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Dear Jeff Moorad: Five things I’d change about the PETCO fan experience

August 5th, 2009 by Melvin
Petco Park, photo by surfneng.

Petco Park, photo by surfneng.

Recently, Padres Corporate Operations Officer Tom Garfinkel wined and dined the boys of Gaslamp Ball to an evening of wining and dining. I have to say, I’m more than a little impressed with how Garfinkel handled the whole Breakfast Town thing. A big kudos goes out to him reaching out and turning his critics into sycophants (that’s just a joke).

During the evening, Garfinkle asked the boys if there was anything they would change about the fan experience. Completely uninvited, as is our usual manner of behavior, we at The Sacrifice Bunt would like to offer our own suggestions:

5. Bring back the brown

You hear people say this a lot, and God help me if they aren’t right. Another example of the team’s descent into a bland corporate mechanism. Somehow there are actually 35 teams in a 30 team league with either blue or red as their main color, and no I don’t know how that works either. Blue is boring. We used to be unique. Now we’re the low-rent Brewers.

Our saving grace is the sand color. It is distinctive, and matches well with the blue. Of course, this team’s uniforms are traditionally untraditional, meaning the next in the grand tradition of Padres uniform overhauls is due any day now. Here’s my suggestion.

4. PA Announcing Style: The Voice of God.

Frank Anthony, the Padres current PA announcer, is great at what he does. He’s Family friendly, inviting, and comforting. Nothing against him, but it’s also bland and corporate.

Oakland’s Voice of God, aka Roy Steele is more my taste. I want to feel like the mob will come after me if I dare not participate in the Hat Shuffle Extreme™ jumbotron game. I want to feel like it’s a voice from heaven, booming down and proclaiming to all who dare listen the superiority of Luis Rodriguez’s hitting abilities. Deathly. Serious.

3. Cover up the boring, gray, concrete

It makes the stadium look unfinished. Reminds be of the exterior of every monstrosity built in the 50s and 60s, when they thought concrete was modern.

The crew got off to a good start painting the wheelchair ramp near the bleachers in right-center field, from dry gray to Padre blue (You can see the ramp post painting on the far left).

Painting all that exposed concrete blue might be a bit much. I suggest a grand shtickel of sandstone, just like the exterior. It doesn’t have to be the fancy stuff from India. Just make it not disgusting. That’s all.

2. Make the between-inning entertainment entertaining

Ray: It’s not that I don’t find the sailboat races and hat shuffle boring but… well, I find them boring. They’re nice, and completely inoffensive, but I can’t remember the last time I participated in one. If it wasn’t for the occasional left fielder playing along, they’d be completely worthless.

I remember back to the good old days of Guess the Pet, when the fans in attendance would get the opportunity to guess which pet belonged to which Padre. Nothing could entertain like finding out David Eckstein owns a Great Dane. Or the Friar Races. Sure, it’s a total rip-off of Milwaukee and their sausages. And it’s not as clever as Washington and its presidents. But it still clears the way for a pratfall or two, and it actually lends itself to creativity (which Friar will it be this time?). These two should be staples at every game.

And you know what else should be? Press gate Bruce*. Petco Park needs more waving.

Melvin: And another thing: can’t the Friar himself be funny? Seems like all he does during the game is take photos with people in the stands, maybe ring a bell tucked away somewhere that may or may not exist, or wave a flag. He should be dancing on the dugouts, checking poor fielding infielders’ gloves for holes, showing eye charts to and leading a group of kids to poop on the umpires and such. I’m sure a lot of that humor came from Ted Giannoulas, but I bet there is at least one funny person in the organization who can come up with some more schtick.

1. If you weren’t a baseball fan, would you know who plays at Petco?

If you were at the ballpark in Philly you would. Right field. Huge Padres sign. Make it hap’n cap’n. I’ll admit, this one is probably the most expensive suggestion. So while we’re spending oodles of other people’s money, lets put a bigger video screen in right as well.

*Wow your friends with this piece of interesting trivia: Press Gate Bruce was the runner-up in our choice of names for this blog.

Posted in dear jeff moorad, petco park | 20 Comments »

20 Responses to “Dear Jeff Moorad: Five things I’d change about the PETCO fan experience”

  1. I agree with adding a Padres sign somewhere and also covering up the concrete. But the number one thing they definitely need to do is bring back the brown. My personal favorite was their 1969 unis, which they actually wore for throwback night this year. I went to that game, and it was gorgeous.

    We need to start a campaign for this or something. It’s classic. You don’t see the Yankees changing their colors – it’s who they are. The Padres are the brown and yellow, and we should stick with it.

    • I agree, especially about not changing the uniforms. I would love for them to bring back the brown. But to tell you the truth: even though I’m lukewarm on the current set, I would be happy if the team just stuck with them. At least there would be some kind of tradition.

    • SDPads1 says:

      I love the Sac Bunt version of the unis. But I also agree that if they don’t change them back to the Brown/Gold colors then just leave it as is. I do not want Red, White & Blue. Nor do I want breakfast either but that’s another story all together.

  2. [...] The Sacrifice Bunt:Dear Jeff Moorad: Five things I’d change about the PETCO fan experienceOpen letter to Jeff Moorad. [...]

  3. SDPads1 says:

    HAHA Press gate Bruce actually was in a music video that my band shot during the last season of the Q. We could actually tell people that we had an actor who was in Titanic perform in our music video.

    • What kind of music? I was big into the punk scene around that time.

    • SDPads1 says:

      It was a pop punk band. We had Jerry Coleman do a little intro “Hanging a star” on the song, Matty V & Sut were doing commentary on our performance, Press Gate Bruce made an appearance as well as the Pad Squad & Friar. The idiot camera guy mother f’ing erased the Press Gate Bruce & Pad Squad/Friar part and basically ruined the video. We got into a huge argument because he wanted us to still pay him. So now instead of a kick ass music video all I have is all the footage of Matty V & Sut as well as the Jerry Coleman part. Which is still pretty funny.

    • What was the name of the band?

    • SDPads1 says:

      I e-mailed you….let me know if you got it. The screen totally froze up when I clicked on send.

    • Shit, I didn’t get it. My contact form must be messed up, I need to fix it.

      melvin****thesacrificebunt.com

      ***** = @

  4. From a pitchers perspective I hate the brown and the sand colored pants on rod uniforms. Too damned hard to see the signals from the catcher.

    White or a dark color please.

    From a marketing stand point, brown is the least purchased color. This can bite two ways. 1 – Your jersey is the only thing in the wardrobe (or stadium) in that color. 2 – because no one has brown in their wardrobe they will not buy as many of that color jerseys.

    Yes I know the 84 “Taco Bell” uniforms are popular, but that actually started with the gangsta rappers, not baseball fans. It has trickled back to us regular fans who mostly hated that uniform back when it was the official one.

    For those of you young enough to actually listen to rap and not old enough to remember the Taco Bell unis when the Padres actually played in them, they were ugly and only the Astros unis were considered to be worse.

  5. I fully agree about the concrete, the RF video board and the between inning entertainment.

    And would it kill them to throw a few more tshirts and those stupid squishy balls into the cheap seats? The folks in the field level seats already HAVE tshirts and mostly designer stuff, its those folks in the bleachers that would actually WEAR them daily and advertise your team.

  6. mdc says:

    after reading about the mascot bit, i’ve got an idea.

    instead of putting up with shoddy entertainment between innings and occasionally put up with flag-waving friar, it become obvious they need to bring back the chicken…no matter the cost. and just have him be the entertainment.

    kill all the other stuff between innings and just give ted the ballpark…everyone knows attendance would instantly be up a few thousand just to see his antics.

    • That would be awesome, but I don’t know if even Jake Peavy money could get Ted in costume 80 games a year. I hear he’s thinking about hanging them up.

  7. Good call on the cocrete. I never understood why they didn’t give it a finish like the front of the park which looks great.

    Putting a Padre sign up might be a good idea—I don’t think, by the way the fans are dressed at Petco, that even they know where they are.

  8. PadreHomer says:

    One additional thing I would like to see them do is an actual Padre HOF and museum that the regular fan can go see. Right now they have a handful of faux lockers in that faux restaurant on the top floor of the WMSC building, and the Padres HOF plaques on the front side of the batters’ eye that I don’t think are open to the public. How about leasing out the bottom floor of the candy factory and doing something special there? If you’ve been to Turner field they’ve done a good job there. It should center around the 2 championship seasons, the Padres HOFers and the history of both the major and minor league Padres.

  9. LynchMob says:

    The #1 thing I’d change to improve my fan experience at Petco is to get rid of the #6 on the outfield wall … I’d like it replaced by “1984″ … somebody just needs to convince Garvey that HE would be the hero for suggesting doing that! :-)

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