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Boss-Hog
06-08-2007, 07:00 AM
http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/reds/2007/06/08/ddn060807redsstand.html

By Kyle Nagel
Staff Writer

Friday, June 08, 2007

Cincinnati resident Chris Heldman has tickets for Saturday's Reds game against the Cleveland Indians. As a lifelong Reds fan, he'll be watching closely, both because of his allegiance to the team and to the 2,594 other Reds fans he talks with often.
"I know if they lose, there will be a lot of debate on the site," Heldman said.
A co-founder of the popular Reds discussion Web site RedsZone.com, Heldman is in a unique position to judge the pulse of the Cincinnati fan base. Lately, as the Reds have fallen to the bottom of baseball, more and more fans have turned against their hometown team.
With a little more than one-third of the season completed and 53 home games remaining — beginning with tonight's three-game series opener against the Indians — some who spend time observing large amounts of fans say the Reds could be facing a lonely summer along the Ohio River.
Even if giveaway nights, minor-league call-ups and good weather maintain the attendance at GABP, those in the seats will likely be soured or mostly indifferent to the Reds, whose 9-21 record in May put them in a fight with the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals for the dubious bragging point of baseball's worst record.
As boos rained on seemingly every bullpen appearance, Reds fans came closer and closer to turning their attention to the Bengals, Heldman said.
"These are very, very pessimistic fans right now," said Heldman, whose site has more than 2,500 members. "They might end up choosing yard work over an afternoon at the stadium."

Very little optimism

On the popular social networking site MySpace.com, a cluster of 1,817 users has formed a group supporting the Reds. This Reds page includes a message board, where, on April 3, a topic emerged titled "reds finishing 1st?"
Since, as the losses have piled, so has the resentment. Using sarcasm and language usually saved for manager-umpire confrontations, the younger generation of Reds fans has revolted.
Lately, the topic titles have ranged from "Stop Going to their Games" to "I can't stand it any more," and those thoughts get response. On May 23, a user named Carlos wrote, "whats the name of the florence team? we should just start rooting for them lol."
The Reds' struggles are also affecting other parts of Cincinnati. At GameDay Sports Café, a popular Cincinnati bar less than a block from GABP, business has significantly dropped.
Mark Schroeder, a manager, said this week that GameDay hosted about 20 people watching road games against St. Louis. That number has dropped from the 50 or so who gather around the televisions when the Reds are winning.
"They lose seven games straight and we lose 70 percent of our customers," Schroeder said. "We've got every television package you can think of, but if no one's interested there's not much you can do."

Still some story lines

Chad Dotson's career has taken him to Wise, Va., where the longtime Cincinnati-area resident is now a state court judge. But, through his popular Reds blog Redlegnation.com, which he maintains with four friends, Dotson stays connected to Reds fans all around the country.
He hears the same aggravations.
"A lot of people wonder why they're not doing anything to try to improve the bullpen," Dotson said. "That's the main frustration."
Still, Dotson sees plenty of reasons to make the four-hour drive from southwest Virginia with his wife and two children for their usual 10 or 12 Reds games this summer. Homer Bailey, the Reds' top minor-league prospect, will make his major-league debut tonight, and many hope he enters the starting rotation. Outfielder Josh Hamilton, who missed nearly four years of baseball because of injury and drug abuse, has emerged as a potential star and one of the best stories around baseball this season.
Plus, Dotson said, the Reds could rally in a weak division. The Milwaukee Brewers, who lead the National League Central, have the worst record for a division leader in baseball. As of Thursday, the Reds trailed Milwaukee by 11 games, but they are six games behind sub-.500 St. Louis for second place.
"A good run is not out of the question," Dotson said.
But not all Reds supporters are as optimistic, so the team will likely battle fan malaise throughout the summer months as they struggle to fill the seats.
"I'm a Bengals season-ticket holder," said Heldman, of RedsZone.com, "and that's coming up fast in my rearview mirror."


