Petco Park
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WalletHub, which crunches numbers about cities, metro areas, and states, is out with its ranking of the best baseball cities. To no one's surprise, St, Louis comes in first, and the others in the top five (Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Cleveland) are well behind.

San Diego ranks 30th of 272 cities. Here are the variables that went into the computers: number of major league and NCAA division-one teams, performance of those teams, number of championships, value of the pro franchise, average ticket price, number of sports bars per capita, Facebook and Twitter positive traffic, stadium accessibility, average home attendance, and TV viewership.

The Padres rank only 65th in fan-engagement (attendance, TV viewership, etc.). Good news (perhaps) for fans: Padres tickets are cheapest in the majors. As a double-check, I looked at the fan cost index published by Team Marketing Report. It says the Padres have the cheapest average ticket in the majors at $16.37, the same as the previous year, while major league ticket prices increased by 3.3 percent over that time.

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aardvark June 2, 2015 @ 12:49 p.m.

It amazes me how they can arrive at a figure for an average ticket price at all, since the Padres don't even list individual game prices. The club insists upon using a dynamic pricing model--meaning that prices fluctuate on a game-by-game basis--some games, a particular seat will be less expensive (example: a Tuesday night against the Diamondbacks), and other nights that same seat will be much more expensive (a Saturday night against the Giants or Dodgers). Incidentally, the Padres are currently 12th out of 30 teams in MLB in attendance--at their current pace, they will draw almost 400,000 more fans total than last season.


Don Bauder June 2, 2015 @ 1:54 p.m.

aardvark: Team Marketing Report does the noodling on how to come up with numbers for each team, and I would guess numbers on the Padres could take some work. Generally, I use Team Marketing Report because they appear to be the best information going.

The Padres are probably drawing because of fan expectations that the team has been greatly improved. That is not yet clear. The team's method for counting attendance has been criticized. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 2, 2015 @ 2:15 p.m.

Don: I'm not sure why the team's method for counting attendance has been criticized--they count all tickets sold, not turnstile count, as the official attendance per MLB guidelines.


Don Bauder June 2, 2015 @ 2:19 p.m.

aardvark: I think tickets sold, rather than fannies in seats, can be misleading. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 2, 2015 @ 3:24 p.m.

Don: I believe MLB went to announcing tickets sold as official attendance based on complaints by the visiting teams in the NL. The AL I believe had announced paid attendance based on tickets sold (and not turnstile count) for many years, but the NL continued to announce the turnstile count as the official attendance, and at that time, the visiting teams in the NL got a small percentage of gate receipts (this is based on my ever-increasingly fading memory--if wrong, I'm sure I will be corrected). This cost NL visiting teams some $$, as gate receipts for unused tickets didn't count and the home team got to keep that revenue. Example--in 1985, the Padres announced attendance was 2.2 million (the visiting team's split was based on that figure), but the Padres actually sold 2.6 million tickets that season. A nice additional drop in the bucket for the Padres coffers that season.


Don Bauder June 2, 2015 @ 10:07 p.m.

aardvark: Teams could report both turnstile count and tickets sold. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 8:12 a.m.

aardvark: The Padres, for one, were no doubt embarrassed by the poor attendance once the novelty effect of Petco wore off. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 3, 2015 @ 10:05 a.m.

Don: They should have been more embarrassed by the product they put on the field.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 10:59 a.m.

aardvark: There was a lot of hype about how much the Padres would improve this year, but the last time I looked they were playing below .500. But it's early in the season.

I notice the Cubs have a winning record and are in second place in their division. Our oldest son, a baseball follower, says any general manager of the Cubs who puts together a winning team should be fired. Why spend the money on a good team when those damned fools in Chicago will come out to watch a lousy team? Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 3, 2015 @ 11:25 a.m.

Don: The Padres took a chance this year, and so far, it hasn't paid off. But it was refreshing as a baseball fan in this town to watch the Padres front office make a splash to try and improve the product--something that was expected when the Padres got their new revenue streams with the downtown ballpark. It only took 12 seasons.

