Friday, June 22, 2007

Score One for Economics

On Monday, Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla was bellowing about how those "greedy knuckleheads" who run the Colorado Rockies were going to increase ticket prices this week as the Yankees came to town, implying that only "suckers" would buy them. So what happened?

Tuesday attendance: 48,077 (95.3% full)
Wednesday attendance: 48,440 (96% full)
Thursday attendance: 48,611 (96.4% full)

Keep in mind that these were all mid-week games.

How did the "suckers" turn out for Sunday afternoon's game against the Devil Rays? 31,190 (61.8% full). Indeed, not counting the three games against the Yankees, the Rockies are averaging a draw of 23,891 for each home game.

So, Mr. Kiszla: since I assume that you won't be apologizing to Rockies' management for calling them a bunch of knuckleheads, can we at least expect you to apologize to baseball fans in Denver for calling them "suckers?"


Kiszla responds via email:

In the past 11 years, the knuckleheads who run the Rockies have produced
zero playoff appearances. The sweep of the Yankees was great. It doesn't change
the history of incompetence. Thanks for asking.I appreciate your feedback,

Mark Kiszla

I suppose on one level it's refreshing to see that Kiszla's bile against the Rockies is based on their failure to put a winning ball club on the field. Unlike many baseball writers, maybe he's still a fan.

Still, no matter their record, it seems wrong to suggest that jacking the ticket prices for the Yankees' series constitutes "incompetence." The revenue gained via increasing ticket prices for the Yankees' series is likely well north of a million bucks. The Rockies certainly aren't guaranteed to plow the few million extra bucks into player development and payroll, but they could, and no matter what they do with it, it was a smart move.

Moreover, Kiszla himself noted the other day that the Rockies are (a) winning more this year than he himself thought they would; and (b) that they have a lot of good prospects down on the farm. Obviously someone on Blake Street knows what they're doing.

For what it's worth, Kiszla is in favor of trading some of those prospects in order to rent Mark Buehrle who, even if the Rockies landed him, wouldn't stick around after he becomes a free agent this October (what decent starter would?).

I'll leave it up to you to decide whether current Rockies' management or Kiszla should be calling the shots.