Coming attractions
As the Cincinnati Reds battle to avoid the worst record in baseball, the marketing machine has been working overtime to fill the stadium for an interleague homestand over the next nine games. Here is a sampling of some giveaways and events for fans:



Day Event
Today Bronson Arroyo cap night
Saturday Cincinnati Zoo Bald Eagle Flight
Sunday A Tribute to Reds Broadcasters
Tuesday Bleacher Discount Special ($5 bleacher tickets)
Wednesday Aaron Harang Bobblehead Night
June 15 Ken Griffey Jr. Checklist Poster Night

Late arrivals
Despite sub-.500 records, the Cincinnati Reds have drawn more fans in July and August than in April and May each of the past three seasons. Even though it can be easier to get to summer games, attendance hasn't fallen off like some would expect.



Year April/May Avg. July/Aug. Avg.
2004 25,749 28,982
2005 23,458 25,527
2006 23,644 30,366
2007 23,219 TBD

RFS62
06-08-2007, 07:11 AM
Very cool, Boss. Very cool indeed.

:beerme:

MrCinatit
06-08-2007, 07:33 AM
Best!
Story!
Ever!
:jump:

edabbs44
06-08-2007, 07:50 AM
Wow...nice ink for the site.

Roy Tucker
06-08-2007, 07:52 AM
Boss, did the reporter call you just out of the blue or is this a guy you know?

Outstanding.

Although I still take the Reds over yard work.

Heath
06-08-2007, 09:03 AM
Something readable in the Dayton Deadly News.

WTG Boss!

Heath
06-08-2007, 09:06 AM
Although I still take the Reds over yard work.

:KoolAid:

BuckWoody
06-08-2007, 09:28 AM
Sadly, I'd like to dismiss this team and do something a little more productive with my evenings but I have the disease and I have no idea what the cure is. Thanks to TiVo I do get things done but once the kids are in bed I'm right in front of the TV watching every game.

I was disgusted with them on Wednesday night after Bronson was left in for the 7th and gave up the lead. I watched the Reds bat in the 8th and was just going to fast forward through the Cardinals' AB to see if we had a rally in us for the 9th. Then I noticed that McBeth was pitching. I'm sure my eyes lit up and I uttered an audible "Oooooo, McBeth". I stopped the FF and watched him pitch. I was delighted, if only for a brief moment or two. Then it was on to the futility of the 9th and my nightly grumbling trudge up the stairs and on to bed.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. :help:

RANDY IN INDY
06-08-2007, 09:48 AM
Being busy with my son's All-Star team is a pleasant distraction from the Reds. I must admit, I am not following as closely as I usually do. Same old, same old. This team, as currently constructed, has a lot of ugly holes and is not a lot of fun to watch. They look like they are just going through the motions. I've enjoyed watching Josh Hamilton this season and I always pause when Griffey comes to the plate. It will be interesting to watch Bailey. Thank goodness for my son's team. Otherwise, it would be a long, long, summer.

Johnny Footstool
06-08-2007, 10:23 AM
Nice article!

I'm a little concerned about the Reds marketing staff. Some of those promotions are pretty lame:



Saturday Cincinnati Zoo Bald Eagle Flight
Sunday A Tribute to Reds Broadcasters

What's next? "Asparagus Night" -- kids under 12 receive a free asparagus stalk?

"William Henry Harrison Bobblehead Night"?

RFS62
06-08-2007, 10:29 AM
Nice article!

I'm a little concerned about the Reds marketing staff. Some of those promotions are pretty lame:



What's next? "Asparagus Night" -- kids under 12 receive a free asparagus stalk?

"William Henry Harrison Bobblehead Night"?


Don't forget, the Reds Museum has the worlds biggest ball of string this month.

deltachi8
06-08-2007, 10:32 AM
Very nice read Boss. Being an out-of-towner, it is difficult to gage the pulse of the fans outside of Redszone. Would those in the Cincinnati area say the feel from the boards is inline with the town?

RichRed
06-08-2007, 10:33 AM
Don't forget, the Reds Museum has the worlds biggest ball of string this month.

We're #1!