As far as the Cubs are concerned--the Cubs attendance has dropped from a high of 3.3 million in 2008 to 2.65 million last season. The Cubs can't just open the gates anymore and expect sellout crowds every day, and with the millions they are spending to remodel Wrigley Field, they better put a good product on that field.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 11:45 a.m.

aardvark: You mean Chicagoans are finally taking their smart pills? I had not noticed. Maybe they will have to field a good team now, as you say.

Yes, John Moores promised winning teams if he only got a new ballpark. Then he took his money and galloped, giggling, off to Texas, while the Padres, on balance, did not do well on the field, although they had some good seasons. Maybe they will improve this year. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 10:18 a.m.

don bauder you have referred to that "novelty effect of Petco" before. So how do you explain this year's increase in attendance?


aardvark June 3, 2015 @ 10:36 a.m.

danfogel: I'll take that one--the club actually made an effort to get legitimate MLB hitters in the park for this season (at least ones wearing a Padres uniform). I actually increased the size of my ticket package due to the Padres off-season moves.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 2:45 p.m.

aardvark: The Padres brought in a couple of sluggers for this season and also brought in the fences two years ago. That should boost attendance.

Baseball aficionados appreciate great pitching and fielding games -- you know, 1 to 0 -- but Joe Six Pack likes to see runs. At least, that is what I have been told. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 4:31 p.m.

don bauder, so what you seem to be saying is that the "average" fan, those "Joe Six Packs" as you referred to them don't have the ability to understand the game of baseball well enough to appreciate a low scoring game? That's a pretty pompous attitude from my point of view.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 6:09 p.m.

danfogel: Insufferable pomposity? As far as understanding the fine points of baseball, I put myself with the Joe Six Packs who prefer to see a lot of runs scored. And, actually, our family went to a lot of Padres games. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 8:32 p.m.

don bauder my wife and I had season tickets at the Murph for nearly 20 yrs, so I saw a lot of games there as well. But the question is, how many games have you seen at Petco? My guess is very few, if any.


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 6:45 a.m.

danfogel: None. Petco opened after I had left San Diego. For my information on Petco, I rely on my sources. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 4:26 p.m.

aardvark, So if I interpret you comment correctly, the prospect of a better performance by the Padres enticed you to attend more often. From another angle, let me ask you this, would the location of Petco keep you from going?


aardvark June 3, 2015 @ 4:39 p.m.

Don: Petco's location kept me from going to some games, but that was in relation to my work schedule more than anything. I am now retired, so now, going to Petco Park, while taking longer than it did when the club played at the Q, now that I am familiar with where to park downtown, Petco Park's location doesn't keep me from going to games.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 6:14 p.m.

aardvark: You are retired, but many fans are not. I still get complaints occasionally about logistics of getting downtown for a night game, and particularly day games.

During World War II, President Roosevelt said pro baseball could go forward, but not night baseball. Could an energy crisis create such a problem again? Probably not, but I suppose it is a possibility. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 3, 2015 @ 6:59 p.m.

Don: Logistically speaking--it's getting harder to get anywhere in San Diego. The Padres could start their games a half-hour later if it's that big an issue. I believe the Dodgers used to do that during weekday night games to give people a chance to get to the ballpark. I do agree with you that day games are a big problem. I won't go to midweek day games downtown, but it seems the Padres have cut back on their mid-week day games this season.


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 6:48 a.m.

aardvark: If the Padres have scheduled fewer day games, ownership may well have made a decision about logistical difficulties. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 11:46 a.m.

danfogel: Expectations of a good team this year probably explain it. There is a correlation between good teams and attendance, although there are plenty of exceptions. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 12:45 p.m.

don bauder If there is a correlation between good teams and attendance, would it not also be fair to say that there is a correlation between bad teams and attendance?


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 2:51 p.m.

danfogel: Economists agree that good teams increase attendance and bad teams inhibit attendance.

