I attended games Wednesday and Thursday nights at Camden Yards -- a true jewel of a ballpark -- and watched the Mariners win both of them with about 12,000 other fans.
That number seems pretty low at first glance but with the Orioles obviously headed for a 13th straight losing season
and the economy in recession, there's just not much to get anyone other than the hardcore out to a weeknight game.
All game long, I got to see the Giants' 2-1 loss with a meager 4 hits posted on the rightfield scoreboard (Ichiro lined a double off that scoreboard in the 3rd after a rain delay) and ponder how the Giants are risking the same kind of fate if they don't get someone more competent in the front office. Bruce Jenkins -- who has been a major apologist for Brian Sabean's incompetence - notes in his game story for the SF Chron that had the Giants won the game, they wold have been 5 games over .500 for the first time since 2004.
And I might as well add that if I were better looking and not married, I might be hanging out with Sandra Bullock, too.
It's pretty basic -- after a season in which you had the worst offense in MLB, how can you then go out and have an offense that is the worst in the MLB? Of the guys who are playing the power positions -- RF, LF, 3B and 1B -- only one of them (Pablo Sandoval) is any kind of threat. Would Fred Lewis be anything but a 4th or 5th outfielder for any other team?
Meanwhile, I got to watch the Mariners' Russell Branyan, who was readily available in the offseason, absolutely crushed a pitch to dead center for his 14th homer late in the game. In case you're wondering, Branyan signed in December for a year at $1.4 million with up ot $500,000 in performance bonuses.
All I'm saying is the the Orioles drew less than 2 million last year despite having the park that most closely resembles the Giants' home facility, which remains the team's key asset in attracting fans right now. It's now becoming routine that there will be crowds of well under 30,000 and plenty of empty seats at Mays Field.
Keep putting up losing records and people will stop showing up.