Mets and Yankees’ rain-delay ripoffs couldn’t be more different
It’s the normalization of the preposterous.
Who would you prefer to be ripped off by, the Yankees or the Mets?
I’d take the Yanks. They’re more blunt, take-a-hike direct.
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The Yanks don’t pretend they’ve done right by their customers — who, oddly enough, they call “guests.”
On March 31, a Sunday afternoon, the Yanks began their game in the Stadium to an empty house — the announced crowd was 38,419 — after a 3-hour, 17-minute rain delay.
Then followed a 3-hour-48-minute game.
Thus the Yanks made suckers of those who didn’t attend and bigger suckers of those who did. And no make-goods. A game was played, wasn’t it?
On the other hand, two Friday nights ago, the Mets began their game at Citi Field at nearly 10 p.m., after a rain delay of 2 hours, 45 minutes.
Naturally the ballpark, despite an announced crowd of 28,131, was almost empty at first pitch, then completely empty 3 hours and 20 minutes later, when the game ended.
But the Mets then sprung into altruistic action by throwing their customers a concrete life raft.
You could trade in that Friday night’s ticket stubs for “alternate seats” to any weekday game — Monday-Thursday — other than “restricted games,” including those vs. the Yanks.
And all one has to do is travel to the Citi Field ticket windows to exchange those seats. “Ticket windows will open at 9 a.m.”
So having been ripped off, one must travel back to Citi Filed, exchange that ticket for a low-demand weeknight game ticket, depart Citi Field, then return on the night of the game to pay, perhaps again, for parking, food and drinks.
The Mets kill you with that kind of kindness. When they fall from contention, they announce that service fees for tickets have been waived. Does that mean they’re selling the tickets at a loss? Or that service fees are a tack-on money-grab?
Once upon a time, 2- and 3-hour rain delays were impossible as matters of common sense, common decency and the fear those responsible would suffer a severe public spanking. That’s when the sports media would go to bat for the bat-less.
But top-down shamelessness is now as standard as media capitulation and compliance. You want that hot dog bun soggy or extra soggy?
That waiting lists to buy Jets and Giants tickets were wiped out overnight with the introduction of multiple-whammy PSLs hardly made a sound. Same with Roger Goodell’s bogus claim that PSLs “are good investments.”
Now there are waiting lists to dump PSLs — and at a considerable loss.
If there’s an enduring image of the greed that drives our local pro teams, it is, for me, that right field signage in Citi Field a few season ago, advertising Subway $5 footlongs.
About 50 yards from that sign stood a Subway concession, where $5 footlongs were sold for $14.
Dabo more important than education at Clemson
If one were to ask James P. Clements, president of Clemson University, to provide the school’s foremost priority, he’d likely say providing legitimate, useful education to its students.
But winning football games is, by far, the school’s top priority — as evidenced by Dabo Swinney’s new, world-gone-nuts, 10-year, $93 million contract to remain Clemson’s football coach.
And unless all of Swinney’s recruits depart with legitimate, applicable educations or that they’re demanded and facilitated — fat chance — Clemson, the university, is another that will continue to serve as a highly financed front for its football team.
In off-campus businesses, it’s illegal. It’s called racketeering.
Hey, stupid! Yeah, you, the guy watching the game on YES.
With the Yankees playing at San Francisco, Michael Kay addressed the stadium’s dimensions — this year called Oracle Park — in terms of home runs.
“Funny, you say that,” partner Ken Singleton said. “I saw Barry Bonds on the field just before the game and it didn’t seem to bother him.” Then Singleton added, “Lots of speculation on why he was able to hit so many home runs.”
Speculation? The kind traced to the now-shuttered steroid dispensary, BALCO? The conspicuous transformation of Bonds’ body — his head swelled to the size of a beach ball — as he became a late career, record-shattering slugger?
Did Singleton not notice that Bonds’ body, especially his head, has returned to reasonable human proportion? Speculation? Does he believe Bonds played clean?
To make matters a bit more insulting, Kay let that “speculation” remark go, as if he didn’t hear it.
When will people who should know better understand that not running to first base is dangerous?
In recent seasons, Yoenis Cepedes, Matt Kemp and Giancarlo Stanton were lost for months because they were injured sliding into a base they already should have occupied, had they run on contact.
Last weekend in San Francisco, Gleyber Torres hit one to deep left, then, rather than run, he jogged, watching. The ball hit off the wall.
Sliding head-first into third, Torres was out — and at first appeared to be injured.
Analytics keep on whiffing
How rare was Noah Syndergaard’s complete game, 1-0, two-hour shutout of the Reds on Wednesday afternoon?
Take it, reader Mike Cavanaugh: “I got to trade my peak LIRR ticket for off-peak!”
Far more standard last week was Rays 2, Red Sox 1: nine hits, 21 strikeouts, 11 pitchers, 3:21. That was followed by Rays 5, Red Sox 2: 12 hits, 21 strikeouts. And again, with the DH, no pitchers batted.
So how do analytics increase the likelihood of actually hitting the baseball? Obviously, they don’t. Baseball analytics is the science of applying numbers to the vagaries of the human condition. That works for actuaries, not for MLB managers.
Was it racist? Insensitive? Demanding of a humble plea for forgiveness?
Last season Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies had a “breakout year,” with 24 homers, though he struck out 116 times and batted .261.
So this year, when the Braves signed him for $35 million, they were criticized for low-balling him.
To that, Reds’ TV man Chris Welsh said on the air, “A lot of people are blaming the agent for letting him sign a deal like that.
“But Albies comes from a very poor background. He’s from Curacao, and when somebody offers you $35 million dollars — I mean he might not know the difference between $35 million and $85 million.
“It’s going to have a tremendous positive effect for his family and himself.”
That created an internet tempest, as if Welsh called Albies stupid, as opposed to naïve and/or vulnerable. Regardless, Welsh offered his on-air apologies to Albies and viewers.