But there are many exceptions. Between 2000 and 2003, the Padres had a lousy record, but averaged 27,720 at Qualcomm. In 2010, the Padres were in first place in the West most of the season, but averaged 26,318 at Petco. In that instance, it was possible that the inconvenience of getting to Petco compared with the Q had inhibited attendance. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 4 p.m.

But then in 2011, the Padres were again horrible, yet average attendance increased from the prior year. Then there is 2006, when the Padres won the west and averaged almost 33k per game. Or how about 2008, when the Padres averaged 29969 while losing 99 games. With San Diego, it often appears that the performance of the team does not correlate with attendance. And I will still disagree with you, as I have in the past, the Petco's location has inhibited attendance.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 6:20 p.m.

danfogel: The year 2006 was within the novelty effect period. Neil deMause of says the novelty effect lasts 2 to 8 years, depending on how the team does in the field.

But there is no question that Padres attendance, at Petco anyway, seems to be less tied to team performance than one would expect. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 8:09 p.m.

don bauder, that could very well be true, which could also mean that as recently as the 2012 season could also fall under that novelty effect period. I wouldn't believe everything i read though, if I were you. I don't have any personal knowledge either way, having left SD about 10 yrs prior to Petco opening, and about that time we were getting ready to leave So Cal altogether. I can say this, though. Of the people I still know in SD, allmost everyone has told me the same thing and that is the reason they may have stopped going to games is because they got tired of watching a bad team. Not a single one has ever said it was because the newness of Petco wore off or they didn't like the location. You have your opinions and I have mine, Opinions vary.


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 6:53 a.m.

danfogel: Yes, opinions vary. That is the reason this blog exists. We want those opinions expressed. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 3, 2015 @ 4:31 p.m.

Don: Another thing to consider--between 2000 and 2003, the Padres had the capacity for crowds in the 50,000 to 60,000 range, mainly during giveaways nights/days for caps, t-shirts, beach towels and such. Undoubtedly, those crowds helped attendance numbers at the Q for those years.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 6:21 p.m.

aardvark: That could be a factor. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 10:13 a.m.

aardvark MLB teams no longer share gate receipts. The 1997 CBA altered MLB’s system of sharing revenue sharing between clubs .Every team now pays in 31% of their net local revenue, and then that money is divided up and equally distributed to every team. On top of that, part of MLB’s central fund which is acquired through things like national broadcasts contracts is set aside to be allocated to teams based on their revenues.


aardvark June 3, 2015 @ 10:37 a.m.

Danfogel: And there is the correction I anticipated. Thanks.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 11:49 a.m.

danfogel: Splitting a pot based on revenues would mean that small market teams, generally speaking, are still subsidized by the large-market teams. Correct me if I am wrong on that. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 12:42 p.m.

Yes, generally speaking, you are correct. With every team contributing their 31% of their net local revenue, and that money being divided up and equally distributed to every team, large market teams who have more revenue are subsidizing not just the "small market" teams, but in reality ANY team that generates less revenue. That means if you're the Yankees, with your $508 million in 2014, after deducting nearly $80 million in pilot bond fees for the new Yankee Stadium project, you are, in effect helping subsidize every other team, not just the small market team, although they get the most. There are exceptions, of course. The Cardinals are one that comes to mind. As is San Diego. Most publications list San Diego as around the 26th largest market, though based on 2010 census figures, San Diego was 17th largest market, and in 2014, the Padres ranked 20th in revenue, ahead of such larger markets as Phoenix, Miami and Houston. So in a certain sense, the Padres are also helping to subsidize not only some of the teams in markets smaller than San Diego, but some in larger ones as well.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 2:57 p.m.

danfogel: San Diego is officially listed as the 17th largest market. Basically, the market is the county -- one of the only markets that has a political boundary.

