John Henry, regretting that the Red Sox are raising ticket prices again:
“I am concerned with how expensive it is for four people to attend a game these days . . . Unfortunately virtually all contracts in baseball go up each year for on-field and off-field members of the organization.”
As Baseball Prospectus’ Joe Sheehan so eloquently put it nearly eight years ago “The price of tickets is not set to recoup costs, but to maximize revenue.” Indeed, this is how the price of just about every item in the stream of commerce is set (the price of razor blades and printer ink is apparently set by the Russian mob, however). Supply and demand you know.
If you don’t believe it, ask yourself why it costs so much to go to a Notre Dame or Ohio State game. They don’t have any salary expenses to recoup. Or the NFL, NHL and NBA, where salary caps have kept overall costs basically constant and certainly predictable, yet ticket prices have spiraled in ways wholly unrelated to expenses.
A smart organization sets ticket prices at the absolutely highest level they can be set without negatively impacting demand. The Red Sox sold out their games at last year’s prices. They will likely sell out their games at 2010’s prices. Those prices will continue to be raised until the exact moment people decide they are not worth the price and cease to buy Red Sox tickets. John Henry’s suggestions to the contrary are exercises in public relations.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer homers in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.
Following the announcement of the 24-year-old’s death, Major League Baseball observed a moment of silence for José Fernández before each of today’s games. While this afternoon’s Marlins-Braves game was cancelled out of respect for the organization, Miami painted Fernández’s jersey number on the mound in honor of their former pitcher.
Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners, and Dodgers, chose to honor Fernández by hanging his No. 16 jersey in their dugout:
Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that David Ortiz‘s pregame retirement ceremony at Tropicana Field was canceled at the player’s request:
The Astros and Diamondbacks each displayed a personal tribute to Fernández, writing the number 16 on their caps and etching his number and initials in the bullpen:
Rest in peace, Fernández.