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The headline in today's New York Times: "Padres' Offense May Go Down As Worst Ever." The team's .214 batting average is 23 points lower than the second-worst team, says the Times.

If the batting average remained the same the rest of the season, the Padres could tie the New York Yankees of 1968 for the lowest mark in the past century. If the team trades off hitters (it just traded its closing pitcher for a bunch of minor leaguers), the Padres could hit the all-time record for futility: the .210 average of the 1910 Chicago White Sox. That occurred in the so-called dead-ball era.

The Padres have been shut out 14 times this season and in 35 other games failed to get more than two runs.

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Comments

ImJustABill July 19, 2014 @ 9:07 p.m.

If you're going to be a low-budget team - as the Padres apparently always will be (Prop. C promises notwithstanding) you have to be really smart about how you spend your money. The Oakland A's are the classic example under the leadership of Billy Beane (graduate of Mount Carmel HS in Rancho Penasquitos). As told in the book and movie moneyball Beane has carefully used statistics ("sabermetrics") to focus on the players with the most bang-for-the-buck.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 7:37 a.m.

ImJustABill: Yes, Billy Beane has done a remarkable job building the low-budget Oakland A's into an excellent team. Other small market teams have not fared so well -- particularly the Padres.

You are right: then-Padres owner John Moores promised a new ballpark would create an excellent team. He personally raked in $700 million to $1 billion buying ballpark district real estate at early 1990s prices (thanks to a compliant city council), sold the team, and rode off to Texas with his vast winnings. The ballpark has not been a draw, and new Padres owners are having a tough time.

One way the current owners try to stay afloat is trading stars to other teams in exchange for minor leaguers. There may be more of that. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 20, 2014 @ 10:38 a.m.

don bauder, it's not just the Padres who are "trading stars". The non-waiver trader deadline is July 31st. EVERY year at this time, the contenders shore up their chances by trading for what they need from the pretenders/hopeless. The Angels were in desperate need of a closer and the Padres need some prospects who can hit. It is not the ballpark that doesn't draw, it's the bad team that doesn't draw. I know you claim it's the location of the ballpark, but the stats show otherwise. The Padres are 21st in attendance. Of the 9 teams drawing worse than they are, only 2 are above .500. Last year I think only 3 of the 10 teams drawing less than the Padres were above .500. In 2012, I beleive it was 3 teams below the Padres that were over .500. The point is, with a couple of exceptions, it's bad teams that don't draw, not bad ballparks, and not all of those small market teams play/draw poorly. The Cardinals, for example, play in about the same size market, maybe even a little smaller than San Diego. They are tied for their division with the Brewers, and are 2nd in attendance, averaging nearly 20k per game more than the Padres. And the Brewers, tied for the lead, are 10th in attendance, averaging 10k more than the Padres and play in a market of about 1 million less and their payroll is only about $12 million higher. My first in person MLB game was 38 yrs ago this month, 7-1-1976. The Padres beat the Dodgers at the Murph and I still have the program. Every years since then, I have had season tickets to at least 1 of the following, Padres, Dodgers, Angels and Mariners. In that time I have never spoken to a single person who would not go to a game because of the park or where the park was, except for some people in the Seattle are who quit going to the Kingdom after parts of the ceiling fell in. They said that even after it was "fixed", they were still unsure if it was really safe.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 10:50 a.m.

danfogel: There is no doubt that having a winning team is an almost sure-fire way to attract attendance. That shows what a scam public financing of billionaires' stadiums is. How many teams will be winners? About half. That's one reason why billionaire owners con the public into paying for the stadium. The owners know that there is a good chance their own investment won't pay off.

Socialization of the risk, privatization of the gain. That's what corporate welfare is all about.

I agree the Padres' poor record is one reason for lousy attendance. But remember: the team did not have great records at Qualcomm either. I haven't looked in the last couple of years, but attendance was better at Qualcomm than it has been downtown, once the novelty of the new ballpark wore off. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 20, 2014 @ 12:36 p.m.

don bauder, it depends on your particular definition, but at most only 1/3 of the teams are winners, those ten that make the post season and then there are only 2 in the World Series. I completely disagree with your assertion that attendance at Petco fell off because the novelty of the new ballpark wore off. The first 5 seasons in Petco, the Padres attendance was very good at 37k, 35k, 32k, 34k and 29k. But it wasn't only the new stadium that brought the fans. During that period, the Padres were a damn good ball club. They won their division twice, finished one game out after losing in a 163rd, tiebreaker game with Colorado, finished 4 games back in third after losing 4 of the last 6 including 2 to the Giants, who finished in second and 2 to Arizona, who finished about 35 games behind, in last place. Until the last week of that season, the Padres were in contention. It wasn't until the 5th season in Petco that the Padres fell below 30k in attendance. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, that season the Padres finished 4th in the division, 20 games behind the Dodgers. I respect that you have a differing opinion, but the data contradicts that opinion. Since their 5th season in Petco, the Padres have drawn under 30k per game and in each of those seasons, save the 2010 season, the Padres have fielded losing teams, as many as 20 games under .500 and 20+ games out of first. Again, that data clearly correlates good attendance to winning teams and poor attendance to losing teams. btw, only 2 times in the history of the Murph, did the Padres draw an average of 30k, in 1998 in their World Series year and 1999, the year following the World Series, when expectations remained high with Tony Gwynn closing in on the 3000 hit mark. I will take that one step further. The overall attendance was not better at Qualcomm than it has been downtown. In the history of the Murph, the Padres drew an average of 25k or better only 9 times in 35 yrs. In the final 10 yrs at the Murph, the Padres averaged about 22.5k per game. At Petco, they have drawn better than 25k in 9 of the first 10 yrs, even with some poor teams and have averaged 29.9k per game. Respectfully, the facts don’t lie. More people attend games at Petco than did at the Murph and more people attend those games when the team is winning than when the team is losing, regardless of where the stadium is located.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 2:06 p.m.

danfogel: I don't argue that winning teams put fannies in seats, but I don't think data contradict what I say. I think it is a distortion to use the full history of the Murph/Qualcomm as a comparison. Attendance was low in the early years. A couple of years ago, I compared the last several years at the Q with the several years following the novelty period at Petco. Attendance at Qualcomm had been better.

