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).