Thursday, August 17, 2006

Appalachian Power Park and "Your West Virginia Power!"

Last night I went to the ballgame with Stanton. See his comments on the hot dogs here.

While he was busy grousing about the state of the hot dog affairs at the park, I turned my attention to the park itself, the people and the team. The very first observation I have is that they should have a section of the park designated for people to sit who actually want to watch the damn game!

I was there to watch the game and it seems to me that if someone goes to all the trouble of buying a ticket and going to the park that they are interested in watching the game. Not so! When I found my seat and settled in to watch the action, I was dismayed to find that seated directly between me and home plate was a very large mother of several children. This woman was in constant motion. She would stand up and take a picture of her little darlings about every 30 seconds. In between snapshots she would stand up to let the kids get by her to go to the concession stand. I counted nine trips from the four kids in two innings. Even though she was not paying any attention at all to the action on the field she still managed to stand up every time the pitcher went into his wind up. For the first two innings I never saw a single swing by any batter. At first it was an annoyance, but the longer it went on the more fascinated I became by this family's behavior. Why did they pay for tickets if they had no interest in the game? I watched them, all of them and not mom nor the kids nor the father paid any attention to the game for the two innings I sat there. I finally gave up and looked for another seat.

For a few minutes I stood on the concourse behind home plate and watched Rod Blackstone, the hardest working deputy mayor in show business, do his toastman act. It hasn't changed in many years (I SAY "PIZZA", YOU SAY "RIA") but is still pretty entertaining. It's also kind of embarrassing to have the City's number two man making an idiot of himself every night, but he was the Toastman before he was the deputy mayor.

After I got my fill of T-O-A-S-T, I wandered over to the souvenir shop to check out the Power merchandise. They have quite a bit larger selection than I expected and the prices were higher than they should be, but hey, whatever the market will bear, right? It's the American Way. But who is buying this stuff? I didn't see a single piece of merchandise go out the door while I was there and I didn't even see any kids carrying around souvenir bats or wearing hats.

All in all, the ballpark proved once again to be a great place to hang out on a nice evening even if there's no game. But if there is a game, please sit down!


James said...

"It's also kind of embarrassing to have the City's number two man making an idiot of himself every night"

He was an idiot for doing that before he was deputy mayor!!!!!

Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

You're absolutely right.
You can't just go for a quiet night at the ballpark anymore. Every lull has to be filled with inane music.

The new parks are built with baseball as an afterthought. They're more for shopping, restaurants, & playgrounds.
Unfortunately, management encourages this.
As long as there are asses in the seats, they figure they made their money.
The real fans suffer.

clear eyes said...

Charles, you've just recognized what has enabled minor league ball clubs to finally stop losing so much money: Very few people are willing to pay for the non-action of baseball at the minor league level. If you want people to pay for seats, there's got to be a reason other than the "action" of a minor league baseball game to part them from their money.

That's just the way it is. If you truly want to attend a baseball game in Charleston where everyone is there to see the game, it'll be just you,the ToastMan and about 20 others paying $50 each for seats at a ZZZ-league game rather than a stadium full paying under $10 for an A-League game.

Charles said...

Both clear eyes and POH completely misunderstood my suggestion: I'm not trying to get management to change the way minor league games are presented these days (even though I HATE IT!) Just give me one section set aside for people who want to really watch the sporting event that is happening - If you want to hop up and down, take pictures, or otherwise be entertained then sit in another section. Just one little section for baseball fans, just like they used to have a non-smoking and drinking section. Is that asking so much?