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Lip Man 1
09-24-2009, 04:43 PM
Interesting feature article this week in Sports Illustrated on the Tigers solution to the economic situation in their area.

Instead of talking about lagging attendance, worried about losing advertising and such, apparently Tigers owner Mike Ilitch responded not by cutting payroll or dropping players but by reinvesting dramatically in his franchise and raising team payroll.

The result according to the story has been very good attendance, a first place team (albeit in a weak division) and a huge uplift to the fans and the area. According to the story when the Tigers realized it was tough economic times they devoted themselves to their "regular" fan base and started offering more five dollar tickets, constructed two more five dollar only parking lots and started offering five dollar food combinations (you get a few things for five bucks...)

Seems the old adage is true, to make money, you spend money, not retrench.

Good reading.

Lip

downstairs
09-24-2009, 04:58 PM
I don't have SI, but that is just sound business practice. Unfortunately a lot of businesses don't follow it.

Spend money when things are down, and when things pick back up- you'll be ahead.

The Immigrant
09-24-2009, 05:02 PM
Well, it doesn't hurt that the Ilitch family has ownership interests in several casinos in downtown Detroit. They can lose money on the Tigers, as they probably do in light of the team's payroll, and still come out ahead by bringing people downtown. I wish our ownership was just as willing to spend the dough, but I understand why they are not.

doublem23
09-24-2009, 05:20 PM
If the Tigers were in any other division, they'd long be afterthoughts and SI would be lampooning their owner for investing in such a ****ty product.

Have fun paying Maggs $18 million next year, Little Ceasar guy.

spawn
09-24-2009, 05:22 PM
If the Tigers were in any other division, they'd long be afterthoughts and SI would be lampooning their owner for investing in such a ****ty product.

Have fun paying Maggs $18 million next year, Little Ceasar guy.
Thank you.

asindc
09-24-2009, 05:36 PM
I read a few years back the Illitch said that his major motivation for owning sports teams is not profit, but enjoyment, and as long as he breaks even or comes close to it, he is fine. He also said that a few owners actually do long-term harm to their teams by focusing too much on the bottom line (no expert revelation there, but still).

TheVulture
09-24-2009, 05:37 PM
If the Tigers were in any other division...

And if me auntie had bullocks, she'd be me uncle.

Big D
09-24-2009, 07:29 PM
If the Tigers were in any other division, they'd long be afterthoughts and SI would be lampooning their owner for investing in such a ****ty product.

Have fun paying Maggs $18 million next year, Little Ceasar guy.

As opposed to Alex Rios?

At least Maggs gave them several great years, and helped them go to a World Series. They probably regret the Dontrelle Willis contract much more than the Maggs contract.

DumpJerry
09-24-2009, 07:33 PM
As opposed to Alex Rios?

At least Maggs gave them several great years, and helped them go to a World Series. They probably regret the Dontrelle Willis contract much more than the Maggs contract.
Willis' contract has one year left, 2010. Maggs' contract has an option for 2011 which is identical to the option for 2010, except it is based on 2010 numbers and not 2009 numbers (it is also $15M and not $18M, but that is still a chunk o' change).

Big D
09-24-2009, 07:49 PM
Willis' contract has one year left, 2010. Maggs' contract has an option for 2011 which is identical to the option for 2010, except it is based on 2010 numbers and not 2009 numbers (it is also $15M and not $18M, but that is still a chunk o' change).

It's a lot easier to live with a bad contract when it helped you win a pennant. Considering how awful the Tigers had been for so long when they signed Maggs, I'm guessing they figured they'd live with the last few years of it if he helped them in the short-term. Willis has given them absolutely nothing.

doublem23
09-24-2009, 08:56 PM
And if me auntie had bullocks, she'd be me uncle.

Fair enough but can we A) stop pretending like the Tigers are run by some baseball geniuses? They caught a huge break by being in the Central, let's not make it sound like they're The Little Engine that could and they're beating all the powerhouses and B) stop these lame "sports will save Detroit!" fluff pieces... First it was the Red Wings, then MSU, then the Super Bowl... Bla bla bla.

jdm2662
09-24-2009, 09:03 PM
Fair enough but can we A) stop pretending like the Tigers are run by some baseball geniuses? They caught a huge break by being in the Central, let's not make it sound like they're The Little Engine that could and they're beating all the powerhouses and B) stop these lame "sports will save Detroit!" fluff pieces... First it was the Red Wings, then MSU, then the Super Bowl... Bla bla bla.

