The Red Sox consecutive sellout streak ended on Tuesday. Notice that’s all I said. I didn’t say “finally ended” or “officially ended.” I said “ended.” I’m not sure why so many people have needed to add the qualifiers when they talk about it.
The “finally” one is odd. I don’t understand why people would be rooting for the streak to end. How can you not like a streak? It’s not distracting. It’s not annoying. It’s just going on in the background. The only time it’s really brought up is when they announce the attendance at a game, and mention which number it is. That’s a problem for people? Why?
But, the one that grates on me is the “officially” qualifier. The implication, of course, is that the streak has been over for some time, and the Red Sox are just finally admitting it. That’s just not true. Up until Tuesday night, the Sox had sold more tickets than they had available to see for almost 800 games. That’s not up for debate. Major League baseball has guidelines for what teams can call a sellout, and the Red Sox have followed that. They didn’t start closing sections towards the end so they wouldn’t have to sell those seats. They didn’t give away 10,000 seats out of the blue just to extend the streak. It was just business as usual.
People like to point out that there were a lot of empty seats at the end of last year. Yup. There were. But, the tickets were sold. That’s why they call it a sellout. If they had to count every seat being filled, no team would ever have a sellout. There’s always going to be someone who has a ticket, but doesn’t show. Heck, I’ll be willing to bet that Justin Bieber has a ticket holder or two not show up for a concert. They still call them sellouts. I’m sorry that some people think every seat needs to be filled for it to be called a sellout. But it’s pretty clear that it would be ridiculous.
So, you say, what difference does it make? If all it means that 10,000 scalpers bought tickets and then could or couldn’t resell them, what does it mean?
Did having the streak last year mean the Sox were as popular as ever? Of course not. Does the streak ending mean that the Sox are unpopular? Of course not. They may be popular, they may not. A streak doesn’t define that. I’m the first one to tell you that streaks aren’t nearly as impressive as people make them out to be. Hitting in 56 straight games is a statistical fluke, not a great accomplishment. But, I’m not going to argue that DiMaggio didn’t actually hit in 56 straight (even if there was some funny business going on to extend the streak). It happened. The sellout streak happened.
And, now it’s over.