Why I don’t go to major league baseball games

American-League-2010-First-Half-Average-Ticket-Prices1-600x298My wife will tell you that it’s not so much that I love baseball as much as it is part of my DNA. The soundtrack in my car from late March to late October because is whatever baseball game I can find on the radio. On May 20th, 21st and 22nd The Chicago Cubs – a team I have loved since growing up in Chicago – will play The Boston Red Sox – a team I have loved since I was 9 when we moved to Providence, RI, and I decided that it wasn’t cheating on your 1st team if the 2nd team was in a different league – will be playing each other at Fenway Park.

Here’s how much I am devoted to the two:

  • I am still upset that Ernie Banks never got to play in the World Series.
  • When someone asks how long I’ve lived in Boston I reply, “Since the spring after the ‘86 [World] Series.”

Until 2004, I reveled in loving the two most ill-fated teams in baseball. While that had its charms, I am quite content that only one of my beloveds is a constant reminder of the fickleness of probability.

Because of all this and knowing full-well that tickets were absurdly expensive, I went to see if maybe I could afford one in some far-distant bleacher seat with nearly totally obscured view of the field. The least expensive price for just such a seat: $99.

Out of curiosity, I went to see the cost least expensive ticket I could find for any game Red Sox at Fenway. So I looked at the cost for tickets to a Wednesday day game vs. The San Diego Padres, a team that will be lucky if it finishes above Baja this year. $46 for a seat in that weird little triangle in the center field bleachers.

Meanwhile, 45 minutes away in Pawtucket, RI, the best seats in the house for the Sox AAA farm team go for $11. For the AA team in Portland, ME: $9. For the single A Lowell Spinners $10. For the independent league Brockton Rox: $15 and that includes waiter service. If you want basically the same seats and are willing to get your own damn snacks: $9.50.

brockton-rox-main-logo1I’ll see you in Brockton. Bill Buckner, whom I have truly always admired, is managing and I’m pretty sure he’ll give me an autograph for no extra charge.

BP marketing satire failure

In an attempt to cash in on the rage at BP, the Brevard County Manatees of the Florida State League say batting practice has been renamed hitting rehearsal. So now we have HR instead of BP. It’s like humor without the funny part. C’mon PEOPLE! You can do better than this.

ManateesLogo Further, this quote by the Manatees GM Kyle Smith is just marketing BS: “As an organization, we feel that changing the term ‘batting practice’ and ‘BP’ to ‘hitting rehearsal’ shows that we are deeply concerned and hurt by the disaster on the Gulf coast. We hope to send a message to the community that we are definitely worried with the pollution that is in the waters off the Gulf Coast and its potential impact on the beaches here in Brevard County.”

That said, I do think the team has a great logo.

In other BP news, CEO Tony “Sticks & Stones” Hayward said he does not fear the idea that the US may look to make an example of company executives. "I’m not anxious about being arrested," he said, when asked about the possibility some of BP’s executives could end up in prison.

Because the Feds would send them to a white collar lockup I say we let Louisiana courts take care of this. Angola or bust, baby!

And finally here are two lists I compiled of the best and oddest baseball team names ever.

The funniest real professional baseball team names EVER.

These names are all from the book Professional Baseball Franchises by Peter Filichia, which lists all the baseball franchises that ever existed in the US, Canada & Mexico through 1993 (someone really needs to update it). To be included on this list the team name had to be unique, truly & honestly linked to the locality and/or just so weird and funny that I laughed out loud when I read it. A special salute to Terre Haute & Omaha — two towns that clearly have a sense of humor. Huzzah!

Minot ND Why-Nots
Walla Walla Walla Wallans
Holland MI Wooden Shoes
McAlester OK Sighs
(What the hell was their mascot?)
Omaha: Omahogs & Omahosses
Cooleemee NC Cools
Kalamazoo Kazoos
Terre Haute: Tots, Terre-irs, Huts
Amarillo Dillas
Arkansas Travelers
Cap de la Madeleine Madcaps
Oakland Commuters
Freeport NC Comeons

Click here to see my earlier post for a longer list of awesome and real baseball team names.

