If you were an underfunded MLB owner with no fans and no future talent on the way because of a sub-par amateur scouting dept., what would you do to draw a crowd?
If you’re the Padres, first thing would be to hire a broadcaster who last did an MLB game during Earth’s most recent episode of glaciation. Then you’d slash ballpark beer prices from an obscene to merely outrageous level.
Michael Stetz of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE has details on the desperate measure.
The Padres this season are going to sell a 14-ounce domestic draft beer for $5. Last year, I mocked the team for a token lowering of the premium beer price by 50 cents, to $8.50. I’ve also done weighty exposés in the past about the beer’s alcohol content — some of it was only 3.2 percent.
But I have received assurances that the $5 beer will be the real thing.
They’re two for two, baby. The price is right. The alcohol content is right. And it appears the recession has driven Petco Park to become what it should have been in the first place: an affordable place to watch baseball, not a joint where you get gouged.
Recession has very little todo with why the Padres are trying to unearth ballpark bodies with booze. If the Padres could get away with gouging the same taxpayers who paid for their $300M new ballpark, they would.
But team is an embarrassment on the field, and future prospects are cloudy at best. (I can hear it now on the team’s pregame show - “all our best prospects are currently at AA and High-A ball, be patient!“) So the club has been reduced to pandering to the lowest common denominator to get fans.
Ironic when you consider that Bud Selig and his MLB cronies are thrilled that the new San Diego ownership group is underfunded. Thanks to teams like the poor Padres, MLB is able artificially push payrolls down in other larger markets with flush front offices. (In other words, giving Frank McCourt in L.A. and Fred Wilpon on Long Island an out with fans.)
Brightside of all of this? As a Royals fan, I’m hoping the Padres move will cue my club after April to start passing out Ripple ’round the fifth inning.