RedsManRick
06-08-2007, 10:36 AM
If they really want to draw fans to the park, the promotions would be like this:


Today Reds win
Saturday Reds win
Sunday Reds win
Tuesday Reds win
Wednesday Reds win
June 15 Reds win

It's the most absolute fool-proof way to get fans to come to the park.

RFS62
06-08-2007, 10:44 AM
If they really want to draw fans to the park, the promotions would be like this:


Today Reds win
Saturday Reds win
Sunday Reds win
Tuesday Reds win
Wednesday Reds win
June 15 Reds win

It's the most absolute fool-proof way to get fans to come to the park.


With the way this team is constructed, they would be more likely to land that Loch Ness Monster exhibit the public has been clamoring for.

westofyou
06-08-2007, 10:48 AM
It's the most absolute fool-proof way to get fans to come to the park.

In Cincinnati it sure is, it's been proven.

37red
06-08-2007, 11:24 AM
I think we had a write up last year too..., didn't we? I think I'm getting Old Timers disease. I'm sure there are lots of sports writers out there that read our threads, how else would they get their information an feel the pulse of the fans?

Johnny Footstool
06-08-2007, 11:28 AM
I think we had a write up last year too..., didn't we? I think I'm getting Old Timers disease. I'm sure there are lots of sports writers out there that read our threads, how else would they get their information an feel the pulse of the fans?

...or material for their columns on a slow Tuesday.

wally post
06-08-2007, 11:35 AM
Yeah, but are they able to read ORG?

Falls City Beer
06-08-2007, 11:39 AM
Nice article!

I'm a little concerned about the Reds marketing staff. Some of those promotions are pretty lame:



What's next? "Asparagus Night" -- kids under 12 receive a free asparagus stalk?

"William Henry Harrison Bobblehead Night"?

My wife volunteers with a bird sanctuary, and occasionally works things like this at ballparks.

What they do is fly the big raptors prior to game time; they'll circle the stadium and fly back to the handler. It really is pretty beautiful--if you are at all an animal lover.

But then, typically, they also have other birds stationed throughout the park doing things like talking, peforming tricks (such as taking dollar bill donations and stuffing them in a box, etc.). I went along on one of these events once, it is absolutely insane how transfixed people become by these birds (ravens, parrots, and other smart exotic birds), and how willing they are to donate when they see the animal itself. If you have kids (or even if not), these "Eagle" nights can really be cool things, IMO.

Heath
06-08-2007, 11:50 AM
My wife volunteers with a bird sanctuary, and occasionally works things like this at ballparks.

What they do is fly the big raptors prior to game time; they'll circle the stadium and fly back to the handler. It really is pretty beautiful--if you are at all an animal lover.

But then, typically, they also have other birds stationed throughout the park doing things like talking, peforming tricks (such as taking dollar bill donations and stuffing them in a box, etc.). I went along on one of these events once, it is absolutely insane how transfixed people become by these birds (ravens, parrots, and other smart exotic birds), and how willing they are to donate when they see the animal itself. If you have kids (or even if not), these "Eagle" nights can really be cool things, IMO.

only in Philadelphia can you have "Eagle Night" at the Phillies game.

Johnny Footstool
06-08-2007, 12:23 PM
My wife volunteers with a bird sanctuary, and occasionally works things like this at ballparks.

What they do is fly the big raptors prior to game time; they'll circle the stadium and fly back to the handler. It really is pretty beautiful--if you are at all an animal lover.

But then, typically, they also have other birds stationed throughout the park doing things like talking, peforming tricks (such as taking dollar bill donations and stuffing them in a box, etc.). I went along on one of these events once, it is absolutely insane how transfixed people become by these birds (ravens, parrots, and other smart exotic birds), and how willing they are to donate when they see the animal itself. If you have kids (or even if not), these "Eagle" nights can really be cool things, IMO.

I agree that they're interesting to watch, but I really prefer them as extra events, not the main promotion. A 4th of July game featuring an eagle flight, a live band, and fireworks after the game would be great. A Saturday game with just an eagle flight -- not so great.

