Tuesday night marked the home debut of Washington Nationals‘ phenom Bryce Harper, one of the most hyped prospects we have seen over the last 50 years. Based on the early returns, Harper is as good as advertised, starting off his big league career 6 for 13 with 3 doubles. However, if you had watched the highlights or scanned the box score for the attendance figures from his first two nights at home, you would think it was just an ordinary middle of the week series against a non-division opponent. The amount of people dressed up as empty seats for the first two Harper home games is definitely not what the folks at Major League Baseball were looking for at such an event.
Perhaps there are a few reasons for the low turnout. The weather could easily have played a factor in people staying away. The night time temperature in the DC area has been below normal, with last night’s mercury in the 40′s. Also, the opponent was the Arizona Diamondbacks. No disrespect to the team I cover but they are not the Braves or the Mets, divison rivals and better road draws. And after all, it is only the beginning of May, where crowd numbers are much smaller than what they are in the Summer with the warm weather and kids out of school. Maybe the ticket prices are just too darn expensive, a plague that affects every team around the league.
Still, it is hard to believe some or all of these factors kept Nats’ fans away from seeing a potenial once-in-a lifetime superstar for the very first time in person. It is also hard to believe that when Trevor Bauer makes his first start for Arizona, Chase Field will not be at least 75% full. I have a very limited knowledge of fans in the Phoenix area. However, the buzz around Bauer, particuarly relating to venomstrikes.com, indicates that the people in the Valley are itching for the chance to see their own budding superstar. Perhaps the dynamics will be different than in Washington, better weather, different time of year, opponent etc. It won’t matter if opposing team is the San Francisco Giants or the Bad News Bears, fans will come out for the much-anticipated arrival of Trevor Bauer.
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