Thursday, August 05, 2004

Stadium Bounce & Other Matters

Off the field the owners of Philadelphia Phillies are clearly enjoying the inaugural season of Citizens Bank Park as fans fill it to 94.5% of capacity through the end of July. Between the white lines is another story, however, as the team limps along barely over .500. History shows the novelty of a new stadium generally wears off within a season or two with the exception of Camden Yards where the faithful flocked to the ballpark long after the Orioles ceased to be worthy of such devotion. But even the granddaddy of retro parks has seen more than its share of empty seats lately. Miller Park, PNC Park and Comerica Park are more typical of the disconnect between a new venue and a lousy team as all saw significant drop-offs in attendance commensurate with the quality of the product on the field.

* * * * *

One unused obituary opener for sale.

What’s one to do with the lead to an obituary that cannot be published because the subject understandably refused to cooperate? Recycle it? Discard it and start anew? Publish it now and wait for events to catch up. . . as they inevitably will?.

Prior to their West Coast swing I wrote the following and placed it in the "publish" queue:

“As misfortune would have it, Larry Bowa began and ended his managerial career in San Diego. Hired by the Padres in 1987, Larry lasted less than two full seasons before imploding. Thirteen years later an alleged kindler and gentler Bowa got a second chance with the Phillies, for whom he played shortstop twelve of his seventeen big league seasons. The second tenure ended yesterday when Bowa was replaced by . . .”

It now is certain only the venue will change. The events have been set in motion and nothing short of going deep into the post-season can forestall them.

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