The Royals had a bald eagle flight on Opening Day a couple of years ago, and it was cool. I can't imagine a father packing up his kids for the ballpark just because it's Eagle Night, though.

westofyou
06-08-2007, 12:28 PM
I can't imagine a father packing up his kids for the ballpark just because it's Eagle Night, though.

But can ya see em coming out for "Raptor Night"?

RedsManRick
06-08-2007, 12:29 PM
For what it's worth, I'm personally not burned out on the Reds as players on the field at all. I don't look at a clearly mediocre team and expect championships. I am burned out by Reds management that continually fails to improve the team and makes poor decisions in its attempts to do so.

I'm really happy that Castellini and Krivksy want to win. However, I bet Dave Littlefield wants to win too. Same with Dayton Moore. I know Mike Brown wanted to win too. Wanting to win doesn't appease a fanbase. We assume you want to win. Wanting to win doesn't make us happier -- winning does.

We want to see action taken that suggests you know how to win. It might mean spending more money. It might mean expanding your scouting and development organization. Frankly, fans care a whole lot less about the process than the outcome. But when the outcome fails over and over again, you can expect we're going to question the process. Krivsky (and Narron by extension) has yet to convince me that he knows what wins ballgames and how to build an organization that can sustain a winning team on the field.

If I were a 5 year old kid in Columbus like I was 20 years ago, I'd probably be an Indians fan. As I grew up and learned things about statistics, baseball, and good business practice, my fandom for the Reds has lessened. I see a lack of vision and failed execution of the limited vision provided. I see repeated mistakes and misguided choices (I'm looking at you Eric Milton, Tony Womack, and Juan Castro).

I'd see those things reflected in the Cleveland organization. I'd have Grady Sizemore as my favorite player and optimism towards the future. I'd have a GM who hosts a fan day for MLB Radio Fantasy 411 and answers questions about player valuation bluntly and honestly. I'd have an organization who has built perhaps the most sophisticated data warehouse, tracking, and evaluation system in all of sports.

Yes, I'm tired of losing. However, losing happens. The World Series champ will have lost 1/3 of it's games if not more. But I'm burned out from an organization that's shown few signs understanding that winning requires more than a commitment to do so, a puffed up chest, and a smile. Stop telling me your trying and show me that you're actively trying to figure out how. Because you obviously don't actually know. If you really knew how to win, you'd be doing it by now.

Johnny Footstool
06-08-2007, 12:34 PM
But can ya see em coming out for "Raptor Night"?

If they were real "Jurassic Park" raptors, then yes.

Blimpie
06-08-2007, 12:39 PM
My wife volunteers with a bird sanctuary, and occasionally works things like this at ballparks.

What they do is fly the big raptors prior to game time; they'll circle the stadium and fly back to the handler. It really is pretty beautiful--if you are at all an animal lover.

But then, typically, they also have other birds stationed throughout the park doing things like talking, peforming tricks (such as taking dollar bill donations and stuffing them in a box, etc.). I went along on one of these events once, it is absolutely insane how transfixed people become by these birds (ravens, parrots, and other smart exotic birds), and how willing they are to donate when they see the animal itself. If you have kids (or even if not), these "Eagle" nights can really be cool things, IMO.Sounds like a fun night at the park for the kids....

http://www.sandybox.net/wp-content/thumb-napoleandynamite.JPG

"Do raptors have talons?"

Puffy
06-08-2007, 12:43 PM
Boss -

Give that dude my name - I've got an article for them!

dabvu2498
06-08-2007, 12:48 PM
Boss -

Give that dude my name - I've got an article for them!

It's the Dayton Daily News. Not the Penthouse Forum.

Heath
06-08-2007, 12:49 PM
It's the Dayton Daily News. Not the Penthouse Forum.

Nor is it Shepherd's Quarterly.

Marc D
06-08-2007, 01:08 PM
We want to see action taken that suggests you know how to win. It might mean spending more money. It might mean expanding your scouting and development organization. Frankly, fans care a whole lot less about the process than the outcome. But when the outcome fails over and over again, you can expect we're going to question the process. Krivsky (and Narron by extension) has yet to convince me that he knows what wins ballgames and how to build an organization that can sustain a winning team on the field.


Great summation of the way I feel aboout this regime. I would add in fairness that if WK turns it around and starts to make some solid moves at the trade deadline I could begin to warm to him. Howevere, with just his current body of work to go by the bad far outweighs the good imo.

Great Post.

RedsBaron
06-08-2007, 01:12 PM
If they were real "Jurassic Park" raptors, then yes.

And if the promotion including feeding Milton and Castro to the raptors....

37red
06-08-2007, 01:17 PM
A bird show will certainly be as popular as any event. The Cincinnati Zoo is very big with the city and the kids. I think the birds would be much more interesting than an Arroyo hat with hair stuck to it. Bobble heads don't sound like a crowd raiser either, winning teams and half price tickets work. But if you don't have a team fighting for first place the birds flying around the stadium will be cool. Think of how interested people get with the pigeons or paper air planes! What they should do is put little Reds hats on them.

KronoRed
06-08-2007, 01:38 PM
That was awesome Boss :clap:

BuckeyeRedleg
06-08-2007, 02:42 PM
For what it's worth, I'm personally not burned out on the Reds as players on the field at all. I don't look at a clearly mediocre team and expect championships. I am burned out by Reds management that continually fails to improve the team and makes poor decisions in its attempts to do so.

I'm really happy that Castellini and Krivksy want to win. However, I bet Dave Littlefield wants to win too. Same with Dayton Moore. I know Mike Brown wanted to win too. Wanting to win doesn't appease a fanbase. We assume you want to win. Wanting to win doesn't make us happier -- winning does.

We want to see action taken that suggests you know how to win. It might mean spending more money. It might mean expanding your scouting and development organization. Frankly, fans care a whole lot less about the process than the outcome. But when the outcome fails over and over again, you can expect we're going to question the process. Krivsky (and Narron by extension) has yet to convince me that he knows what wins ballgames and how to build an organization that can sustain a winning team on the field.

If I were a 5 year old kid in Columbus like I was 20 years ago, I'd probably be an Indians fan. As I grew up and learned things about statistics, baseball, and good business practice, my fandom for the Reds has lessened. I see a lack of vision and failed execution of the limited vision provided. I see repeated mistakes and misguided choices (I'm looking at you Eric Milton, Tony Womack, and Juan Castro).

I'd see those things reflected in the Cleveland organization. I'd have Grady Sizemore as my favorite player and optimism towards the future. I'd have a GM who hosts a fan day for MLB Radio Fantasy 411 and answers questions about player valuation bluntly and honestly. I'd have an organization who has built perhaps the most sophisticated data warehouse, tracking, and evaluation system in all of sports.

Yes, I'm tired of losing. However, losing happens. The World Series champ will have lost 1/3 of it's games if not more. But I'm burned out from an organization that's shown few signs understanding that winning requires more than a commitment to do so, a puffed up chest, and a smile. Stop telling me your trying and show me that you're actively trying to figure out how. Because you obviously don't actually know. If you really knew how to win, you'd be doing it by now.

Great post! My thoughts exactly. I said a few years ago, I wish we would pattern ourselves after Cleveland's organization. The Reds have absolutely nothing on them in any area. Being from Columbus myself, if I had a choice today I would pick Cleveland as my team, but I was bitten by the bug that is the Reds long ago and I'm stuck with them for life.

One day, hopefully, my allegiance will pay off. I just don't think it will be happening until the current regime is long long gone.

Ltlabner
06-08-2007, 03:39 PM
My wife volunteers with a bird sanctuary, and occasionally works things like this at ballparks.

What they do is fly the big raptors prior to game time; they'll circle the stadium and fly back to the handler. It really is pretty beautiful--if you are at all an animal lover.

