Astros desperate for more fans, Sharks could win Stanley Cup

Dan Hurwitz

After only seven games at Minute Maid Park, new attendance records are popping up day by day. But they are not the type of numbers owner Drayton McLane was hoping for.

These records include the smallest opening day crowd, the lowest weekend crowd and second-smallest crowd at Minute Maid Park.

People just are not going to Astros games anymore. It’s really a shame.

Yes, the team is not very good, but come on, what else is there to do in Houston?

The promotions to try to get more fans out have already begun. And as the season goes by and losses pile up, they will be extended. Kids will not just get in free all summer but all season. The all-you-can-eat buffet will no longer be a pricey, rare occasion but a daily deal that is much cheaper.

The Astros are trying to do their part to get people out to the ball game. They updated the scoreboard in right field. They hired nationally acclaimed chef Bryan Caswell to bring some unique dishes to the concession stands at the stadium. They even made the wireless internet signal at the ballpark stronger.

But there are a few things they didn’t do. First of all, they didn’t lower ticket prices. But not only did they not lower the prices, they raised them again. Guess that scoreboard doesn’t come cheap.

In addition, they made very few attempts to improve the team over the offseason. The names Brett Wallace and Angel Sánchez don’t really thrill Houstonians or any baseball fan.

It kills me to say this, but the Astros are going to keep losing. Minute Maid Park will remain close to empty. Even if they start giving away tickets, the stadium won’t be full.

Maybe during my four years in college, people have found things to do in Houston. Or maybe the Astros really are that bad. There aren’t any remotes at the ballpark to switch the channel on the new scoreboard yet.

<strong> Ice is nice </strong>

My regular readers — aka my parents — may remember my newfound love for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In a column last year, I explained how much better the NHL playoffs are than the NBA.

There is no flopping, little arguing with officials, and the players will give their teeth for a win and come right back on the ice after a visit to the team dentist between periods.

This year, I am making a pre-playoffs pick for a team that I am going to root for throughout the chase for the Stanley Cup.
I have watched probably 10 seconds of live hockey games on TV this year and know close to nothing about any team. But I do know which teams are in America and which ones have cool mascots.

Therefore, I am going with the San Jose Sharks to take the cup this year.

What’s not to like about them? No, really? Is there anything not to like about them? I have no clue.
Anyway, go Sharks!