San Diego is generally considered 26th largest -- give or take a bit -- media market. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 4:21 p.m.

don bauder, I don't know that I would describe San Diego's market, as we are discussing it in this context, a political boundary. The list I have seen that show San Diego as the 17th sized market are based on population of metropolitan areas that have teams, using Census Bureau figures for those defined metro area. It's just that in this case the San Diego metro happens to be San Diego county. I think it's more a geographical thing than anything else. San Diego county is bordered on one side by the Pacific Ocean and another side by an international border. That's a pretty unique situation. I'm sure that there are other metro areas that encompass but a single county. For example, I'm at my house in Tucson right know. And while Tucson is a component of the more extensive Tucson-Nogales, AZ Combined Statistical Area, unless something has changed recently, the whole of the Tucson, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area is Pima County exclusively. In this case, Tucson doesn't have an MLB team and San Diego does.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 6:33 p.m.

danfogel: On this score, there was a puzzler at one time. The Padres wanted to put a minor league affiliate team in Escondido. Those touting such a team (that would have been ridiculously subsidized) thought a possible market would extend into most of North County. That's a juicy market for the parent Padres.

I suppose the Padres thought they would be like the Boston Red Sox. A minor league affiliate in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, is only 45 miles or 55 minutes away. However, Boston is a little different. It packs its old ball park regularly, and charges the highest ticket price (three times the price the Padres charge) and gets away with it. That Fenway ballpark has fewer seats than most other ballparks.

Mercifully, the goofy subsidy Escondido planned to give the Padres minor league team never came about; the deal didn't go through. Best, Don Bauder

At the time, I couldn't figure the motivation of the Padres.


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 8:26 p.m.

Yeah, that was in 2010, but I don't recall anything puzzling about it. Moorad bought the Portland Beavers and wanted to move them down to Esco. The team played in Tucson for 3 seasons in the mean time. Moorad eventually sold the team to a group in El Paso and they began playing there as the El Paso Chihuahuas last season. The Escondido plan fell apart when the California Supreme Court upheld the decision by the State to abolish redevelopment agencies. That's when Escondido pulled the plug. As I said, nothing puzzling.


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 6:58 a.m.

danfogel: What was puzzling was the Padres's desire to have a minor league team within the Padres's market. It's unusual. As I said, Pawtucket is close to the Red Sox. But for fan support, San Diego is not Boston. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK June 2, 2015 @ 3:28 p.m.

and to take a line from the Sinefield show, its the fans that get fluctuated


Don Bauder June 2, 2015 @ 10:09 p.m.

Murphyjunk: ...And I am unanimous in that. Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard June 2, 2015 @ 1:46 p.m.

Perhaps they average in season tickets and complimentary tickets. There are no tickets currently available under $15.00


Don Bauder June 2, 2015 @ 1:57 p.m.

Psycholizard: The compiling of average ticket prices, average concession prices, attendance, etc. is a dark art. I suspect teams practice deliberate obfuscation. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 2, 2015 @ 2:18 p.m.

My season seats are priced at $15/game, and I would guess that there are some spots in the park with season seats averaging under $15/game. But obviously, not good seats.


Don Bauder June 2, 2015 @ 2:23 p.m.

aardvark: Would you rather watch a good team in a bad seat or a bad team in a good seat? It's a philosophical puzzler. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 2, 2015 @ 3:13 p.m.

Don: I would rather watch the team of my choice in the seat of my choice, which is what I'm doing now.


Don Bauder June 2, 2015 @ 10:10 p.m.

aardvark: For a lot of people, the seat of their choice is at home in front of a TV. Best, Don Bauder


aardvark June 2, 2015 @ 10:49 p.m.

Don: Point taken, but I love baseball, don't pay much for my tickets, park on the street (for 50 cents or less per game), and don't buy beer at the games, so I go fairly thrifty at the ballpark.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 8:15 a.m.

aardvark: But is going to the ballpark cheaper than staying at home and watching it on TV? I suspect you want to be there in person because as an aficionado, you catch nuances at the ballpark you don't see on TV. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 9:44 a.m.

