Some thoughts from a recent trip to the ballpark...
Thumbs Down: The old Batter's Eye Bar in center field has been renamed after new sponsor Ridgid Jobsite. While details of Ridgid's sponsorship are not available, it's widely believed Ridgid paid $17.25 and a Winking Lizard coupon for the naming rights.
The Tribe runs a cornhole contest out at the Jobsite during every game. Make a couple of bags and get a prize. Sometimes it is good (tickets to the new 'Fan Cave,' a repurposed luxury suite, for example), and sometimes it is bad (a Whitesnake CD, for example).
At a recent game, the grand prize was four tickets in section 564. That would be the upper deck, for those of you unfamiliar with the seating conventions at Jacob's Field. Perhaps it was a benevolent act — after all, the further away you sit from Jhonny Peralta, the better off everyone is — but it's hard to imagine a more insulting or transparently cheap gesture.
Thumps Up: Kudos to the Tribe for recognizing what a great marketing opportunity the staggeringly low attendance could be. Case in point: the Mercedes Benz signage on the front row seats. It was really quite briliant to realize that 90% of the seats would be empty 90% of the season and on TV 100% of the time. That is prime advertising space as far as the Tribe is concerned.
Thumbs Down: Sunday is kid's day at the ballpark and the Tribe has long put on quite a show on the mall between the Q and Jacob's Field. This year there's a wiffle ball park, performances from Radio Disney, inflatable slides and a batting cage. There were also snakes, at least for one game. Snakes. Each about 15-feet long. According to some rudimentay internet research, approximately 22% of men and 49% of women are afraid of snakes. That's a sizable chunk of the population to risk alienating. Including me. (A deep fear of snakes led me to walk to a completely different entrance at the stadium, lest I ventured within 50 feet of those vile creatures and passed out crying. Maybe they'll just dump 100,000 black spiders on the mall next time.)
Follow me on Twitter: @vincethepolack.
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