Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 25 No. 64

Franchises

Chapman said he was not complaining about attendance, but encouraging more fans to come
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The A's attendance for their 3-2 win over the Mariners last night "jumped to 17,419" after 3B Matt Chapman made a plea to fans Monday following a crowd of just 10,400, according to John Shea of the S.F CHRONICLE. While free parking was a factor, Tuesdays "generally get about 1,000 fans buying walk-up tickets," and last night's count at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was 4,000. The A's are one game behind the Astros for the AL West lead, and Chapman said that his message Monday "simply came out, that he didn't spend a long time mapping out talking points." Chapman said, "It's how I feel. It was all positive. I want the fans to just come out and support us. We're out here playing our butts off, playing as hard as we can. ... We want to play in front of our fans. We have faithful fans." Chapman "wasn't complaining about A's fans or criticizing them for their absence," but simply "encouraging more to come to the park, an organic plea to enjoy playoff baseball and support the local team" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/15). In S.F., John Hickey notes A's manager Bob Melvin was "on the same wavelength" as Chapman. Melvin said, "I don't blame him that he tried to encourage the fan base to come out and support us. When we have a full house here, it inspires us. Our fans are as loud as any in baseball. That's what he's referring to. When our fans come out in full force, it is a terrific atmosphere" (S.F. EXAMINER, 8/15). Sacramento-based KTXL-Fox Sports Dir Jim Crandell tweeted, "Maybe Chapman convinced a few folks" (TWITTER.com, 8/15).

A LOT TO LOVE: In San Jose, Dieter Kurtenbach wrote the A's are "holding up their end of the bargain -- these guys are fun." It is "time for the fanbase to get out to the park and hold up their end." This is the "right time" for the "lapsed A's fan looking to get back on the wagon." This team "deserves great crowds this week" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 8/13). NBCSPORTSBAYAREA.com's Ray Ratto wrote Chapman "hasn't had time to understand the phenomenon of A's crowds -- namely, that they turn up when they turn up and not before." The A's have a "long and troubling history of the team trying to leave town and slagging off their ballpark at every opportunity in the interim." There is also a "long history of roster churn, of moving familiar and even popular players for prospects, or money, or both." But the A's are "beginning to change that." The trade deadline decisions were "made as buyers rather than sellers, which helps." The "trick" with A's fans "isn't to ask them to come out, but to do what the A's have been doing for two months -- letting the word of mouth do the talking" (NBCSPORTSBAYAREA.com, 8/14). CBSSN's Adam Schein said the A's play a "fun, exciting, winning brand of baseball." Schein: "Come on Bay Area, you're better than this. I get it: small market mentality, let players go. Forget all that. I know how much you love baseball, the Raiders are leaving, embrace the A's" ("Time to Schein," CBSSN, 8/14). Sacramento Bee's Marcos Breton: "Hopefully, they will get huge crowds in Oakland this weekend when the Astros come to town. They A's deserve it" (TWITTER.com, 8/15).

OWNERSHIP AT FAULT? THE ATHLETIC's Tim Kawakami wrote if a winning team in the Bay Area "can't attract" more than 60% capacity, "something broke down somewhere, and it's not at all the players or the fans' fault." Several iterations of A's ownership have "eroded the total number of people who are interested in buying tickets even for this very good team." When doing that, ownership cuts it "down to your deepest core fanbase, and again, the A's penny-pinching over the years has cut that down number, too." Over time, A's ownership has "thinned the number of people willing to make an emotional commitment" (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/14). Syndicated radio host Rick Tittle: "Sick of A’s fans being called 'disgraceful' for the low attendance. You can’t have 20 years of being told your town & stadium stink, trading all your best players, having a low payroll ... and then expect everybody to jump onboard when they start winning. It’s ownership’s fault" (TWITTER.com, 8/14). 

