Blog Entry

Players criticize (lack of) fans

Posted on: September 27, 2010 11:14 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:57 am
 

A couple of crowds on Monday night were not what some of the people on the field wanted them to be, and the players made it known.

The Rays had a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win at home against the Orioles, and just 12,446 showed up. And it really wasn't even that many -- remember that baseball uses "tickets sold" as attendance, so season tickets count whether the people show up or not. The crowd was just over half Tampa Bay's season average of 23,047.

Rays ace David Price took to his personal Twitter account to complain, writing "Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands....embarrassing."

Tampa third baseman Evan Longoria told the St. Petersburg Times that the small crowds down the stretch are "disheartening" and embarrassing."

In Washington, there were a few more fans -- 14,309. What troubled the Nationals was that way too many of them were Phillies fans there to watch their team clinch the National League East title.

The Washington Post quoted Nats shortstop Ian Desmond as saying it was "kind of embarrassing when everyone in the stadium is clapping against you when you’re at home."

Outfielder Nyjer Morgan had this to say to natsinsider.com:
"Damn, it was a lot louder at our place than it was at their place when we go there. It felt it was a home game for the Phillies."

It's not generally a good business practice to criticize the customers, but sometimes frustration takes over.

UPDATE: After his comment spread across the internet, Price tweeted: "If I offended anyone I apologize I did not think it was gonna turn into this ..."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .



Comments

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: September 28, 2010 4:10 am
 

Players criticize (lack of) fans

So Sorry to disagree. BUT--we can fill more fans in our seats at the Durham Bulls games than you can in Tampa! Imagine what it is like for those young kids to go from there to Tampa. Based on the ticket information you are dead wrong --the prices are indeed lower! Your comments on the players is WAY off base. Your salary structure is way low compared to any winning team in all of the MLB. In fact the true fans know that you will not be able to sign any of the soon to be free agents on your club to long term contracts. Ownership has been very creative to find the right players to fill voids and use their draft and farm system to bring to Tampa the BEST team in the AL money can buy! PERIOD. For the prices you pay to see games to the prices they pay to their players on both counts you are dead wrong. 
You are likely to suffer the same fate as the Nationals and have more fans for the opposing team in your stands than local fans. Everyone in the Northeast who can pay to travel will tell you your seat prices beat their home prices. The problem seems to come down to these two things: 1) the stadium is a pit--balls getting caught in the roof, etc. 2) You cannot draw fans. These two are joined I think but really the ownership IS providing the people of North Florida with one of the highest quality products in MLB. Fans for teams across the country come from all over a state or states to see games so even in a depressed economy if you have your farm club pulling in more fans than your major league team that indeed is sad. BUT--you are way wrong to blame the underpaid players, the organization that has built a winner in less than economic conditions, or even the location when football fans will make the same journey and pay a lot more money for a ticket. I'm a baseball fan and can see the the MLB must address this problem and perhaps move teams like yours to better supporting surroundings. Cities that host the Marlins and Pirates do not deserve the ownership they have but yours is very much the opposite---it is NOT Price or the players or the ownership it is North Florida and time to figure out why. 



Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: September 28, 2010 4:08 am
 

Players criticize (lack of) fans

So Sorry to disagree. BUT--we can fill more fans in our seats at the Durham Bulls games than you can in Tampa! Imagine what it is like for those young kids to go from there to Tampa. Based on the ticket information you are dead wrong --the prices are indeed lower! Your comments on the players is WAY off base. Your salary structure is way low compared to any winning team in all of the MLB. In fact the true fans know that you will not be able to sign any of the soon to be free agents on your club to long term contracts. Ownership has been very creative to find the right players to fill voids and use their draft and farm system to bring to Tampa the BEST team in the AL money can buy! PERIOD. For the prices you pay to see games to the prices they pay to their players on both counts you are dead wrong. 
You are likely to suffer the same fate as the Nationals and have more fans for the opposing team in your stands than local fans. Everyone in the Northeast who can pay to travel will tell you your seat prices beat their home prices. The problem seems to come down to these two things: 1) the stadium is a pit--balls getting caught in the roof, etc. 2) You cannot draw fans. These two are joined I think but really the ownership IS providing the people of North Florida with one of the highest quality products in MLB. Fans for teams across the country come from all over a state or states to see games so even in a depressed economy if you have your farm club pulling in more fans than your major league team that indeed is sad. BUT--you are way wrong to blame the underpaid players, the organization that has built a winner in less than economic conditions, or even the location when football fans will make the same journey and pay a lot more money for a ticket. I'm a baseball fan and can see the the MLB must address this problem and perhaps move teams like yours to better supporting surroundings. Cities that host the Marlins and Pirates do not deserve the ownership they have but yours is very much the opposite---it is NOT Price or the players or the ownership it is North Florida and time to figure out why. 