don bauder, Would you rather watch a good opera from a bad seat or a bad opera from a good seat? In some instances, even the idea of "cheaper" is a philosophical one. Oh, sure, one could go all analytical and figure out who much was spent to watch a game at home. But maybe for for you, the idea is too esoteric to fully comprehend. I attended my very first major league baseball games ever 47 yrs ago this month and have been attending games regularly for 39 yrs. I can tell that for me, it's definitely NOT about the nuances. Yes, they are there. The cut of the grass along the baselines, the direction the wind is blowing the flag, the high pale blue sky for a California day game or the tough sun for a late afternoon/early evening game. Yeah, those things, and countless more, are there for every game, and are an undeniable part of the game. But for me, it's about the experience, the ambiance, if you will. Yes, there are days, more now than in past years, when I simply don't want to endure the trip to Dodger Stadium or even the Big A, and back, and so choose to watch the game at home. But the times that I do choose to attend, the experience is nothing like watching at home. And even when dealing with traffic on the 5 on the way home, it's always worth it.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 12:01 p.m.

danfogel: In Chicago in my youth, the upscale folks rooted for the Cubs and the hoi polloi rooted for the White Sox. By and large, that was a function of geographical location: there was more money on the North Side and its suburbs than on the South Side. It's even more so today.

Although he was a stockbroker, my father wanted me to root for the White Sox. After all, they generally had better teams. But he erred by taking me to a Cubs game for my maiden game. I became a rabid Cubs fan.

Being a Cubs fan has caused great psychological harm to millions of people, including me. I blame my paranoia, inferiority complex -- everything -- on being a Cubs fan in my youth. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan June 3, 2015 @ 5:36 p.m.

Don - go figure, my husband was from Chicago. Cubbies and Dabears. We would sit far apart in the living room to watch games. The drinks are cheaper and when we got to the fighting/arguing for no good reason (the man was Irish, never interrupt a Notre Dame game, especially if they're losing) we weren't disturbing to anybody but us.


Don Bauder June 3, 2015 @ 6:37 p.m.

shirleyberan: But if you sat far apart, didn't you have to speak loudly to each other during your arguments? Did the neighbors listen in? Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan June 3, 2015 @ 7:44 p.m.

Yes Don, I have a voice that could fill a stadium. Q: Who is the most famous L.A. Dodger? A: O.J. Simpson. Borrowed. Too bad Padres have yet to be in a serious World Series.


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 8:13 p.m.

shirleyberan What do you call a Padres player with a World Series ring? A thief.


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 7:03 a.m.

shirleyberan: In the mid-1980s, the Padres lost to the Detroit Tigers in the World Series -- pretty decisively. In the late 1990s, the Padres got swept by the Yankees in four games. So the Padres have been to the big show. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 4, 2015 @ 9:31 a.m.

don bauder The sweep by the Yankees in 1998 was decisive. I think the Yaknees scored double the runs the Padres did. The 1984 World Series, I would say maybe not so much. I think there was only one game in which the Padres got blown out. If I remember right, it was the 1st game back in Detroit and the Padres started only lasted an inning or 2 and gave up a bunch of runs. The other games were pretty close. There were a couple of base running mistakes and a couple of home runs that cost the Padres. Even the final game was close until the 8th. I think the Padres were only down a run or 2 in the 8th when Gossage f*cked up by trying to pitch to Kirk Gibson, threw him a fat one right down main street and Gibson knocked it into the upper deck in right field. THAT was pretty decisive, but the other games, not so much.


Don Bauder June 5, 2015 @ 7:19 a.m.

danfogel: Agreed. The Padres kept it close in the losses to Detroit, but still were whomped. The Yankees walloped the Padres, but John Moores, who had rented a good team for that season, got what he wanted: a decisive victory in the vote for a ballpark giveaway. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 11:32 a.m.

shirleyberan; Simpson dodged a bullet for the very obvious murder of his former girlfriend, but he went to the slammer for later transgressions. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 3, 2015 @ 7:52 p.m.

don bauder Actually, your comment about FDR not allowing night baseball is incorrect. It's pretty well known that in January of 1942, FDR wrote a letter to Kenesaw Landis. In it, he left the final decision about whether or not to play baseball up to him and the owners. In that letter he said: "I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going" and added that he would like to see more night games that hard-working people could attend.


