G48: Rangers beat A’s Friday, 5-3

Well, I did something Friday night I haven’t done in awhile, and that’s attend a game in person. In years past, I’d attend on average 20-30 games a year. But, the high cost of going to these games, has slowed that way down. In 2006, I don’t have season tickets for the first time since 1997 (save for 2002 when the wife and I bought a house). I went and figured out how much it actually costs me to go to a game, multiply that by say 20 a season, and GOOD GOD is that a lot of money. The tickets aren’t actually the worst part. I live in Garland, roughly 35 miles from the Ballpark. Given I have to drive straight out Rt 30, and games start at 7PM, hello downtown Dallas mixmaster. Ugh – I’ve started to really detest driving out there, and there’s been a couple times since my last game (Sun Apr 9) that I’ve thought of going, and then I think of the drive out, and I stay home. Given what my truck gets in gas mileage, it costs me $12 in gas alone to go to one game. Then there’s $10 parking, and the ticket cost, and that’s around $30 before I even buy a single thing. And that’s just me – if I bring the wife and kid, the ticket cost is higher. I don’t hate going to games, I just can’t afford that many of them now. If there was some mass transit solution to Rangers games like the Cowboys had with Dart, (until they both got pissy over who was going to pay for it) I’d probably go to a lot more, as gas and parking are now the most expensive part of the equation.
Do what the Devil Rays are doing. Free parking for all games the whole season. I read that the team isn’t happy with all the empty seats – well, do something to appease the fans. Raising ticket prices doesn’t help. Sure, winning does, but that just brings out the fair weather fans when they’re doing good. If you want sustained increased attendance, cut the prices somewhere, and I don’t mean a $1 ice cream day, or a $1 hot dog day once in awhile. I’m talking about permanent price drops on the order of 25% of ticket revenue. $5 parking. $6.50 for a beer is stupid, I can buy an entire six pack at home for that.
As long as I’m ranting about prices, I did discover a new trick in the 2006 season to get cheap tickets. Buy the Kids Jr. Rangers program. Even if you don’t have a kid, invent one. The reason is it costs $15, and you get a lot of free stuff for that $15. You get a gift for each month of the year (which so far in 2006 has been a bobblehead & a free ticket to Six Flags). But you get a free ticket for one game per month. The cool thing with that is this ticket is also good for $6 tickets for “friends and family”, which means you can get more tickets at dirt cheap. So last night I used the voucher out of my daughter’s package, and got two tickets upstairs for $6. I was by myself, so I used the empty seat next to me as blank space so I’m not so darned squashed (being fairly overweight that’s more of an issue to me). It’s one of the good hidden money saving tricks (another good one is to buy food out of the Rangers Captain Corral in right field – it’s kid food stuff, and it’s $1 all the time for hot dogs if I remember right).
I didn’t intend on writing this much about costs, but darnit.. It’s kept me from coming to more games. I used to go to so many, but with all these things piling up it keeps me from coming to more games. Cost is a major issue for a lot of people coming to games, no matter how much a millionaire like Hicks wants to put his head in the sand and ignore it. Want less empty seats? Cut prices. It’s as simple as that. It really is.
Oh yeah – the game. Well, I got out there, and was looking forward to seeing John Koronka pitch. He’s had a few not sparkling entries lately, but has pitched pretty decently still. And that kept up tonight. With the exception of the third inning when he walked three batters, Koronka had some great control, and threw a great game. His total line was 7IP, 5H, 2R, 1K, 3BB. One of those walks led to a run, adn the other run came on a solo home run. In all his pitching was great.
Francisco Cordero blew another save, his second since losing the actual closer’s job. He still has speed, but people are finding ways to beat him; it’s got to be some minor control issue. While I’m in no way ready to abandon him, I wonder how long it will be before we start hearing “is he finished” in the press and whatnot.
Otsuka was perfect in his appearance in the ninth for his seventh save of the season.
Joe Blanton went for Oakland. He wasn’t all that bad either, going just 5IP, giving up 5H and 2ER. However, he threw a LOT of pitches, and was out after 5 having thrown 107 pitches. That put us in the Oakland bullpen, who didn’t fare as well. The trio of Keisler, Gaudin, & Flores went 3IP, giving up only 3 hits, but 3ER on 3BB. In all fairness, Flores doesn’t deserve to be lumped in there, he only went 0.1IP to finish up the game.
But walks were a major factor in this game – on both sides. Koronka’s three walks led to one of the Oakland runs, and Oakland walked a total of 8 batters. I’m not sure at the moment how many of those 8 scored, but I think at least a couple did. You can’t expect to win a game while walking that many.
Also, Ian Kinsler got drilled by the first pitch he saw early in the game – not terribly sure if it was a purpose pitch or not, but Koronka’s near beaning of an Oakland batter the next inning definitely was, as he had great control tonight. :)
We’re now three games up in the West, and while it’s way too early to even contemplate things like playoffs (heck, it’s still May), it is nice to say we have a lead in the West.


  1. says

    I don’t know if you’ve ever taken advantage of them, but they actually have $4 parking out past the CF enterance on the property of those little offices and other stores. I think it’s off Nolan Ryan Expressway. They’re kind of a walk but it beats the heck out of paying $10.

  2. says

    Well, those parking areas aren’t actually Ranger parking, it’s the people who own those buildings.
    I prefer to park closer due to the fact that I have so far to drive anyway, I don’t have the time to make the extra long walk.
    Plus I just don’t want to. :) But seriously, time is a factor for me.