Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Victoria Seals - Top 5 Things to Monitor

With opening day less than 48 hours away, a number of things are rattling around my head with respect to the Victoria Seals.

1. Will Victorians support the team as much as they did the Victoria Capitals?

In the abbreviated 2003 season, over 1,700 fans per game turned out to Royal Athletic Park to cheer on professional baseball's return to the Garden City. Will the team be able to draw as well this time around? Some of the teams in the Golden Baseball League have been drawing very poorly during the first week of the season, so let's hope Victoria bucks the trend. While Edmonton drew over 12,000 fans for the first three games against Victoria last week, the Calgary franchise drew only 453 fans a few nights later against the same Seals squad. Attendance information has been hard to come by, so one has to wonder if the Golden Baseball League is hiding a potential problem.

2. Will the poor (1-6) start by the Seals affect attendance?

Victoria sports fans are notorious for jumping on and off the bandwagon, depending on the team's position in the standings (see "Cougars, Victoria"). A poor start could be bad for the team's bottom line. Owners Darren and Russ Parker must be at least a little worried after the team's horrendous start.

3. Will the Seals find someone who can pitch?

With 42 runs in their first seven games, the team has been hitting the ball extremely well. Unfortunately, the Seals pitching staff has given up a whopping 71 runs in those games. If the pitching woes continue, Manager Darrell Evans will be in for one long summer.

4. How will the renovations to Royal Athletic Park be received?

Will the $400,000 USD video screen actually work? Will it show timely replays or will it be used to show endless advertising? The Victoria Salmon Kings must be green with envy after they "cheaped out" on their 1970's-style scoreboard.

5. Will the Seals' mascot, Seamore, be better than Marty the Marmot?

Of this I can be sure: he can be no worse than Marty. For one thing, he won't be wearing a diaper.

See you at the ballyard!