Short rant today.
I used to love baseball, played growing up, sandlot, little league minors and high school. Never a great player, steady, generally hit them up the middle.
Played on dirt, played on the grass. We played catch a lot as kids, never really see that anymore.
Would create magical neatsfoot oil potions and sleep with our new gloves, forming them around a baseball.
I started watching the San Diego Padres when they played in the Pacific Coast League at Westgate Park. The park was located at what is now the Fashion Valley Mall in Mission Valley.
They were a Phillies farm club and won the PCL pennant in 1967. At the time they were owned by the notorious financier C. Arnholt Smith. It was intense at the park when the heavy fog rolled in. My first local hero was a Padre by the name of Roberto Peña.
Team never did much, had some great stars like Ollie Brown, Nate Colbert, Cito Gaston, later Winfield, Jones and of course Gwynn. Characters like Enzo Hernandez and Fingers. But they were respectable. Teams won some games. Haven't been able to say that in years.
Because the owners stopped caring. They figured out that they would make money win or lose. So the Padres became notorious for cultivating great players and then giving them away, being too cheap to pay them.
One time Padres President Tom Garfinkel said it best, it wasn't necessarily about winning, fans wanted a "great baseball experience." Have the public fund a shiny new ballpark, put on what passes for a show and all the money will be made on the adjoining real estate.
So here is my minor bitch for today, electronic signs at the ball park that tell you when to yell and how loud you should yell. Lame. So scripted. Okay kids, time to do the stupid dance for the camera...
What kind of real fan needs a sign to tell him when to yell? I feel like a monkey on a string. Manipulated. My anti authoritarian streak makes me want to do just the opposite of whatever they tell me to do.
Our friends Bill and Jean were kind enough to share tickets in their suite last night. Padres had two or three players that could make a legitimate major league roster, the club is currently undergoing one of their noted purges where anybody of value has been denuded from the club like a clear cut forest. But hey, who cares, what a great baseball experience. Did you see all those flashing lights? Brother.
All this canned, manufactured, fake, obsessively controlled theater and mind control at the "new" ballpark truly nauseates me. Simple game, ball, bat, nine fielders, but they find a way to muck it up.
Soon the Padres will have a whole new set of promising players that they can give away to their masters in the Cubs and Red Sox.
Of course all that will have to wait until the General Manager is free to reassume his duties with the club, having been suspended for keeping two sets of medical records, in house and for public consumption, and hiring a Department of Defense medical trainer to manage the charade. At least three other clubs evidently got sore when A.J. Preller sold them badly damaged goods.
Padres lost to the lowly Diamondbacks. And it ain't going to get better for a long, long time.
Have you noticed that you can't make an online booking for a hotel or buy a widget on Amazon, Expedia or the like without being immediately pestered for a review so that you can report back to the hive? God forbid you don't fulfill your obligations as a cyber-citizen.
Once again, I will review when I want to. I have no duty to, or obligation, nor do I have a duty to cheer when you tell me to. So stop bugging me.
The suite was full of free food and libations. Leslie brought me a box of crackerjacks.
And I'm thinking, I'm at a game, how much realer can it get? I want to stop watching the game and download an app and get trapped in one of your mindless compulsion loops?
I don't think so.
Stutz told me that I was so out of fashion last month. I'm not on Instagram. I've heard it before. Hundreds of thousands of people can see your stuff in a millisecond and there are ways that you can grab them with proper post production.
He's probably right. I'm not on Facebook either. I write a blog. Nobody blogs or reads blogs anymore, it takes too long and no one has the attention span for it. Even 144 characters is too long.
But I find it weird that so many people judge their output by the amount of likes they get and I'm not seeking that kind of muggle validation.
Fuck it, I am so over.