The Guy Next To Me Who’s Looking Forward to Watching the First 10 Minutes of Tonight’s Game Actually Did Ask Me:
Let’s Start With Some Trivia: What was the last year that the Pirates attendance was higher than the NL Average attendance? How many times has that happened in the last 50 years?
Bonus: What was the first year where the average NL attendance topped 1 million? 2 Million?
Double Word Bonus: What year saw the highest NL average attendance, which was 2.756 million?
–The Pirates are currently outdrawing only the Reds and Miami in the NL and are off 3k per game from last year. This despite rigging the numbers by introducing the monthly standing room only tickets. Barring a pennant fever surge, it will be their lowest attendance since 2011.
–It’s looking more and more likely that 2018 will be Ben’s last year. In recent interviews, he’s said his wife wants him to quit. One good injury this year and he could hang them up sooner.
–The Pirates have tied attendance numbers to payroll, since the infamous “we’ll spend more if more people show up” comments. I am admittedly math challenged, but attendance is trending off 11% from last year. If we assume a $100 million payroll this year (and the numbers vary depending on the site), then the target for next year would be $89 million. To get there and still be able to add some dumpster dives to plug holes, they’d have to trade Cutch and Jhay, which would trim $21 million or so.
–A strong September by Ty Terrific would allow the Pirates to seriously shop Cole in the off season. He would have the most value this off season, with 2 years of control left. I think San Francisco is a likely partner.
–ESPN’s pre-season football rankings show 4 Big Ten (sic) teams in the top 10, a nice rebound for a conference that has been living off it’s reputation for several years. http://www.espn.com/college-football/rankings
–Hats off to NH, bringing back SROD was a brilliant move.
–The winner of this weekend’s PGA Championship will take home $1,890,000, up slightly from last year. Jack Nicklaus earned $13,000 when he first won in 1963 and $60,000 when he won his fifth and last in 1980. The top prize topped $1 million for the first time in 2003, thanks to Tiger.
–The only pre-season games I usually watch are the first quarter of the first game, because I’m desperate for football, and the first half of the 3rd game, because the starters usually play. Friday will be the Joshua Dobbs show, as the rookie will see extensive action because they really don’t have anyone else. I don’t expect much, so the stage is set for him to impress against low expectations.
–Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, there’s only one SEC team in the pre-season top 10. Of course, it’s Alabama, so the other 9 teams probably don’t matter.
–The Martavis Bryant saga continues to befuddle. Either he’s cleared or he’s not, why the games by the NFL?
–With Jones, Connor and Bryant out, the players to watch are first round pick TJ Watt and second round pick JuJu Smith Shuster. You should be able to tell that they are high draft picks.
–I’m planning to travel to Tibet and seek out the Dalai Llama in the hopes of understanding why John (.210) Jaso started at first base against the Tigers.
–No Notre Dame in the top 20 and no Pitt (no shock), but WVU gets some love at 20. Why aren’t they in the ACC? That travel just kills them.
–Even if they cheat and play for a coach that cheats, 40 year olds do not fair well in the NFL. Brady took a beating in the playoffs last year.
–Big Ben has 3 years left on his contract, but there is an out after 2018. In 2018 his Cap hit is $23 million. Source: http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers/ben-roethlisberger-3595/
–The Pitt game is going to be a good indicator of how Penn State will fare this year. After the shock of last year, they better demolish Pitt at home. If not, they have big leadership and maturity issues—and maybe talent issues.
Fearless Prediction 1: Jay Cutler will lead the Miami Dolphins to the NFC East title this year.
Fearless Prediction 2: Tom Brady will have played one year too long and will miss significant time to injury as the Patriots miss the playoffs.
Please join me in congratulating Adam and Emily Haberman on the birth of Brandon Phillip Haberman, who came into the world July 26th.
Mom, Dad and baby goalie in training are doing great and already tussling over the disproportionate amount of baby Penguins apparel versus Blackhawks gear.
Congrats to the Habermans.