MLB Franchise Notes: Tight AL Wild Card Race Boosts Tigers' Attendance
In Detroit, Tony Paul writes the Tigers’ “inability to take control” of the AL Central “could mean bigger business for the club.” The Tigers have eight more home series this season, including four "against playoff contenders.” The Aug. 31-Sept. 2 White Sox series “should do huge business, as in late July, when 128,741 fans took in a three-game set.” But the Tigers “could be battling the Orioles, Angels and A's for a wild-card spot, so there'll be interest in those series, too.” It is a “near-lock the Tigers will top 3 million fans for the third time.” And while the season attendance record of 3,202,645 in '08 is "out of reach, a stretch-drive pennant race has the 2012 Tigers in position to finish runner-up, ahead of the 3,047,139 mark of 2007” (DETROIT NEWS, 8/14).
NUMBER ONE FAN: In N.Y., Tyler Kepner profiled Guggenheim Baseball Management, which owns the Dodgers, and wrote Basketball HOFer and team investor Magic Johnson’s responsibilities “are vague but vital in a city where image matters.” Johnson said, “I’m selling the Dodgers everywhere I go. When I went on the ‘Today’ show, everybody had a Dodger hat. When I went on ‘The View,’ I gave all the ladies a Dodger hat. I was on a little boat in Italy and I gave the whole crew Dodger hats and shirts. So I am promoting the Dodgers everywhere, and I think that’s a part of my job” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/12).
BAD YEAR FOR BOSTON: In Boston, Nick Cafardo writes Red Sox Owner John Henry and Chair Tom Werner have been “clobbered by fans and media all season, but when you are in Baltimore, or Pittsburgh, or Kansas City, you gain some perspective.” Cafardo: “Boy, are we spoiled around here.” Something “nobody wants to hear is the Red Sox are just having a bad year.” But that is a “reasonable statement because organizations just don’t win every year.” One AL team owner said of the Red Sox, “They’ve had a heck of a run at the top. We’d all kill for that” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/14).