Jeter throughout this season has consistently reached out to season-ticket holders and sponsors
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

No detail has been "too small" for Marlins CEO Derek Jeter in his first 10 months on the job, and each correct decision brings the team closer to Jeter's "ultimate goal: a sixth championship ring," according to a profile by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Among the big-picture items on Jeter's agenda are "negotiating new TV and stadium naming rights deals, 'rebranding' the team uniform and colors" and "upgrading the spring training complex in Jupiter." Jeter is an exec who "craves feedback from ticket holders." Before this season, the Marlins "installed video booths at the park marked with the Spanish word Dímelo (talk to me)." Jeter brings up the videos on his computer and "diligently watches them." He has done "lots of what he calls 'relationship mending.'" At a more granular level, Jeter has "reached out tirelessly to season-ticket holders, sponsors and business partners, along with prospective new season-ticket holders, sponsors and business partners." Jeter said, "Re-engaging with the community is our No. 1 goal as an organization. We're Miami's team, bottom line. We want South Florida to be proud of this organization."

SOUTH BEACH VIBE: Jeter constantly "monitors the promotions, music and other elements that define the in-game entertainment experience for Marlins fans." Only in Miami can an MLB team "find room on the schedule for Jewish, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Nicaraguan, Venezuelan, Colombian and Mexican Heritage Nights at the park." Under the direction of Marlins Senior VP/Marketing & Community Relations Elisa Padilla, the team has "added 10 Neighborhood Nights to the schedule this season." The Marlins are "out in the community doing public service projects, holding baseball clinics and reaching out to fans" in neighborhoods near Marlins Park. Jeter: "In my mind, baseball needs to cater to the younger demographic. ... Everything that happens in this park has to capture the energy, culture and diversity of Miami. We are catering to that diversity, from the music to the food." Crasnick noted as the Marlins' young Latin-American players "take English lessons, the American-born players and coaches will be required to learn Spanish." Last week, Jeter "hauled a bunch of vice presidents into a room for the first of what will be regular weekly lessons in Español" (ESPN.com, 8/14).

THE BATTLE CONTINUES: In Miami, Douglas Hanks notes the Marlins "lost their bid to stay out of a local courthouse in a fight over profit-sharing with Miami-Dade County." A federal judge tossed the case back to Circuit Court with a warning that Jeter and partners "'face an uphill battle' proving foreign ownership in the case." Lawyers for the Marlins "claimed the ownership of the team held corporate citizenship in the British Virgin Islands because a holding company with a stake in the franchise was based there." They then cited international contract agreements in trying to "move the case away from an elected judge in Miami-Dade to the federal court system." In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles "sided with county lawyers and sent the proceedings back to the state level." Gayles "didn’t make any decisions that struck at the heart of the case, saying it was too early to say whether the dispute should go to the kind of arbitration that the Marlins and former owner Jeffrey Loria want." At issue is an '09 profit-sharing agreement that Loria "struck with the county and the city of Miami in exchange for public financing of Marlins Park and the surrounding parking garages" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/15).

THE ATHLETIC's Nate Taylor noted the Chiefs "held their annual 'military appreciation day'" yesterday, as coach Andy Reid tried to make the practice a "day of unity between players and military members." Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes said, "As NFL players, we always support the military." Reid, on the NFL meeting with the NFLPA to discuss a revision to the anthem policy, said he was "glad they're talking about it." Reid said, "Whatever they come up with, for both parties, I think will be a win-win" (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/14).

BREAKING BAD: In Las Vegas, Eli Segall reports the Raiders are still "months away from a possible groundbreaking" at the site of their proposed practice facility and HQ near Henderson, Nev. The team "hasn't submitted building plans" for the facility, near Henderson Executive Airport. Henderson city staff "tentatively expect" to break ground in November (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/15).

TROUBLE IN PARADISE? In Providence, Bill Reynolds writes there is an "ill win floating around Foxboro" and the Patriots this offseason. If often seems coach Bill Belichick "doesn't want things to change." But his and QB Tom Brady's "shadows are starting to spread all over the field." Have the Patriots "turned into a soap opera in shoulder pads right in front of us," or is this just the "nature of today's media dance?" Some might "call it a dysfunctional family that's spent too many years in the same house" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 8/15).