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So is MLB back?

Old 04-06-04, 04:40 PM
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So is MLB back?

It seems there is more interest in MLB everywhere, both nationally and internationally, among the highest it has been in years.

A report released by MLB today states that spring training attendance was as high as it has been since 1994 - 1995 strike season.

What do you think?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1776776

NEW YORK -- Spring training attendance reached 3.3 million for the first time since before the 1994-95 strike.

The 30 teams drew 3,312,087 fans for spring training games, up 12.7 percent from 2,937,715 last year and the most since 3,330,200 in 1994, the highest since the commissioner's office began keeping track. The average attendance of 7,169 was up 11 percent from last year's 6,457.

The Chicago Cubs, who train in Mesa, Ariz., drew 189,692 for 16 home games, a record for any team, topping the 173,482 set by the New York Yankees in 1996 in Tampa, Fla.

San Francisco (152,185), Atlanta (133,099), Boston (118,548), Philadelphia (113,037), Anaheim (106,351), Oakland (105,686), Baltimore (82,683) and Pittsburgh (73,233) all set team records for their current spring bases.
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Old 04-06-04, 04:53 PM
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It's coming back. I don't know that it will ever be "america's game" again though.

One thing that I thought was sad, was that in an article in ESPN the Magazine it said MLB tv ratings on ESPN were only 20% higher than for bowling!

It did make me happy that bowling's ratings were higher than regular season NHL games.
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Old 04-06-04, 05:30 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
It's coming back. I don't know that it will ever be "america's game" again though.
I agree with this.

'94 pretty much killed any chance of it being America's game. However, 1998's HR race between McGwire/Sosa, and last year's excellent playoffs definitely have raised the profile of the sport IMO.
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Old 04-06-04, 06:05 PM
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Definitely last years playoffs helped...and they were damn good series too. It is up but not the level of the NFL.
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Old 04-06-04, 06:20 PM
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Back to where? 1970s level? 1980s level? Nope - not even close and I don't see it ever getting there.
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Old 04-06-04, 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by Red Dog
Back to where? 1970s level? 1980s level? Nope - not even close and I don't see it ever getting there.
I don't either. There's just too much wrong with the game. No salary cap, not enough revenue sharing and the other financial problems hurt fan interest as the majority of teams have no chance to win it all anytime soon. Thus why should people in these cities/states give a crap?

Add on the lame drug testing policy and other issues and I just don't see it returning to former glory.
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Old 04-06-04, 08:40 PM
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The whole BALCO ordeal has really hampered baseballs popularity after the last post season. It's definitely drawing interest though.
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Old 04-06-04, 10:13 PM
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Originally posted by kantonburg
The whole BALCO ordeal has really hampered baseballs popularity after the last post season.
Really? I know that the media has jumped all over it, but does your casual fan REALLY care about it? Talking to friends of mine who are fans but not rabid about it, they really don't care one way or the other, and I feel like most of America feels the same way.

I think that baseball can ride the wave of the Cubs/Yankees/Red Sox for the majority of this season and even into next.
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Old 04-06-04, 10:16 PM
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Not til the Expos come to Portland. Until then, what's baseball?
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Old 04-07-04, 08:07 AM
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Originally posted by kantonburg
The whole BALCO ordeal has really hampered baseballs popularity after the last post season. It's definitely drawing interest though.
You know, before the season started i was thinking about it and would wonder about players like Bonds and what not, but now that the season has started, I still sit there giddy like a 10 year old watching Bonds at bat with 2 outs and bases loaded wondering if he'll get the HR to tie the record or not.

Once the season started, it just became a non-issue with me (and I'm almost embarrased about that!).
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Old 04-07-04, 08:14 AM
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Originally posted by TheDude
Really? I know that the media has jumped all over it, but does your casual fan REALLY care about it? .
no

but the media tells us we care.. so people are inclined to believe other people do care.
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