Feeling the Magic?

August 19, 2011

The Milwaukee Brewers look like they could win the National League Central Division. They have a 6 1/2 game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. They have only 38 games left.

Brewers fans are getting excited. They are starting to talk in hushed tones about the teams Magic Number.

In Major League Baseball parlance a team’s Magic Number is calculated using the number of games left and the lead a team has in the race. If a club leads the race by 3 games and there are 5 games left, it’s magic number to win is 3. And, a club’s number can be reduced when opponents lose.  

By Labor Day all but a few teams know their number will never be called.  Some teams never get a real shot for a Magic Number, like the ’62 Mets and, well, nearly every Cubs club. 

I’m getting nervous. It’s too early to start doing the math. Yet twice in the last 24 hours the Magic Number was referenced.

First, there were some Milwaukee sports radio guys. “So, there’s only 40 games left …… and they have series with the Mets, Pirates and Cubs …….. so you figure……. it would almost be impossible to miss the playoffs….” Similar extrapolations were being conjured using the more complicated two-team method. “OK, the Crew gets the Mets, Pirates and Cubs for 10 games but the Cardinals get the Cubs, Reds and Astros……so the Brewers should get 4-6 wins out of that week while the Cards can expect…….” It’s beginning to sound like winning the division is a foregone conclusion.   

But there are 38 games left.

The Brewers have a miserable road record and they’ll be playing in New York and Pittsburgh the next 7 games. They get at least three games left with St. Louis. They could face a hot club on the road. And injuries can crop up.

They have been scoring only 2-3 runs a game over the past month. They won a 1-run game last week by pulling off 3 double plays and one triple play. They won another when their runner moved from first to third on a passed ball. He then scored the winning run from third on a passed ball. The runner? Their catcher, batting 7th in the order. 

There are 38 games left.

The Brewers could collapse like the ’51 Dodgers. Or the ’64 Phillies. They could choke.

There are still 38 games left, people are calculating Magic Numbers – and I just received an invitation in the mail to purchase playoff tickets.

They have no chance.


March 15, 2011

Brokers have it easy. For them there is no complication, art or science to the ticket transaction. But I have season tickets for the Milwaukee Brewers. And there are important aspects to the buying and selling of the tix.

First, of course, can you afford the tickets? I really bought a package of 20 games. My 20-pack entitles me to the same seat location for all of the games. 

There have been half and full season ticket programs. I don’t know how any one person could justify it. Corporations might have a legitiment reason to buy those packages. But life is too short, busy and interesting even for a person like me.

And there is cost. My two seats in the Loge behind home plate cost me $1500 (actually, they cost $1440. Marketing?). To much? Well, consider see (or rational):

1. I don’t fish, hunt, boat. I’m not an outdoors man. All those cost;

2. The “package” gives a deep discount. My seats cost $37 not $45 per;

3. And Andrew loves baseball. He came to it on his own. Really. Going is a “Dad and son bonding” opportunity. Really, no kidding.

Hey, I could go see the “The Kings Speech” 20 times and no one would considerate it a waiste of time. OK, bad example. 

I sought authority and approval from the high command – Kate. That’s pretty expensive. How about a 9-pack (marketing)? I get the discount. That’s a lot of games. I’m going to sell 6 or seven. I’ve heard that before. No really. They’ll be in demand. What package? Sunday again. We’re Episcopalians. We don’t have to be there every week. Fine. Saturday, not Sunday.                  

Now, which to sell and for how much. The cost was easy – sell them for my costs.

The big challenge is sell enough and still keep attractive games. Given the NL Central, you don’t want to get stuck with the Pirates, right? The Saturday package had a real benefit. Most of my tix were for Friday and Saturday in one weekend. 

So I can sell the Twins on Friday and Andrew and I can go on Saturday. Same with the Cardinals, Phillies, Reds and Cubs. I can keep the singletons with the Rockies and Giants. Heck, I might be able to sell Houston.

My prospects look good. Only the Pirates, typically eliminated when teams break spring training camp, will be a real problem.

Unfortunatly I have tix for 3 of them. Even brokers have a hard time with those. I hope the High Command understands.