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Fans must love the long ball
2006-11-17 00:17
by Bob Timmermann

If you want you can read the bulk of Tracy (Hey, I got a big hat!) Ringolsby's story in the Rocky Mountain News about the use of the humidor at Coors Field, but I was drawn to the last section.

NEW SWINGS: [Senior VP of baseball operations for MLB Joe] Garagiola [Jr.] said teams will adjust batting-practice schedules so fans can see the home team hit.

Garagiola said baseball will adopt the suggestion by Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin that the start of batting practice be pushed back 15 minutes each day. Melvin said teams rarely take infield practice, so the time traditionally reserved for that will be eliminated.

"This benefits the fan because home teams usually have their batting practice sessions end when the gates are opened," Garagiola said. "Now, the home batting practice will extend 15 minutes into (the period when the gates are open)."

I'm not sure why it's inherently more interesting to show up early to a baseball game to watch the home team clout 75 mph fastballs into the seats to watch a team practice fielding, but I guess they have their reasons.

2006-11-17 10:05:37
1.   scareduck
I don't understand why teams feel the need to exclude paying customers from showing up early and watching players hit the ball.
2006-11-17 10:32:51
2.   Bob Timmermann
Probably because they don't want to pay the ushers and concessionaires for more time worked than they have to.
2006-11-17 12:13:41
3.   Linkmeister
It's all about the souvenirs.
2006-11-17 14:25:53
4.   misterjohnny
Pennywise and pound foolish. There is more profit in a single cup of pepsi than an usher makes in the hour or so the gates need to be open.

Put one of the players (maybe a pitcher) in the bleachers for 1/2 an hour, signing those home run balls and you have lots of families showing up early, eating at the ballpark (instead of at home), and spending more money. At the very least, they should do this on weekends.

They need to put me in charge of operations. I'd make a fortune for the company.

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