As I said, I haven't done these comparisons recently. For one thing, the attendance the Padres now announce is upwardly distorted. As I understand it, the team counts the number of people who bought tickets, not the number coming through the gate. People in the stands hear that attendance is 30,000, when it looks more like 10,000. Comparisons with past years may be invidious. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 20, 2014 @ 5:11 p.m.

don bauder That's why I also compared the final 10 years of attendance at the Murph to the first 10 at Petco. That data clearly shows that the last 10 years at the Murph were it’s period of highest attendance and when compared to 10 yrs at Petco, the Padres outdraw in Petco, andI am talking about total attendance over the period. But if you read my comment, what I am disagreeing with is your claim that it was the "novelty" effect that led to a decrease. Again the figures show that attendance has been higher when the Padres fielded good teams and declined when they fielded bad teams, in both stadiums. If you choose to call that the novelty effect, that the "novelty" just coincidentally wore off the years that the Padres turned bad, so be it. But if so, how would you explain the rise in attendance at the Murph when the Padres had good teams? Whether or not the attendance the Padres now announce is upwardly distorted actually bolsters the theory that people don't go to watch bad team in San Diego. But remember, you are correct in that they are not announcing how many people are actually there, they are announcing PAID attendance; It's not how many show up, it's how many pay for tickets. My wife and I had season tickets to the Padres, and actually the Chargers also, from 1976 a couple of years after we moved to Calabasas, probably 1996 or so. It mattered not how many games we actually attended, we were counted in the paid attendance figure every game regardless. The last Dodger game I was at, last weekend against the Padres, the announced paid attendance was 51k. A few weeks ago, on one of the telecasts, Vin Sculley announced that the Dodgers had exceeded 3 million in ticket sales. That means whether or not all of those tickets are used, they are counted. That's the way they do it and I don't see it changing. If you want to see the attendance numbers for yourself, here is where I go. They are the same official figures as released by MLB. I use this site because I can look at multiple types of stats: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/padratte.shtml
In conclusion, let me say that if you choose to believe, based on your vast experiences in attending baseball games, in particular the Padres games, that the a increases and declinations in attendance have nothing to do with he quality of baseball played by the team, but are instead a result of the novelty factor that you refer, knock yourself out. I respect your right to voice that opinion. I just happen to think that, based on my personal experience of attending at least a couple of thousand games over the last 35+ years, it has to do more with the quality of the product. Everybody loves a winner But when you lose you lose alone.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 6:46 p.m.

danfogel: If winning is the only factor putting fannies in seats, how do you explain the Chicago Cubs? The damned fool Chicagoans keep crowding into Wrigley Field and the team is bad year after year.

The novelty effect is something that is experienced at just about every new stadium, for whatever sport. Here's how the scam works: when trying to get taxpayer money, the owner promises he or she will not raise prices. The public, believing the owner, coughs up. As soon as the stadium opens, prices zoom. The novelty effect wears off in about five years, and then the team begins lowering prices. This is precisely what happened to the Padres at Petco. I suppose the novelty effect may have some correlation with the won-loss record, and it may wear off faster if the team is lousy, or may last longer if it is good, but the novelty effect is a factor just about everywhere. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 20, 2014 @ 9:20 p.m.

don bauder from my original comment above: "The point is, with a couple of exceptions, it's bad teams that don't draw, not bad ballparks, and not all of those small market teams play/draw poorly". Thusly, the Cubs are explained. And, in case your mind has wondered, we have been talking about PAdres attendance at Petco vs Jack Murphy. So the "novelty effect wears off in about 5 yrs. That is unless of course it wears off faster if the team is lousy, or lasts longer if it is good. Well, I guess that's about as unequivocal an answer as you can get. Good enough for me

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 11:58 a.m.

danfogel: If bad ballparks (and presumably football stadiums) can draw if the team is good, there is no reason under the sun why the Chargers should get a new stadium financed by taxpayers. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 21, 2014 @ 11:14 p.m.

don bauder, name a bad ballpark that has a good team and draws good. The only bad ballpark with a good team that I can think of is in Oakland. And the A's don't draw worth a shit, even less than the Padres. Possibly Turner Field in Atlanta, though the Braves don't draw much better than San Diego, but I think that's it. Drawing good is a subjective term. Is 22nd out of 32 really considered good? Not in my book.

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Don Bauder July 22, 2014 @ 6:31 a.m.

danfogel: Until the new New York Yankees stadium (a huge scam) was built, the team drew well at a stadium that was crumbling. Similarly, until the Green Bay Packers improved their current stadium, they drew well in an old facility. The football New York Giants drew well in an old stadium until the new one was built. Those are just a few. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 22, 2014 @ 1:52 p.m.

The old Yankee Stadium, much like Wrigley and Fenway, are/were exceptions to almost all the rules, so almost anything can apply to them. An old stadium does not dictate a bad stadium. I'm sure if you want to go back thru time, you can find many examples of old stadiums that draw with good teams. But in this thread, we were discussing current events, not the past. Old is not neccessarily bad. OACC is old and bad and even the the A's are a very good team, they don't draw. There are 2 or three other older stadiums in baseball that one could call bad, but they don't have good teams and they don't draw. The stadium in KC is old; I think it was built about the same time as Arrowhead. The Trop is old, and to me, maybe not bad so much as just weird. It reminds me of the Astro Dome. Just a strange feel to it. We were there a couple of times. They do have great food though. They had a place that had fried conch sandwiches and they were really good. But neither of those teams draw. Again, of the CURRENT Major League Baseball stadiums, the only example I can come up with of a bad, in this case terrible, stadium that has a good, in this case very good, team is OACC and they just don't draw and haven't for most of the last decade at least.

