Athletics

Athletics

OAKLAND -- Matt Chapman grabbed the microphone during a post-game interview in Aug. of 2018 following a win against the Mariners and wanted to personally talk to A's fans.

He gave a few words of encouragement right into the camera and asked for more attendance at the games in Oakland. He didn't beg by any means, but the lack of people in the stands proved a message needed to be sent. 

Some time has gone by since that memo to fans. Chapman is torn whether or not he's received support since then.

"Yes and no," Chapman told NBC Sports California at A's Media Day last Friday. "They told me there was a spike in people that came up to the gate, and there was. I know our park isn't always the most glamorous place, so I think if we get that new stadium it'll help a lot."

The new stadium aside, Chapman knows the base of it all comes down to winning -- even despite the team having two 97-win seasons in a row.

Apparently fans need more than that. But winning is a start and it's imperative in the 2020 season if they want to avoid that infamous one-and-done wild-card game again.  

"We just got to keep winning," Chapman said. "If we have a chance to win the division, I don't see why people wouldn't be coming out. I know we don't draw maybe as much as the Giants or some other teams, but I think we have the potential to -- so there's ways to get people to come and I think that we've done a good job."

 

Chapman added the A's do well attendance-wise during the weekends and those mid-week games can be tough.

Not all of us write about sports for a living, he understands that. 

As for the numbers, the A's didn't have the worst home attendance in 2019 -- but almost.

Oakland averaged 20,521 fans per home game, which ranked 24th in the league in 2019. The AL Wild-Card Game broke an attendance record which proved the fans will come out when the team is on the up-and-up. 

"I just want to encourage more people to come out," Chapman added. "Our team is only getting better and there's going to be a lot of good talent and good games to watch."

Chapman wasn't selfish about leaving this around the A's. 

"We play the Angels -- there's going to be Anthony Rendon and Mike Trout coming out and obviously the Astros is filled with stars -- we have so many good teams and then Corey Kluber just got picked by the Rangers ... "

The list goes on and on. 

"I think there's going to be a lot of games for people to come out and we're going to give you a good reason to come out," he said.

[RELATED: Chapman explains friendship with Khris Davis]

The team possesses all the ingredients it takes to get there. And collectively, you could see each one of them, especially manager Bob Melvin, is excited for what they will be able to do in 2020. And they look forward to leaving the season cut short in the past.

"I felt bad in the wild-card game, you know," Chapman said. "We asked people to come and we break the record and I mean, I've never seen the stadium like that -- it was the craziest thing, it was so awesome, we had so much fun, it was such a bummer to lose that game. I can only imagine what a playoff run for that city would be."

Maybe we'll find out soon ...