Reinsdorf Continues Arrogant Attacks Against Team, City
[December 1st] - Major League Baseball can't do anything right, even when they try. I guess they just don't have any experience at it. Jerry Reinsdorf, who indicated during his meeting with Linda Cropp and the D.C. City Council that baseball wouldn't be opposed to a new site for the proposed stadium, couldn't leave without poking a stick in the eye of Washington baseball fans.
"Major league owners were not impressed with the team's first year attendance."
What??? The Nationals' attendance of almost 2.7 million fans was a remarkable number considering. Considering that Bud and the "boys" waited until the last possible moment to announce that the Expos were coming to Washington. Considering that Selig stopped all marketing operations and ticket sales for several weeks while the city council and MLB owners fought over the proposed stadium. Considering that that the team had one of the smallest payrolls in major league baseball. The Nationals had no real advertising and marketing campaign in place until the season was well under way. The team's flagship radio station had less power than the Nationals did. The number of televised games available to Nats' fans were the fewest in major league baseball.
RFK Stadium is a 44 year old park in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by some of the poorest sections of Washington. Despite all of these negatives, 2.7 millions fans supported the Nationals with their wallets, 11th best in the majors.
Reinsdorf doesn't think that's enough. Really?
The Nationals, with 81 wins, averaged 33,651 per game, or 33,236 per win. The Chicago White Sox, owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, won the World Series in 2005. The Sox averaged 28,923 per game, or 23,664 per win. U.S. Cellular Field is a clean and modern facility, the team is the best in baseball, and yet they averaged nearly 5,000 fewer fans per game.
And Reinsdorf wasn't impressed with us??
There is nothing that the city of Washington and the Washington Nationals can do that will be satisfactory for the old, rich, overweight owners of Major League Baseball. They do all they can to make it difficult for the team to succeed, then complain that the team isn't succeeding. That's like a man who killed his mother asking for mercy because he was an orphan.
Memo to Jerry Reinsdorf: Complain about the Nationals' attendance when the White Sox outdraws us. Meanwhile, leave us alone. Jerk.
U-P-D-A-T-E: Shortly after his remarks were repeated in the media, Reinsdorf began to back-track. We Washingtonians know "spin" when we see it: Some council members interpreted Reinsdorf's remarks to mean that the MLB was unsatisfied with the Nationals' performance in D.C. However, Reinsdorf said in an interview that he was trying to emphasize that building a new stadium would boost ticket sales significantly higher than the 2.7 million the team sold this season. "I never said it was not successful," Reinsdorf said. "What I said was the 2.7 million fans was not necessarily a big deal for a new team in a new city and was not necessarily indicative of what the team would draw in the future. "I wasn't criticizing Washington as a location for a ballclub," Reinsdorf continued. "I said RFK wasn't a really good place to watch a game."
Yeah, right. And we believe that the team will have a new owner in "just a few days."