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aardvark July 23, 2014 @ 12:53 a.m.

KC rebuilt their stadium to the tune of $250 mil between 2007 and 2010.

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aardvark July 20, 2014 @ 7:32 p.m.

Years ago, the National League only announced the actual "turnstile" count, while the AL announced tickets sold. That was changed some years ago--visiting get a percentage of the gate receipts, and MLB wanted all teams to play by the same set of rules. As for the attendance figures at Qualcomm, once Moores (and more importantly, Lucchino) took over the club, they began the "Baseball Night in San Diego" promotion, which ensured giveaway nights would be on Saturdays, and that everyone would get what was given away. Attendance figures were greatly padded by many a crowd over 50k--and many over 60k--by people getting their "free" hat, towel, bag, or whatever else was being given away that night.

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aardvark July 20, 2014 @ 8:56 p.m.

The above response from me should say visiting TEAMS.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 3:19 p.m.

aardvark: Did the two leagues begin counting attendance the same way when interleague play began? Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark July 21, 2014 @ 3:25 p.m.

Don: I don't remember the exact year both leagues counted game attendance the same, but I do know it was before interleague play began. Correction--now I know the year. It was 1993.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 9:08 p.m.

aardvark: Do you remember when interleague play began? Maybe the move in 1993 was a portent that MLB was planning interleague play. On the other hand, the American League has the designated hitter and the National League doesn't -- a much bigger difference than the way attendance is counted. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 20, 2014 @ 9:55 p.m.

If I remember right, Moores bought the Padres right around the time we left San Diego, which was early 1994. I don't remember that promotion in particular, but then again even though we kept tickets for a couple of years after the move, the only time we used the was if it was a game of particular interest, like the Dodgers. If I read your comment correctly, you're saying that they got the people to show up for the freebies. Hey no big deal, it's done all the time. Those must have been when the club was still playing in the Murphy as I don't believe that Petco can even hold 50k. We were there for both world series. Never seen anything like it at the Murph. I had to look it up to be sure: 64,667 and 65,427 for the 2 games in 1998. AMAZING. In 1998, when Tony Gwynn drove in a couple of runs to give the Padres the lead, it was the loudest I ever heard it at a baseball game there.

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aardvark July 21, 2014 @ 9:09 a.m.

Moores bought the club in December 1994. You are correct--Petco cannot hold close to 50k, but the biggest crowds are 42k-45k, and are for---giveaways. Currently, the Padres are 21st in attendance in MLB with an average of 26,848/game.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 9:10 p.m.

aardvark: If they are 21st in attendance, that is not bad; I don't know you could say they are the 21st best team. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 3:23 p.m.

danfogel: Yeah, but the Padres lost the series in four games. On the other hand, the citizenry was so energized that voters gave the nod to a $300 million stadium subsidy by about 60% to 40%. The team had rented a bunch of good players for that season; after Moores won the vote, he dumped the players -- often, the same players who had publicly touted the new ballpark. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 21, 2014 @ 10:38 p.m.

That the Padres lost in 4 is completely irrelevant to the topic. I disagree that Moores "rented a bunch of good players for that season". He may have dumped some of the higher paid ones after the season, but as I recall, all but 1 or 2 of the position players who started the majority of th games were with the Padres at least 1 season prior to 1998 and of the regular rotation, I think only Kevin Brown and Mark Langston were hired guns. Brown was in the last year of his contract and came to the Padres from the Marlins in their firesale. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that he would be gone after the 1998 season. Mark Langston was close to the end of his career. I believe he signed with San Diego as a free agent in 1998 and if I remember correctly, he was still with the Padres at spring training in 1999 and was released at the end of spring training. I think a more accurate description is that the players were already there, for the most part, and that Moores had a firesale after he got his stadium vote, similar to what the Marlins did after they won the WS.

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Don Bauder July 22, 2014 @ 6:38 a.m.

danfogel: Brown was a huge part of the Padres's success in 1998. The addition of Brown alone would fit the description of "renting a team." It seems to me there was an outfielder/slugger the team got that helped a great deal, too. There is no sense disagreeing about this: the Padres had an executive (all I remember about him was that he had been a practicing dentist) who stated publicly that the team had rented good players for the season, although he didn't say it in those words. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark July 22, 2014 @ 8:53 a.m.

The players (among others) the Padres got rid of before the 1999 season were: Kevin Brown (hired gun), Steve Finley (CF), Greg Vaughn (LF, with 50 HR's), Ken Caminiti (3rd B), and Carlos Hernandez (C). Total payroll dropped from $53 mil in '98 to $45 mil in '99. I believe the doctor you are trying to remember is Dr Charles Steinberg.

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danfogel July 22, 2014 @ 11:14 a.m.

I guess maybe it's a matter of semantics. If a team trades somebody or releases someone, then I call that getting rid of them. But if they don't resign them as a free agent, I think that's something different. Vaughn was traded. Brown, Finley, and Caminiti were all free agents. Absolutely EVERYONE knew that Brown was one and done. He wanted a big contract, which he got when he signed the first $100million contract with the Dodgers, and EVERYONE knew the Padres were not going to be the ones. I know that Finley and Cami played for the Padres for at least 4 years. The Padres did not get rid of Hernandez before the 1999 season. He was a free agent and they resigned him during the off season. I believe he spent the entire season on the DL, his back I think, and started the 2000 season in San Diego, but was traded just before the July 31 trade deadline that year.

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aardvark July 22, 2014 @ 11:26 a.m.

My apologies--you are correct. I just went off of opening day line-ups for 1999.

