Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
In One Sense at Least, We Lap the Field
2007-02-12 07:43
by Mark T.R. Donohue

While Major League Baseball will not this year mandate that all of its 30 teams must apply the same baseball-storage practices that the Rockies use, the league is definitely moving in that direction. Among the interesting tidbits contained within this Thomas Harding piece is the humidor's sobering pricetag ($15,000) and the fact that MLB authorities apparently come and check the balls at Coors all the time during the season to make sure the Rockies aren't doing anything untoward. Nevertheless, it must come as a great relief to all involved parties that Jeff Cirillo is now a Twin and won't visit Coors in 2007.

Between the humidor and the breakthrough work the team's staff has done loading game film onto video iPods, the Rockies are turning into the leading-edge team in the league when it comes to baseball technology. I mean, that's pretty cool. Sure, most of the players themselves on the team don't believe now that dinosaurs existed, but when we get that Jurassic Park mojo working, Colorado is going to be the first team in the majors with its own brachiosaur lounging beyond the outfield fence.

I just realized, looking at my schedule to double check that the Rockies don't play Minnesota this year, that the Yankee games at Coors this season have been completely set apart with their own color code and (of course) a base group of ticket prices that's even more premium than "classic," which in turn is dearer than mere "premium." It's not the price-fixing that bothers me, or even restricting it to just one team. Indeed, the tickets designated "classic" in Denver the last few seasons have always meant the same five games -- Opening Day, the 4th of July, and the three Cub games. This year they're doing two fireworks games, the 3rd and the 4th, and the Cardinals have been promoted to "classic"-hood, presumably because they won the World Series. If rank and file Colorado citizens want to continue limiting their interest in live baseball to two holidays and a cameo series or two from MLB's glamorous elite per season, then they deserve to be subjected to such profiteering.

But in the interests of organizational self-respect...did they have to call the games against the Yankees "Yankees games?" Couldn't they have called them "super premium" or "classic revised" or even the "pinstripe series" (which would be clever, see, since the Yankees' road uniforms don't have pinstripes and the Rockies' home uniforms do) or words to that effect? Anything besides "Yankees games?" Because here's how it looks if you're just glancing at the pricing chart:

YANKEES > classic > premium > value

That's right! They're the Yankees! They're better than classic. I hate this because it reminds me of ESPN's official hierarchy, which all of their baseball guys carry around on little laminated wallet cards:

YANKEES > Red Sox > Cubs, Mets, Dodgers > the rest of the teams that make the playoffs regularly > NHRA time trials > team handball > Rockies

Well, to be fair, the Rockies aren't at the absolute bottom of the totem pole. The Royals have the misfortune of being both pathologically terrible and situated in a division with no glamour teams. Colorado could end up being on national TV rather a lot this season if any of their series with the Giants happen to overlap with numerologically significant Barry Bonds homers. But just the same, motherbleep the bleeping Yankees. You know I have nothing but respect for legitimate Yankee fans, who are knowledgeable and devoted to a degree no Rockies fans and few Bronco fans even approach. But c'mon. Your team has won twenty-six championships; my team has won one playoff game. Ever. Now I am expected to pay an inflated price to see my home ballpark, the closest thing to a holy place in my godless existence, transformed into a three-day Bronx Zoo, mile-high edition? Motherbleep the bleeping Yankees.

2007-02-12 11:34:51
1.   Rick
Amen, dude.
2007-02-12 14:01:34
2.   mehmattski
And yet, the revenue generated from those three games will probably buy a free agent or two. I won't hear you bleepin then, you'll be happy. And didn't the Rockies ask for the Yankees to be added to the schedule, and MLB agreed, switching the pairing from the Yankees? I don't have a link handy, but I can search if necessary.
2007-02-12 14:12:03
3.   mehmattski
2 Switching from pairing the Yankees with the Padres, I meant.
2007-02-12 14:14:10
4.   JIrv
Testify Brother man. I know you ain't lyin'
2007-02-12 17:16:37
5.   Ryan Armbrust
In my viewing experience with ESPN, I would have to revise your hierarchy:

YANKEES > Red Sox > Pedro Gomez & Barry Bonds > Cubs, Mets, Dodgers > teams that make the playoffs regularly > week 27 of the NBA playoffs > west coast baseball other than the Barroids experience from SF, starring Pedro Gomez > Rockies bloopers > college baseball > Rockies > soccer (not that any red-blooded american likes that, anyway)

2007-02-12 17:36:48
6.   Mark T.R. Donohue
5 Oh, you could totally go on forever and ever, if you wanted to. Non-equivalencies rule. I felt compelled to try and get an NHRA joke in there because for some reason ESPN has declared this "National Pretend Like Auto Racing Is a Mainstream Sport Week" and it's annoying me.

And I'll be willing to bet like, TEN dollars U.S. money that ESPN's broadcasts of Champions League soccer do very competitive numbers, especially given the fact they're usually on in the early afternoon.

2007-02-12 17:55:11
7.   das411
--grumble-- they probably draw more viewers than ESPN's outstanding hockey coverage... --grumble--
2007-02-14 19:54:48
8.   Chyll Will
7 Britney calling earl in the back of a limo got more coverage than that...

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