Should Reds Follow Yankees Lead?

Sitting here going through some of the articles written over the past few weeks about the empty seats at the new Yankee Stadium and seeing how the Yankees have finally bowed to the pressure by restructuring their pricing tiers, I wonder if the Reds should do something similar.

When you have a stadium crowd of less than 10,000 in “paid” attendance, it is really embarrassing.  This isn’t the Florida Marlins playing in a football stadium under the constant threat of rain.  Nor is it the Yankees in which tickets previously topped out at $2,500 per game.

The most expensive seats in the ballpark, those in the Diamond Club level right behind home plate, are priced at $230 a piece.  Every single night I see that most of these seats go unused and are empty for the entire game.  Aren’t these the type of seats that should be filled?  Should the Reds reduce the Diamond Club seats?  What about Club 4192?

I still don’t buy the argument that because school is still in session that this is the reason that game attendance is so low.  Plenty of kids are shown in the stands each night, even during the week.

I think there seems to be some sort of stigma attached to this team when it comes to the price of going to the game.  The average ticket price comes in at under $20.  You can also buy the $5 seats and *ahem* move down closer to the action given that there are many open seats in prime locations.

While the ballpark is not directly accessable on foot nor is it a “neighborhood” park like Wrigley, there should be something the Reds can do, other than winning and give aways, to draw people down to the park.

I am just tired of being embarrassed over the lack of attendance on a nightly basis.

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Hoard to Sit In For Marty

Reds fans will recognize a familiar voice this weekend when former broadcaster Dan Hoard, who is now with the Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox affiliate), will sit in for the Hall of Famer.

While Marty is away at the National Sports Writers and Sports Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame dinner, Hoard will be on the big stick with Jeff Brantely calling the weekend series in Pittsburgh.

For Hoard this is his second “cup of coffee” in the major leagues.  He has called games for the Toronto Blue Jays, the NY Mets, and a few games for the Reds.

I won’t be able to listen because I too will be in Pittsburgh for my first trip to PNC Park with some fellow Reds fans.  Let me know how this goes.

Dan Hoard Blog

C-Trent Out at Homer

Just found out via Twitter that C. Trent Rosecrans, blogger extroidanire for 1530 Homer, was laid off today along with several other workers at Clear Channel Cincinnati.

His page has already been deleted from the Homer website.

I loved the guy’s writing, insight, and his taste in music.  I wish him all the best in his future endeavors as a journalist.

You can still follow him via Twitter at twitter/ctrent or his personal website http://ctrentrosecrans.com/

On The Radio…or Off

As readers of this blog you may know my undying quest to see that the Reds on Radio broadcast is loud and clear from the beginning of the game to the end, without interruption.  That, however, is proving to be elusive.

Last year I contacted Joe Zerhusen and met him in person at RedsFest.  He told me that they were trying everything to get a reliable signal to Louisville for all of the games.  Someone at the Reds Winter Caravan stop here in Louisville also asked the same question but got the brush off by George Grande who was mceeing the event.

If I thought another letter would help the situation, I would definintely write one.  I know Joe Zerhusen is working hard.  The problem is that there aren’t any stations with strong signals willing to give up their nightly programming so a small but dedicated audience can listen to a baseball game.

If you are so inclined and still feel that this situation needs to be changed, please feel free to contact Joe via letter or e-mail yourself (send it c/o The Reds using the Great American Ballpark address) and tell him that you are still unsatisified with the way things are going.

Disturbing Trends

From CBS Sportsline.com

Chris Dickerson might well be the team’s best athlete, which makes his most recent injury — a lump the size of a sugarcube over his right eye, caused when he walked into a hotel’s revolving door — all the more worrying. … Alex Gonzalez’s last hit came on Sept. 21, 2007. That is not, sadly, an exaggeration for comic effect. … Arthur Rhodes and David Weathers, being all trusty and whatnot, are on pace to appear in something like 154 games each.

I guess this isn’t as bad as the Astros:

For purposes of the 2009 Power Rankings, all games played against the Astros will be stricken from the record. Beating the Astros is like beating a bunch of gloveless nuns and should be weighted as such. … They should start the inevitable rebuilding process yesterday. Jose Valverde could fetch a few mid-level prospects from a contender lacking bullpen depth and Roy Oswalt, who will be in decline by the time the ‘Stros have restocked the pantry, would be coveted by at least 10 teams.

R.I.P. Harry Kalas

The long-time Phillies announcer and voice of NFL Films has passed.

The 73 year-old native of Napersville, Illinois died today shortly before the Phillies game against the Washington Nationals in D.C. after collapsing in the broadcast booth.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and will be sorely missed by the entire baseball community.  Especially those, like me, who love the legandary voices of the game like Kalas and Vin Scully.  I’ve listened to multiple Phillies games over the years just to hear him say, “OUTTTAAA HERRRRE” on his famous home run call.

Predictions

This is not based on anything scientific or for that matter, sabermetric.

AL East-New York Yankees
AL West-LA Angels
AL Central-Cleveland Indians
Wild Card-Tampa Bay Rays

There is a tremendous burden on the Yankees and their payroll that rivals most small nations.  Those enormous expectations will play into what happens in the AL East.  The Angels win the AL West by default since there are no other intriguing teams in that division.  The AL Central is probably the most wide open, however.  While the Tigers may contend, I think the Indians’ time has come again to make another run at the playoffs.  The Rays haven’t changed much and, in fact, have improved slightly with Pat Burrell at DH and they have David Price waiting in the wings to be brought up from the minors after preforming brilliantly late last season.

NL East-Philadelphia Phillies
NL West-LA Dodgers
NL Central-Chicago Cubs
Wild Card-NY Mets

I don’t think adding J.J. Putz and K-Rod at the back of the rotation is enough to put the Mets over the top in the division, but I do think it is enough for the wild card.  The Dodgers are solid but may have problems with their pitching.  The Cubs will win the Central (again) and not really be tested by any other teams in the division.

World Series
Phillies vs. Indians, Phillies in 6

The World Series is a total guess as are the rest of these predictions, but it should be another great year of baseball.