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danfogel July 22, 2014 @ 12:04 p.m.

don bauder To argue that Brown was or wasn't a huge part of the 1998 success would be pointless, though I do agree with you. Though he led the team with 18 wins, who knows how well someone else would have done in his place. Andy Ashby had 17 wins with 3 less starts. If he starts 3 more and wins them, does that make him, with 20 wins, a larger part? As I said, pointless. As for disagreeing about "renting a team", I'll say this and then move on. I have taken the time to double check my info, official MLB stats. Those stats confirm that ALL of the starting position players were in San Diego in at least the 1997, and most of them before that. The only starting pitchers that came to the Padres just for the 1998 season were the aforementioned Messrs. Brown and Langston. And on the relief staff, of those who made at least 25 appearance, Scott Sanders was traded to the Padres during the 1998 season and released when the season was over, Brian Boehringer came from Tampa in a trade during the offseason, after Tampa had acquired him from the Yankees in the expansion draft and played 3 yrs, and Dan Micelli and Donnie Wall came in a 1997 offseason trade from the Tigers with Micelli being traded in 1999 and Wall in 2000. If you want to call getting 4 journeyman middle relievers and keeping 2 of them for only a year “renting a bunch of good players for the season”, feel free. As I said, I don’t. I will always feel that the Padres had a fire sale after 1998 season, release or trading a couple of guys and not resigning some good, and expensive, free agents. I understand that a Padres “executive” stated publicly that the team had rented good players for the season, although he didn't say it in those words. But I also heard public statements that there were WMD’s in Iraq, artificial sweeteners we ok and Anna Nicole married for love. We do agree on one thing. Moores got what he wanted. A good showing to sway the vote for a new stadium

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ noon

aardvark: Yes, those so-called "giveaway" nights filled the seats. Without them, the attendance figures would have been even more disappointing. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill July 20, 2014 @ 11:19 p.m.

I think the present revenue sharing agreements end up incentivizing only the wealthiest teams to spend a lot for a good team. The medium sized and smaller market teams probably figure that financially they will be better off spending the bare minimum to have a legitimate major league roster than actually trying to win. It's not just the revenue - it's the investment value of the team that matters and sports franchises have tended to skyrocket in valuation - even if they tend to perform poorly. The Clippers are a great example.

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danfogel July 21, 2014 @ 10:17 a.m.

I don't know if that's accurate or not. I believe the Brewers play in the smallest market. At just under $104million, they are 17th in payroll, about middle of the pack. Thru yesterday's games, they are tied with the Cards for 1st in the Central with the 3rd best record in the majors. And they are top 10 in attendance. Then there are KC and Cinci. They both play in markets that are more than 1million smaller than San Diego. And while they are not faring quite as well as the Brewers in the standings, they each have better records than the Padres and both also, have payrolls larger than the Padres, Cinci's being more than $10 million larger. My personally favorite example is the Cards. The play in a market almost as large as the Padres, yet they have a payroll nearly 25% larger, are tied with the Brewers for 1st place. Oh and they are also second only to the Dodgers in attendance at 43,391k per game in a stadium that seats 43,975. If you look at the 9 teams with payrolls lower than the Padres, 5 of them are from larger markets.. Granted, the Mets and Cubs have to share their markets, 20 and 10 million markets, respectively, but are still way bigger than San Diego even when shared. I don't think so much that it's dictated by market size alone. I think a lot of it has to do with the greed of the ownership vs the desire to win.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 3:36 p.m.

danfogel: My oldest son, who follows baseball, says that if a general manager of the Cubs ever put a good team on the field, he should be fired. Agreed: the name of the game is money in the owner's pocket. If Chicagoans will fill Wrigley Field without the team having to spend money on good players, why shell out the money?

You are correct that Kansas City and Cincinnati both play in markets with populations that are more than one million smaller than San Diego's market. But sports economists always tell me that the Padres's problem is that there are too many other things to do in the market. Many of those activities -- say, going to the beach -- are cheaper than going to a baseball game. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 21, 2014 @ 10:04 p.m.

Don Bauder, I've heard that before. But then how do you explain the Dodgers and Angels being at or near the top in attendance year after year, charging more for tickets and in an area with far more to do than Sn Diego?

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Don Bauder July 22, 2014 @ 6:42 a.m.

danfogel: The best way to explain that is both the Dodgers and Angels play in a market of 13.1 million people versus the Padres's 3.2 million. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 22, 2014 @ 12:55 p.m.

Fair enough, though I do have to point this out. Besides the Dodgers and Angels, that market also has the Lakers, the Clippers, the Kings, and the Ducks as major sports teams. That's a lot of dollars to spread out over three leagues, especially when you consider how much those leagues overlap their seasons. And if I remember correctly, only the Ducks were not in the top 10 in attendance. They did draw about 16.5k in an arena that only holds just over 17k; I think it was something like 96% to capacity and I remember reading that the same attendance % in Staples would have made them top 10 also. My point is, yeah a bigger market, but way way more to spend BIG dollars on. And remember, even though it's considered 1 big market, the Orange County and Los Angeles markets are fairly well segregated.

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Don Bauder July 23, 2014 @ 6:50 a.m.

danfogel: There is also more big money, individual and corporate, in the L.A. metro area, which includes Orange County. Median household income 2008-2012 is higher in San Diego than in both L.A. and Anaheim metro areas, but L.A. has the entertainment industry and Orange County has Donald Duck. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 12:05 p.m.

ImJustABill: Good points. A couple of years ago, there was a mini-scandal about some pro sports team that wasn't even trying to get better on the field. It was making a bundle living off the revenue-sharing. Was it the Pittsburgh Pirates? I have forgotten.

You are correct that the value of teams -- pushed sky-high by media deals -- is what interests the owners. And you are right that the L.A. Clippers are a prime example of that. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 21, 2014 @ 11:23 p.m.

It wasn't a media deal that improved the Clippers value. I would like to point out that before the Donald Sterling scandal, the Clippers were a middle of the pack team in terms of worth. In 2012 Forbes rated them 20th at a value of $324 million.

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Don Bauder July 22, 2014 @ 6:44 a.m.

danfogel: The big factors in pushing the value of pro teams skyward are the remunerative deals with the media. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 22, 2014 @ 1:13 p.m.

