01/26/2005: Crazy like a fox?
Think that the Houston Astros (or their GM, at least) lost their collective minds when they shelled out $18 million for the services of ageless wonder Roger Clemens next season? Well, St. Louis Post-Dispatch baseball writer Rick Hummell puts things in some perspective:
Upon first glance, you might say the Houston Astros, even though they had the money available because they failed to sign outfielder Carlos Beltran, overpaid to retain pitcher Roger Clemens, who will be 43 in August.Did the Astros pay Rocket $1 million a victory? Or did they profit $20 million on their marginal revenues when Roger pitched in The Juice Box last season? Decide for yourself....
Eighteen million dollars for 18 victories (Clemens' total for 2004) could seem excessive, but here is how he will help pay for himself this year:
The Astros adjusted Clemens' schedule so that he pitched 21 of his 34 starts at home last year. And he packed the house nearly every time. When Clemens didn't pitch, the Astros averaged 37,627 fans at home. When he did pitch, they averaged 40,965 - an increase of about 3,300 a start.
This translated to 70,000 more fans at home when Clemens pitched - or at an estimated $30 a ticket, more than $2.1 million extra that Clemens brought in.
Another way of looking at it is that at nearly 41,000 fans a start, the Astros grossed $24.9 million on the days Clemens pitched at home.
Len on 01.26.05 @ 08:16 AM CST