The United State Saints was annoying enough...

Oblong
09-24-2009, 09:10 PM
Honestly I don't think the article's all that groundbreaking. It's nothing new. The team broke attendance records in 2008 after the trade and signing of Cabrera. Within a week of that trade they sold like 10,000 season tickets. They had to stop selling season tickets. Then the team finished in last place and the economy, especially in Detroit, tanked. All those new season ticket holders bailed. They were just looking to cash in selling playoff tickets. What bugs me is writers here will say things like "Attendance is down 15% this year despite being in first place." What they fail to understand or intentionally leave out is 2008 was an abnormally high year for attendance.

Ilitch has never been shy about spending money if he thinks it's the right thing to do. Only once in all the years with th Wings and Tigers do I recall that and it was right after Comerica opened, I think there were issues with Comerica's mortgage.. Other than that one hiccup he's spent money. Not always wisely but that's a different issue.

The Maggs situation was different. Ilitch is very sentimental. He views his players as family, not assets. Maggs hitting that homer in 2006 pretty much made him a child of Mike Ilitch.

Lip Man 1
09-24-2009, 09:16 PM
Oblong:

You don't think it was interesting the way Detroit approached their fan base? Five dollar tickets, five dollar food packages, specifically building two parking lots where it was only five bucks to park?

That sounded pretty groundbreaking to me in the wake of everything and the approach a number of other franchises decided to take.

Lip

Oblong
09-24-2009, 09:36 PM
I think it was a way to just get people in the park. It's better to at least have a body there spending money on food and drinks. During the lean years the Tigers would have 2 for 1 deals on the upper deck seats Mon-Thur. They'd sell packages like $50 for 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 pops.
Do other clubs do that? I don't know. Season ticket holders, even partials like me, would get 10 ticket vouchers for Mon-Thur games, along with our regular tickets. We could exchange used tickets for any Mon-Thur games too. We could even do things like exchange 4 unused tickets along with 4 vouchers and get 8 for one game.

Do other clubs do that? I don't know. But the Tigers have always done it.

I don't remember if the article mentioned this or not but the one thing he did that I really like was donate ad space for GM, Chrysler, and Ford. GM used to sponsor the fountain in CF and the lease was up. Obviously they were not going to renew so Ilitch put all 3 nameplates up there with a message "The Detroit Tigers support our automakers".

It's Dankerific
09-24-2009, 09:56 PM
Fair enough but can we A) stop pretending like the Tigers are run by some baseball geniuses? They caught a huge break by being in the Central, let's not make it sound like they're The Little Engine that could and they're beating all the powerhouses and B) stop these lame "sports will save Detroit!" fluff pieces... First it was the Red Wings, then MSU, then the Super Bowl... Bla bla bla.

Didn't we consider our guys the geniuses last year when we won in also, a very ****ty Central division?

They're the victors, to them go the spoils (and accolades and fluff pieces.)

If the Sox don't like it, they should go out and win some ballgames.

DumpJerry
09-24-2009, 09:59 PM
Didn't we consider our guys the geniuses last year when we won in also, a very ****ty Central division?

They're the victors, to them go the spoils (and accolades and fluff pieces.)

If the Sox don't like it, they should go out and win some ballgames.
The Twins will win the AL Central this year.

It's Dankerific
09-24-2009, 10:00 PM
The Twins will win the AL Central this year.

Already giving up on the Sox, eh?

Big D
09-24-2009, 10:53 PM
The Twins will win the AL Central this year.

Considering the Tigers play us 6 more times, I like their chances.

doublem23
09-24-2009, 11:11 PM
Didn't we consider our guys the geniuses last year when we won in also, a very ****ty Central division?
I can't speak for everyone, but I think most folks last year realized the Sox were flawed but caught some breaks... Plus, the guys who run the Sox have also won a World Series.. Can't say the same for the Illitch/Dombrowski/Leyland braintrust.

