Doug Milhoan of Rays Prospects provided an update on attendance thoughout the organization. And while looking at the numbers, we noticed an interesting little quirk. Notice how the Rays attendance compares to the minor league system as a whole…

Now, we don’t want to make too big a deal out of this. But it is interesting that despite almost identical capacity, the minor league teams draw 1,300 more fans on average.

And it is even a little ironic considering the perception that the Rays are more interested in having a talented minor league system than a talented big league roster.



  1. Joe says:

    You bring up a fabulous point about that attendance line, Cork. It’s almost as if they have more pride and passion about their system than the team itself? Is that blasphemous to deduce or say? If so, I apologize, but that is a perception isn’t it?

    That amount of care, plus the idea that “one season is not more important than another” leads credence that the Rays are “narcissistic” about their minor league pipeline? Forgive me anyone with my choice of words, but they are almost too in love with their minors. I know they use words like “lifeblood”, but they want to feed the system, more than they want to produce at the big league level. Is that a fair criticism? I think Baseball America loves that but fans of the big league club don’t!

  2. Beth says:

    I think the numbers about minor league attendance are interesting, but the conclusions both Cork and Joe seem to be pulling from them aren’t warranted. To me, the success of some of the minor league teams in filling their stadiums would have to do with the success of their marketing and promotions, and the nature of the competition — e.g. what else is competing for entertainment dollars in Montgomery or the Hudson Valley? But to suggest that the Rays are building a great minor league system at the expense of their major league team makes little economic sense — what profits do the Rays owners see from minor league attendance, anyway? Let’s just say that if they were really letting talented players rot in the minors just to boost Hudson Valley attendance they would be lousy business people.

    • Joe says:

      Why not? They take a lot of pride in it. It’s at least coincidental and circumstantial. Do they relish it?

      I will give you Hudson Valley more than Montgomery, but they put a premium on telling the Rays fans that they care and pump a lions share of their revenue sharing money into the systems. Is it not a logical conclusion that they care more about it than the majors? It is circumstantial but worth asking

      • Sarah says:

        No, Joe, it’s not a logical conclusion. And where’s your evidence that they are putting the “lion’s share” of revenue sharing money into the minors? I haven’t seen an accounting of how they use revenue sharing proceeds, have you?

  3. Joe says:

    Look at their major league payroll and that’s the evidence! Period! And even more diabolical, if they are not putting their money in the minors, then (gulp), they and Stu’s partners are keeping the money for themselves! Do you think they are running the Rays at a loss, or just not happy with the profits they are getting from year to year?!

    • Sarah says:

      The latter. That’s not diabolical, it’s business.

      • Joe says:

        well, when they tell you no one season is more important than another, doesn’t the Rays of 2011 tell you they should have added on in 2010 or 2008? They take almost too much pride in their minors as they play what I call “systematic” baseball. And that is fine, I don’t mind that. But they drive ridiculously hard bargains, and depending how you feel about the front office, its both good and bad at the same time.

        Let me elaborate on diabolical. The Indians are a worse team than the Rays and pulled he trigger on Ubaldo Jimenez. The Rays would NEVER, EVER consider this type of deal, let alone get near it. And if you are a team of windows, why do you hoard your minor league system? One, there is attrition in your system and two, not every one can play.

        This team hates spending big contracts. And when they sign a Pat Burrell and get burned by it, they use that as an excuse! I get it, but it doesn’t mean you should be averse to it. The best of teams have dead weight but still go past that. The Rays would rather be super smart and be super efficient, yet be just out of the running, while their mindset is, well, we want to play “meaningful September games”. It’s mindset, pure and simple.

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