Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sorry, Guys, I Kind of Forgot You Were a Team

As I blogged and Tweeted (and TwitPic'd), my good friend, Adrian and I went to the Yankees v. Angels game yesterday. I knew she was a fan but I did not know that it was her first Yankee game, at either stadium, until we were settling into our seats. "I went to a lot of Pirates games with my parents as a kid," she said. "But none in New York, until today!"

Cute and excited for her first ever Yankees game!
Ohhhhhhh! Riiiiiiiight! The Pirates. I always kinda, sorta forget about that team. I am very AL-centric when it comes to baseball (obvi) but I do usually have an idea of what is going on in the NL East because of the many adorable Mets fans in my life. But somehow, I just don't think about Pittsburgh's boys of summer.

After the game, Adrian and I went to Opal in Midtown East to take advantage of the free ladies' happy hour from 6 to 7 (But only after calling to confirm that they would be honoring their advertised special this time. Ahem. This isn't Citysearch, so I will stop there). We chatted with some fellow game-goers and ended up seeing the start of the Mets at Rockies game on the TV above the bar.

Granted, I was on my second third vodka club at the time, but I couldn't help staring at the pitcher's cap during the top of the first and thinking CR? CR? WTF? Oh! Colorado Rockies. I don't think the Rockies have been on my radar since, well, I wanted them to beat B*ston in the 2007 series.

I don't seem to be the only one forgetting about certain teams. Last year, the A's, the Marlins and Adrian's beloved Pirates had the three worst attendance records in MLB. Oakland often played to half-filled stadium, both at home and on the road. The Reds (the other team in Ohio) had fewer than 2 million fans see them play at any park last year and the Royals, rounding out the bottom five, had more fans see them on the road than at home. Womp womp.

The state of the economy played a big role in reducing stadium attendance. But even though there were often empty premium seats at Yankee Stadium last year when NYC was really suffering during the recession, the Bronx Bombers still managed to be second in overall attendance and the Mets were (not really) close behind in 7th place. My childhood team, the White Sox, who were very middle-of-the-road last year were middle-of-the-pack in attendance, well behind the more-popular but much-suckier other team in Chicago, who played for more fans than 24 of the other teams.

Of course, true fans stick with their team through thick and thin and I have to give much props to fans of the Marlins, the A's and Nationals-converts, who have often had to witness stadium waves with huge gaps of empty seats but still cheer on their home team boys. Randy Quaid, from Major League II, salutes you too:

And Tony Danza is squinting really hard into your outfield for signs of wings.

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