If Your Team Blows, Shouldn’t the Beer Be Cheap?

Hmm, we may be witnessing a crime here in the photo below. I know that you can purchase all manner of exotic beers at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, including the rare and mysterious Dark Lord Imperial Stout*. But I’m pretty sure none of them are served in bottles. (If those are plastic bottles, forget I mentioned it).

But such smugglin’ activity is what happens when you charge $8.75 for a 20-ounce beer, the most expensive cup of brew in Major League Baseball (although not when you average it out per ounce, as I know you do). The ballpark should be the one place in the world where you’re not forced to write a check for a refreshing barley pop, especially when your team sucks as bad offensively as the Giants. This team should be giving me beer for free.

And thus we come to the WALL STREET JOURNAL story today that many MLB teams give a break on beer prices in relation to how well the team is doing. In Pittsburgh, for instance, where the Pirates recently set a record by sucking in 17 consecutive seasons, it only costs $4.75 for a 21-ounce forget-your-sorrows.

According to data collected by Team Marketing Report for the 2009 season, beer prices vary dramatically among big-league teams. A 21-ounce beer costs $4.75 in Pittsburgh, but you’ll shell out $8.75 for a 20-ounce brew at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. This led us to wonder: Does quality have anything to do with beer prices?

Surprisingly, it does. A team with a .600 winning percentage charges, on average, about $1.30 more for a 16-ounce beer than does a team with a .400 percentage.

Of course some fans are absolutely getting screwed, even more so than we in SF. At Nationals Park, where “woe is me” should be mowed into the outfield grass, a 20-ounce beer will set you back $7.50; an egregious miscarriage of justice. I wouldn’t even pay that if the Pope were in the park instead of the Nationals.

And the most expensive beer in MLB, ounce-for-ounce, is at Fenway, as if you didn’t know. It’s $7.25 for just 12 ounces — a wikad pissah if ever there was one.

You knew, however, that the Yankees would find a way to screw their fans even worse. Although their regular beer prices are not as high as the Red Sox’s, they do offer Retro Beer for $9 — a fact that horrifies the fine, sober folks at WITH LEATHER. Nine bucks for a Schlitz; now that’s the American Way.

* = Not really. So far they’ve ignored my letters.

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