Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Elbowed Out 

The D-Backs lost their 8th straight Monday, getting blown out 6-1 by the Giants. Luis Gonzalez announced he would have season-ending elbow surgery after coming back from the D-Backs' road trip August 1. Gonzo then proceeds to hit a homerun to score the D-Backs' only run of the game.  But the talk of the radio dial (or at least Dan Bickley's show) this morning was the Cubs-Cardinals Zambrano-Edmonds dustup. Another sign of how far the D-Backs have fallen.


Re: the Gonzo surgery... looks like my Magic 8-Ball prediction of yesterday was right on the money. Oddly enough, I tried it twice before, accidentally asking, "Will Luis Gonzalez be traded?" and received "No-ish" answers both times. No, I don't want to go back and ask the Randy Johnson question.

In any case, Gonzo is expected to be out for 7-8 months and is expected to be back in the lineup for Opening Day 2005.  Until then, Luis Terrero is expected to take over left field. Thank goodness. Not that I think Terrero is necessarily the answer, but it will be nice to have him get 40 or so games of experience so we can decide if he's an outfielder worth starting in 2005.


Some discussion in my last mid-season review on attendance figures. Jim from But It's a DRY Heat points out this article which discusses increased attendance in general and notes that the D-Backs' attendance decline is worse in comparison to that general increase. Duly noted. But what I was trying to do was give some context to the decline. For example, based on the numbers in the piece, fully 1/3 of the overall increase this year can be attributed the Phillies and the Padres who, as luck would have it, opened new stadia this year.
But before you complain (and I'm not talking to you, Jim) about the "fair-weather nature" of D-Backs fans, attendance is related to won-loss records no matter where you go. The Yankees never reached 3 million in attendance until 1999, the year after their monster 114-48 World Champion team. In 1992, folks, they averaged just 21,589 fans per game (they went 76-86 that year). Even now, as they're averaging 48,000+ per game, you want to say, congratulations, you manage to exceed average D-Back attendance by 50% even though your market, even adjusting for the Mets, is 200% larger than the D-Back market.

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