Since: May 9, 2010
Posted on: September 28, 2010 3:59 am
 

Players criticize (lack of) fans

Not surprised to see bornphila making a comment about the Braves and at the same time seeking attention to his team. You guys aren't loyal. You're "fair-weathered". So if you weren't doing good you wouldn't be selling out nor traveling. Get your facts straight bud.



Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: September 28, 2010 3:54 am
 

Players criticize (lack of) fans

I think it's absurd that a player should criticize the people that pay his salary.

This isn't something like Little League Baseball, where folks can watch for free, and cheer for their family members.  If that were the case then I can understand if a Little League Player would want to complain about attendance.

This is pro sports, where the average fan has to put up with high ticket prices, bad food, expensive beer, ridiculous parking, and soul-crushing traffic to "support the team."

Last time I checked, most fans in attendance weren't getting paid millions of dollars to play a kid's game. 

David Price should be grateful that he's making the money that he is.  If he wants to criticize his fanbase, well, that's his business, but he should be prepared for the backlash.



Since: Aug 16, 2010
Posted on: September 28, 2010 2:31 am
 

Players criticize (lack of) fans

People are constantly critical of Philadelphia fan base and quote things that a few fans in Philly do as do fans at all stadiums and parks in professional sports across the country. But when you see the Phils fan base travel to other teams park and cheer the Phillies like they do it shows that truely they are the best fans in professional sports and are not only the most knowledgable but also the most loyal. This isn't the first time this has happened. tune into any Nats vs. Phils or Orioles vs. Phils game it is the same thing. and if you watch the closing series in Atlanta this year don't be surprised if Phils fans out number Braves fans. I can't believe Nats players would make such comments now when it has been that way for years. It may have been because Phils fans were a little louder than normal because it was for clinching of the east division title I guess.



Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2010 2:31 am
 

Players criticize (lack of) fans

REGULAR PEOPLE CAN'T AFFORD THE TICKETS ... DUMB-ASSES !!! PLUS EVERYONE IS SOOOO FED UP WITH THE OUT OF TOUCH ATTITUDES & OBSENE PLAYER SALARIES EMPTY SEATS ARE THE RESULTS DUH !!!!!!!!!!!  LOTS MORE TO SAY BUT THIS MAY GET U POINTED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION lololololoL .... LET THE BIG CORPORATIONS THAT HOG UP ALL " THE GOOD SEATS " GO TO THE GAMES !!!!!!! THE PLAYERS NEED TO CHECK THEMSELVES



Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: September 28, 2010 2:21 am
 

Players criticize (lack of) fans

Based on this link showing ticket prices the Rays are pretty low in comparison to other areas. I know that cost of living is always part of the equation, but even factoring that in their prices are very reasonable.

I'd say it has more to do with location and maybe high unemployment.



Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: September 28, 2010 2:15 am
 

Players criticize (lack of) fans

Wow, I had no idea Ray's fans had to travel an hour or so to go see the games. I thought the games were played in Tampa. Now it makes more sense to me as to why the attendance is so bad.

Still I used to travel about that far on terrible single lane roads to go see the patriots play back in the 80's when a good year meant a .500 season.So while if I were a Tampa fan I might not attend many regular season games having to travel an hour or so to go see them, I would still think they should be able to fill the stadium here down the stretch as they not only look for a playoff spot, but also try to lock up a AL East Pennant over a team that's spending like 20 times as much money as they are.

Though I'm an Orioles fan I'd like to see Tampa do well this year, but if they can't fill the seats for playoff games then I hope they don't go far (unless they're playing NY) because having a team in the World Series that can't fill the stadium would just be embarrassing for baseball itself.






Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2010 2:03 am
 

Players criticize (lack of) fans

The economy in Florida got squashed! Construction & tourism is gone. Orlando couldn't support the Rays any more than Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay was listed as the 5th worst economy in the country after obvious cities like Detroit & Las Vegas.

I know a bunch of college educated people completely out of work (me included). The Rays RAISED ticket prices almost 30% from last
year....WTF??!! The Bucs & football has always been Tampa Bay. The have a Super Bowl victory in the last 10 years and once had a 100,000 people waiting list for tickets. Now the games are blacked out even when they started 2-0!!! That is economy PERIOD! Those
fans haven't lost interest and the stadium is in the same location.

The TV ratings for the Rays are almost up 70% this year! The fans are there......the location of the dome & the cost is the problem.



Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2010 1:15 am
 

Players criticize (lack of) fans

I live in Tampa and although I agree with Price's sentiment, if they want people to come, move the team to TAMPA! 
St. Petersburg is NOT Tampa. I go to more than my fair share of games, so I have the right to complain--the trip to the Trop is easily over an hour each way without traffic. And before all you people come on here saying you drive "X" amount of miles/hours to see your teams, I'll save you the time. The Trop is a piece of crap stadium and the highway system in this state is absurd. I am from Boston and I have lived in Philly, so I know what it means to support a team. But, they need a new venue and they need to move the team to a better area and closer to Tampa. Then maybe more people will come.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com