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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | November 28, 2021

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Comparing Minor and Major League Attendance and Minor League Round-Up

By Sean Tuttle

With the recent comments of Tribe closer, Chris Perez, about the poor attendance at Progressive Field this season and the fact that the Indians have the worst attendance in the MLB, some may wonder how a first place team can accomplish this feat. Others may raise the question, “How does their minor league system bring in fans?”

Some may blame the lack of attendance on a number of reasons such as expense of going to the ballpark, not wanting to get too excited this early in the season, or maybe other events are going on in the daily lives of fans.

When considering cost to attend a single game, researchers often look at the Fan Cost Index. The Fan Cost Index comprises the prices of four adult average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one car, two game programs and two least expensive, adult-size adjustable caps. Based on a study done in April of 2011, the Cleveland Indians ranked below the average in MLB and 13th lowest overall. The MLB average ticket price was $26.91 with a Fan Cost Index of $197.35. The Indians average ticket price was $18.49 with a Fan Cost Index of $170.96.

Although the Fan Cost Index depicts a certain scenario, fans have ample opportunities to go “cheap.” It is believed that minor league games are cheaper. The truth of the matter is, ticket prices are roughly the same, but with a few differences. Ticket prices are the same price, between  eight and ten dollars per ticket, but where you will be sitting is a major difference. Parking fees are often extreme at the major league level with prices ranging from five to twenty dollars or more, as opposed to free to ten dollars at minor league games. Concessions and merchandise products run about the same across the board.

The difference is the atmosphere and the show. Fans attending a MLB game, are going to watch “their team” win, hopefully see some history made, and watch a level of play that is non-comparable anywhere else. Fans attending minor league games are going for the entertainment most of the time. Front office staffs have very little to zero influence over the happenings of the events on the field, so their concern lies primarily to the events that take place outside the white lines.

A minor league game is a production with a baseball game in the middle. Before and after every half inning, something is going on. Whether it is a game, promotional giveaway, or a mascot race, there is little down time at the minor league level.

Teams from the minor leagues to the MLB use basically the same promotional ideas across the country. Dollar Dog Nights, Thirsty Thursdays, Sunday Fun Days as well as giveaways, promotions are everywhere and happening just about every night to attract fans. The level of promotions is considerably better at the MLB level because of the sponsorships levels of the team partners. Businesses are going to spend more money to help promote the big ball club over the minors because of the sphere of influence they hope to gain. Therefore, they are willing to put out a better package deal most of the time.

Minor league teams count on promotions, community connections, and entertainment to draw fans into their stadiums. It doesn’t matter if the team is in first or last place, although winning does help. Fans understand that it is a developmental process.

Major league teams rely on fan loyalty, and use promotions and community connections to assist in the drawing of crowds. Tribe fans can’t complain about the team not winning, or that the prices are outrageous, and if you’re sitting at home waiting for management to make a move, then you have no room to talk since you aren’t helping the matter.

Minor League Round-Up

As of May 22nd, the Columbus Clippers (AAA) are 21-24 overall, in third place, and four games back of first. Infielder, Matt LaPorta, is currently fifth in the International League in batting with a .321 AVG, second in home runs with 13, fourth in total bases with 90. He has hit in six of his last eight games (.250 AVG. 7-28, 4 HR, 7 RBI). Infielder, Cord Phelps, is first in the league in doubles with 14. Infielder, Russ Canzler, has a 7-game hitting streak (.480 AVG, 12-25, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI) and has four multi-hit games in his last seven. Left-handed pitcher, David Huff, is 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA (16.1IP, 13H, 2R/2ER, 2BB, 14K) in the month of May in three games, two starts including a complete game shutout on May 8th, compared to being 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA (4.0IP, 4ER) in April over two starts.

The Akron Aeros (AA) are 27-15 overall, in first place, and lead the division by 4.5 games. Akron has scored 41 runs on 61 hits in their last five games. Left-handed pitcher, T.J. McFarland, has five straight starts of allowing three runs or fewer and throwing at least six innings, in his last four starts he is 4-0 with a 1.33 ERA (27.0IP, 29H, 4R/4ER, 2BB, 20K) and has earned the win in six straight starts. Infielder, Kyle Bellows, has a .382 AVG (13-34, 3 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI) in his last nine games. Akron leads the league in team ERA with a 2.73 mark through 42 games.

The Carolina Mudcats (A) are 22-22 overall, in third place, and three and one-half games in back of first. Left-handed pitcher Francisco Jimenez, is ninth in the Carolina League with a 3.05 ERA. Designated Hitter, Jeremie Tice, is first in the league in RBI with 36 and tied for first in home runs with nine. Delvi Cidi is tied for fifth in stolen bases with 11. Outfielder, Tyler Holt, is first in triples with six and is fifth in OBP (.405). Outfielder, Carlos Moncrief, is tied for third with three. Right-handed pitcher, Jose Flores, is tied for second in saves with seven. Right-handed pitcher, Shawn Armstrong, has only allowed one run on eight hits in 22.1 innings this season with Carolina (10 appearances), he has 30 strikeouts compared to 10 walks.    

The Lake County Captains (A) are 22-22 overall, currently in fifth place, and nine games in back of first. Infielder, Francisco Lindor, is currently tied for fifth in hits with 51. Right-handed pitcher, Cody Anderson, has not allowed more than two earned runs in six straight starts (5 ER, 35 IP, 1.29 ERA). Anderson’s eight strikeouts on May 20th were a career high.

Recent Transactions

May 15

Placed Steven Wright on 7 Day DL in Akron (Left third toe fracture)

May 16

Preston Guilmet activated from 7 Day DL in Akron

May 17

Activated Danny Salazar from 7 Day DL in Carolina

May 18

Transferred Justin Toole from Columbus to Carolina

Transferred Jared Goedert from Akron to Columbus

Transferred Ben Copeland from Columbus to Akron

May 19

Transferred Mason Radeke from Akron to Lake County

Transferred Paolo Espino from Columbus to Akron

Activated Lonnie Chisenhall from 7 Day DL in Columbus

May 21

Jordan Casas transferred from Akron to Lake County

Patric Tolentino transferred from Lake County to Mahoning Valley

Dwight Childs placed on 7 Day DL (Right Calf Strain) in Carolina

Activated Giovanny Urshela from 7 Day DL in Carolina

May 22

Kevin Slowey placed on 7-Day DL in Columbus (R Lat Strain)/Retroactive to May 19th

Transferred Cole Cook from Lake County to Columbus

Bryce Stowell activated from 7 day DL in Akron

May 23

Cole Cook transferred from Columbus to Lake County

Matt Lawson transferred from Mahoning Valley to Akron


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