Mariners Insider

Archives: March 2009

March
31st

AP Poll: Going to a game is too expensive for the average fan

Admittedly, I’m a bit out of the loop when it comes to going to a baseball game as an average fan. Truth be told, I think I went to three games last year in a non-working capacity where I sat in the stands and watched the game like most of you. The year before that it was maybe four or five.

And all of those occasions, I never paid for nice seats. My buddies (who buy a block every year) either had them, or else I would pay for the $6 general admission seats and then usually hang out in the centerfield beer garden.

So when it comes to the game experience, I’m admittedly unfamiliar with what the average costs are for fans to go to the game. Other than the $8 for a Miller Lite, I’m pretty much out of the loop. Tickets? Parking? I have a rough idea, but not completely. I’m pretty sure it’s kind of expensive.

What is the purpose or reference for these three paragraphs of blatherings that will most likely you resent me? Well, the Associated Press recently polled a group of baseball fans about the game and certain aspects of it. Here’s the story on it.

Here’s the full poll and results.

The results are semi-interesting, though not surprising.

The lead of the story is that the soaring costs of going to a game – tickets, parking, concessions – is what a large portion of the fans polled believed is the biggest problem facing Major League Baseball. Officially 45 percent of the fans polled said that was the biggest problem, with 29 percent saying it was players’ salary, 19 percent thinking it was steroids and 6 percent saying the length of games.

In the last AP poll conducted in 2006 – it was players’ increasing salaries. The same in 2005, but now it’s the cost of games.

Look everybody knows the economy is in shambles. And baseball is an entertainment expense. At some point, people will be priced out of it. Many people I have spoken with have already been priced out. For many families, going to games isn’t a weekly occasion or monthly occasion, but a once or twice in a season occasion. It’s simply too expensive.

It was apparent in spring training

Just think if you were trying to go to a game at the new Yankee Stadium.

If you remember last season, the Mariners had 7 of the 10 smallest crowds in Safeco first 17 games. Of course, it was freezing for those games. But the attendance was significantly down last season. Will it continue this year?

Drawing more fans does matter to the Mariners, or Ken Griffey Jr. wouldn’t have a $3 million attendance-based incentive in his contract.

But let’s get back to the poll other, you’ll notice some other results from the poll in this graphic. People want to see the other names on the infamous A-Rod list, and most don’t think any steroid user should be in the Hall of Fame.

I’ll be the first to admit that polls are far from perfect. But it doesn’t hurt to look at the results because some truths can be found. What are your thoughts? Are you surprised at the results? How about a better idea, here’s the poll below, feel free to answer it. I’d be interested to see your answers or your thoughts on some of the things asked.

Poll below

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March
31st

It’s the delicately seasoned Tuesday Mariners Update!

TODAY

Rookie Chris Jakubauskas continued his feel-good spring with five solid innings, Russell Branyan homered twice and Ronny Cedeno hit a grand slam as Seattle beat Cleveland, 12-4.

WEDNESDAY

Seattle hosts Cleveland in a 1:05 p.m. game that will be broadcast on KIRO. Probable starting pitchers: Cliff Lee vs. Felix Hernandez.NOTABLE

Jakubauskas, the non-roster invitee who spent years pitching in the Independent leagues, made another marvelous start and has made his case to make the team. In 16 2/3 innings, he’s fashioned a 2.08 earned run average, struck out seven and not issued a walk. "My

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March
31st

Ichiro banned from Mariners camp!

Yes, really.

A day after a light-headed Ichiro Suzuki left the Mariners game after two at-bats, complaining he was light-headed, Ichiro was ordered not to come to camp.


“He said he was just feeling run down,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “So I told him not to come in today. And he may get the day off tomorrow, too. We’ll see how he feels.”

Ichiro has played in the World Baseball Classic this spring, traveling around the world – starting in Japan – and the Mariners suspect he’s simply exhausted.


Given that, and the fact that Ichiro

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March
31st

A small ray of hope from Detroit

Every spring, teams sigh and make room for one player or another on their roster because of his salary, not his ability.

Fans get used to the notioin that, say, Carlos Silva or Miguel Batista are owed so much money there’s no chance the team will ax them and start with fresh faces.


And then, there’s the Detroit Tigers.

They’ve cut Gary Sheffield, a man with 499 home runs – and a $14 million deal this season.


The Tigers thought so little of Sheffield they didn’t want him on their roster despite that huge contract –

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March
30th

It’s the all-encompassing Monday Mariners Update!

TODAY

The Seattle bullpen – pitchers Jesus Delgado, Mark Lowe and Randy Messenger – allowed seven runs over the final three innings, turning a pitching duel into an ugly loss to Milwaukee, 9-7.

TODAY

Seattle plays at Cleveland in a 1:05 p.m. game that will be broadcast by KIRO. Probable starting pitchers: Chris Jabukauskas vs. Scott Lewis.

NOTABLE

Non-roster outfielder Mike Wilson wanted nothing more than to show the Mariners he had power and could drive in runs this spring. After hitting his sixth home run of the spring in the fifth inning –

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March
30th

A week of high anxiety for the boys on the bubble


In five days, the Seattle Mainers will fly to Minneapolis to open their season. For more than a half dozen players, those days seem like a lifetime.

"I’ve been through this three years in a row, coming down to the final week with the chance to make a team," Chris Shelton said. "You’re lying if you say you don’t think about it – this is your livelihood."

Consider the options the Mariners still have in camp: Wladimir Balentien, Mike Morse, Shawn Kelley, Chris Jakubauskas, Cesar Jimenez, Shelton (pictured), Jamie Burke,

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March
30th

Time to play GM and manager and pick the 25-man roster

Well, it was an interesting day and the Mariners have moved a little closer to the 25 players they’ll be taking with them to Minneapolis for opening day against the Twins.


A few things on the moves …


&bull I’m holding out judgment on the Brandon Morrow decision to go to closer. Initially, my thought it was a colossal waste of a top pick and categorical screw-up from the very start by the previous regime starting with former GM Bill Bavasi and former manager Mike Hargrove. Look I have nothing

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