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Great Moments in overthinking: Phillies sellouts are bad!

Jun 11, 2010, 10:43 AM EDT

I’m no economic expert, but today’s column from Paul Hagen in the Philadelphia Daily News doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.

The upshot: it’s nice that the Phillies are selling out so many consecutive games, but there’s a downside to it because if you sell out all the time you can’t increase your revenue by selling more tickets! And fans hate it when you raise prices!

I guess his larger point is a good one: the Phillies need to be careful not to simply pander to the crowd by keeping familiar faces around once it becomes necessary to rebuild. But it’s one that really isn’t germane to the Phillies at the moment because they’re not close to a rebuild yet and haven’t exactly ignored the development of young talent.

Overall, though, trying to find the dark side of constant sellouts seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

  1. YankeesfanLen - Jun 11, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    If the Feelies keep up their Metropolitan-like swoon of the past few years too much longer, I believe the City of Brotherly Love will solve this perplexing problem for them.

  2. Jonny5 - Jun 11, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Paul Hagen is a moron. That’s why his column makes no sense Craig.

  3. I Love Baseball - Jun 11, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    I am not familiar with Hagen but based on this example I’m inclined to agree with Jonny5. The Red Sox have no such problem as he describes. They have Varitek (who has performed like an all-star ops-.921) along with Martinez for a really good tandem at catcher. Yes they have Lowell who they needed when signed. So what. He’s in the decline phase. They also let Johnny Damon and Pedro Martinez go when they were extremely popular. I’m sure Theo doesn’t mind the sellouts at all.
    The premise and support for this article is illogical. And moronic.

  4. Joey B - Jun 11, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Overthinking? How about no thinking whatsoever?
    Being successful=being popular=large crowds. It’s the business model for every company in the world. I seriously doubt any company in the world looks at an empty store and thinks it’s a good thing because now they can rebuild. I’m sure the NYY, RS, and LAD are terribly jealous of the fact that KC, PT and BA can rebuild.
    “That’s one reason the Red Sox find themselves in the awkward position of having Jason Varitek , the captain, now in the backup catcher role.”
    Funny, I don’t feel akward. Haven’t heard anything out of Boston feeling akward. .921 OPS doesn’t look akward.

  5. APBA Guy - Jun 11, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    I can assure you that the view from the other end of the spectrum supports the comments above. With our massive crowds of 11,000 or so at the Mausoleum, should Beane awaken from his multi-year long nap and actually try to improve the team, the revenue pressure exerted by tiny crowds would suppress any such intent. Across the pond the Giants always sell out. So they get to keep Lincecum and Cain as opposed to seeing them flee a la the A’s and Danny Haren, et al.
    On the other hand, I can always get walk-up tickets in Oakland.
    Captcha: muses beer. Somewhere it’s 5:00 pm.

  6. sjp - Jun 11, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    The Phillies aren’t close to a rebuild? If not, they are in trouble.
    They don’t have a single infielder under the age of 30, and no real IF prospects in the minors (not a single top Phillie prospect is an IF, though one is a catcher). The core of their lineup is all on the downside of their career and the average age of their 25-man roster is a league-leading 31.8 yrs. Yeah, Moyer contributes quite a bit to that, but they lead the league by nearly an entire year, and the 2nd place team has Wakefield on the roster. They are old and seem likely to handcuff themselves with more long-term contracts that overpay aging players.
    [there….that should rile up some of those sensitive Philly fans.]

  7. schmedley - Jun 11, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    As I stated in a comment a few days ago, the Philly papers are tabloid-esque, and they love to start controversies to sell papers.
    As far as sjp’s comments, who in the Phillies infield is ready to be replaced? Howard, Utley and Rollins are like 31 and still in their primes. They should be able to hold down the fort for a few more seasons, at the very least. If they had IF prospects ready at the moment, they would be trade bait, because no one is supplanting those guys anytime soon. Yeah, downside of their careers. Since when does helping your team win 3 straight divisions and go to 2 straight World Series qualify you to be on the downside of your career. Since when is 31 old? It’s not super young, but you act like these guys are the ’83 Wheez Kids, where everyone was late 30s to early 40s. I’m glad that you aren’t running the Phillies, sjp. Probably a jealous Mets fan.

  8. quint - Jun 11, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    I don’t however agree with Jonny5, who undersold how stupid an article that was.
    He ignores that the Red Sox increase ticket prices and continue to sell out. Rather, he would like to have seats not sold all year, so they team has the potential to sell them next year and increase revenues? I would rather sell them this year and earn more money. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar sold tomorrow.
    And fans are not that upset with ticket price increases, it doesn’t make them happy but it doesn’t stop 99.9% of fans.
    And then rebuilding, I will also use Boston as an example because that is basically the point of the article – Boston dropped veterans after 2004 where they won, 2005 (playoffs), 2006 (season ruined by injury) and won in 2007. That is success and rebuilding all at the same time. That was the whole point of the Lee trade right?
    Year Lowell is unfortunate, but Tek is just fine on the bench. The only differece between the Red Sox and most other teams is that Lowell would be playing third every day on most other teams because they couldn’t afford to have a 12million third baseman on the bench.
    Basically the point of the article is the Red Sox would be better selling less seats, earning less income, and therefore having Lowell at third because they couldn’t afford to pay Beltre?
    sorry Jonny5, calling him a moron doesn’t cut it with me.

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