SBD/Issue 181/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: As Nats Rise, Orioles' Struggles Continue

Nationals' Newfound Success This Season
Helping To Bring More Baseball Fans To DC

In DC, Tom Boswell writes under the header, "Nationals' Progress Is Making Struggling Orioles Easy To Forget." Since the Nationals came to DC in '05, "they've wrestled with the O's for undecided voters, especially in wealthy suburbs in Maryland between the two ballparks." But this season has "finally done the trick." Nationals President Stan Kasten: "We don't pay attention to the breakdown of fans. ... The demographics of the region say the big dog in the market will be the Nats. But, separately, both towns are big enough to thrive" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/3). In Baltimore, Kevin Cowherd notes Orioles fans "might be more angry and disillusioned than at any other time in the 56-year history of this once-proud franchise," but still "not one word from the principal owner." Is Peter Angelos "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore?" Cowherd: "Who knows?" (Baltimore SUN, 6/3).

VOTER FRAUD? In West Palm Beach, Greg Stoda notes the Marlins are "giving away tickets" to fans who cast 200 All-Star votes for all Marlins position players, which "makes a mockery of what baseball has deemed more than an exhibition by making the winners' reward so important." Stoda: "That the Marlins are selling tickets after the fact for the Roy Halladay perfect game is strictly business. ... The more annoying plan put in place by the Marlins is one aimed at benefitting their players" (PALM BEACH POST, 6/3). Meanwhile, ESPN's Michael Wilbon said of the Marlins selling tickets to Halladay's perfect game, "The Florida Marlins can't get people to come to games, so management found a way to make money off fans not coming to games. ... It just is so cheesy. Baseball ought to stop it" ("PTI," ESPN, 6/2).

THREE'S COMPANY: In San Diego, Bill Center notes the Padres' plan to start more midweek home games at 3:35pm PT "might not be working out as hoped." The team thought that "workers wanting to attend the games wouldn’t need to miss a half-day of work," while parents could "bring children after school." But the first four 3:35pm starts have "attracted just 67,725 spectators -- an average of 16,931." Padres President & COO Tom Garfinkel: "The feedback from the fans on the 3:30 starts has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re happy with the change" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 6/3).

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE: Yankees President Randy Levine "urged legislators yesterday to hold off any restrictions on paperless tickets until the technology has a chance to develop." In N.Y., Glenn Blain notes New York state lawmakers are "examining the role of paperless tickets as part of a new ticket-scalping law." Paperless tickets "require buyers to make purchases with credit cards and then swipe the card at the venue for entry," and opponents of the tickets claim that "such tickets are difficult to pass on to a friend or family member" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/3).

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