The Oakland Athletics have been working hard to chase away the visitors this year, so it came as a bit of a surprise they drew a season-high crowd of 24,403 for their Monday night game with their uncompetitive Toronto Blue Jays. The reason, of course, was free fireworks after the game. Fireworks always work wonders for the average sucker, especially when the ticket price drops to seven dollars. As a result, this was the team’s largest Fourth of July audience in nine years.
“There were a lot of memories of the good times — a full crowd at the Coliseum,” said Stephen Vogt, who changed his walk-up music to “Born in the USA” because, as he put it, he was “grateful for in the to be born in the USA”, implying that he didn’t understand the song “Born in the USA”.
This won’t be another full-on investigation of the A’s, for most of you have fallen for the owner’s clever scheme to make playing an A’s game an unbearable chore. We’re talking about the fireworks.
Well, and kinda about the A’s too.
More specifically, if the fan base enjoys fireworks enough to forget the fact that these A’s are inherently brutally bad, why wouldn’t the team be firing fireworks more often? Speak, as always. Those crowds of 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, and 5,000 would be a thing of the past, right?
The answer to that, of course, is no, because the value of fireworks is that they are rare. The bait is its novelty. At least that’s what the team’s marketing experts would suspect. you would Not Also point out that fireworks are quite expensive when done well, and the A’s have a historical reluctance to spend unnecessarily. You might also point out that Oakland has developed its own organic DIY fireworks industry, one that pushes the boundaries of the neighborhood and, on the right night, can match anything the A’s want, both in scale and duration. But mostly it’s the cost.
Still, if the MLB Worst A’s are genuinely interested in luring fans into the ballyard for a night out, whatever they’re trying to plant on us, isn’t the price of more fireworks a worthy try? And if not fireworks, why not a nightly giveaway featuring a piece of clothing, hat, gear, or other piece of junk that says, “We’ll sell you baseball, but we’ll throw that extra doohickey to show we don’t actually despise you, but appreciate your patronage.” Kind of a nightly prize for showing up. Smother the customer with stuff. Spark the completist in all of us.
What is there to lose at this point other than more games? Attempts to poison the local well by making the in-game experience a thing of terror really didn’t convince anyone to build them either a stadium in the East Bay or somewhere east, north, or south and introduce the introduction of exclude buoyant hats, vests. When Commissioner Rob Manfred announces that baseball is now seriously considering expanding to 32 teams, the assumption is that one of the new cities would be Las Vegas, the place that A’s owner, John Fisher, has repeatedly indirectly referred to as the suggests the team’s ultimate goal. But Nevada’s appetite for building a ballpark is essentially down to zero, making the Athletics’ grand scheme to become Nevada’s fourth team all the more unlikely and, even funnier, have them follow the Raiders again.
No, it seems the grand scheme of making levers where none exist is still a long way from a test run, so they might as well book the firecrackers more often. They’re last to enter, last to win and last in everyone’s free time, but blowing things up and seeing them turn to color seems to pique people’s interest, at least more so than Christian Bethancourt or Skye Bolt. So what’s the harm in doing that more often, or otherwise making each night special in a way that a mere loss of baseball alone can’t provide? Maybe a bobble head of an empty plastic seat just to let people know that while everyone hates the idea of being here together, they’re still here together.
In other words, check attendance tonight and see how well doing nothing worked. It will be part of the Inertia Night At The Ballpark series. Don’t miss it – know the way you were.