Although the Philadelphia Phillies have an even worse record than the Red Sox, and have been arguably an even bigger disappointment this season, the Red Sox could learn a thing or two from the Phillies.
Monday night the Phillies announced their 257 game sellout streak had come to an end, which was the third longest in Major League Baseball history. It began in July of 2009.
Ahead of them are the Cleveland Indians, who sold out 445 straight games from 1995-2001, and the Red Sox, who as of Wednesday have sold out 774 straight games dating back to May 15, 2003.
If the Phillies, who going into Wednesday were 50-60 and 24-31 at home, can announce the end of their sellout streak, why can’t the Red Sox even with their 55-57 record and being 29-34 at home?
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the Red Sox have not sold out all of their games this season. Just look at all of the empty seats all around the ballpark.
Look at the secondary ticket market. Earlier this season you could buy tickets the day of the game on sites like StubHub and Ace Ticket for less then $5.
You can even look at the official Red Sox Twitter account. Just five minutes before the first pitch of last Sunday’s game against the Twins it was posted that there were still day-of-game tickets available for that game.
Why is this streak so dear to the Red Sox’ heart? What more is there to accomplish with it?
On June 10 of this year, the streak reached 745, which surpassed the Portland Trail Blazers for the longest sellout streak in professional sports history. The Trail Blazers streak spanned from 1977-1995.
The seats have gone from being full of die-hards, who truly know baseball, to “pink hats,” who would rather sing “Sweet Caroline” and do the wave rather than watch a baseball game.
The streak isn’t even as impressive as that of the Indians and the Phillies. Progressive Field, previously Jacobs Field, in Cleveland has a capacity of 43,345, while Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia holds 43,647.
On the other hand Fenway Park has a capacity of 37,067 for day games, and 37,495 for night games. Six thousand less seats than at the fields of the other two teams with such long streaks. Not as impressive.
Quite frankly, having the sellout streak continue game after game is almost as embarrassing as the play on the field.
Red Sox Nation would not suddenly stop coming to games.
The Phillies game went on as scheduled the day after their streak ended, and the fans still came.
With as poor as this season has gone for the Red Sox, can they do something right?
When a meaningless September game does not sellout, don’t give away hundreds/thousands of tickets at the last minute, just end the sell out streak and move on to focusing on more pertinent issues with the club.