There were some things that frustrated me this season, of course. Nothing’s ever perfect, and that’s OK. This isn’t meant to be a critical post of the IronPigs’ Management per se–I’ve got a “suggestion box” post in the pipeline for that. This is merely the flip side of the previous post about all the good stuff…
10. The Phillies
The Phils’ woes impacted the IronPigs in many ways. I’m not a Phillies fan first, as many are, but I do cheer for them to do well as it probably means that the former ‘Pigs on the roster are doing well. We’ll get to the roster part of it in a moment, but it always felt like the Phillies’ poor showing was casting a shadow over any chance the IronPigs had to have on-field success this season.
The season began with my piece about not hating on Domonic Brown. It turned into a treatise on booing, which I didn’t initially intend–only that hating on Dom wouldn’t really help anyone, including him. Nevertheless, there were many haters about this season: Those that hated their seats, Those that hated loud noise (like, yelling and clapping–although Reading wasn’t really happy with the bells, either, but that’s another story,) Those that hated the press box, Those that hated ballpark etiquette, Those that hated on the ushers, Those that hated Dom Brown. Golly. Enough already. This is supposed to be fun.
Parking seemed to be more of a problem this year. Some of the parking attendants were occasionally more cranky than they needed to be. Parking was tighter than in years past (the extra 100 tickets? Yeah, probably: DiPro brought it up preseason.) Other fans are getting cranky about the parking as well, which will come up again in the “suggestion box.”
7. Hector Luna
OK, he’s just a guy. I don’t know him. Maybe there’s other factors. I never liked him with the PawSox, though. And part of me thinks it’s funny to pick on a player–but probably it’s not. But… if that player doesn’t seem to be trying his best. Or, if he always waits until the last-minute to report after being sent down. Or if he immediately bolts the organization the first chance he gets, well… maybe I’m not as supportive as I am with some of the other guys.
6. Press Box Whiners (Twitter)
I mentioned this on Twitter, and others echoed my frustration. I follow some of the Phillies’ beat writers mostly in order to hear about the possibility of pending roster moves which would impact the IronPigs. My frustration is with the following issues:
-complaining about the length of the games,
-complaining about the fans,
-complaining about a rain delay when you’re in a temperature-controlled press box sitting on a padded chair while the fans are stuck on a concourse,
-making mistakes in reporting and not owning them,
-complaining about the free food,
-complaining about the park when you don’t have to pay for parking or walk up the ramps or suffer any other of the indignities or inconveniences fans do to attend the games…then insulting the fans and referring to them as “you people,”
So they all get un-followed save one–and I only barely tolerate him. Some of this crept into the IronPigs press box as well, but hasn’t seemed to totally carry over, which is good.
It’s a fact of life, and it’s a major revenue stream for minor league baseball (and sports in general). I know this. It just feels like it’s getting to be too much. Advertising in the urinals? Big giant musical instruments in center field? A sponsor for eight or ten different things that might happen during a game? Advertising on the magical bathroom mirrors? It’s just getting to be overloaded and junky. It’s noticeably distracting from the quality of the game-day experience.
4. Season Ticket Holder Apathy
This goes two ways. I think ticket holders could do a better job showing up for games–or giving or selling their tickets. And, I think there are a few examples of how the IronPigs could be doing more for their most-loyal customers. Not just because we buy a ton of tickets, but because of the gobs and gobs of cash we spend at the park every night. As I mentioned, we’ll make a blog-post suggestion box coming up.
3. Departures, volume 1: The Players
As I mentioned in my last column, I’m happy for the players when they get to move on to further their careers. They play baseball for a living, so anything they can do to increase their earning power or move ahead is something that we ourselves would do in the same situation. It was sad to see Rich Thompson go, but GREAT that he got back to the bigs. I liked Dave Bush, but he had the opportunity to make more money in Korea or Japan, so God bless him. The excessive player turnover did hurt the team, though, and probably cost us a playoff spot. The poor road record could be attributed to this as well, probably. It’s the way it goes, though, and I’ll hope for better next year for us, and celebrate the success of the Thompsons, the Frandsens, the Kratz’s, the Browns…
2. Departures, volume 2: Staff
This didn’t impact the season too much–and I don’t think it’s a reflection on “poor working conditions” as others have opined–but it is noticeable. Just as with the players, I wish continued success to the IronPigs employees who move on to bigger and better things, including Justin Scariato, Scott Hodge, and Brandon Greene–as well as others of the game-day or permanent staff who may not be with us in 2013. We’ll miss them.
1. Departures, volume 3: Fans
I’m not calling anyone out here. Baseball is, at its core, entertainment. Sometimes real life gets in the way and other things need to be moved up on the priority list ahead of entertainment. It get it. It’s not something easily fixed, perhaps, and as with players and staff, others will step up. But missing some of the folks I got to know around the park is indeed one of my least favorite things about 2012.