July 11, 2022

But Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln, Did You Enjoy The Play?

Here is a perfect item for my "mlb can't do anything right" tag.

Craig Calcaterra is writing about some MLB showcase event called "Home Run Derby X" that will be appearing in Seoul and Mexico City after debuting in London last weekend.
The idea: a snack-sized home run derby on a narrow, shorter field featuring some tweaked rules and a team-based competition. The teams are made up of some retired ballplayers such as Adrián González, Jonny Gomes, Geovany Soto, and Nick Swisher along with some softball players and amateurs. . . .

The idea, as far as I can tell, is for Home Run Derby X to be a nice little intro-to-baseball vehicle that could, quite conceivably, spur interest in the game among some folks who might not be into it or might not be too familiar with it. . . . As I wrote back in March, the idea actually sounded like a pretty good one.

On Saturday, however, Home Run Derby X debuted in London and, based on comments from many of the folks who went, the event was something of a disaster. The event apparently started an hour late and dragged on for something like nine hours. Visibility was poor with many attendees saying they could not see the field or the action unless they paid extra for a "VIP" section. The music pumped in was deafening. The concessions which were advertised — "ballpark food" — was reportedly very disappointing with far more limited selections than expected. The merchandise selection was paltry, with only items for the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and Dodgers — the "teams" competing in the Derby — available. The lines were very, very long with most people saying they needed more concession stands. There is a heat wave going on in England right now and there the event was played in a shadeless, gravel-strewn lot. They gave out free water but it was warm or even hot.

Among the reactions from attendees: people calling the event "an absolute scam," a "total ripoff," and "definitely not worth the entry fee." Another said, "hundreds of people have left early, including me. Lack of food and drink outlets, and no shady areas or good vantage points unless you paid extra for VIP tickets. A huge whiff by MLB." Another said "no shade, no seating, VERY poor accessibility for those less mobile . . . giant queues" and who gave MLB a grade of "D-." Another said "viewing positions were really poor, my 7yr old couldn't see a thing . . .Held on a dusty piece of waste ground with usual overpriced crap food." Another said "if you were a wheelchair user, lord help you. Main level inaccessible, path from entrance utterly treacherous, inadequate viewing platform, no Blue Badge parking, and very clear the organisers knew how crap it was well in advance."

1 comment:

wallythe24 said...

Needless to say I didn't go. Purely because I just want to watch games. I did however see two really good bands that night in London. The Len Price 3 and The Sawel Underground. Blimey it was hot , so being out in the open with no shade. No thank you.