In the chart below you can see the difference a playoff competitive season makes over a disappointing season such as 2008, as Colorado residents are giving the Rockies six times the Internet search traffic they did a year ago. The team still hasn't approached the Rocktober peak, when Purple Fever was at an all time high, but the summer of 2009 has shown a more sustained interest in the club.
Despite this, thus far the Rockies remain on a pace to sell fewer tickets than 2008, but this current homestand has seen an average attendance of a little over 29,000 fans per game compared to an average of around 23,000 for an early September homestand with the Astros and Giants a year ago. If the Rockies do want to beat 2008's 2,650,000 overall fans, they will need to average around 35,000 fans over these last 14 home games.
As the Rockies continue to rebuild their brand, the attendance base should see more lasting increases, which as we've seen some this year should in turn make the Monforts more comfortable with spending for quality players and make it easier to retain the players the Rockies develop themselves. Making the playoffs in 2009 would be a huge help to this cause. Should the Rockies be able to hold off the Giants for the wild card spot, they will be one of a handful of teams to make the MLB playoffs in two of the last three seasons. Assuming the Dodgers and Yankees hold onto their very secure playoff spots as well, the list would look like this:
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Los Angeles Angels
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Chicago Cubs
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Colorado Rockies
Now, I don't know if this jumps out to other people as much as it does to me, but there would be only one team under $100 million in payroll on that list. I'm very glad it's the one I root for.
Onto some links.
- Wild Card still has plenty of drama left | MLB.com: News
- Contreras delivers gem in debut | ColoradoRockies.com: News
- Hawpe to return after quick breather | ColoradoRockies.com: News
Nobody else seems saying it, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to. Yorvit Torrealba is fool's gold right now. There is nothing to suggest that his recent performance is at all sustainable over a long duration. I'm fine with riding him as long as he is hot, but a .432 BABIP over the last 30 days and a slugging percentage that's barely over his batting average suggest that he's getting inordinately lucky recently rather than skillful. His actual talent level is what it has been throughout his career, which is subpar.
There will be a price to pay eventually for holding on to him in the starting position too long, and I don't know if Jim Tracy realizes this. He's already costing the team defensively and when the other shoe drops, it's going to hurt a bit. I just hope it's either far enough in the future or realized quickly enough to not hurt the Rockies playoff chances.
Meanwhile, there's nothing to suggest that Jimenez is anything less than the stud he's made out to be. Be sure to vote for him in this soft-drink sponsored award at MLB.com.
- Renck: Tulo leader of this pack - The Denver Post
- Paige: Contreras' NL debut? No sweat - The Denver Post