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!
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 . . .
I literally could not tell you what is happening on this SD broadcast. Why are these guys field level?
— Craig Goldstein (@cdgoldstein) May 6, 2014
Are we watching a #Padres game or just one very long commercial for seats?
— Matt Rennick (@M_Rennick) May 6, 2014
I just caught up on the game. My thoughts on young hurler Yordano Ventura . . . he's doing well to pitch through this infomercial. #PPLive
— AJM (@AvengingJM) May 6, 2014
Switched to the Royals broadcast. They're talking about…the game? Nuts. #PPLive
— VM David (@VocalMinoritySD) May 6, 2014
I understand they have a bunch of new seat options. And you want fans to know about them. Just has to be a less intrusive way. @Padres
— Geoffrey Hancock (@LeftCoastBias) May 6, 2014
I thought it was cool seeing Dick & Mud broadcast from the on deck circle.. Then I realized it was a cheap ploy to sell overpriced tix. #SMH
— Preller For Pres2016 (@elaboube44) May 6, 2014
I don't mind this broadcast at all, I find it pretty funny and entertaining (from what I've seen)
— John (@Friar_Faithful) May 6, 2014
— VM David (@VocalMinoritySD) May 6, 2014
Do I get a free ski weekend for sitting through your bullcrap time share presentation? @padres
— Kevin Charity (@kevin_charity) May 6, 2014
Can the @padres worry more about the product on the field instead of trying to sell us food and the seats we will never be able to afford??
— Ashley Rodrigues (@sandiegogirlie) May 6, 2014
— EM (@backsidegrind85) May 6, 2014
The Padres are spending an entire broadcast marketing a fan experience that only about 1% of their fan base can afford. #OnDeckSuite
— Gavin (@CT2SD) May 6, 2014
BUY THE SUITE TICKETS OR THE DOG GETS IT. pic.twitter.com/A8MrxFMbqp
— Darren Smith (@DSmithShow) May 6, 2014
I can't tell when the game stops and the commercials start and vice versa.
— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) May 6, 2014
Thank god for the #Padres incessant facilities marketing. Otherwise, they might have to concentrate on the game.
— Lonnie Brownell (@lonndoggie) May 6, 2014
Hai guise, Im justz tooning n. Wutz going on?
— RJ's Fro (@RJsFro) May 6, 2014
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 avengingjm.blogspot.com