Don Bauder if that is the case, then how do you explain the Clippers? The current NBA media contracts began with the 2008-2009 season. and run thru the 2015-16 season. If the Clippers were valued at $324 million in 2012 how did those media contracts that were in mid term push the Clippers value up to nearly $600 million as of this past January?

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Don Bauder July 23, 2014 @ 6:51 a.m.

danfogel: It's the expectation of even bigger media deals in the future. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 July 20, 2014 @ 4:58 a.m.

Don, just one more proof that the Padres, Chargers, Lincoln Club, Business Associations, Manchester U-T, Balboa Park Centennial, Convention Center and many others consider San Diego to be Fleece City.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 7:39 a.m.

Anon92107: Absolutely. And now they have a lackey as mayor once again. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell July 20, 2014 @ 9:32 a.m.

Beer King Ron Fowler needs to condut himself like Ray Kroc. He should get on the public address system from his skybox and start berating Padres players who screw up. If a player strikes out, Fowler should call the guy a stupid son of a bitch like Kroc did to motivate him to try harder. Kroc knew how to motivate his players to give their all to the team.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 10:35 a.m.

Burwell: But wasn't Kroc's overt boosterism augmented by a bit of hootch? Best, Don Bauder

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Founder July 20, 2014 @ 12:57 p.m.

I know, lets build the Padres a new expensive stadium, maybe that will help!

Oh yeah, we already did that...

My Bad NOT...

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 2:08 p.m.

Founder: Don't laugh. The Atlanta Braves stadium, built in the late 1990s, will be abandoned and probably torn down in a couple of years for a new ballpark out of downtown. Miami taxpayers built an arena for the Heat and then, about five or seven years later, the team demanded a new arena and taxpayers coughed up again. Best, Don Bauder

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Founder July 20, 2014 @ 3:01 p.m.

Don You can be sure that I'm not laughing, it is the Owners and Big Developers that are laughing all the way to the bank! Best

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 3:10 p.m.

Founder: John Moores laughed all the way back to Texas. Best, Don Bauder

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Founder July 20, 2014 @ 4:38 p.m.

Probably to save on his taxes... Best to you!

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 6:48 p.m.

Founder: Saving on taxes may have been one of several reasons Moores took the money and ran. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 10:27 p.m.

danfogel: Yes, Moores came to San Diego from Texas, cleaned out San Diego with help from the establishment, courts, media, city council, and others, and took his loot back to Texas. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 20, 2014 @ 4:17 p.m.

don bauder, but remember that Turner field was not built for the Braves, it was built for the 1996 Olympics. And it wasn't really all that expensive, I believe it cost around $200 million to build and and according to an old NYT article I found, no public money was spent. It was financed by NBC, Anheuser-Busch, McDonald's, AT&T, NationsBank, Delta Air Lines and IBM. And when the Braves moved in they paid paid $23 million for various improvements,$500,000 in annual rent and $1 million a year through 2016 for capital costs. And according to this same article, the Atlanta Olympic committee also paid off the remaining $9million in debt on the old stadium. title to the stadium still belongs to the Fulton County Recreation Authority, which is a a city-county agency, so when it is probably sold and redeveloped, they will reap the profits, not the Braves.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 6:50 p.m.

danfogel: The Braves are moving out of that stadium because the neighborhood has turned greatly African-American. If the Georgia taxpayers finance the new stadium, as expected, it will be a case of subsidization of white flight with taxpayer money. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 20, 2014 @ 9:26 p.m.

So you're saying that there are racist overtones in the Braves move and that a modern more luxurious stadium with more amenities that the Braves can charge more after having the taxpayers pay for building it have nothing to do with the move? OK. Anyway, I was only relating information on the fact that it going to be a debacle for the tax payers in Atlanta as you seemed to be inferring in your comment. My guess is that you knew nothing about Turner Field before hand.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2014 @ 10:36 p.m.

danfogel: I didn't say that the desire to have a newer stadium with more amenities had nothing to do with the decision to move. One thing I am saying is that stadiums should not be abandoned after only ten years -- or, for that matter, 20 or 30 years. Those stadiums aren't in use that much, and only serve sports fanatics and billionaire owners and millionaire players.

What I am saying is that governments have much more important things to do than build stadiums for billionaire sports team owners. I will cite a few: roads, sewers, police, fire, libraries, maintenance of a decent standard of living for the citizenry. To my knowledge, there has never been a stadium built with taxpayer money that did NOT result in a decline in services that government traditionally provides. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 21, 2014 @ 9:22 a.m.

I am pretty sure that I have said it here before that I agree with you that no public monies should be spent for the construction of sports venues. Let the team owners build them. I have never been a resident in an area when such a proposition came before the voters, but had I been, I would have voted no. That said however, where voters have been dumb enough to vote in favor, they deserve what they get. I do disagree with your first statement, at least in the context of a non-publicly funded stadium. Turner Field was built without using any public funds, the Braves don't want to sink any money into renovations so if they want to "abandon"it, after their lease is up, that's their prerogative. That's what leases are for. However, a couple of months ago, the Cobb Commissioners voted unanimously, 5-0, on an agreement legally binding the county to borrow up to $397 million towards the construction of the new stadium schedule, according to the AJC. That I do have a problem with.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 12:11 p.m.

danfogel: Thanks for the information on the current Atlanta Braves stadium. If the Braves actually paid for that stadium, their owner(s) must have been unpopular with the league, which does everything in its power to get taxpayers, and not owners, to ante up for a stadium. Now the Braves will be back in good graces with the league. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 21, 2014 @ 11:02 p.m.

Time Warner owned the Braves by that time. They had taken over control when Ted Turner sold TBS in 1996. But I didn't say that the Braves paid for the stadium because the didn't. They paid a few million for some changes to make it acceptable for baseball and then they paid rent. I'm guessing, based on the timing, that those arrangements were made by Ted Turner. In any event, I doubt that Time Warner cared in the least what MLB thought.