Never mind the Yankees and the Red Sox, these are THE BEST BASEBALL RIVALRIES THAT EVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN AND ALMOST ALL NEVER WERE:

Temple TX Surgeons
Kirksville MO Osteopaths

Lebanon PA Pretzel Eaters
Freeport IL & Reading PA Pretzels

Ducks x3
Green Bay Duck Wallopers

Providence Clamdiggers
Norfolk VA Clams
Pawtucket Clam Eaters

Mason City IA Claydiggers
St. John (Canada) Clay Eaters

(Eating weird things seems to be something of a theme, there’s also the Fort Dodge IA Gypsumeaters and the Sterling IL Rag Chewers)

Cleveland Molly Maguires
Coal Barons x4

Hermosillo MX Orange Pickers
Beeville TX Orange Growers

Crisfield MO Crabbers
Gulfport Crabs

Battle Creek Custers
Fort Wayne Kekiongas
(Kekionga was the capital of the Miami indian tribe that nearly destroyed the nascent US Army in 1791. But you knew that already, right?)

Kalamazoo Celery Champs, Celery Eaters & Celery Pickers
Sanford FL Celeryfeds

El Centro CA Imps
Youngstown OH Gremlins

Omaha Kidnappers
Mansfield OH Kids

Matoon IL Broom Corn Raisers
Charleston IL Broom Corn Cutters

Albuquerque Isotopes
Tri-City (Kennewick, Richland & Pasco WA) Atoms

The ultimate guide to great & real baseball team names

WhoopeeLast week’s action by the Macon Music to hold an Eliot Spitzer Night inspired me to get out one of my all time favorite books (and this will tell you how odd I truly am): Professional Baseball Franchises by Peter Filichia. It is a list of all the baseball franchises that ever existed in the US, Canada & Mexico through 1993 (someone really needs to update it). It lists them by city and — most importantly — by nickname. So I went through the whole damn thing — as well as the most up-to-date lists of currently active teams and found the following team names. All existed, some still do. Sadly the Macon Whoopee does not. They were a minor league HOCKEY team. I have taken the liberty of grouping them into leagues that I thought should exist. Those interested might also want to take a look at this List of Funniest Real Baseball Team Names.

First let me mention that when it comes to baseball –everyone has the Blues. Thirty-two towns and cities have had teams with that name.

THE SELF-ESTEEM LEAGUE

Bridgeport CT Misfits
Lincoln NE Missing Links
LaCross Outcasts
Orphans (17 teams)
Davenport Prodigals
Fall River Adopted Sons
Bluffton IN Dregs
Fremont NE Freaks
Centralia IL Zeros
Bonham TX Boogers

THE MORBIDITY & MORTALITY LEAGUE

Zanesville Flood Sufferers
Memphis FeverGerms
Americus GA Pallbearers
Paris TX Parisites (Extra points for an outstanding pun).
Des Moines IA Undertakers
Rockford IL Wakes
Regina Sask Bonepilers
Hannibal MO & Longview TX Cannibals
Waterloo IA Microbes
Clarksburg WV & Casper WY Ghosts
Springfield OH Reapers

THE BETTER THAN YOU LEAGUE

Anniston AL & Texarkana TX Nobles
Calumet Aristocrats
Paris KY Bourbons
Superior WI Boys
Dunkirk NY Dandies
Quincy IL Debutantes
Ellsworth KS Worthies
Bonham TX Favorites
Hoquiam Perfect Gentlemen
Rochester NY Beay Brummels
Brenham TX Kaisers
(Also Barons x5, Millionaires x8, Moguls x2)

And … because someone has to do the work:

Newark Domestics
Troy NY Washerwomen

THE EDUCATED LEAGUE

Waterbury CT Authors
Stratford ONT Poets
Augusta GA Tygers (Official Team of William Blake)
New Haven Profs
Worcester Riddles
New Haven CT & Sherman TX Students
Durant OK & Fayetville IN Educators
Georgetown TX Pedagogues
Collegians x7

THE MIS-SPELLED LEAGUE

Orem UT Owlz
Knoxville TX Knox Sox (Official team of Dr. Seuss)
Hamilton ONT Kolts
Saginaw MI Krazy Kats (Official team of George Herriman)
Baker Canada Kubs
Keokuk Kernals
Lebanon PA Chix
Granby & Hazlehurst-Baxley Red Socks (someone has to now how to spell)

LEAGUE OF TEAMS YOU DON’T WANT TO UPSET

Shenandoah PA Hungarian Rioters
Salina KS Insurgents
Rockford Indignants
Newburgh NY Cobblestone Throwers
Lynn MA Fighters

More after the jump

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