WhiteSoxOnly
09-24-2009, 11:14 PM
Considering the Tigers play us 6 more times, I like their chances.

Exactly.We aren't getting in anybody's way this year.

It's Dankerific
09-25-2009, 12:28 AM
I can't speak for everyone, but I think most folks last year realized the Sox were flawed but caught some breaks... Plus, the guys who run the Sox have also won a World Series.. Can't say the same for the Illitch/Dombrowski/Leyland braintrust.

Oh, I disagree. The general groupthink was how great the crew was last year.

And, do you similarly dismiss the 2006 Bears NFC Championship as much as the Tigers AL championship with that braintrust?

WhiteSox5187
09-25-2009, 12:58 AM
I can't speak for everyone, but I think most folks last year realized the Sox were flawed but caught some breaks... Plus, the guys who run the Sox have also won a World Series.. Can't say the same for the Illitch/Dombrowski/Leyland braintrust.

Actually, those two guys have won a World Series in 1997. Then Dombrowski put together the pieces for the 2003 Marlins. And the 2006 Tigers. He also assembled most of the 1994 Expos team which was in first place at the time of the strike. I'd say he has a pretty good idea of how to build a winner.

SBSoxFan
09-25-2009, 01:06 AM
Oh, I disagree. The general groupthink was how great the crew was last year.

And, do you similarly dismiss the 2006 Bears NFC Championship as much as the Tigers AL championship with that braintrust?

I don't understand the analogy.

Since 2005, the Sox have won 2 division titles and 1 World Series. If the Tigers hold on to win this year, they will have 1 division title. It's possible they'll make a run and win the whole thing, but that's real hard to imagine realistically. Moving forward, the Sox seem more set up for a sustained run. All the money Detroit spent hasn't yielded much and the next couple of years they will have to reload.

doublem23
09-25-2009, 01:10 AM
And, do you similarly dismiss the 2006 Bears NFC Championship as much as the Tigers AL championship with that braintrust?

Well the way the NFL is now, there hasn't been a "great" team since the Cowboys' dynasty was in full force, even that 18-1 Patriots team would have been absolutely steamrolled by the 49ers, Bears, or Giants of the 80s and the Cowboys of the 90s, plus the NFL is so parity-crazy that's its very difficult to sustain long periods of success, teams are up and down all the time, so it's a bit of a different situation, but no, for pretty much the entire season in 2006 the Bears were undoubtedly the best team in the NFC. They deserved to win.

I don't believe anyone has ever said the Bears upper management are geniuses, either.

It's Dankerific
09-25-2009, 01:21 AM
I just don't get it. The Tigers have won a AL Championship and are poised for another playoff run. Very similar to what they guys down here have done. Especially if the Tigers get to the ALCS or World Series, this year too.

Tigers have taken advantage of a crappy division. As we should have.

doublem23
09-25-2009, 01:26 AM
I just don't get it. The Tigers have won a AL Championship and are poised for another playoff run. Very similar to what they guys down here have done. Especially if the Tigers get to the ALCS or World Series, this year too.

Tigers have taken advantage of a crappy division. As we should have.

They're limping into the post-season by the grace of their division. If they weren't leading their division their season would have been over weeks ago. For perspective, they wouldn't even be 2nd in the wildcard race and they'd be 9 games behind Boston. So sorry if we all don't agree that they're "poised for another playoff run." Hats off to them, they played better than the Sox and Twins for most of this year, but let's not pretend like they're the cream of the crop.

DSpivack
09-25-2009, 01:39 AM
Actually, those two guys have won a World Series in 1997. Then Dombrowski put together the pieces for the 2003 Marlins. And the 2006 Tigers. He also assembled most of the 1994 Expos team which was in first place at the time of the strike. I'd say he has a pretty good idea of how to build a winner.

He started his career with the Sox, too, no?

MarkZ35
09-25-2009, 01:49 AM
They're limping into the post-season by the grace of their division. If they weren't leading their division their season would have been over weeks ago. For perspective, they wouldn't even be 2nd in the wildcard race and they'd be 9 games behind Boston. So sorry if we all don't agree that they're "poised for another playoff run." Hats off to them, they played better than the Sox and Twins for most of this year, but let's not pretend like they're the cream of the crop.

