The DMN has a piece today featuring the whining of Rangers president Jeff Cogen...
He's upset that attendance, which is projected to be 2.65 million, the highest for the Rangers since 2001, isn't as high as he and Tommy would like for it to be.
And with the Rangers currently on an 8 game winning streak, plus having an off-day today, he's decided that now is the perfect time to go public with his whining.
Cogen says he can't figure out why attendance isn't higher.
Gosh, Jeff, let's think about it...after a strong season in 2004 that got folks excited about this team, Tom Hicks betrayed his promise to use the "financial flexibility" from the Alex Rodriguez trade to improve the team. Instead, he slashed payroll, while he and his g.m. publicly lamented that they couldn't afford any of the quality free agents out there, to the point where the Rangers' players (Mike Young and Mark Teixeira, in particular) criticized the lack of a commitment from the front office.
This, despite the fact that this is a big market team, and despite the fact that the Rangers' attendance has been higher than the league average every year but one (2002) since TBIA opened in 1994.
Oh, and it also probably didn't help that, in the middle of a pennant race last season, in late September, in the midst of the first meaningful September games this team has had in the 21st century, Tom Hicks publicly proclaimed that he wasn't going be spending more money on payroll for 2005. And sure enough, Hicks not only didn't increase payroll for 2005, he lowered it...
So, Mr. Cogen, it could be that the lack of a big attendance leap this year might be attributable to fan disappointment in Tom Hicks' lack of commitment to this team? You think that the deadest offseason in years, one that saw virtually none of the team's acknowledged holes filled while Tom Hicks continued to slice payroll, might have something to do with this?
Cogen, incidentally, is the same genius who didn't want to televise a late season home game last year, in the hopes that keeping it off television would make more people come to the park. Tom Hicks ended up having to overrule Cogen and prevent a p.r. nightmare.