Morning Reading

Morning ReadingYikes. Between the cold, the forecast of snow this week, and the dearth of news, it’s been a rough January.

For the newbies, when you see the kid with the newspaper, it means things are slow here and I’m just doing a post to keep the site fresh, passing a couple of baseball-related tidbits. It’s also a reference to my days as a small-town reporter (How small? Let’s just say the expression “Everybody knows what everybody does ’round here; we just read the paper to see who got caught” isn’t that far off).

Our friend Shawn in Hagerstown has been doing one of his winter staples: Interviewing some of his favorite ex-Suns, which unfortunately, at this time, is also an ex-Nat: Danny Rosenbaum. Check out the first(1) three(2) parts(3) of his interview. Part four should be coming soon.

The subject of attendance came in the comments, specifically to Syracuse most recently, but a staple of discussion from time to time. Someone with too much time on his hands (no word on the bar stool), David Kronheim of, has released his annual minor-league attendance analysis. A few of things I found interesting:

  • 2012 was the best year ever for the Carolina League in terms of total attendance and average per date (though all of that is attributable to Carolina replacing Kinston; the other seven teams had a net decline of 1.5%)
  • Attendance in the International League fell the most (159,620) continuing a three-year trend since breaking 7M in ’09
  • Harrisburg topped 200,000 for the 25th time in 26 seasons, posting its 3rd best season since 1991
  • Hagerstown’s attendance was its lowest since 1981, dropping 36,164 total and 565 per date.
  • Auburn’s attendance increased 15.2% from 2011, begging the question (not answered) — how much of that was attributable to winning (unlikely) vs. the economy (likely)

Last, but not least, in my quest to find a worthy competitor to Rutt’s Hut or The Root Beer Stand there is a new quest: The Big League Hotdog Company.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

18 thoughts on “Morning Reading”

  1. Boy, the sad news coming out of Hagerstown justs doesn’t stop. Have to catch a homestand this year before it’s too late.
    Good for Harrisburg, what a beautiful place.

    Where is Mooresville?

  2. Thanks for the plug,Luke! For a winning hot dog-try Austin’s outside of DelGrosso’s amusement park in Pa.
    It’s centrally located between Altoona and State College for those of you scouting in either of those locations….

    1. By inserting the two new guys; none of the other grades changed. Perhaps we’ll get some transaction news later this week, plus Sickels will rank the farms — though it’ll really only be news if the Nats are put above #23 or so. Even then, it’s more dog bites man than man bites dog.

  3. Pretty laughable that sickels gave cole the three spot! Gets shelled in high A! That rating is just as bad as giolotto being 4! Age means nothing!!

  4. I’ll give you some insight on the Syracuse attendance. A) The local paper here had a douchebag writer that was a mouth piece with an axe to grind for the paper with the Chiefs and the Simone family. This local papers agenda did a horrible job on attendance and to the Simones reputation. It was an absolutely shameful abuse of media and even more shameful the locals ate it all up when 90% of it was all bull****.

    B) If you ain’t winnin’ this crackpot city ain’t comin’. One of the main reasons SU football coach Doug Marrone left his dream job at SU to go to the Bills because he didn’t like the lack of support that was given his team, despite the fact they won 2 bowl games in 4 years with him. This city is horribly notorious as a bandwagon city and it shows.

    C) All local media cares about here is highschool and SU. They forget to even show the Chiefs score most nights and highlights are a rare breed. They have no beat writer in the paper to cover the Chiefs either. The Chiefs and our AHL team the Crunch are always ignored here.

    Hope that sheds a little light on the subject, to be honest I can go on for hours about the fans and media in Syracuse.

    1. If there isn’t even a beat writer for the Chiefs, that’s a huge indictment of the local paper.
      Syracuse U. has a huge communications department. How hard would it be to find someone to do that?

      1. There used to be … and close track was kept of team and its highlights but that was when the Chiefs were a Yankees affiliate. So Don’s point about a “band wagon” city hits home. And its SU, high school and the track Don. Mustn’t forget the track. My deceased uncle made a decent living off Syracuse native’s predilection with the track.

      2. Welcome to why I left the newspapers, boys. The MBAs who took over the newsrooms in the 80s refused to move when they had the advantage in the 90s and that’s been their Waterloo [insert ABBA joke here]. Syracuse’s treatment of the news is far from unique. If college sports is what gets pageviews, then that’s what gets covered, chicken and the egg be damned. Harrisburg’s newspaper is dropping to three days a week, as are multiple newspapers across the country, which begs the question: will the next Sandusky go unnnoticed or merely unreported?

        The Potomac News-Journal folded — making my “Last Night In Woodbridge” writeups the only local coverage of the team, unless steps up (doubt it) — and I shudder to think what the PWC Board might do with no one watching, a concern everyone should have, *especially* in small towns (Ware, MA had all three selectmen recalled in ’94 with just a weekly paper keeping an eye on them). Hagerstown has some local coverage, but the complaint that the high schools and youth sports rule supreme is also true (though I can’t fault them because that’s always what sells newspapers).

        The Auburn Citizen does a good job covering the Chiefs and the Doubledays, but both its sportswriters are young and undoubtedly underpaid. How long they’ll last before either the paper goes under or they decide, like I did, that they need to be paid a living wage if they want to start a family or something similar.

        1. Thanks for this comment. I know it’s tough, but I didn’t realize how tough it was in the newspaper game, making it even more valuable that you keep up with your dedicated work here.

  5. Every once in a while the Crunch writer will do a feature on a Chiefs player or coach, but 9 times out of 10 it is a AP report on the game. They don’t even send the Syracuse Crunch writer on the road, they use a Crunch news release. The paper here is horrible.

  6. The paper in Harrisburg does a terrific job on covering the Senators. They paper part hasn’t gone to 3-4 days a week yet, but we’ll have to see how things change this season.

  7. I can understand SU. I mean Boeheim is a frickin’ legend and football is football. But Christ I hate the highschool crap, worst part is so do most people, but the local media seems to think everyone cares what Little Jimmy did in school. Horrible really. The paper is going to 3 days a week soon and to be honest the faster it goes out of business the better.

  8. RE: My Attendance Analysis

    You may be right about me having too much time on my hands. But as for too much time on a barstool — I’m too busy writing my 2012 Major League Attendance Analysis to be hitting the bars. Or maybe I’m not in a bar because I don’t drink. I am glad you found some of my data interesting. Thanks for the mention.

    1. Not a problem. I think you may have missed my reference to the opening lyrics (I’m sitting on this barstool, talking like a damn fool/Got the twelve o’clock news blues) of Styx’s “Too Much Time On My Hands”

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