Originally Posted by Milw
Of the teams that had a higher payroll than the Sox last year, only Milwaukee, Detroit and St. Louis could be considered small markets. Milwaukee outspent the Sox by a whopping $700,000; St. Louis was coming off a World Series championship; and Detroit, well, they should be commended for spending.
You neglected to note the teams the Sox outspent last year: the Cubs, Mets and Dodgers; the NL Central champion Reds; the NL East champion Nationals; the AL West champion A's; and wild card qualifiers Orioles and Braves.
Yeah, I wish the Sox would spend more. Of course. But spending WISELY is a much higher priority.
Part of the problem is that they have almost no above average internal talent to field along side the high-salary guys like Dunn, Konerko, Rios and Peavy. There's not enough room on the payroll to fill all the holes on your roster with veteran acquired via FA or trades. If you throw money at players like Dunn and then keep developing players like Josh Fields and Brent Morel as your best position players, that's good enough for around .500 and about 3rd place.
So, spending wisely isn't only about paying for the Dunns of the worlds, it's also about putting resources into your scouting and minor league system.
One more thing I'll say about 1999. The Sox may have had a lousy record that year, but they already had the following young players somewhere in their organization: Konerko, Ordonez, Lee, Garland, Buehrle, Crede, Rowand. The Sox farm system was seen as pretty good back then. When your farm system is ranked dead last for many years in a row (as is the case now), you're not likely to see a repeat of that. I really doubt that there's another crop of good players like that making their way to the Sox any time soon.
Originally Posted by hawkjt
Last season,the fans had a reason to attend...Sox were in 1st place,and yet they stayed away for a myriad of reasons.
This year, attendance is up,go figure, for a team that is stuck in last place.
Now, last year the team was virtually the same,record-wise,at this point,so maybe attendance will flag in the summer if the Sox do not streak.
Actually, it makes perfect sense to me. Attendance figures often reflect the team's on-field performance the following season. If a team has a surprise playoff season, it's often not until next year that they'll see the bump from more season ticket sales and other advance ticket sales.
The people on this site who like to bash Sox fans for the low attendance last season always ignore this fact.