Sunday, September 21, 2008

Turn Out the Lights

Except for the love the city has for Jack Splat and he for it, the game was another forgettable exercise in futility for Pittsburgh.

They lost to Houston 6-2 on a collection of dribblers, bloops, walks, misplayed balls, questionable umping, and wild pitches while serving as Roy Oswalt's personal whipping boy. Pretty normal stuff.

But when Jack Wilson stepped in to pinch hit in the fifth inning, the connection between a player and his town was never more obvious.

The fans stood and roared - well, as much of a roar as 20,000 people can make - throughout his at bat, and they pumped up the volume even more when he roped a single into left field. They rose to their feet once again when he trotted into the dugout.

At least one guy will leave with good memories of Pittsburgh.

> Pittsburgh drew 20,311 fans today, just about right on the season average of 20,113. Their total attendance of 1,609,076 was the lowest since 2004, when they attracted 1,583,031 to PNC Park, and that was during a 75-game home slate. The average attendance is the lowest since PNC opened its gates.

The MLB average since 2004 has been around 2.5 million.

When the park opened in 2001, 2,435,867 people spun the turnstiles. That's 30,834 warm fannies per game, and that represents quite a fall from grace for the franchise.


WilliamJPellas said...

1.6 million fans is quite a lot of support, seems to me, for a team that just tied the major league record for most consecutive losing seasons, has now lost 90 games or more four seasons in a row, and that once again was nowhere close to .500.

I don't want to hear one word from the front office or anyone affiliated with this crap franchise about attendance. Put a winning team on the field, and the seats will be filled, guaranteed. Oh, and by the way, you don't have to spend yourself into oblivion to be competitive, either. Florida, Minnesota, Oakland, Milwaukee, and Tampa have all proven that, and then some. And when's the last time the Yankees won anything? Yeah, that's what I thought....

Deaner said...

I'll be very sad to see Jack go, but it was nice to see him get the ovation that he deserves.

Ron Ieraci said...

Guys, I agree with you both. Deaner, I'm still not entirely sold that Jack Splat's a goner quite yet, at least until someone shows up in a Buc uniform that can play short.
And Will, product is what sells. Promotion is just the gravy. if they produce on the field, the seats will take care of themselves.