The sellout streak officially died last night. The Giants announced an attendance of 39,538, a couple thousand people short of AT&T Park’s capacity, and after 530 straight games that were officially deemed sellouts, there were enough empty seats last night that they couldn’t make it to 531.
The streak began on October 1, 2010 as the Giants were fighting with the Padres for the NL West title, continued through 2011 and 2012, survived 2013, kind of, stayed intact through the miserable dog days of 2014, kind of, made it through 2015, kind of, lasted for all of last year, kind of, and was finally put to an end last night, Monday, July 17, 2017. It started on the night Andres Torres got the Willie Mac Award for his inspirational season and story and it ended on a night when Matt Moore threw away the game because he couldn’t toss a baseball to first base.
It was dumb, of course. It was really dumb. Even putting aside whether the Giants had actually sold out those games or how the technical definition of sellout is pretty much meaningless in 2017, a team trumpeting their financial success as if that’s something that should matter to you, the fan, was always silly. “See? You’re such good fans,” Bill Neukom and then Larry Baer would say to you, patting your head. “Now go spend some more money. Maybe take out a mortgage for a crab sandwich? Your call. Anyway, what we value about you is the money that you spend on us.”
Just as dumb, though, were the fans who, upon seeing the news that a game was declared a sellout on Dress As Your Favorite Empty Seat Night, would immediately jump into the Twitter mentions of Hank Schulman or Andrew Baggarly or Alex Pavlovic and ask how dare the Giants call this a sellout? Don’t they understand that not all the seats are filled? Do they think we’re stupid?
It was absurdly stupid for the Giants to trumpet their sellout streak, but it was somehow even stupider for fans to care about its sanctity. There is literally nothing that matters less to your life than an arbitrary accounting of how many tickets the Giants sold that does not take into account secondary markets or actual attendance. This has no relevance to you at all. This could not possibly ever affect you in any way. Are you proud that you and your fellow fans gave the Giants your money and your time when they didn’t deserve either? Don’t be. You’re taking pride in the team getting something they don’t deserve. You’re rewarding poor decision making and poor results, and removing the pressure that makes it necessary to change those factors.
Is this to say that you shouldn’t go to the park in this, The Second Era of Garbage Giants Baseball at AT&T Park? No, of course not. It’s still a nice park and it’s still fun to go out there and watch a game even with the expectation that the Giants are going to embarrass themselves. But is this a franchise that currently deserves to have the bragging rights that they sell out every game and that people really want to see them? No, it’s not, and even with a 31,000-strong season ticket holder base, they couldn’t make it happen last night.
The sellout streak is over. Now let’s never think about it again.