Hooray April Baseball.
Happy Humpday Cougs, as we hit the mid-point of the week and barrel towards another weekend. Of course, we hope all is well in your corner of the world.
So those M's, yeesh. They were buried by the best AAAA-level team in baseball history last night, as the Astros hung up 16 runs on Brandon Maurer and Kameron Low, among others. But hey, they fought their way back in front of a few friends and family as shown above, and wow, they scored 9 runs (most this season in a single game!). But who cares, right? It's early April still, it's a LOOOOONNNNNG season ahead and well, these things happen.
Crazy how bad the attendance was last night though. Just an announced crowd of 10K, a record low at the Safe, somewhere in there? It's not like the AAAA-stros are much of a draw (see what I did there?), and on a Tuesday night in April it would be surprising if they approached 15K last night. And that picture isn't exactly fair, I mean the game was long over by the time it was tweeted out by Larry Stone of the Seattle Times. But I do believe the M's will draw better this year, simply because they will score more runs after an historically anemic offense the last few years. Adding Michael Morse and Kendrys Morales will only help over the long haul (especially as the so-called young "core" of Ackley-Smoak-Montero continue to slog their way through the start of the season). Once the kids get out of school and the weather warms up, with those moved in fences and all that I'm sure things will pick up.
Baseball attendance this early isn't just a problem here however. Even in places like Yankee Stadium and Citi Field in NY, fans have been quick to bail out if things don't look promising:
I don't know, maybe it's just my spotty/selective(?) memory, but I don't recall seeing fans bail so quickly compared to years past?
It was kind of interesting, but I was talking to my brother-in-law on Easter and the topic of UW's stadium renovation came up (full disclosure: he's a big Husky booster). Anyway, he said that some of the things he's heard around Montlake is that the biggest thing even they face in selling tickets in Seattle is the 50-inch TV screen in so many homes nowadawys. With the Pac-12 network showing every game on TV, it really has become an easy thing to "opt out" of, all things considered. Would you rather stay home with friends and watch the game in crystal-clear HIGH DEF, while paying grocery store prices on food, use your own bathroom, no costs for parking, etc? And hey, if the game turns out to be a stinker, you can always change the channel to something else or even just turn it off and do other things! But I was surprised that even in big-city Seattle and the new Husky Stadium and all that, even they have to fight against the ease of TV and all that it brings for fans to still be part of it without, you know, being there.
Of course, I'm not the first one to even suggest that attendance can be a problem. But college football is a little different animal. You only have a handful of home dates every year to deal with, and it's always an excellent chance to catch up with friends and make an event out of the whole thing. It's not like MLB with 81 home games, or even the NBA with 40+ in the friendly confines. I would fully expect that UW will fill that thing up next year, and if our Cougs can get off to a decent start, we'll see decent turnouts in Pullman as well.
But whatever. It's SPRING FOOTBALL season, after all. On to the links!