via William Ladson
I was waiting for this. Literally. Like had a blank post ready to go with a picture of Jayson Werth’s once cool now molesty (subjective) beard waiting.
This morning, Nats reporter Adam Kilgore wrote more words about the little baseball team’s ridiculous Take Back The Park campaign, which projects to have about as much success as Rick Perry’s presidential bid.
Kilgore spoke more with Nats COO Andrew Fefffffffer and – Peter Griffin excited noise - Jayson Werth, who enouraged us to take his bait by saying that the Nationals’ current fan situation is eerily similar to what the Phillies experienced with Mets fans before winning five straight division titles.
“All I know is, in ’07 it was 50-50, 60-40 Mets to Phillies fans,” Werth said. “And then pretty soon there were very little Mets fans. Whether that’s because they stopped selling to Mets fans or they just stopped coming, I don’t know.”
“You’re definitely better off with a park full of your own fans at home compared to a park full of somebody else’s fans at home. I think it’s good.”
Well, let’s be honest, it stopped because the Mets pooped all over themselves in consecutive seasons. However, the 50-50 (60-40?! You asshole) split of which Werth speaks is a gross exaggeration. There’s no metric to track rooting interests, but, compared the the Nationals, the Phillies didn’t struggle nearly as much with attendance in the years leading up to "success."
The Phillies averaged roughly 10,000 more fans per game (around 33k) in the three seasons leading up to their NL East crown (2005-2007). The Nats have averaged roughly 23k fans per game during the last three seasons. So, while that total doesn't spell out the amount of visiting fans, it's safe to assume that the Phillies fans-Mets fans split was probably more like 75-25, not 50-50. Or at least not as one-sided as it is when the Phillies play in Washington. Not even close.
Plus, it's actually insulting to compare the Phillies' fan base to that heaping pile of pea coat-wearing, lifeless Capital Hill staffers who wouldn't know a cut-fastball if it sliced through their side-parted hair.
Back to COO Ffffffer for a second: He had some thoughts on the cockiness of Philly bloggers:
“It’s kind of taken on a larger picture,” Feffer said. “A lot of the bloggers said quote, Nationals fans won’t buy the tickets. This is from Philly fans – Nationals fans won’t buy the tickets. Season-ticket holders are going to list them on StubHub, and we’re going to buy all the tickets, anyway. If there’s any message that goes out, this should be a rally call for the community. It’s less about this series. I think it’s become a civic issue of Washington. Are we going to band together? It’s an opportunity for us to recapture and reclaim the market as a sports market.”
No, you are not going to band together. In fact, here at CB, along with our partners, we’re working on confirming that bus order for Sunday night, May 6, for the 8 p.m. ESPN game. We’re taking over your park, Mr. F-er.
Meanwhile, I received a press release from TruMedia Networks today. They offer an analytics platform to Major League Baseball teams and announced that the Nats were their newest client:
TruMedia Networks, a fast growing sport analytics firm, announced today that the Washington Nationals will be licensing their baseball analytics platform to evaluate player strengths, weaknesses and tendencies. The Nationals’ baseball operations department will have access to TruMedia’s customizable analytics platform, including proprietary data visualization solutions.
“We have been extremely impressed with TruMedia’s approach to analytics and the flexibility of their cutting edge software,” said Bryan Minniti, Nationals’ Assistant General Manager, “We look forward to leveraging the granular analysis made possible by TruMedia’s baseball analytics platform.”
I’m not sure exactly what sort of “granular analysis” it spits out, but I imagine one snippet from Hal will look something like this: JAYSON IS NOT WORTH $126 MILLION. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, DAVE?!