Updated July 19
This just in: Fans are more interested in showing up at the ballpark to see a good team rather than a crappy one. I arrived at this revolutionary and sure-to-be-controversial conclusion after a quick check of the attendance data for two teams in particular: the Pirates and the Indians.
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Through the weekend, the Pirates are up around 3,500 fans per home game year over year; the Indians are up 4,450. Many factors, ranging from fairer weather to better in-stadium promotions/related marketing gimmicks to a (very, very slightly) improved economy, might have contributed to this. I am choosing to ignore them all and announce that all it takes to fill a ballpark is a good team playing in it. Except in Tampa, where the stadium is separated from the local populace by some kind of electromagnetic force field.
Nonetheless, let me take this opportunity to applaud Pirates and Indians fans for living up to their end of the bargain. You wanted a chance to win, you got it -- and you responded by voting with your wallet, or something. Blowing one's paycheck on tickets, beer and oversized novelty fingers is as American as cheeseburgers, imperialism and chicks in cut-off shorts combined. I salute you.
Onto this week's Power Rankings where we have a change at the top: