I was watching the highlights of the White Sox vs. Oakland last night (a 3-0 shutout by Jake Peavy) when I witnessed a familiar, comforting sight... a vast array of green, empty seats in Oakland. When Dan and I attended a day game a few years back in Oakland and saw our totemic skull tattoo man = Baltimore the place was almost entirely empty, with vast portions of the upper deck seemingly permanently covered with a tarp.
For last nights' game not only were the upper decks empty, but pretty much the entire stadium seemed vacant, with a smattering of folks directly behind home plate.
It is amazing to me that MLB leaves a franchise in that crumbling stadium in Oakland with the 3 fans who regularly attend (it reminds me of that Family Guy clip when they ask the single WNBA fan in the stands why he likes the league). Even the dimmest of the dim can see that broke-down Oakland can't support an MLB franchise - they can barely support their legal pot growing businesses.
While other cities invest hundreds of millions in new stadiums even "Moneyball" can't save the A's. They need to pack it in and sell that franchise or somehow invest in a gleaming new ballpark where the fans from the nice side of town (I'm kidding) can buy large, expensive luxury boxes like they do everywhere else.
In general baseball's slow pace is not exactly luring in the next generation of fans, who grew up on football and basketball and now NASCAR and UFC. It is amazing to contrast the short, sharp entertainment value of UFC vs. the pleasure of spending hours and hours watching a game in a cavernous stadium where not much happens. But I'm sure that those that run MLB will come up with a plan that unites the fans and injects passion and intensity back in the game. Not.