Attendance and insantiy

Gammons holds forth on the overall decline in attendance this season. This made me go “huh?”

Attendance is not the sole barometer for the sport’s economy, but it represents a warning sign. We hear the bold predictions of Teixeira-like money for this winter’s premier free agents, such as Matt Holliday and Jason Bay. But in this economy and given the drifting of second-tier free agents last winter, it won’t be Christmas before we hear cries of collusion and the first refrains of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

Who, aside from Jason Bay and Matt Holliday’s agents, is seriously suggesting that they’ll get “Teixeira-like money?” If Gammons means that they’ll receive legal tender similar in form to that which Mr. Teixeira receives then sure, they’ll get Teixeira-like money. If he means that they’ll get such tender in amounts approaching that which Teixeira is getting then he’s crazy.

They’re nice players, but Holliday probably played his way out of any interest from AL teams with his performance in Oakland. Bay is two years older than Teixeira. Even if the biggest free agent player in baseball — the Yankees — were to go after them, they’d be competing for essentially the same Yankee dollars, thereby lowering the price down further.

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  1. APBA Guy said...

    Plus, it isn’t just the numbers that Holliday put up in Oakland, it’s also how he arrived at those numbers. He wasn’t Manny-in-Boston bad, but he sure had the “just visiting” sign around his neck for 100 days. Plus, AL pitchers pounded him hard inside and he never adjusted.

    So if you look at his and Bay’s market, it is pretty small. Only a few teams have the payroll flexibility to take on the contracts those two would want, and only maybe 2 teams in the AL can afford the risk that Holliday represents.

  2. ecp said...

    Well, Matt Holliday is a Boras client and so is Mark Teixeira, so not only can I see him saying “Teixeira-like money,”  but that Holliday is also the left field second coming of Willie Mays.  Jason Bay, on the other hand, is on his own.

  3. Randy said...

    For a guy with so many connections and years of service in MLB it sure seems like he’s playing out the string lately.

    This “scoop” about agents screaming collusion is just an obvious point he’s talking about before anyone else does – primarily because it’s only a few weeks before the playoffs and that talk is generally reserved for the offseason. (Note: I didn’t mention it was a pennant “race.”)

    Admittedly I haven’t read/watched much of him lately so maybe he’s still pumping out some good stuff here and there.

  4. Jack Marshall said...

    The key to Gammons was when Gabe Kaplar said to him on TV during the Red Sox WS celebration in 2004, “Come on, you can admit it—-we know you’re a Red Sox fan.” Gammons is miscast as a general MLB analyst…his great virtues have always been zeal, passion and partisanship, not objective commentary. He is at his best when he can root for his team.

  5. Jacob said...

    @Mark – I’ve never understood all the love for Gammons. 
    And, this is beside the point of Craig’s post, but his excerpt includes one of the main things about Gammons that aggravates me.  I hate his forced references to rock songs.  They always come off as lame and contrived.  Yes, Peter, we know you like the Rolling Stones.

  6. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Point taken, Jacob. Though I am the last person on the planet who can take anyone to task for forced pop cultural references.

  7. The Rabbit said...

    I agree with Jim U. completely.
    Holliday was fairly awful the first 4-6 weeks of the season but his stats were very respectable (.287 avg .379 obp) by the time he went to the Cardinals in late July.
    Those numbers weren’t considerably different that Mark Teixiera’s numbers at that point in the season   (.280 avg .381 obp) and, in case you’ve forgotten, Teixiera’s stats were worse than Holliday’s during those same first 6 weeks of the season.  (.191 avg. .338 obp.). At the time, the NY writers were saying that the best signing was Nick Swisher.
    Holliday’s RBI totals would have had to be less than Teixiera’s because if I remember correctly, someone actually has to be on base when you get a hit to have the possibility of an RBI.  Teixiera had Jeter and Damon ahead of him in the lineup.  Holliday had, well, whatever…
    Teixiera’s average increased dramatically when A-Rod returned.  Holliday’s “protection” was Jack Cust.
    I’m not saying that Holliday is better than Teixiera.  I’m just pointing out that he wasn’t even close to a disaster in Oakland.

  8. Mike Jones said...

    Overlooked so far is the most annoying bit of Gammons’ commentary, which is feeding the myth that “collusion” is something that comes out because those damn greedy players don’t get what they think they ought to. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to explain to people that the reason the players got a collusion verdict against the owners is that they had *direct evidence* of the owners colluding to hold down salaries. It wasn’t just sour grapes.

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