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2009 Nashville Sounds are much improved over 2008 team but attendance is disappointing

June 25, 2009
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Don Money

What a difference a year can make. There are big differences between the 2008 and the 2009 Nashville Sound’s teams. Half-way through the 2008 season (as of 6/23) the Sounds are the 3rd best team in the league and in first-place in their division (41-31).

Let’s compare the 2009 team to the 2008 Sounds.

First, the Sounds have a new manager. Out is  Frank Kremblas after the Sounds finished dead last, with the worst record in the PCL in 2008 (59-81). Kremblas managed the Sounds for four years (2005-2008) and had a combined respectable W/L record of 299-273 (.520). He even won the PCL championship in 2005.

This year fans see new manager Don Money turning in the line-up card to the umpires before each game. Money has brought a new attitude and discipline to the club and the results are paying off.  Money has the Sounds winning .569 of their games half-way through 2009.

The 2009 Nashville Sounds are the most-improved team in all of the Pacific Coast League this year.

Second, there are lot’s of new faces in the line-up compared to 2008.  Fans this year will only recognize three faces that are in the line-up this year that started in 2008:  Hernan Iribarren, Adam Heether and Brendan Katin. New faces have brought new excitement this year to the team, not to mention some serious talent:  Mat Gamel (already called up to Milwaukee), Alcides Ecobar, Jason Bourgeois, Angel Salome, Cole Gillespie, and exciting pitchers like Mike Burns (recently called-up to Milwaukee), Tim Dillard and newbie Chris Cody.

Several 2009 Sound’s players have already seen call-ups to the Milwaukee Brewers this season: Mike Burns (currently on Brewers roster), Carlos Corporan, Hernan Iribarren, R.J. Swindle, and Mat Gamel (currently with Brewers). We’re all wondering when the likes of Iribarren, Escobar, Bourgeois, Heether and Dillard will get their chances to play at the major league level consistently. Right now we get to enjoy them displaying the Sound’s jersey on warm summer evenings.

Third, Nashville Sounds fans see a refreshed ballpark with Greer Stadium and can occasionally catch the new owners roaming the park. The new ownership invested over $2 million in upgrades to historic Greer Stadium before the 2009 season, including: upgrades to the playing field, restrooms, concession stands, scoreboard, sound system and seating.

But the improvements in the quality of the product (and environment) played at historic Greer Stadium has not resulted in an increase in fans coming through the turnstiles.

Disappointingly, the Sound’s attendance ranks second to the worst in the PCL. Only 146,420 fans have attended 36 games at Greer so far, averaging 4,067 fans per game. If that pace continues the Sounds will finish with a 2009 attendance record of 292,840 fans for 2009, and 18% drop from 2008 when they were the worst team in the league. If the 2009 game average of 4,067 fans per game continues that will be the lowest attendance record since 2000 when the Sounds averaged only 3,908 per game. The 2005 PCL Championship team averaged over 2,000 more fans per game than the current 2009 team.

I’ve attended 25 of the 36 games this year. It has been a great season to follow in 2009. I’ve attended 90% of the games possible when I have been in town.

I started this blog at the beginning of the 2009 season and have made 256 posts so far. That’s an average of 3.5 posts per game. There is no more comprehensive and better quality minor league team blog on the Internet that I am aware of.

Before this season I was a casual Sound’s fan in terms of attendance. I probably averaged going to 5-7 games per year the past eight years.

I would implore the greater-Nashville community to show more support for this excellent team.There is no better family-entertainment-value in the community than watching the Nashville Sounds play at Greer Stadium on a beautiful summer evening.

If Sounds fan would like to see even more improvements to the team in terms of personnel and environment then we have to show more support for the current team.

C’mon Sounds fans. Let’s get out to more games and root the 2009 team to a PCL Championship!

Sounds Baseball 290 by kwmcnutt.

Here are some key highlights of the play of the Nashville Sounds in 2009.

  1. Four players were called up (in order): Corporan (4/30), Gamel (5/14), Iribarren (5/20) and Burns (6/2).
  2. The Sounds’ pitching staff leads the PCL with a 3.69 ERA.
  3. The Sounds rank second in the PCL with 81 stolen bases.
  4. The Sounds bullpen has combined to record a PCL-high 23 saves.
  5. Adam Heether leads the team in batting (.333): 42 games, 48 hits.
  6. Jason Bourgeois (.328) and Heether (.333) are in the top ten of PCL batters.
  7. The Sounds are 31-9 when out-hitting their opponent.
  8. The Sounds are 0-16 when scoring fewer than 3 runs.
  9. The Sounds are 30-5 when leading after the sixth.
  10. The Sounds have had 6 last at-bat wins.
  11. The Sounds outscored their opponents in innings: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; best inning is 6th (69 to 32).
  12. Burns and Dillard both have 7 wins as of 6/23 (second in PCL).
  13. Burns’s ERA of 2.55 ((12 games) is 4th best in PCL.
  14. Chris Cody is a nice surprise: 2-1, 1.69 ERA.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Michael permalink
    June 25, 2009 6:07 pm

    From what is see over my 3 years as a season ticket holder is the complete lack of local media coverage of nearly any type. Yea, once in a great while a camera crew is out there.. but go home and nothing… or go to the local TV station web sites and click the sports page, then click on the ‘Sounds’ link if they even have one. Most offer the most recent ‘news’ that is over 3 years OLD..!! They still have information on what the new ball park will look in when it opens in 2008.. If they want to get the word out they should start with a good media blitz.

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