Walk ups are such a small part of the ticket sales, the vast majority of ticket buyers (the customers Rogers needs most) buy their tickets well in advance and make a day of it. The number of "hey, Doc's pitching why don't we head to the park" sales are minimal and likely viewed as free money by the team. As the Tao said with an assist to Malcolm Gladwell: Halladay himself won't make people buy tickets but his absence could certainly preclude them from doing so.
The local media really picked up the "smallest crowd" factoid and ran with it, an unfortunate and not entirely fair but understandable move. Beeston or whomever he dumps this Cleveland Steamer on have a hell of a P.R. task in front of them. If Paul and friends thought the caretaker business plan of trotting out the old dogs and riding the Cito Nostalgia Fixed Gear Bicycle of Wellness until his skinny jeans tore in the chain would buy him indefinite grace; boy was he wrong. My indifference (bordering on hostility) towards the wise and benevolent Beeston and his free pass is well documented, no need to compound the shitty feelings now.
Cito V. The RodAgain, I call spin and think people are looking for ways to tear this team down. Would a player's manager like Cito really go out of his way to make a player look that bad in public? Considering only get pieces of the exchange, I interpret Cito's comments to mean "he's played so well, we won't be able to afford him next year." That would jibe with Cito's desire for the players to love him and his apparent disdain for the front office. It reminds of the situation in San Francisco, where manager Bruce Bochy defiantly refuses to play wunderkind Buster Posey to stick it to a front office that (may have) leveraged Posey to chase noted handful Bengie Molina back to work.
Managers like Cito and Bochy love to prove to the players how "on their side' they are by passively telling management to fuck off. I know I used to manage my team at my previous job(s) that exact way. Stealing minutes at the cracker factory is one thing, stealing fans money and will to live by sticking with Kevin Millar/Bengie Molina is bad business and bad form. For Cito to have shown up Rod in this manner would be completely out of character. I call shenanigans. Sadly I doubt we'll get the whole story.