Limp into the playoffs or not, any team can catch fire in the playoffs and go much farther than expected. The Sox were great for the first 5 months of 2005 and then basically crawled into the playoffs only to win it all. It is a much weaker division this year but any team in the playoffs still has a 1 in 4 chance of going to the world series. I'm not saying they weren't the best team in 05 but anything can happen in the playoffs. Am I saying the Tigers will win it all? No, because I highly doubt that will happen but all it takes is one good hot streak to win it all.

doublem23
09-25-2009, 02:12 AM
Limp into the playoffs or not, any team can catch fire in the playoffs and go much farther than expected. The Sox were great for the first 5 months of 2005 and then basically crawled into the playoffs only to win it all. It is a much weaker division this year but any team in the playoffs still has a 1 in 4 chance of going to the world series. I'm not saying they weren't the best team in 05 but anything can happen in the playoffs. Am I saying the Tigers will win it all? No, because I highly doubt that will happen but all it takes is one good hot streak to win it all.

I agree with you, I fully admit all you can really do is make the post-season everything from that point is a total crapshoot. Even if the Tigers end up going on a tear in the post-season and winning it all, let's not confuse them with the better teams in the league this year, they simply aren't.

It's Dankerific
09-25-2009, 02:38 AM
They're limping into the post-season by the grace of their division. If they weren't leading their division their season would have been over weeks ago. For perspective, they wouldn't even be 2nd in the wildcard race and they'd be 9 games behind Boston. So sorry if we all don't agree that they're "poised for another playoff run." Hats off to them, they played better than the Sox and Twins for most of this year, but let's not pretend like they're the cream of the crop.

Again, I fail to see how this is much different than us last year.

If we hadn't won the division, we would have been 7 back of the wild card (boston again).

I don't see why we just can't give credit to the better team this year and hope things go better next year. If we use the rationale you are using for the Tigers this year, this would make us look pretty bad considering 07, 08 luckbox, and 09 more suck.

doogiec
09-25-2009, 07:45 AM
I'm fairly confident that if the White Sox came off the last two seasons averaging 37,000 and almost 40,000 per game, as the Tigers have, and responded by cutting payroll going into this season by $22 million, as the Tigers have, they would be getting ripped on for being cheap,

And despite being squarely in the division race, but having a team that probably doesn't have enough to win a pennant, the Tigers only reinvested about 3 million of that in additional payroll at the trade deadline, and that on a player they can cut loose at the end of the season. Again, we'd be ripping the White Sox for that, if the shoe was on the other foot.

Every team in baseball's spending is constrained to some extent by revenue. There are some owners and GM's who like to sugar coat that fact for the fans, and some who just flat out admit it. That doesn't change the reality one bit.

I believe Ilitch is a good owner, and reinvests his revenues into his teams. But, when Tigers' attendance was in the bottom third of the league earlier this decade, so was his spending on payroll. Historically, his spending has always been comparable to his revenues. He hasn't found some magical way to throw off that constraint.

Oblong
09-25-2009, 08:00 AM
He started his career with the Sox, too, no?

Yes, Hawk fired him.

He was there for awhile after Hemond was let go and said Roland told him to use the opportunity to learn what not to do. But whatever he does, do not quit a baseball job.

doublem23
09-25-2009, 08:32 AM
Again, I fail to see how this is much different than us last year.

If we hadn't won the division, we would have been 7 back of the wild card (boston again).

I don't see why we just can't give credit to the better team this year and hope things go better next year. If we use the rationale you are using for the Tigers this year, this would make us look pretty bad considering 07, 08 luckbox, and 09 more suck.

Please find my post that says the '09 Tigers are any different than the '08 White Sox.

I'll wait.

:waiting:

Red Barchetta
09-25-2009, 09:26 AM
Oblong:

You don't think it was interesting the way Detroit approached their fan base? Five dollar tickets, five dollar food packages, specifically building two parking lots where it was only five bucks to park?

That sounded pretty groundbreaking to me in the wake of everything and the approach a number of other franchises decided to take.

