11 April 2009

Dbacks Toast All-Sear Game

Driving a Mini Cooper drunk, without a seatbelt. New Coke. Dating Brian Giles. Bad ideas, right? Well, add the 2011 MLB All Star Game to the list of "accidents" waiting to happen. They want to play it in Phoenix.

In July.

Who is this unpromising boondoggle for, anyway?

Hosting and roasting baseball's annual ode to the solstice in North America's hottest city only serves to indelibly singe the Valley as the uncoolest hotspot in the world. What can you reasonably do in Phoenix in July? Swim for eighteen minutes, until the SPF70 washes away? You cant golf or play tennis, and people dont hike or bike or jog, outside of a few fools and survivalists. Sneak a pee behind a bush and it turns to steam right out of your dick. Sonoran rocket vapor we call it. Peed or not, visiting MLB partiers wont venture outside between their normally conscious hours of 10AM and midnight. They're here to have fun, not survive.

Movers and shakers will instead be trapped in hotel rooms, shuttled to air conditioned restaurants and the civic center adjacent to The Lovely Morgan, muttering about the hellhole Selig dragged them to - as they inevitably cross melting Jefferson St to the stadium on foot. Hopefully Mrs. Trump's heels wont get stuck in the bubbly asphalt.

Apparently it's not a sufficient weather windfall for Phoenix ballfans to reap the dual benefit of hosting fourteen spring teams as well as the Arizona Fall League - by sole virtue of our contrary climatological calendar. Now, our fair and unseasonably hot denizens "deserve" the unique opportunity to showcase our most inhospitable weather imaginable.

Rockland, Maine hosts the globe's premier lobster festival each July, but you dont hear Mainiacs demanding to fete the world in February at some sub zero Chilly Willy Frozen Claw Fest. It's preposterous. Inhuman. These events are supposed to be fun. They're supposed to be goddam pleasant.

Of course, All Star Weekend has precious little to do with fans - by and large they dont want the game in our midsummer Hades. The players dont want it here. Even the host city, which stands to fill some off season hotel rooms, will be challenged to avoid a searing long term hit to its carefully cultivated "Valley of the Sun" brand.

So, why schedule this real life accident waiting to happen? Because real life doesnt matter to the people who stand to benefit - the people who operate baseball. It's perception that sustains year-to-year revenue and that will be manipulated easily enough by MLB's corporate broadcast partners, contracted to make even Phoenix in July look cool. The host city will be described as hospitable, regardless of Mother Nature's longstanding objection. If it takes ESPN all weekend, they'll nail an aerial shot of a light rail tram gliding by Chase Field - and a few hardy riders actually using it that time of year.

Chris Berman will hyperventilate over a tedious, one dimensional BP contest that I can vouch is surprisingly dull in person, and the marquee exhibition itself will be strategically interrupted midgame by some award contrivance, because TV ratings dwindle once this propped up "All-Faux" game actually starts.

Baseball goes to great lengths to fabricate its own reality, whether denying rampant, criminal drug use for decades or shielding accurate financials from regulators. The CEO of this culture of deception is Bud Selig, and a favored protege happens to be Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall. Hall has been begging Uncle Al for this All Star tryout for years. Not only will ASG rights sweeten Arizona's embarrassingly slow moving season ticket packages, but a well manipulated show of this stature - against the odds of low expectations - would be the crown jewel of Hall's formidable public relations career, possibly cementing him as Selig's replacement.

The All Star Game in Phoenix exposes baseball's contempt for paying fans and the city's welfare is a secondary consideration, at best. This is mostly the patronage of an old boss passing the torch. A quid pro quo between MLB and a finally subordinate franchise that dutifully agreed to stop driving up player salaries. Do that, said Selig, and we'll eventually toss you an All Star Game, come hell or high water.

As the monsoon approaches, MLB's "guests" may be treated to both.


Song of the Day -Drop It Like It's Hot (Snoop Dogg)

[originally posted 2/6 - edited 4/11 to reflect MLB's announcement]


Gary said...

I've come out of stores during monsoon madness to see horrified looks of recent transplants or visitors pointing to that wall of dust moving into the valley.

"What is that?" and "Looks like the end of the world!" are the usual comments I hear.

I'm sure having that broadcast across the nation at the start of the game as the blimp runs for cover will do wonders from a Chamber of Commerce perspective....

That and having it be a 125ยบ that week will give that old t-shirt saying a new life: "Phoenix, 30 miles from water and 2 feet from hell!"

Russell said...

I bet the haboob hits during the All Star Game.

Anonymous said...

Hello there! Long time reader- first time poster! Really appreciate what you do here on the blog...

A little off the subject, but I don't know if you heard, but recently National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman called up Ken Kendrick offering him a share of the Phoenix Coyotes... Kendrick declined...

As a huge Coyotes fan I have only two things to say in response:


Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

Hey Ant,

The Yotes are NOT moving back to Canada either, just an fyi.....

Matt said...

I bet the haboob hits during the All Star Game.

It must play for the American League.


There are HOCKEY people here. OMG!!!What do I do? I dont know what to say, where to begin...

I like a good hard puck! Best wrister ever: Mike Bossy, dude. Don Cherry's bi. Bobby Flippin' Orr.

Sorry, that's all I got.

The rather preliminary, summary dismissals of Bettman's offers - by Reinsdorf, Kendrick and Sarver -doesnt bode real well for the Yotes in Glendale, imo. I dont imagine the league will toss $ at them indefinitely. Maybe a couple years, but eventually, someone's gonna have to convince themselves they can pay the bills and make money in Glendale -or the Yotes'll move/fold.

Jeff said...

Who cares about the heat when you have what according to MLB Mark is the brainchild of Bud Selig: All-Star Fanfest. You (nor I) will be able to afford any of it, but hey, those bankers who own the Lovely Morgan will have a field day overcharging those poor hot suckas willing to pay ten bucks for a D'backs paper fan! God I love free markets!

Jeff said...

Japes, japes, japes. Your pee really turns to steam? Ouch. Reminds me of a girl I once dated (infected).

Jeff said...

Unrelated Note:

Why can't Byrnes suck when we (the Cardinals) need him to the most. He doesn't seem to have a problem sucking when he's not playing us with the game on the line in the 10th.

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