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Don Bauder July 22, 2014 @ 6:49 a.m.

danfogel: Owners (including corporate ones) care deeply about their relationships with the league they happen to be in. Votes by owners can be crucial in any team's future. Best, don Bauder

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Burwell July 20, 2014 @ 11:37 p.m.

Toledo was hit particulary hard by the stadium scam, having built a new baseball stadium and later a new Hockey stadium. The area around the new stadia was redeveloped with massive public subsidies. Many entreprenuers bought into the scam that the area surrounding the stadia would be filled with customers 24/7 foaming at the mouth to spend money. The Youtube below shows that the area around the new stadium is filled with empty buildings and abandoned businesses. What happened in Toledo is criminal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzQDlWPwHgQ

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aardvark July 21, 2014 @ 9:30 a.m.

Wow--what a "vibrant" downtown Toledo. The scary thing is, I went to the auto show a few years ago at the convention center, and parked on the street in the area around Petco Park and saw similar "activity". End of December, with temperatures in the low 70's. A beautiful day. However, the only people out in the area were people who had parked in the same area that were headed to the auto show. Nothing open in the area, and none of the (alleged) thousands of people who live in the East Village area were out at all--no one walking their dog. There weren't even any homeless in that area that day (at least not out in the open). Businesses still come and go in the area around Petco Park and have since the ballpark was opened.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 12:27 p.m.

aardvark: Look up at those ballpark district condos at night and see if you can detect any signs of people living in them. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 21, 2014 @ 9:35 a.m.

Are you referring to the Mudhen's stadium? I don't know that you can directly compare that situation with what these days seems to be $1billion+ undertakings. In any event, that link you posted is from several years ago. The redevelopment, with was modeled after a very similar and very successful one in Ft, Wayne, Indiana, seems to have played out a little differently than they way it is portrayed in that video. At least that's what this article from late last year seems to be saying: http://www.toledoblade.com/Economy/2013/08/25/Fans-of-Mud-Hens-Walleye-help-downtown-Toledo-businesses-score.html

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 12:32 p.m.

danfogel: I would never trust an account of ballpark-generated economic stimulus reported in a local newspaper. Local media consistently inflate the economic ripple effect from subsidized stadiums. The reason is that it is in the newspapers' financial interest to do so. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 21, 2014 @ 10:49 p.m.

Perhaps you missed the comments by the owners of some of those business in the area and their customers? I would be more willing to trust what a business writer reports they said a few months ago than a 4 year old youtube video. By the way, weren't you a business writer at one time?

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Don Bauder July 22, 2014 @ 7:17 a.m.

danfogel: Was I a business writer? After four years in advertising/PR, I joined Business Week magazine in 1964 as a business reporter. I was a bureau chief for seven years. I left in 1973 to become financial editor of the San Diego Union, becoming senior financial columnist of the U-T around 1995, retiring in 2003. Then I joined the Reader and have been here 11 years, and much of my current writing is finance/business. So that's 50 years of business reporting plus four years actually in business.

I know intimately the pressures that business writers are under. Truth is very often the loser. When I was with Business Week, for the most part it was written and edited for the advertisers. (It later became a very good publication.) The U-T was written and edited for the downtown establishment; that's even worse today. I began editorializing against subsidization of pro sports teams in 1996. I can assure you that it wasn't easy, particularly since the editor of Copley Newspapers, Herb Klein, handled PR for both the Chargers and Padres scams -- a blatant conflict of interest that management overlooked. The U-T stood to gain financially from both the Chargers and Padres deals.

Wilth the Reader, I am not under the pressures I endured at both Business Week and the Union-Tribune. For the first time, I am actually encouraged to do tough journalism.

I write all this only to warn you, and readers, about believing what you read on business pages. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 22, 2014 @ 12:10 p.m.

My most humble apologies. My question was meant as purely a sarcastic one, but apparently there wasn't enough sarcasm to make that clear. I am well aware of your background. I have related here before that I lived in San Diego for nearly 20 yrs and was a regular reader of yours. I understand the perils of believing every thing I read on business pages. But I also don't dismiss what I read in the business pages just because it's in the business pages. And I would also point out that you quite frequently site items in the business pages and quite frequently quote from them.

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Don Bauder July 22, 2014 @ 2:30 p.m.

danfogel: Yes, I do quote from business pages, but most are from the New York Times. It has some excellent business writers. I sometimes quote the Wall Street Journal; its reporters are generally reliable, but its editorial page is quite slanted. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 12:24 p.m.

Burwell: That is a poignant video of Toledo's doldrums. Subsidized sports stadiums were no help reviving the area. You should send that video to as many people as you can.

Escondido was let off the hook when its massive subsidization of a Padres minor league team didn't go through. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill July 21, 2014 @ 2:15 p.m.

So XTRA 1360AM just brought back the Loose Cannons with Steve Hartman - Not 10 min into the first show and it's already a big sales pitch for a new Charger Stadium. I'm missing my Dan Patrick replay.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2014 @ 3:42 p.m.

ImJustABill: The propagandizing for a subsidized Chargers stadium, already at a fairly high pitch in the U-T, will escalate as the mainstream media join in the chorus. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 22, 2014 @ 12:01 p.m.

According to news reports, the NFL has been looking at locations and exploring the possibility of financing a new stadium in Los Angeles themselves.

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Don Bauder July 23, 2014 @ 6:57 a.m.

danfogel: I have not read those media reports, and I would be quite hesitant to believe that the NFL would finance a stadium itself. A deal might be structured to look like that on the surface, but the devil would be in the details. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark July 22, 2014 @ 10:02 a.m.

More baseball statistics--The Padres total team batting average; that is the average for all 7,264 games they have played through Sunday, is .251. That is the 2nd lowest of all 30 current major league franchises. The lowest is the New York Mets, with a .250 team batting average. I would not be surprised that by the end of the season, the Padres have an average lower than the Mets. And what is Tony Gwynn's effect on the Padres historical average? Take out Tony's stats, and the Padres average drops to .247.