Lip

I remember during the pre-renovation era at Comiskey II, I thought that instead of looking at a sea of empty blue seats in the high(er) ends of the upper deck, why didn't the SOX sell those seats for $5.00?! Even if it's a cheap ticket, there would be more butts in the seats buying concessions and paying for parking.

Instead, parking rates increased, the seats went unused and the television cameras never showed the upper deck during any panoramic view of the park.

Lip Man 1
09-25-2009, 12:21 PM
Red:

I never understood that either. Maybe they thought it would "devalue" the product?

Lip

#1swisher
09-25-2009, 01:11 PM
Oblong:

You don't think it was interesting the way Detroit approached their fan base? Five dollar tickets, five dollar food packages, specifically building two parking lots where it was only five bucks to park?

That sounded pretty groundbreaking to me in the wake of everything and the approach a number of other franchises decided to take.

Lip

I found this interesting as well.

The article also said the team has given away more than 80,000 tickets this year.

Jim Leyland told his players, we need to give them our best effort. This is not the year NOT to run out a ground ball.

:gosox:

WhiteSox5187
09-25-2009, 01:25 PM
Yes, Hawk fired him.

He was there for awhile after Hemond was let go and said Roland told him to use the opportunity to learn what not to do. But whatever he does, do not quit a baseball job.

He was Roland's heir apparent with the White Sox and then along came Hawk. It's all speculation but I think had he been with the Sox we would have won a World Series a lot sooner than 2005.

ode to veeck
09-26-2009, 01:48 AM
Oblong:

You don't think it was interesting the way Detroit approached their fan base? Five dollar tickets, five dollar food packages, specifically building two parking lots where it was only five bucks to park?

That sounded pretty groundbreaking to me in the wake of everything and the approach a number of other franchises decided to take.

Lip

beats the **** out of bull **** premium series pricing

Daver
09-26-2009, 02:11 AM
Red:

I never understood that either. Maybe they thought it would "devalue" the product?

Lip

It does devalue the product. When you establish a pricepoint, you are held by the court of public opinion to maintain that pricepoint or be accused of heinously jacking up ticket prices when those seats do become in demand.

Lip Man 1
09-26-2009, 12:48 PM
Daver:

I've never understood a lot about the business world but it seems to me that wouldn't it be better to sell five hundred tickets at ten dollars a pop than ten tickets at a hundred dollars?

Simple example I know but one that I think illustrates my point.

For me I'd rather have those five hundred fans eating and parking than ten. I'll worry about the ramifications of such a policy when tomorrow comes along.

Not being snide by the way but that to me I always want to get the most people I can in the here and now especially if the club is bad (like in the late 90's for example...)

Lip

cards press box
09-26-2009, 03:54 PM
Considering the Tigers play us 6 more times, I like their chances.

I have always preferred the Tigers to the Twins and, given a choice, I would like to see Detroit finish ahead of Minnesota. And, anyway, haven't we all seen enough of the awful Metrodome?

Having said all that, I don't agree with your analysis. I was at the game last night and, to me, the Tigers appear to have one foot firmly placed on the proverbial banana peel. I expect the Twins to win the division outright or, least, force another Game 163. Does anyone know where the Tigers and Twins would play if they are tied after 162 games?

WhiteSoxOnly
09-26-2009, 04:30 PM
I have always preferred the Tigers to the Twins and, given a choice, I would like to see Detroit finish ahead of Minnesota. And, anyway, haven't we all seen enough of the awful Metrodome?

Having said all that, I don't agree with your analysis. I was at the game last night and, to me, the Tigers appear to have one foot firmly placed on the proverbial banana peel. I expect the Twins to win the division outright or, least, force another Game 163. Does anyone know where the Tigers and Twins would play if they are tied after 162 games?

Well,the Twins want that game played in the Dumpdome no matter
what their season series record turns out to be.And if they don't get
their way,expect them to have a series of these :tantrum: until the
MLB office rolls over and gives Minnesota what they want.

Oblong
09-26-2009, 10:21 PM
A tie breaker would be at the Metrodome based on head to head. They got rid of the coin flip.

What's distressing though is that normally the tie breaker is played on the Monday. However that Monday night the Metrodome is hosting an NFL game between the Vikings and Green Bay, with some guy named Favre? Never heard of him. They ain't moving that. The NFL gets priority over the Twins for anything but a world series game. So either the game is played on Tuesday or at Comerica Park. I haven't heard a definitive answer yet.