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 7:04 a.m.

danfogel: I am not going to check that, so I stand corrected. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill June 4, 2015 @ 6:49 a.m.

If the Cavaliers win the NBA championship that will make San Diego's time without a major sports championship (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and predecessors) the longest among American cities with major professional teams.


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 7:13 a.m.

ImJustABill: The drought related to the weather is more deleterious to San Diego than the drought related to pro teams without a title. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill June 4, 2015 @ 8:53 a.m.

True, but you might not know that from the relative amount of attention those droughts have received from San Diego leaders and media in past years.


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 11:33 a.m.

ImJustABill: Amen and touche! Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 4, 2015 @ 9:08 a.m.

don bauder Again, the idea of having one of their affiliates, in this case,AAA close to San Diego is not a puzzling one. Off the top of my head, I can think of the Braves, Mariners, Phillies having AAA team pretty close to the parent clubs and a few teams have their AAA team teams within a100 miles or so. And don't forget that the Padres A club is in Elsinore. And from a logistical sense, I can understand it also. If you need to call a guy up, you could make the move literally a couple of hours before the game and he's just a car ride away. Or sending a player to AAA for a rehab assignment, something the Padres have seemed to do a lot in recent years. Now, a player has to go to El Paso. You lose a day coming and a day going. In Esco, the player would be just up the freeway much more convenient in a variety of ways. As I said, not really puzzling in terms of wanting to have the team that close. The only thing puzzling is why Escondido would have even considered giving Moorad the keys to the bank


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 11:59 a.m.

danfogel: I did a couple of columns about the Escondido craziness and at the time looked up how many minor league teams were close to the major league team. It was very few -- a small percentage of MLB teams.

Repeat: It was puzzling from the Padres's point of view -- sanctioned cannibalizing. Yes, the subsidy Escondido was offering was not only puzzling -- it was goofy. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan June 4, 2015 @ 9:20 a.m.

Poop. I thought I was reading teams that have never been but it was that have never won. I was trying to remember why we had rivalry over baseball about as soon as we met,1984. Playoffs for pennant, we watched some at the Ken Club back then when the city was energized over winning last game against the Cubs. There's always hope for the new ensemble, right?


danfogel June 4, 2015 @ 9:51 a.m.

Ahh, the good old days. Two leagues, two divisions and only the NLCS and the WS. Things haven't been the same since the realignment in 1994. None of this wild card crap back then, it was win and you're in. Personally, I'd like to go back to pre-1969. Life was so much simpler then.


Don Bauder June 5, 2015 @ 7:21 a.m.

danfogel: Yes, but the owners rake in more money with playoffs, wild card games, etc. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 5, 2015 @ 10:37 a.m.

don bauder, yes, I am well aware of that. Hence the additional wildcard team added in 2012. It also is an increase of playoff money for the players. However, that is all irrelevant to me in this context. I simply prefer, at the very least, the alignment as it was prior to the expansion to 3 divisions per league.


Don Bauder June 5, 2015 @ 12:24 p.m.

danfogel: You are entitled to your preference. As for me: I don't give a damn. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ noon

shirleyberan: As I recall, the Padres beat the Cubs to get into the World Series. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 4, 2015 @ 10:14 a.m.

don bauder I could go into a very long and technical response about MLB scheduling, but I won't. Instead, I will make it as concise as I can. MLB and the Padres don't make up the schedules. Baseball scheduling has been outsourced for many years, since back in the 80's, I believe. It has been done for about the last 10 yrs by a company called The Sports Scheduling Group.There are many technical requirements which go into the schedule which are part of the MLB basic agreement. Without getting too technical, there are basic rules for starting times that have to be adhered to. They take into consideration the requirements for days off, travel times and days for teams, what times the teams played the previous day, what times the teams play the next day, where the team just played, where they play next etc. The requirements take up several pages in the basic agreement and it's all done by computer. Even when games have to rescheduled, they have to follow the same rules which is why in many cases the makeup game is listed as TBD. In short, the Padres ownership doesn't have the ability to schedule more days games, or make any unilateral changes to the schedule,for logistical or any other reasons.


