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JSOnline.com Posts Joke, Again!

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This is probably the worst big city paper in the country. Of course, I'm not that familiar with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, or the El-Paso Times, but I have read papers from Baltimore, Boston, Denver and other cities our size and rarely see such shotty journalism, and poor news coverage.

Then again, maybe if I were reading the Seattle Times regularly I would grow as frustrated with it as I have the Journal-Sentinel.

Anyway, on to the joke.

Marcia Thurnbauer, a freelance writer, composes a diatribe that the Journal-Sentinel saw fit to print.

It has no conclusion, strike one!

The implication is that Miller Park should not have been publicly financed, because you win games by playing better baseball, not by building a new park.

But wait - if nothing else, baseball is, indeed, a game of statistics. And some fans who aren't screaming at the games (presumably because they aren't going to the games) will scream that overall attendance is up, compared with County Stadium. And in fact, they would be correct: At about 26,500 per game over five years, average attendance (at just 62% capacity) is slightly more than double what it was at County Stadium.

Overall attendance IS up. Oh, wait, you granted that.

But wait, attendance was up significantly in 2004 - by 22% - even though the team again finished third from the bottom of the league. Don't get excited, and don't be fooled. Ten sold-out home games against the 2003 Central Division champion Chicago Cubs brought out nearly 190,000 extra fans in 2004, padding the statistics handsomely. Turns out it was the Cubs, not the Brewers, who attracted the fans.

Right, and paid attendance only counts if they sign a waiver form claiming to be Brewers fans... er, wait, is the argument now that the Cubs were better than the Brewers?

Woah, maybe because of those 190,000 Cubs fans, we acquired the extra revenue to trade for Carlos Lee which allowed us to be better than the Cubs this year... wow, trippy logic. Those Cubs fans are helping to beat the Cubs. And if you buy the bit that Podzilla was a missing link that helped bring a world series to the White Sox, well then clearly Miller Park won a world series.

She didn't even mention the new ownership, or the fact that the Brewers are basically tied to Milwaukee because of a contract with Miller Park, or all the other great things to come out of a new stadium. Nor did she mention the age of County Stadium. Strike two Marcia!

Compared to their last five years in County Stadium, the Brewers' average annual payroll has only increased by $10 million - not nearly enough to "buy" a significantly better team. Still, despite the fact that revenue from the new stadium has not materialized to competitively increase the payroll, 2005 attendance was up again (slightly) as the Brewers finally dug themselves out of the bottom of the National League - tying for 8th place at .500.

So you see, payroll is up, games won is up, attendance is up, cubs are down. Therefore Miller Park equals bad idea. Oh Marcia, you so crazy.

Uh-oh, I figured it out, look at the bottom of the article.

Marcia Thurnbauer of Waukesha is an instructional designer and freelance writer/producer. Her e-mail address is mediapros@aol.com

Waukesha, that explains it. Never done nothing good for nobody. Strike three, sit down ya bum!