Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): Follow @RJA206
The Mariners home attendance at Safeco Field has decreased each of the last five years. In 2003, the Mariners were 93-69 and averaged over 40,000 fans per home game. Last season, Seattle finished 75-87 with an average of roughly 21,000 per game. What can the Mariners do to bring fans back to the ballpark and revitalize baseball in Seattle?
ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Dempster Leaving Texas, MLB Attendance is Misleading, Trout vs. Harper, James McDonald Health, and Braves Won’t Go Away
Sunday August 5th, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!
Jonathan Hacohen: I seemingly talk about the Oakland A’s every day…and for good reason. This is a team on fire! Back in early July I prepared a feature titled: The Future of the Oakland A’s: The Mustache Gang Meets The Bash Brothers – Revealing Billy Beane’s Master Plan. Since that article ran, the A’s have been unstoppable. How good have the A’s been in the 2nd half? Since the start of the year, most experts (myself included) left the team for dead. The squad was seen to be in another rebuilding year and with no chance whatsoever against the powerful Rangers and Angels. But despite the doom and gloom in Oakland, I ran the feature in July to show that there was hope. There was a future. Little did I know, that 2-3 years from now would arrive today.
Take a look at the current standing. Oakland sits in 2nd place in the A.L. West, 5.5 games out of first. Nobody saw that coming. It’s August for darn sake! The A’s have a 58-49 record and if the playoffs started today, they would hold a Wild Card spot. 32-24 at home, while only 26-25 on the road. Clearly the A’s like playing at home. Yet they are near the bottom in MLB home attendance. Despite the unbelievable baseball they are playing, A’s fans are refusing to fill their stadium. It’s a darn shame, because if winning baseball won’t draw fans…nothing will. Yes, the team needs a new stadium. But without hometown support, that stadium will come in San Jose or another location. It will be interesting to see come September and October as to whether the A’s can boost attendance. I sure hope so.
How are the A’s winning you ask? Nearly everyone will say pitching. Yes, the A’s have quite the staff. The A’s have received strong pitching from the likes of Bartolo Colon, Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker, Brandon McCarthy (when healthy) and company. In the 9th inning, Ryan Cook has been lights-out. Proving once again that an unknown entity can be turned into a closer, Billy Beane has found another gem. Cook has 11 saves, 2.49 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. The A’s pitching has been solid, no doubt. Yes, the staff takes advantage of its pitching friendly home park. But regardless of location, the team is winning games. In large numbers and late in ballgames. That is the sign of a championship caliber squad.
But as much as the pitching gets the credit, I look to the hitting for the true reason for the team’s success. My article on the future of the A’s, pointed to the fact that Billy Beane is building the team around young and talented hitters. Those are hitters just happened to have come through early. Yoenis Cespedes is the glue that holds the squad together. The A’s record with him in the lineup is incredible. Josh Reddick. Johnny Gomes. Chris Carter. Brandon Inge. Don’t think that the A’s are going to go out and just win 1-0 games every time. This team has the hitting to back up its staff. Overall: The A’s do not look like they are going away any time soon. As long as they stay moderately healthy, this team remains a real threat to the make the playoffs in 2012.
For our Batting Stance Guy featured video of the week, we continue the A’s theme with Gar’s tribute to the Oakland A’s greatest batting stances. Canseco, McGwire, Rickey, Hendu…they are all here. Are you a fan of the A’s? Or just love to see great imitations of classic stances? This video is for you:
Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry