On Monday night there was an announced crowd at the O.Co Coliseum of 10,689, for a game between the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros. By the time the late innings rolled around,and A’s beat writer Jane Lee tweeted a picture of the nearly empty stadium with the caption “what an 8th-inning crowd at the Coliseum looks like on a Monday night”, there were considerably less in attendance. For a variety of reasons, this particular tweet struck a nerve with me.
Now please don’t misinterpret my displeasure for any kind of longstanding dissatisfaction with Jane Lee. In my opinion she does a stellar job covering the Athletics for MLB.com, and her articles are consistently informative and always a strong read. Her Twitter account can be counted on to keep readers up to date with all relevant A’s information; as well as providing in-game coverage and insight on a game to game basis. Her tweeting regarding the lack of fans in the late stages of Monday’s blowout victory, seemed both uncharacteristic and uncalled for. Needless to say, I was puzzled that his would come from an A’s beat writer.
Now here in Oakland, we’re well aware of the attendance issues that continue to plague the franchise. In fact in my humble opinion, it’s an issue that been beaten to death. It’s no revelation that the A’s have had difficulty drawing fans while inhabiting the last remaining multi-purpose stadium in the league, and as such the organization has been subject to ridicule and disparagement from much of the sports world. While our owner has fought the never-ending battle to relocate the team to San Jose, local sports personalities such as KTVU’s Mark Ibanez has seen fit to announce the A’s paltry single-game attendance numbers before showing highlights.
Last season’s renaissance, brought a renewed fan revival to the Oakland Athletics. Suddenly the A’s were the talk of baseball, and fans came out in droves during the final weeks and the playoffs to root the team on creating a chaotically fun atmosphere. Sustaining that type of energy and craze would be difficult for any team over an 81-game home schedule. If the A’s can replicate last years run and stay relevant, the fans will be there when it matters most.
As the Athletics shellacked the Astros during Monday’s night’s game, many of the announced crowd made their way to the exits as the game was easily in Oakland’s hand. The whipping winds and unseasonably cold night, made the game a trial to sit through. For those who didn’t attend, a variety of factors such as the allure of the playoff-bound Golden State Warriors playing concurrently next door and the tragedy of the day’s events in Boston may have kept most away from the ballpark. Whatever the reasons were, people simply stayed home for a Monday night game against the bottom-dwelling Houston Astros.
It is what it is. Anyone watching the game live can see the empty stadium and make their own opinions. Perhaps this is all much ado about nothing, but somethings are better left off Twitter.