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Don Bauder July 22, 2014 @ 11:56 a.m.

aardvark: Wow. That is interesting. As I recall, the Mets and the Padres joined the league the same year. The Mets have won at least one World Series and maybe more. The Padres have participated in two. They lost to Detroit 4 games to 1, I believe, and to the Yankees, 4 to zero.

Bottom line, I think fans would rather see the Mets and their .250 average than the Padres and their .251. There does not appear to be a statistically significant difference in the batting averages, but the Mets have provided more excitement. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 22, 2014 @ 12:24 p.m.

The Mets have won 2 WS: 1969 and 1986. Interesting theory on whom the fans would rather see. It might be of interest to know that with their .250 BA, the Mets are mere percentage points better off than the Padres in the standings. They are currently outdrawing the Padres, though by a mere 360 fans per game. However, when considering that the Mets play in the largest market, over 20 million compared to San Diego's lowly 3 million, even with the Mets sharing the market with the Yankees, does that really say all that much good about the Mets?

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Don Bauder July 22, 2014 @ 2:43 p.m.

danfogel: I thought the Mets had won twice. Obviously, I could easily have looked it up, but I had other fish to fry. Your stats are quite interesting. The bottom line is what the teams are worth. Forbes estimates the Mets are worth $800 million, 9th highest in MLB, and the Padres $615 million, 17th highest. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 23, 2014 @ 9:52 a.m.

The jist of you comment was that fans would rather watch the Met's, which is statistically incorrect, and that the Mets have provided more excitement, subjective at best because since the Mets last WS appearance , each team has won a pennant, but the Padres have been to the playoff twice as many times. I'm not sure how the bottom line is what the teams are worth. I know no one nor have I ever heard of anyone using the value of a team as a factor in how much they root for the team. And because the most of the difference in worth is because of their market, I don't even know how that would figure in to a fans view.

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aardvark July 23, 2014 @ 1:18 a.m.

National League expansions--1962, the NY Mets and Houston Colt 45's (now Astros) joined the NL. The Padres and Montreal Expos (Now Washington Nationals) joined the NL in 1969.

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Don Bauder July 23, 2014 @ 7 a.m.

aardvark: I was wrong. I should have looked it up. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 22, 2014 @ 12:31 p.m.

Consider this though. When taking out Tony Gwynn's stats, someone else, or many someones would still get all of those AB's. Obviously, Gwynn's value couldn't be replaced in it's entirety. But even if the aggregate of those replacements was 75 points lower, would that be enough over those 9000+ AB's to drop that team historical average under .250?

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Don Bauder July 22, 2014 @ 2:46 p.m.

danfogel: I don't think it's statistically valid to drop Gwynn's stats, or anybody else's. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark July 23, 2014 @ 1:07 a.m.

I took away 1/4 of his hits, leaving his replacements an aggregate batting average of around .253. The historical average would have been .247.

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Don Bauder July 23, 2014 @ 7:06 a.m.

aardvark: So that's batting average sans Gwynn. How about slugging percentage? Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark July 23, 2014 @ 9:07 a.m.

Don: You're killing me. I don't want to play anymore (but I'll figure it out if you want).

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Don Bauder July 23, 2014 @ 1:23 p.m.

aardvark: I don't want you to strain yourself. I was just thinking that if the Padres had not had Gwynn, it might have had a big home run bopper. So while the team batting average would have dropped sans Gwynn, the slugging percentage would have risen.

There was some arrogant player the Padres brought in from elsewhere. He dared to criticize Gwynn publicly for not swinging for the fences. He did not get a good response. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 23, 2014 @ 3:21 p.m.

aardvark: Yes, it was he. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 23, 2014 @ 9:37 a.m.

Don Bauder Seriously??!! I mean you really expect us to think you're into a pro sport enough to actually delve into stat details. Come on now. LOL. Well, I don't really have any fish to fry today, though I did go surfing this morning. Uppers had mostly 1-2 with a few 3 footers once in a while with some wind. And I'm not really swamped by anything but even with lots of time on my hands, I'm just too lazy to look up anything right now. That said, Gywnn was a singles hitter. Probably 3/4 of his hits were singles. He did hit a lot of doubles, but his 3B and HR numbers were probably pretty close. I seem to remember his SLG being around .425-.450. Not great but above average. Depends on what kind of hitter might have been in his place. A power hitter like Trout might have an SLG over .600 while an RBI only guy would be similar to Gwynn or a leadoff guy who would have a high OBP than SLG. Again, depends on the replacement. ANY time you're in the mood to talk stats, I'm you're guy!!! LOL

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Don Bauder July 23, 2014 @ 1:28 p.m.

danfogel: I'm more comfortable with financial and economic stats than I am with sports stats. But if you want to pinch-hit for aardvark and figure what the Padres's slugging percentage would have been if a big bopper had replaced Gwynn, be my guest. Obviously, you will have to make some assumptions. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark July 23, 2014 @ 2:15 p.m.

Don: Based on the Padres history, if they had possessed a power hitter during that time, he would have been traded as he would have wanted too much money from the club.

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Don Bauder July 23, 2014 @ 3:25 p.m.

aardvark: I noticed today (Wednesday, July 23) that the Padres traded Chase Headley, a one-time star who I guess has been tailing off in recent years. He went to the Yankees. I noticed that the New York Times said he was only a mediocre addition to the Yankees. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 23, 2014 @ 5:19 p.m.

don bauder, more sarcasm. I have GOT to do a better job! LOL

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa July 23, 2014 @ 1:29 p.m.

Time for American sports to adopt the relegation system used in soccer leagues. If your team is in the bottom three come season's end, you go down to a lower league next season. Meanwhile, the top three teams from that division move up.

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Don Bauder July 23, 2014 @ 3:30 p.m.

