I got an email from MLB yesterday containing some interesting metrics: Home attendance at Dodger Stadium is up 10 percent through Sept. 11, compared to the same point last year. Ratings on Prime Ticket were up 42 percent (through Sept. 9) while merchandise sales (via MLB.com through Sept. 11) were up 50 percent. Only the Orioles, Astros, A’s and Pirates have seen a greater jump in merch sales.
The Dodgers’ average attendance (currently 45,771) is the highest in MLB. They appear headed for the biggest total attendance for any MLB club since the New York Yankees in 2010 (3.77 million) and the best for the Dodgers since 2009.
Which of these numbers surprised team president Stan Kasten the most?
The Dodgers’ average road attendance of 35,622 is the highest in the majors. “It says something about the Dodger brand,” Kasten told me Wednesday.
It probably says something about the Dodgers’ star power and the accompanying media exposure, too. Having Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke on your roster helps win and helps sell tickets. Kasten prefers to credit the brand; that’s a point for debate. So too are the Dodgers’ actual home attendance numbers — it’s been said that those figures are inflated by 5,000 to 15,000 on a given night — but the Dodgers’ league-leading road attendance indicates the average fan believes this is a team worth seeing in person.
Some bullet points for Friday the 13th:
• The Dodgers are in no mood to talk about the playoffs, colleague Vincent Bonsignore writes. But since the Dodgers might run into him in October, here’s a really good profile of Adam Wainwright‘s pitching repertoire.
• The above photo and more can be found in Michael Owen Baker’s gallery from last night.
• Brian Wilson was the winning pitcher last night. While he was on the mound, I got a text from a Giants fan calling him a “douchelord.” Never heard that one before. Any wonder why he blew off San Francisco reporters yesterday?
• A good case for Juan Uribe‘s Gold Glove candidacy can be read here. Then check out some possible non-Uribe Gold Glove candidates here. Some non-Uribe Comeback Player of the Year candidates can be found here.
• Inside that second link: “I think (Roy Halladay‘s) 2014 employment will be predicated entirely on this: Where does he have the best chance of winning a championship? So if he signed on to be the No. 5 starter for the Dodgers — if that opportunity presents itself — that shouldn’t surprise anybody.”
• Related: Roy Halladay isn’t enamored with the Philadelphia media.
• Who will be the Dodgers’ fourth starter to begin the 2014 season? As we’ve written here before, Ricky Nolasco wants to re-sign with the Dodgers. Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness takes a stab at how much that might cost.
• If voting for the 2013 All-Star team wasn’t enough … vote for the 1916 All-Star team here.
• I like that this rule is invoked every once in a while, just so I don’t feel the need to remind Don Hartack that it exists.
• Happy birthday to former Dodgers prospect Andy LaRoche.
• CBSsports.com ranks the top 33 off-season signings of 2013. Which Dodger — and which “one notable Dodger mistake” — made the list?
• Ever want to see your face on a vintage baseball card? There’s an app for that.
• From MLB.com: “Be it through science, strategy or specialization, perhaps there are still relatively untapped methods of improving the condition of conditioning and reducing the rate of injury.”
• Did Detroit’s Singing Hot Dog Vendor get fired because of ketchup?
• This is not a baseball story, but it involves Dikembe Mutumbo and Storage Wars, and therefore might be the most interesting thing you read all week.
• Rejoice! The Stepkids have a new song. “Moving Pictures” reminds me a lot of “Midnite Vultures” era Beck: