The Cincinnati Reds have been awful in the early going of the 2018 MLB season; they lost 15 of their first 18 games. Then they fired their manager, Bryan Price, as if that is going to make the team into a winner; it will not. The Reds find themselves on the wrong end of two very important baseball stats. This is not new and advanced analytics; these stats go back to the beginnings of baseball:
- Through 18 games, the Reds have scored 54 runs in 18 games; that is 3.0 runs per game. Every team in the NL is averaging more runs scored per game than the Reds.
- Meanwhile, the Reds have allowed 100 runs in those same 18 games. No other team in the NL has allowed 100 runs for the season no matter how many games they have played to date.
When you consistently give up 2.5 runs per game more than you score per game, you are going to lose a whole lot of baseball games – – and that is just what the Reds have done so far. I don’t know Bryan Price from The Price Is Right, but I am confident that he was not the reason the Reds began this season so pitifully. Jim Riggleman will take over as the manager in Cincy; good luck to him.
Recently, I wrote about the attendance problems facing the Oakland A’s. With the less-than-charismatic White Sox coming to town, the A’s decided to do something bold to get the attention of their fans. The A’s played a game and offered free admission to those who showed up in time to get a seat. Rather than the normal crowd of about 17,000 souls, this game between two teams with a combined record of 13-21 was played in front of 46,765 fans. Local writers in the area are saying that this bold move is what the A’s needed to jumpstart interest in the team and that it would result in an attendance upswing.
Those pundits may be right, but I think they are looking at the situation through rose colored glasses. Here is how I interpret what happened for that game:
- There is indeed “baseball interest” in Oakland and there are fans of the A’s as a local team.
- Those fans will come out and support the team when the price is right. Currently, whatever the A’s charge for tickets is higher than what many fans consider the “right price”.
- Free games cannot work as a business model. Whatever the current price of A’s tix may be, it is too high, and it will not work well as a business model either. I agree it will work better than free games, but the current price-point is not really sustainable either.
The folks at NCAA HQs have come up with a new rule for college football. It has nothing to do with actual games; it is another of the ancillary details of college football that the NCAA seeks to regulate. Henceforth:
- College football teams can no longer use former players to practice with the current team.
It seems that some schools have figured out that they can use former players as members of the “scout team” when those former players have a skill-set that is close to the skill-set that an upcoming opponent might present. Somehow, that seemingly harmless practice has drawn sufficient wrath from the NCAA honchos that it is now forbidden. When you figure out who or what is harmed by that practice, let me know…
Finally, at a time when concussion-awareness is front and center in football, this item from Dwight Perry’s column Sideline Chatter in the Seattle Times just made me shake my head:
“Cheyenne, Wyo., is set to host the country’s first bare-knuckle boxing card since 1889 on June 2, using current professional boxers and former UFC and Bellator fighters.
“Which certainly doesn’t give any John L. Sullivan wannabes much time to grow their handlebar mustaches.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………