At lot is being made up here of the Cleveland Indians last-in-MLB attendance figures despite the team’s first place standing. Pat McManamon wrote on it earlier today, for instance.
No one seems to have an answer. Are economics to blame? Well, the team’s TV ratings aren’t all that, and turning on the TV is free. Is it the Dolans? Possibly, but many fans don’t care about the team’s front office as long as the product on the field is competitive.
I have another theory – Cleveland fans know that the team simply isn’t that good.
While they’re in first place, and should be praised for a nice start once more, Cleveland fans have seen dominant World Series-capable teams before, and can tell that this year’s squad isn’t in that league.
While they’re in first place, Michael Brantley is no Kenny Lofton. Travis Hafner is not Jim Thome. Fans know the difference.
One way to put the Indians season in perspective is to take a look at their statistical rankings compared to other teams in the league. The Indians are 16th in the league in hitting. They are 20th in the league in pitching.
The one area where the Indians stand out, fielding, isn’t exactly something that brings fans to the ballpark in droves, and is a further indictment of the quality of their pitching.
If a team is in the bottom half of the league in both batting and pitching, can you blame the fans if they haven’t gotten on the bandwagon yet?