Don Bauder June 4, 2015 @ 12:02 p.m.

danfogel: I will take your word for it. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill June 6, 2015 @ 7:36 a.m.

Hi Don and Dan

FWIW I don't mind having wild card teams - I think having roughly 25-30% of the teams in a league make the playoffs is about right. I think the NFL and MLB have about the right number of playoff teams; the NBA and NHL have way too many.

But I don't like the one-game playoff for the wild card. I would go back to 3 divisions with one wild card team. So 8 total teams out of 30 make the playoffs.

I don't like the designated hitter rule - something seems too easy from a strategy perspective about that. It takes away potentially tough decisions about when to pull the pitcher. Also it seems to me if you are throwing 100 miles an hour at dudes maybe you ought to face the same thing from an opposing pitcher.

I think pretty much all major sports have too long a regular season now which is purely for economic reasons. Especially with the longer playoffs.

I would change the number of regular season games for MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL to roughly 80% -90% of what they are now. NBA maybe 70% (82 games down to about 60)

Just my opinions.


Don Bauder June 8, 2015 @ 4:13 p.m.

ImJustABill: You are right, in my opinion: all major pro sports have seasons that are too long. Here it is June and the NBA is playing its championship game. NFL pre-season will begin in a couple of months. Then the season will begin and won't end until the Super Bowl in February -- just a month before the end of college basketball.

But the determinant in all these decisions is one thing: money. As I have said before: Money talks, but why must it nauseate? Best, Don Bauder


danfogel June 9, 2015 @ 9:45 a.m.

Don't like the wild card. Never have and never will. I don't think you need 10 teams in the post season. Dump the wild card and go back to 2 divisions per league. I think the DH rule is fine as is. The AL owners will never vote to remove it and the NL owners will never vote to add it, so leave it alone. The baseball season has been 162 games for over 50 yrs and was 154 for the 40 yrs prior to that. An increase of 8 games over nearly 100 yrs isn't much, especially when you consider that in 1920, there were only 16 teams and only 20 in 1962. If you want to go back tio154 games, fine. But what's worked for the last 100 yrs or so doesn't need to be messed with IMHO . The change wasn't about the money, at least not the kind you're thinking of. Back in the 1950's, and 1960's is mostly just one game a week until Monday night baseball started in the mid 60's. The money you're talking about didn't start until about 12-15 yrs ago. I do agree that the post season is way too long. But you can't have it both ways. If you want the wild cards, which you seem to, then you're stuck with it. And going back to a single wild card team would eliminate only 1 game. Instead of a 1-5-7-7 schedule, it would be a 5-7-7 schedule, like it was from 1999-2011. The only way to effectively shorten the post season is to eliminate the wild card and divisional rounds, other wise, as I said, losing the 1 game wildcard really doesn't do much. BTW. the NBA went to an 80 game schedule around 1960, added a game a couple of years later and finally 1 more game the next year. So it's been 80-82 game for over 50 yrs. No need to change it. If you want to change something, change the post season. Sixteen teams are way too many. When the Lakers beat the Sixers in Magic's rookie season, the Finals were over on May 16th. If this years finals go 6 like the 79-80 finals, it will end on June 16th. That's why the season is too long. Too many playoff teams/games. The 79-80 season had 12 teams make the playoffs. That's enough.


danfogel June 8, 2015 @ 5:39 p.m.

don bauder, a couple of thoughts. First, Super Bowl 50 will be played on February 7, 2016 and the NCAA Championship game will be played on April 4, 2016, so it's just short of 2 months. The baseball season has been the same length since 1961, 26 weeks through the last Sunday of September or first Sunday of October. The reason the post season is now longer is due to additional teams , which necessitated the splitting of leagues into divisions. That had little to do with money because there were no huge tv contracts back them. However, the wild card games are ALL about money.


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