Joaquin_de_la_Mesa: You mean the bottom three teams go to AAA and those top teams move up to the big leagues? But look at the economic problem: those AAA teams have ballparks that are too small for a major league club. And most are in markets that are too small. An AAA team might move to the big leagues one year, have overflow crowds, then drop back down, disappointing the fans. I don't think it would work. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 23, 2014 @ 5:17 p.m.

don bauder, you wouldn't do it that way. It would literally be the teams that move, not the organization. Say the Padres finished in the bottom 3. All of those players would be playing AAA in El Paso, and the players in El Paso would be playing in Petco. A little different than in soccer because A,AA and AAA re affiliates of the MLB clubs. I promotion and regulation in soccer, there are a lot more levels and the teams are not affiated but instead all completely separate organizations. Now that I think about it, maybe we could devise a system like that for politicians,, Devise a ratings system and the lowest rated US congressmen get demoted back to he state level and tho state guys move up. Use that all thru the system, from the small, rural town councils all the way up to the US Congress. Can you imagine someone like Issa who gets bumped down 3 or 4 times and goes from being a member of the US Congress to a town council member in someplace like Bootjack, Ca? Ya know I think that could work. Maybe I can start a movement.

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Don Bauder July 23, 2014 @ 11:16 p.m.

danfogel: Yeah, but the people rating the members of Congress would be the same damned fools who voted them in. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 24, 2014 @ 8:38 a.m.

danfogel: During Tony Gwynn's playing years, the Padres might well have ended up in the bottom three. Would Gwynn have been demoted to AAA along with the team? Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 24, 2014 @ 10:06 a.m.

it's a team game, so yes. But he also probably would have hit about .900 against minor league pitching, so it would have been a short stay. And remember, it wasn't until 94 or 95 that MLB went from 2 to 3 divisions and there was no interleague play until 1997. That means they played about half of their games against 7 division opponents instead of 5, as did the teams in the east. And there were some bad teams, worse than the Padre, back in those days. There were a lot of years, that while not in a position to win their division, they were better than at least half of the other NL teams. From the time Gwynn came up in 1982, they only had one stinker year in Gwynn's first 10. I don't remember the year but it was Bowa's first year and thankfully he was gone about a month into the next season. We moved away before the 1994 season, and they had been really bad in 1993. So during the first part of Gwynn's career, they wouldn't have been relegated but maybe one. After the divisions changed to three though, well that's a diffeent story.

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Don Bauder July 24, 2014 @ 8:55 p.m.

danfogel: I meant to talk hypothetically about whether Gwynn would be demoted in bad years. Maybe I didn't come through. So, OK: if hypothetically the Padres were among the three worst teams while Tony Gwynn was playing, would he accompany the team to AAA? You say he would, and would hit .900 there and be promoted back to the Bigs. But I thought the whole team had to go together. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 24, 2014 @ 9:32 a.m.

don bauder exactly, kemosabbee. So if the person you voted for is doing what you elected him/her to do, they get a thumbs up and if not, the douchebag get sent down.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2014 @ 7:25 a.m.

danfogel: How many politicians do what you elected them to do? I am afraid the Congress would be emptied out. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel July 25, 2014 @ 9:37 a.m.

don bauder so what's would be the problem of emptying out Congress. And maybe, if they new they could be voted of the island at anytime, some of these morons/crooks might actually do something good. Nah, on second thought, that will never happen.

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ImJustABill July 25, 2014 @ 8:05 p.m.

So I was curious how much correlation there really is between stadium age, payroll, market size and record so I kind of geeked out and used Excel to do my own analysis. Here's my semi-psuedoscientific analysis of the effects of market size, payroll, stadium age.

Bottom line based on what I found (take this all with a grain of salt as I'm not a statistics expert) - There is a really strong correlation between market size and payroll. Big market teams pay more. - There is a fairly strong correlation between winning percentage and payroll (not a surprise). - There is no statistical correlation between age of stadium and payroll or team record.

Details of what I did - I ranked all 30 MLB teams 1-30 for
- 2014 season record as of today - market size based on population divided by number of teams - age of stadium (newest to oldest) - payroll as of start of 2014 season

Then I used the CORREL function in MS Excel to compute correlation coefficient between pairs of columns. Since I normalized everything in terms of rank 1-30 I think that comparing correlation is a valid way to do this.

What I ended up with for correlation coefficients. Note that the only strong correlations are

Mkt size/payroll 0.48

Mkt size/record -0.02

Mkt size / age of stadium -0.12

payroll/record 0.26

payroll/age of stadium -0.08

record / age of stadium -0.07

Team name Mkt rank Payroll rank 2014 Record rank Age of stadium rank

NYY 1 2 11 4

NYM 2 22 21 3

LAA 3 6 2 26

LAD 4 1 8 28

PHI 5 3 25 7

BOS 6 4 22 30

DET 7 5 3 13

TEX 8 8 30 19

CHC 9 23 27 29

CHS 10 20 19 22

TOR 11 10 14 24

HOU 12 30 28 14

ATL 13 14 9 17

MIA 14 29 20 1

BAL 15 15 7 21

WAS 16 9 5 5

SFG 17 7 6 12

OAK 18 25 1 27

SEA 19 18 13 15

ARZ 20 11 26 16

MIN 21 24 23 2

CLE 22 26 16 20

SD 23 21 24 8

STL 24 13 12 6

COL 25 17 29 18

TB 26 28 18 23

PIT 27 27 10 11

CIN 28 12 17 9

KC 29 19 15 25

MIL 30 16 4 10

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ImJustABill July 25, 2014 @ 8:40 p.m.

What I meant (some of the formatting didn't come out right):

What I ended up with for correlation coefficients.

Note that the only strong correlations are - between market size and payroll - between team record and payroll

Mkt size/payroll 0.48

Mkt size/record -0.02

Mkt size / age of stadium -0.12

payroll/record 0.26

payroll/age of stadium -0.08

record / age of stadium -0.07

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