My main goal was to stay inside the ball so when you do get jammed you have a chance to find a hole. It’s definitely one of those lucky hits but sometimes miracles can happen.
— Phillies outfielder Hunter Pence, on his weakly hit 13th-inning single, which scored Brian Schneider and gave the club a 4-3 win over the Braves last night (via dadlibbing)
The Florida Marlins announced that they are closing the upper-deck of their multi-use stadium for the rest of the season. Team officials say this will “create a better atmosphere by having more fans in the lower level.” (“Um…it won’t,” reply the Oakland A’s).
The Marlins boast an MLB-worst 43.7% average attendance capacity. Perhaps their fans are just emotionally exhausted from their pursuit of 3,000 hits.
If you’ve looked at the MLB attendance stats (and I’m guessing you haven’t), the situation league-wide is pretty alarming. Only 4 of 30 MLB teams (13%) are averaging 90% capacity or higher. This is by far the lowest percentage of the four major leagues.
Percentage of teams averaging at least 90% attendance:
NHL: 63% (This will rise to 67% next year, with Atlanta moving to the already sold-out Winnipeg.)
At the low end, MLB has 6 teams which are averaging less than 50% attendance. This means that if the always-sold-out Phillies staged an “Every Other Person Gets Murdered” promotion (and let’s be honest…that’s not such a far-fetched notion), the resulting game would still outdraw 20% of the rest of the league.
The lowest-drawing team out of NFL/NHL/NBA is the New York Islanders, averaging 67.9%. MLB has 17 teams (17!) with a lower average percentage than that. Maybe MLB should play an outdoor game on New Year’s Day too.
Baseball fans…join me in a rousing chorus of “Take Me Out to 13% of the Ball Games.”
Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images
Phillies fans cheer wildly as utility man Wilson Valdez pitched in the 19th-inning against the Cincinnati Reds. Valdez got the Reds to fly-out, including Joey Votto. Impressive.
Valdez got the win. What a surreal game.
Roy Halladay may not have been his most effective (6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER), but it was enough to pick up the W in the Phillies 4-2 and move the series back to Philadelphia. Halladay gutted it out despite a groin pull which saw his fastball velocity drop and his stellar command go wonky, but it was enough to beat the Giants.
Halladay was like an Old Western gunfighter that has been shot in the belly, but knows he must save the kind-hearted women at the saloon/brothel from the pillaging menace. With penicillin having not been invented yet, the gunfighter must fire his last bullets while dying a slow and painful death. Just like tonight. Here is a small sampling of other injuries that Halladay would have pitched through:
- Elbow soreness
- Strained oblique
- Kidney stones
- Swollen spleen
- Migraine headaches
- Shoulder tear
- Elbow pop
- Explosive diarrhea
- Torn ACL
- Pulled hamstring
- A bewildering sense of Deja Vu
- Gunshot wound to the face
Roy Oswalt will get the start on Saturday in Philadelphia where he is 10-0 as the defending NL champs look to force a game seven against this hodge podge band of thong wearing upstarts.
This man is amazing. As someone who watched him carve up the Yankees for years, I feel a kind of pride watching him hold on for a win with a pulled groin in a playoff game.
~The legend grows~
This is what happens when you refuse to bring in your closer - even though, trailing in the ninth inning at home, there cannot possibly be a save situation. Down one run, Bruce Bochy brought in his fifth-best reliever, and like Rick Ankiel before him, Jayson Werth took Ramon Ramirez deep.
Bochy is aggressive when it comes to using Brian Wilson with the game tied, as he did in Game Four. There’s tremendous value in keeping the game tied in the late innings, so as to allow your team a chance to come back. But it seems to me that keeping your team within one run in the ninth is pretty valuable, too.
The whole post this is from is basically one of the best things ever.
I ache from laughter. If you haven’t gone and read the whole game, you’re missing out!
Polite Southern Buster is my favorite part, I think. Because that’s EXACTLY HOW BUSTER TALKS.
WHAT IS LIFE.