Rochester Red Wings rip Rays attendance


I’ve written about unprofessional Minor League Baseball employees before. Several times since I started this blog, Minor League Baseball employees have taken to twitter and compared their local attendance to Rays attendance.

Yes, Rays attendance is often not good by Major League standards, but it is superior to Minor League standards. (And of course, the Tampa Bay area is also home to four Minor League teams. But I digress.)

While most comments have been from MiLB employees’ personal Twitter accounts, there has never been a team account talk trash. Until now.

RedWings tweet 2015aug27

Like the comment below the tweet says, “Well done!”. It is absolutely great that the Red Wings had 9,576 people attend fireworks night at Frontier Field. That’s great.

(And I have often talked about how fireworks adds approximately 20% to attendance.)

But Red Wings attendance has nothing to do with the Rays. The second sentence is uncalled for and unprofessional.

Why would a team tweet something like that? It makes no sense. Unless this is a critique of the Rays business model. Perhaps the Red Wings front office is taking a jab at the Rays front office by showing the Rays that the Red Wings product is better received than the Rays’ product.

Because that’s what that tweet says to me.

No Major League team would ever compare their attendance numbers to another team. At least not in public. Especially not on their twitter feeds. And no Minor League team would compare their attendance with another teams’ on their twitter feeds. That too would be unprofessional.

It would be just as unprofessional if the Red Wings tweeted that they drew over 22x more people than the Dunedin Blue Jays Thursday night. The Dunedin Blue Jays drew only 428 fans, their second lowest amount of the season.

Attendance isn’t a contest. It is a daily barometer of marketing success. The Red Wings did well, no doubt, but the success of baseball isn’t when one team outdraws another. It’s when every team does well.

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4 comments for “Rochester Red Wings rip Rays attendance

  1. Muko
    August 28, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Whenever I see posts like these on your, or any Rays fan blog, I always find myself wondering how they’d respond if someone behind a Rays-related account (or someone at their minor-league affiliate) were to turn around and mock another team’s lack of fans at their games on social media.

    My guess is that a majority of them would be okay with it, as they’ve been the butt of every joke under the sun for a while now, and it’s always nice and fun to be able to throw s— back in the jesters’ faces.

    I personally don’t see anything in those tweets. It’s only twitter at the end of the day. Highly doubt anyone from the Rays’ front office is asking the Twins to maybe quietly usher the Red Wings’ social media guy (or gal) from their position.

    You might be, though. Maybe that’s what you want, to get someone fired for a joke you didn’t like, or a tweet that you didn’t appreciate. But hey, it’s all your prerogative in the end.

    • Michael Lortz
      August 28, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Thanks for the comment. As someone who has done stand-up and understands jokes, when one franchise comments on the business results of another, that’s not a joke. That’s an attack. Attendance is a business result. It is a result of marketing, etc. Professional businesses talk themselves up and don’t talk others down. That’s my point. And yes, I have had front office people tell me they were going to talk to their social media people after certain tweets.

      • Muko
        August 29, 2015 at 12:43 am

        So you’re not denying that you’d be okay with social media/PR team members getting fired for tweeting attendance jokes, or even numbers? Because that would be hilariously petty at best, and astonishingly vile at worst. I find it nigh on impossible to imagine that teams would fire their tweeters for making harmless jokes about other teams — this isn’t exactly the Rockets PR dude using gun emojis during a playoff series, ya know.

        It only seems like an attack when you’re on the butt end of the joke. On the other hand, if you were the one making it, then it would be fair game. Funny how that works.

        • Michael Lortz
          September 1, 2015 at 2:08 am

          I would not deny social media/PR people being talked to for tweeting inappropriate comments about another franchise. Business results, such as attendance, are not trash talking. Why don’t the Yankees tweet about higher ratings than the Mets? Because it is unprofessional.
          I wouldn’t be alright with the Rays, Tampa Yankees, Dunedin Blue Jays, Clearwater Threshers, or Bradenton Marauders making similar comments. Called professionalism.
          By the way, I don’t consider this a “Rays fan blog” at all. This is a sports business blog that explores Tampa Bay baseball.

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