2009 Postseason Throwdown: Angels Owner Clings Tightly to $$$; Yankees Boast Big A Hex Broken; Long Beach Kid Redeems Himself
|Angels owner Arte Moreno don't need no stinkin' ticket price cuts.|
Major League Baseball franchises have taken a hammering in attendance this season (thank you, shitty U.S. economy!), so all the teams that are playoff-bound or possibly so are resisting the common end-of-season ticket-price gouging.
That is, all teams are except one.
Ladies and gentlemen, your Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim!
Clubs poised for post-season play have learned a lesson from the economic havoc that tore through the regular season, knocking down attendance figures across the majors even as teams fell over themselves offering discounts and specials. Four of baseball's eight likely playoff teams--the Angels, Yankees, Cardinals and Rockies--have announced their post-season prices. Non-suite seats aside, all but the Angels are offering up plenty of cut-rate tickets from the regular season.
The bold was added by yours truly for shameful emphasis, of course.
According to the piece, "only the Los Angeles Angels feel they have the leverage to charge a premium," although Forbes expects the Phillies and Red Sox to follow suit. Speaking of suits, that's not due to some Halo-Philly-Beantown-red-uniformed conspiracy; it's because Philadelphia and Boston are among the rare teams that have played to 100 percent capacity despite the recessionary trend.
While promoting the fact that they're keeping post-season prices unchanged from last season, the Angels will charge maximum prices of $137 for the ALDS, $192 for the ALCS and $250 for the World Series. Regular season prices capped out at $122. Lower-end prices are up too, from $14 during the season to $52 for the first playoff round and over $100 for the two following rounds.
The Wall Street suit lovers give all the credit to Angels owner Arte Moreno and his "aggressive marketing," which "has turned the club into a legitimate market rival to the Dodgers." Both rank in the top seven in MLB attendance this year.
Guess ol' Arte was on to something changing the team name from California/Anaheim to LA of A. Or maybe he can thank the departure of the LA Lambs. As Forbes astutely notes, "A $100 million stadium renovation after the NFL Rams moved out several years ago lowered capacity to 45,000 from 65,000, making tickets a more difficult buy for fans."
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See your Angels-bitten team win back-to-back games at the Big A and you'll read crapola like this in your hometown fishwrap:
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Yankees finally buried the Halo Hex yesterday on the shores of the Pacific.
New York, of course, eked out a 3-2 win yesterday afternoon at Angel Stadium. Having eked out a 6-5 win the night before that, the Yankees were victorious in their first series in the 714 area code in five years.
"If we come back [here] in the playoffs, we don't have to answer the questions about not playing well [at Angel Stadium]," traitorous Mark Teixeira crowed about the park where his Yankees had lost the first four games this season.
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi said of his team's first sweep in Anaheim since May 2004, "It's a confidence boost, this is a tough place to play."
Talk about tough: What hurts the Halos more is the Bronx Bombers have now built a commanding 6 1/2-game edge in the race for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
But while New Yawkers convince themselves the Halo hex is finally over, there's still the little matter of the Yankees having barely won the two out of six games they played in Anaheim this season.
There's still Mike Scoscia being 56-44 against New York since taking over as Angels manager in 2000.
And, should the two teams meet in the American League Championship Series, there's the recent memories of the Yanks losing division series to the Halos in 2005 and 2002.
Don't get too comfortable there, Pinstripians.
Before Wednesday, the last time Ian Kennedy pitched in the bigs was 13 months ago at Angel Stadium. He did so badly that the Yankees kicked him back down to Michael Scott's hometown of Scranton.
So, the Long Beach native was surprised to get the start for the Yankees on the same mound, in such a big game.
"I thought it was going to be one of those ease-you-in games," Kennedy told the New York Times. "But I'm glad they did what they did."
He admitted he was excited in the eighth when he hit Howie Kendrick with a pitch with two outs and then walked Gary Matthews Jr. and Chone Figgins before getting Erick Aybar to flyout to left, ending the threat. (The Yanks went on to win 3-2, as referenced earlier.)
Guess the jitters are to be expected when your have16 family members and friends in the stands thanks to the tickets you left for them at the Big A box office.
"Just to be pitching is an accomplishment, and to be pitching here, and pitching in a big spot on top of that, there's no words to describe it," Kennedy said. "It's just great--awesome."
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What are they saying about us in other playoff cities? More 2009 Postseason Throwndown action can be found for the following teams:
New York Yankees: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/baseball/
St. Louis Cardinals: http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/baseball/
Colorado Rockies: http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/baseball/
More teams will be added as the playoffs near.
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