Totally agree with you about Bennett and Stern and the 'shady' deals.Sonics were here before EVERYONE...and they ruled the city.We got our first World Championship because of them and they just let them walk without a fight.
I think Florida is a good place to play ball but do some people want to loose beach time to watch a ball game? Well, I would, but who's to say about someone else....
93% capacity might sound good (for 06-07), but its less than 16,000 average, and over 1,000 empty seats every night. And the Sonics had to run a lot of specials/promotions to get the attendance even that high (I took advantage of some of them to see some games). Contrast that with the Thunder pulling an average 18,200+ this season.
Re: Ray Allen, the Sonics were about to draft Durant, and Durant was going to be the team's primary guard going forward. Allen was at the time 32 years old, expensive, and on a team that wasn't going to contend anytime soon. Trading Allen made sense.
I agree trading Rashard Lewis didn't make sense. And yeah, the way the team departed stunk large.
Classic reaction on ESPN tonight. Ravech, Kruk, and Larkin are doing the postgame discussion outside, after the Cardinals won the opener in Miami. The crowd behind the desk is exceptionally loud -- and what are they chanting? "Let's Go, Heat!" Kruk just rolls his eyes and Ravitch asks him if that worries him, and Kruk says, you're darn right -- the Marlins have to see how the fans show up when they come back from the road (the fish play the Reds tomorrow in Cincy -- don't ask me why).
There's your Miami baseball fan base in a nutshell. They just opened a brand-new stadium (very nice one, I must say) and lost the opener, and all these people care about is a basketball game going on.
My guess is, this'll be the same apathetic group that they've always been. You could've drawn more fans to a shuffleboard tournament than they used to draw to their old stadium.
Great post, <brotherfox>. Baseball has had a long time to get its legs under it in Florida, and it just hasn't happened. It seems to be one of those things that looks great on paper.
"Why, there are tons of PEOPLE in Florida. And a lot of them watch TV, and probably like baseball. It's just GOTTA work."
But it isn't working. Fans just don't care about the teams enough to support them.
contending Heat playing a meaningful game = it matters.
marlins soocking at home opener = a couple thousand fans chanting derision = not equal to the whole city Miami of sports fans
A brand-new ballpark, an upgraded roster with last year's NL batting champion and an added $191 million in payroll, a wide-open NL East, and Opening Day against the World Champions -- that doesn't matter as much as a regular-season Heat game where the story line is Durant's competition with LeBron for MVP.
You're right. It doesn't matter as much -- to the "fans" in Miami. In any real baseball town, it would crush the basketball game in importance.
Game one of the baseball season, the result of which was not in doubt as of about the 5th inning .... doesn't completely trump Thunder versus Heat, two of the best NBA teams squaring off, possible NBA Finals preview.
If you like baseball and only baseball, maybe you'd have watched the Marlins to the bitter end. Most general sports fans would have switched over to watch the Heat-Thunder (I know I did).
Re: the Cards being defending WS champs ... no LaRussa, no Pujols, they are less interesting.
I'm not gonna judge a whole town based on a few nucks making noise for the tv cameras after the conclusion of the game. This report seems to indicate it was a pretty good night in Miami.