Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Fenway Faithful

Some of the most interesting images shown by ESPN and NESN during Monday night's game were of the crowd in Fenway. It was 46 degrees at game time, it was damp and rain was threatening. Yet, there they all sat, huddled in parkas and under blankets. When you grow up in a baseball-mad region, you're used to such pictures - people go out to Fenway no matter the weather - and especially when the Yanks are in town.

Yet the same can't be said about other regions and other teams. A glance at yesterday's box scores yielded some interesting stats. The Phillies played the Florida Marlins - in Florida. Dontrelle Willis (one of the most dynamic players in the game) pitched. Their park holds 36,321 - and how many attended? 6,017. Some others:

Seattle @ Minnesota - 11,796 (capacity 46,564)
Detroit Tigers @ Kansas City - 9,597 (41,070 cap)
Chicago White Sox @ Cleveland - 17,845 (43,415)
Milwaukee Brewers @Houston - 12,258 (41,900)

Compare this to New York Yankees @ Boston - 36,339 (capacity at Fenway is 36,108)

I know it's only the beginning of May. I know that the races are barely starting, and the teams are still in early season form. But there are still good games being played. It's an opportunity to see players while they're still fresh, while they're trying to impress new managers and new fans. I just find it stunning to see so many empty seats.


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