For those who think I'm off base with my complaining about Drayton McLane's ridiculous concession prices at the Juice Container (you know who you are!), here's a revealing analysis by Team Marketing Report.
On price of beer, Houston's $6 ranks only behind LA ($6.50) for highest price. The NY Mets are tied with Houston for second, but sell a larger sized beer. League average is $4.82.
On price of soda, Houston, LA, and NY Mets are tied at $3.50 for highest price. League average is $2.45.
On price of a hot dog, Houston and NY Mets are tied at $3.75 for highest price, with LA's $3.25 being a veritable bargain for the best stadium hot dog ever made! League average is $2.72.
One thing I would also note is that cost of living and salaries are MUCH lower in Houston than in either New York or LA. That makes it even more outrageous that Drayton and the Asstros are charging such exorbitant concession prices.
Granted, nobody has to pay them, and I don't. But it shows some real nerve for Drayton to ask so much from fans when he won't even shell out the cash to keep, say, a Castilla or Alou or Astacio, or consider trading for Hampton (who is on the trading block, but deemed too expensive).
(07-16-02 Update) Charles Kuffner disagrees with that last paragraph, although I don't think we are all that much at odds. I will grant that Castilla and Alou have had terrible years with their new teams, and it's always a gamble spending big bucks on aging players (witness Craig Biggio this year, or, in football, Aikman, Haley, Novacek, and Irvin all drawing salaries from my beloved Cowboys a few years ago despite being gone because of career-ending injuries). But was Drayton actually making that sort of calculated assessment, or was Drayton simply unwilling to spend a little more than planned in order to go after a championship? I lean towards that last, but it is, admittedly, conjecture.
Let me put it a little differently -- Might I be more inclined to head out to the Juice Container and send a little more cash Drayton's way if, say, Hunsicker (with Drayton's blessing) suddenly got serious about pursuing a Hampton, or a Rolen, even though the payroll might jump? Yep. I'd go knock down a few $6 beers and do my part. But when it's down to Nelson Cruz and Brandon Puffer as your starters, and your GM is still saying you can't pursue a legit pitcher because of $$$, I'm more inclined to go catch a free Texans practice.
On the flip side, it might be best just to ride out this season, not do anything rash, and hope to regroup next year. Tonight's game was more like the Astros we've seen most of the season (the last two weeks excluded -- that was a nice little run), and trading prospects and taking on salary for a longshot chance at a division title this year probably aren't great moves. I'm guessing Hunsicker is probably thinking that; I'm guessing Drayton is more focused on the $$$. But it's just a guess.
I'm also guessing I'm one of those impatient fans Charles is gently chiding. :)
[Posted at 23:40 CST on 07/14/02] [Link]