Dear Padres, Here’s how fans felt about your infomercial

Tonight’s game should have been about the low scoring Padres trying to put it all together on a Monday night against the young fire-baller Yordano Ventura.

It could have been about Yasmani Grandal engaging in an epic battle with Ventura and then tagging him for a game-tying 3-run HR. There’s still a chance for this contest to be about that – it is not yet over*. But with the Padres now behind 4-3 to the Royals in the 9th, there’s a chance it could be about something else** entirely when the final pitch is thrown.

* It’s over the Padres won!

** Will Venable, down 0-2 to Tim Collins, drills the game winner. Walk-off! Powerade baths! Man baseball is fun.

When this game ends however, it just feels like it will likely be remembered as the game where Dick Enberg and Mark Grant did their broadcast from behind the Royals’ on-deck circle and tried to sell tickets to luxury boxes, luxury suites, gourmet food, and anything that wasn’t nailed down.

Here’s what fans thought about the effort . . .

With the Padres facing an amazing young pitcher like Yordano Ventura I arrived to my couch with a genuine excitement last night. But instead of marveling at what that kid could do with a baseball (and what it took from Padres batters to beat him) I found myself distracted by the whole presentation cobbled together by FSSD and the Padres.

It is 2014 and we are  living through a Golden Age, something I like to call… the Age of the DVR. In the Age of the DVR I rarely watch commercials. I don’t watch them because I don’t like someone telling me what I should buy. Sports are the one area of programming where commercials must be tolerated because they occur during events that should be viewed in real time to be appreciated. So I tolerate these commercials because I must. But when the game returns I expect advertising to be limited to billboards and signage found inside the park and the occasional mention of sponsors by the FSSD broadcast team. When that game is on my television I want to enjoy the experience in an unobtrusive way. An unobtrusive way . . . and last thing was anything but unobtrusive.

FSSD and the Padres erred last night. As astutely pointed out by the commenters of this post, the Padres wanted to share some of the cool things they’ve done to the park during the 10 year anniversary of Petco Park so I understand the desire to showcase these fresh additions. But I would suggest finding another forum to push new features and services. Try using the Padres Social Hour or Padres POV to do an expanded program showcasing some of these new features, limiting Mark Grant’s and Dick Enberg’s involvement to simply telling viewers what time the show will be airing. To do otherwise, during a season when the Padres have struggled mightily at the plate, is insulting. When the team is really bad, shit like this just doesn’t fly.

Would it ever fly?

[UPDATED: Tuesday – 11:30 AM]


I contribute to Padres Public on Thursday mornings and when I’m feeling particularly inspired by yellow, mushy, replacement ligaments. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM. The dusty archives of AJM are located at

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  • Bryan

    Mark Grant yelling at the opposition was more than worth it.

  • Is Just A Guy

    I get that people don’t like the feeling of being sold something, but lighten up people. We have 162 of these a year. Changing things up for one night isn’t the worst thing. You can’t tell me seeing a team’s announcer heckling the opposing players isn’t at least somewhat entertaining.

    • I did find that mildly entertaining. If the idea was for the broadcast to be a simple POV change for Enberg and Grant I could get behind that. “Hmm, that’s interesting.”

      But when they’re putting pricing packages up throughout the game and showing platters of food you can get, and the game itself becomes secondary to the sales pitch, well . . . . then I become Francis from Stripes.

    • pat

      Actually I found it extraordinarily bush league, and I generally like Mark. The whole ownership is bush though. They are showing their experience and background is all minor league. It was bad enough to be purchased by the O’Malley’s, but it turns out we were purchased by the minor league part of the family. Clueless!

  • pat

    Minor league owners!

  • I’d think I’d rather go back to having Padres ticket reps calling me every 5 min than have a 3-hour infomercial instead of a game. Because I can turn off the ringer and let the ticket reps calls go to voicemail.

    And that’s likely what Padres are thinking. “They’re going to watch. Might as well sell them something! They can’t hang up on the TV!”

    What the Padres don’t seem to realize is this: I only watch FSSD broadcasts for the fun of Dickisms. I’ll go back to listening to Mighty 1090 if this crap continues. Because Ted Leitner is greater than Dick Enberg. It’s just math.

    • DaveRiceSD

      They’ve stopped calling you? I haven’t had season tickets in 3 years and that number with a bunch of 5’s in it pops up practically once a week.

      I’ve taken to personally responding to every spam e-mail sent out by my “ticket rep” with a long, drawn-out sob story about the down economy and how it saddens my soul that my poor daughter has to miss more home stands than she attends…actually, I alternate that response with pleas for a media credential even though I don’t cover sports.

      The e-mails seem to have stopped. Perhaps I should employ the same strategy with the sales calls…

  • Lonnie Brownell

    I think we’re getting a metric crap-ton of promotional content in-game now because:

    (1) They did add a lot of stuff during the off season, of which they’re proud,
    (2) Said improvements were spendy, and they really really want to get the word out, hoping it will inspire the casual but deep-pocketed fan to buy tickets and come for the experience.
    (3) The season is still young-ish.

    So, I’m hoping (because hope and faith are the only things we, as Padres fans, can count on), that once each and every new feature has had its moment in the infomercial sun, they’ll drop back to only the occasional mention. Or not at all. Maybe. Please?

    Then they can fill all that available air time with serious reportage, like interviewing the fan that missed the foul ball but gave Alex Gordon his glove back. It’ll be glorious.

    Also, I did enjoy Dick ‘n’ Mud covering the game from there. Minus the product plugs. Next, either from the Jack Deck, or a day game up next to Bobby Cressey and, uh, his organ (cue Dick with another dick joke…maybe that wasn’t a virgin margarita).

    • pat

      They added a lot of spendy stuff? Guess I forgot since Johnson already hit the DL. Oh, you meant off the field stuff. Frankly, until they add some quality players on the field, I’m utterly and completely uninterested in what they’ve done to the park. Put a winner on the field and I’ll buy tickets. Keep running this dream out there and I may even stop reading Padres Public.

      • pat

        That’s dreck, not dream.

  • Geoff Hancock

    I didn’t mind the change in scenery for the broadcast. Frankly, I wouldn’t have minded a half-inning or so spent on these new seating options. As I Tweeted during the game, I get the need to get this information out there as all of these options are new.

    What I don’t need is for it to go on and on at the cost of the broadcast. A half inning or so, fine, so be it. When it carried on throughout the entire game then it became a joke. The game felt secondary to the promotional information they were providing.

    In game promos, in moderation = fine. In game promotions that overrun the entire broadcast = bush league.

  • Sac Bunt Chris

    Dick Enberg made a boner reference on tv! What more do you people want?!

    • Lonnie Brownell

      Hubba hubba!

  • Patrick R.

    As bad as this was, has anyone seen a Red Sox game on NESN? Their product placement is absolutely OBSCENE. About 1/4 of the in-game content is related to baseball. The rest of it is polls, human interest bullshit, on-air advertisements, sponsored contests, etc. Like I said, last night was bad, but it could be a whole lot worse.

  • Axion

    bring back reverse mortgages, heating and air, flooring/tile, custom entertainment center installations, and all that stuff for home owners. everyone wants that stuff and also owns a home.

    • Lonnie Brownell

      You can keep all those, but we need Corky’s Pest Control.