“No one is tearing it up and is a can’t-miss guy” in the Mets’ farm system, said Jim Callis, the executive editor of Baseball America, who ranks the Mets near the bottom in talent acquired via the draft. “There’s a correlation between what you spend and what you get.”Belson connects the Mets losing to the Bisons losing to the Bisons attendance, to the B-Mets losing to the B-Mets attendance, only to find that the B-Mets attendance is holding, and per capita spending is up. B-Mets GM Scotty Brown:
“It’s not necessarily about wins and losses, but the show you put on,” Brown said. “And the more people who know about the city, the better.”In today's Buffalo News, Mike Harrington takes a more detailed look at the Bisons' worst attendance year since Coca-Cola Field was built in 1988. Three factors have contributed to the Bisons attendance drop: 1. a horrible Buffalo economy which trimmed season seat sales, and presumably corporate hospitality although Harrington doesn't address it directly, 2. a rainy, cool summer and 3. a Bisons team that started 2-17. One big argument for the primacy of the weather explanation is that last Friday, the Bisons packed in 17,788, one of the biggest minor league crowds of the season.
Re: the rain, Bisons GM/VP Mike Buczkowski as quoted by Harrington:
"It's not the six rainouts but it's the six-to-eight other games we've had delayed," Buczkowski said. "Or it's the night where it's rained north of the city all the time and isn't raining here. So now half your audience is sitting at home thinking it's raining."And as for the losing:
"The momentum we gained in the offseason was gone at 2-17. We were back to Square One."When I had 60+ years of attendance and win data for the Advanced-A California League, I ran a few basic regressions and found essentially no correlation between wins, first half wins, or second half wins and attendance. I'm open to the argument that AAA fans are slightly more responsive to wins and losses, especially in a city like Buffalo with two other big league teams in Bills and Sabers. However, I side with B-Mets GM Scotty Brown, in that the vast majority of minor league fans don't go to games because they're big Jose Coronado fans, but to enjoy the atmosphere.
At today's minor league report, at his Surfing the Mets Blog, Adam Rubin checks in with reliever Eddie Kunz who has been stuck at AAA Buffalo all year. Kunz is an awesome quote:
“Things are going well for me,” Kunz said. “I’m pitching a little bit more. I was used to last year, when I was more one inning here, one inning there. Now they’re trying to stretch me out a little bit. I’m slowly developing, getting better and better each outing. My slider is a lot better. My changeup is actually coming along very well for me. It’s turning slowly but surely more into a splitter, but as of right now I still call it my changeup.”Kunz is 4-3 with one save and a 3.97 ERA. In 45.1 IP, he's struck out 28 and walked 27 and he's coming off a July with 10 walks against 3 strikeouts in nine innings. Righties are hitting .172/.305/.283 against Kunz, but lefties are bopping at .281/.382/.422.