But then, typically, they also have other birds stationed throughout the park doing things like talking, peforming tricks (such as taking dollar bill donations and stuffing them in a box, etc.). I went along on one of these events once, it is absolutely insane how transfixed people become by these birds (ravens, parrots, and other smart exotic birds), and how willing they are to donate when they see the animal itself. If you have kids (or even if not), these "Eagle" nights can really be cool things, IMO.

They did something like this at a game last year, IIRC. They had the eagle swoop down from the top of the batters eye to a target at home plate. Then the eagle zipped back up to the handler on top of the batters eye. It was totally fricken cool I must admit. As you say FCB, I was transfixed.

Would a plan a family outing around it, likely not. But it was a neat display.

Boss-Hog
06-08-2007, 10:37 PM
Boss, did the reporter call you just out of the blue or is this a guy you know?

Outstanding.

Although I still take the Reds over yard work.
He contacted me earlier this week via email for our input and I did my best to make it clear that in no way could I speak for everyone on the site with my comments, but that's the general feeling I get from reading the site. I don't recall making the yard work comment, but who knows, I may have. :) Kyle did get the RedsZone gathering date wrong (how could anyone do that?) :) Overall, an interesting read as to what the team has up their sleeve to maintain fan interest throughout the dogs days of summer.

TeamBoone
06-08-2007, 11:11 PM
Very nice, Boss. Some publicity for RZ. Let us know if you see any increase in web traffic.

I have a question about Game Day (nothing to do with the article). I meant to mention it at the start of the season but forgot. Do they still have Reds "people" (Tracey Jones?) talking with select players after weekend games?

I used to tune in for it, even way back when it was aired from Willie's, but keep forgetting about it this year. Is there anything to tune in to? I hope the answer is yes because this created a lot of good PR. The place was always packed.

If they aren't doing it this year, I wonder why not.

WVPacman
06-08-2007, 11:23 PM
Thats one thing that I will never do!! I will never get burned out on my reds.If they were the worst team in baseball I would still set down and watch the whole game.I tape them alot on my tivo when im gone fishing which is one or two days every week.

I LOVE MY REDS B/C IM A DIE HARD REDS FAN!!!!!!!!!!!:beerme:

Unassisted
06-09-2007, 12:34 PM
Nice article and a great bit of publicity for the site.

I agree with the general sentiment of the article. Even though I'm paying for MLB.TV and XM to follow the Reds, I'm having trouble staying interested enough to watch/listen to whole games this season. There are only so many rabbits the FO can pull out of the hat, like last night, to maintain the interest of distractable fans like me.

I still have fond memories of the spark that Brad Lesley provided at the end of the dreary '82 season. Watching Homer's debut reminded me of that. I wish it had happened in September like Lesley's debut, though.

GAC
06-09-2007, 01:39 PM
Nice article!

I'm a little concerned about the Reds marketing staff. Some of those promotions are pretty lame:



What's next? "Asparagus Night" -- kids under 12 receive a free asparagus stalk?

"William Henry Harrison Bobblehead Night"?

I was thinking about this on the drive home from the game with the kids late last night. There is so much competition for the public's attention anymore. Other then going to there to watch the game, you have to provide all these other "side" activities to hold their interest....

A giant media screen out in CF that broadcasts....

mascot races
Kiss Cam
misc fan games/contests
roving Reds personnel w/mic to do fan interviews
shooting bundled T-shirts into the stands
bobblehead nights
Bronson Arroyo hat night
a KidZone at the stadium

etc, etc etc

Just going there to watch a game, and be entertained, is not enough. You have to have all these other extracurricular activities going on to bring them out to the stadium, and then hold their interests.

It's a circus atmosphere. I bet there are alot of people that go there for all the other stuff and get to see very little of the game (and maybe don't care too either).

And to also divert their attention from that crappy team out on the field.

Take all the above.... add some alcohol.... and it works. :mooner:

It was my son's first ballgame, and he did have alot of fun, and enjoyed the Arroyo ball cap w/ goldie locks. It was knda funny watching all these grown people, especially elderly, walking around with those hat/wigs on last night. :lol: