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.