Likely Unwarranted Whining…

Sorry Knuckleballs, I didn’t get home until more than halfway through the game so if anyone came looking for a little spring training gamechat and didn’t find it, don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Baltimore 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 3 7 0
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 8 1

(if you want more game details, click the boxscore above)

Other than a great inning by Pat Neshek (my ray of sunshine in a gray day), there really was nothing to exclaim about.  Scooter pitched for 4 innings today, quite well, and got himself out of a jam or two but it’s obvious they are beginning to stretch the starters out – we should keep an eye on who else starts to get more innings for a hint of that 5th rotation spot.  But while the win/loss record for spring training doesn’t mean much of anything, it was a tad on the depressing side to watch them go down in the late innings – AGAIN.

It’s hard to justify a crabby day when there are so many good things going on for this team but somehow a whole bunch of them just managed to rise to the surface enough to need a VENT SESSION!!

First, I LOVE that KL is now a season ticket holder – she’s wanted to have her name on seats for years and I’m extremely excited about her being able to pick and choose when she can go – and obviously attending with her on a few occasions!  However, how ridiculous is it that it was easier to get SEASON tickets and the expense that entails than to simply be able to get single game seats????  Yes, I KNOW that the excitement level is high but we did the math and basically, single game tickets to certain series were so hard to get because THERE ARE LESS AVAILABLE!  Rumor has it that there are something more than 22,000 seats in the season ticket plans…  and then there are some seats that just don’t quite count as seats to me (bleachers and standing areas).  So we’re guessing that there is something like 15,000 seats available per game for people who don’t have season seats.

So, if that is the case, WHY DO SEASON TICKET HOLDERS GET FIRST CRACK AT THE SINGLE GAME SEATS????  They are already guaranteed a minimum of 20 games with their package – and at least one game in each of the premium series – so why are those of us who aren’t in a position to do a season package for financial reasons left waiting for the dregs??  I’m firmly of the opinion that season tickets have the advantage of being season tickets and you have your games planned out.  All the rest should just be first come, first served.

Secondly, yes, I’ve gone through all the numbers in my head and know that it takes higher ticket prices to support a brand new park.  And I am one of those people who actually believes that user fees, ie ticket prices, should pay the majority of the costs associated with an activity.  And I am sure once I get there, I will love many many many of the amenities. 

But the stark realization is this:  now we have a competitively set park for revenue and due to efforts needed to gain that standing, I no longer can really afford to take the family to a game.  Is MLB pricing itself out of being the every day man’s (and kid’s) american pasttime?  This isn’t just a Twins problem – this is nationwide.  When I see what you have to fork out to see games at some of the bigger parks across the country as teams are looking to get better, go newer, attract players, PAY players, and in general get their piece of the pie, I wonder what that is doing to the future of the game? None of those things are bad but how much is too much? Is baseball becoming something for the elites? Are we driving away whole segments of the population simply because the game has passed them by?  Are we losing the very visual youngest generations because the radio just doesn’t hold their attention and, in this economy or any economy, the funds aren’t there to get them to the park.  Yes, most local games are televised now – unless you happen to live in someone else’s market.  But are we damaging baseball as a WHOLE?

Lastly, I can’t even really get started on the antiquated notion of “markets” in the internet world where a fantastic product like MLB.tv is available, but you can’t games you want to watch because you are in the wrong market.  Trust me, if I COULD afford to go to the game or get to a TV to watch it, I WOULD!!!  I would love to purchase your internet broadcast for those times I’m on the computer but can’t get away to see a game.  What does the ‘market’ I’m in have to do with whether or not I can get to the game?!?  MLB, and (I think more importantly) MLB Owners, you have to wake up and smell the coffee.  We’re a new generation and you are LOSING revenue by not providing a satisfactory opportunity.  You HAVE the product.  Toss out those ridiculous market maps (see if JC comments on how many ‘markets’ he’s in and what Iowa fans get stuck with) and start over.  Make internet baseball for any team available for any fan anywhere in the country.  See if that doesn’t make up some new revenue for you so that ticket prices aren’t as big a piece of that revenue pie.

*sigh*

Not that anyone in MLB hears me – or would listen if they did.  Just had to have my grump session of the day and clear a little of the gray, stale Spring air.

PS.  Holy CRAP that was long…  I get wordy when I’m crabby!  I’m sure I’ll be back to my ever-optimistic self tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “Likely Unwarranted Whining…

  1. With MLB.tv, there’s not just the ability to sell to those who would watch on their computers when they can’t be at the game or at a TV, but there’s also this newer mobile market that would snatch up subscriptions if they could watch any game.

    About halfway through last season, MLB At Bat for iPhone added streaming video for a couple games a day, as long as they weren’t subject to blackout wherever you were physically located. I don’t know yet if they’ll still have that available, but they will have it so if you have an MLB.tv subscription, you can watch all the games, subject to blackout rules.

    If not for the blackout rules, I’d definitely consider a subscription because then I could truly watch the Twins any time, since I always have my iPhone with me. As it is, I’m hoping that the random couple of games a day through At Bat still happens, because it was fun catching other games occasionally, but I’m not going to pay more for that than what I already did for At Bat.

  2. Oh don’t EVEN think that I’m going to simply mention the idiocy of MLB’s blackout rules in a comment to one of your posts. Now that I have the bully pulpit of a blog, I’ll be putting together a truly memorable rant once the season starts. In the mean time, let me just say that Iowa… all of Iowa… is in the “home market” of the Twins, Royals, Cubs, WhiteSox, Cardinals, Brewers and Royals. Not bad… a state with no major league professional sports franchise is the “home market” for seven MLB teams!

  3. The blackout rules are bizarre. I guess it’s the result of baseball clubs trying to protect their individual self-interests instead of doing what’s good for the league as a whole, once again. But it really is short-sighted.

    Sounds like the Twins’ ticket policies could stand a rethinking, as well, but I don’t think prices would come down if the club stopped paying the likes of Morneau and Nathan (or, we hope, Joe Mauer), or if the club could tap greater revenue streams from media. It’s just a matter of supply and demand. Prices are set at an optimum level for profit. It really is too bad that the only “cheap seats” (which aren’t terribly cheap) in the new park are upper deck, down the line in the corners. But I don’t suppose you’ll see great discounts and price reductions unless fans start to stay away from the park in droves. Obviously, for the time being, there is no shortage of Twins fans willing to pay what the club is charging, especially this season.

  4. precisely FW… thus the frustrated ranting. I’ll probably get over it. Doesn’t make any of the above untrue.

  5. Yeah. I truly love that I can watch every single Twins game from my computer, right out here in Portland.

    Except when they play Seattle, of course.

    Even if they play Seattle in Minnesota.

    I suppose this is because they want me to watch it on TV. But I don’t HAVE a TV. Or cable. Or MLB exrtra innings. Which is why I have MLB.TV….