The city of Oakland screwed up–no doubt about it–but Wolff is also to blame. Wolff is a whiny owner. A good owner wouldn’t knock the Coliseum at every turn. He would get the fans excited about the product on the field, which, in some circles, is considered more important than the stadium.

  • Bee

    Get used to it. All of Major League baseball will be out of reach of the average guy or gal in another 5-10 years. It’s big business in all it’s awful ramifications. I don’t like it either, but I’m afraidit is the way of the future. That’s why I will go to my 10 or so A’s games a year since I have been an A’s fan all my life, but I am becoming more interested in Minor League baseball now. It is where real baseball is played, as it was in the Bigs 30 years ago: no big salaries, few overinflated egos, accessible players, reasonable ticket prices, mostly nice intimate ballparks, and the occasional major leaguer doing rehab stints. Give it a try: Sacramento (A’s, Triple A), Stockton (A’s, High-A), Modesto (Colorado, High-A) and San Jose (Giants, High-A) aren’t so far away. Getout and support the guys on the way up. Also, check out http://www.MiLB.com.

  • Wayne

    I don’t think Wolfe is a hound. He’s in this to make money. How many of you would deliberately go out and lose money? I’m proud to know that he’s making an effort to keep our A’s in the Bay. Bee’s right. The prices have already taken me away from attending more cames than I would like, therefore, a move to Fremont wouldn’t be bad. At least I’ll be able to see them. I can’t see them if they move to Vegas. That’s a reality. If us “A’s fans” could attend every game with a sold out crowd, we wouldn’t be seeing our stars leave. BE REAL. WE CAUSE THIS TO HAPPEN TO OURSELVES. Even the Haas family lost money.

  • Bee

    You’re right, Wayne. The fans have stayed away in droves for years, even though the team is often in the post season. I gotta think that part of it is the ballpark. Going to AT&T is an “experience”, a destination that has something for everyone. I go to Safeco Field often as my brother lives in Seattle. Same thing. The Raiders ruined the Coliseum with Mt. Davis in lots of respects I won’t go into here. There are no amenities for the fans, and it is completely low tech. And in this economy, all of MLB is feeling the pinch. I like the idea of letting fans from the cheaper seats come down to the field level seats (other than MVP seats) so that there isn’t a sea of empty seats visible when the game is televised. That might sell more tickets and food, and generate more noise closer to the field and the players who need all the encouragement we can give them. And it would show good will from the A’s management.