MarySwiss
09-26-2009, 10:30 PM
A tie breaker would be at the Metrodome based on head to head. They got rid of the coin flip.

What's distressing though is that normally the tie breaker is played on the Monday. However that Monday night the Metrodome is hosting an NFL game between the Vikings and Green Bay, with some guy named Favre? Never heard of him. They ain't moving that. The NFL gets priority over the Twins for anything but a world series game. So either the game is played on Tuesday or at Comerica Park. I haven't heard a definitive answer yet.

Well, that could get interesting, but let's hope it doesn't! As I am someone who is rooting for the Tigers as the lesser of two evils--sorry, Oblong; but true!--I'd like to see your team clinch outright. I SO hate the Twins!

WhiteSoxOnly
09-26-2009, 11:12 PM
I don't exactly know what's to hate about Detroit.That brawl
we had with them was a long time ago with a different cast
of characters.That Dave Dombrowski swooped in at the last
minute and swiped Cabrera from us doesn't conjure up any
hate from me.I've always thought Jimmy Leyland was a class
act going back to his days with us and his stint with the Pirates.

Mags was a stiff the way he left us but JD and 2005 took away
any bitterness there.Besides,Ozzie blasted Ordonez plenty good.
Hell,if its the Tigers,Angels,Yanks,and Red Cubs...i want Detroit
to win the AL.

jabrch
09-27-2009, 09:16 AM
Well, it doesn't hurt that the Ilitch family has ownership interests in several casinos in downtown Detroit. They can lose money on the Tigers, as they probably do in light of the team's payroll, and still come out ahead by bringing people downtown. I wish our ownership was just as willing to spend the dough, but I understand why they are not.

Your statement lacks in truthliness. Our ownership has shown it is more than willing to spend money.

jabrch
09-27-2009, 09:18 AM
beats the **** out of bull **** premium series pricing

Except for the fact that Detroit does have Premium Pricing.

http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/f1/658419/addplayer?apid=9459

doublem23
09-27-2009, 09:41 AM
Except for the fact that Detroit does have Premium Pricing.

http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/f1/658419/addplayer?apid=9459

That link is for your fantasy football team or something, but yes, the Tigers do indeed participate in a premium pricing structure.

http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/det/ballpark/seating_pricing.jsp

SoxandtheCityTee
09-27-2009, 11:24 AM
A tie breaker would be at the Metrodome based on head to head. They got rid of the coin flip.


How have the Twinkies have already sewn up the season series? Thought your team was 5-9 with four to play at Comerica -- or are you just ruling out the sweep as a practical matter?

By the way, in this Brave New Coin-Flipless World, what happens if the head to head should be tied? Run differential or something?

Oblong
09-27-2009, 09:31 PM
How have the Twinkies have already sewn up the season series? Thought your team was 5-9 with four to play at Comerica -- or are you just ruling out the sweep as a practical matter?

By the way, in this Brave New Coin-Flipless World, what happens if the head to head should be tied? Run differential or something?

I don't know if they go to something else, I have just read for a week or so that they own the tiebreaker so I assume if they both go 9-9 then the Twins have it.

However, at this point in the season if the Tigers win all 4 then they cinch it outright. But the magic # only reached 7 a few days ago.

It's Dankerific
09-29-2009, 05:41 PM
Please find my post that says the '09 Tigers are any different than the '08 White Sox.

I'll wait.

:waiting:

Fair enough but can we A) stop pretending like the Tigers are run by some baseball geniuses? They caught a huge break by being in the Central, let's not make it sound like they're The Little Engine that could and they're beating all the powerhouses

Only that you say THIS about the 09 Tigers and

It's not like they lost to an inferior team. The Rays played good baseball, as they have all year. Obviously, I'd prefer to win, but we can still hang our head high and one day look back on this season with nothing but positive memories.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=2078453#post2078453

about the 08 White Sox.

All I've been saying is that the Tigers deserve to have their heads up high and look back on this season with nothing but positive memories... just like the Sox last year.

(assuming they still win the division. DumpJerry called this tightening of the race back before the weekend).