View Full Version : I'd love your feedback on my comments on the Silver Sox

Silver Sox Fan
06-25-2007, 12:01 PM
Sorry, another shameless plug for my blog.

I sat down with the stat sheet and did a post on the continuing road woes the Sox are experiencing (now at 0-11). I'd love your comments as well as analysis on my comments and what you think the Sox need to do to start winning.

So either on the blog or in this post, please let me know your thoughts.

06-25-2007, 01:36 PM
Don't have any suggestions for turning around your losing streak, but a comment on schedule... had you noticed that Reno and Orange County don't play at all until the second half? I find that odd... but then the entire schedule is odd this season... don't know what (or if) the league was thinking, you would think each team would play the others the same number of times. Not the case.

Silver Sox Fan
06-25-2007, 02:37 PM
The schedule is definitely strange but from what I read it was because the GBL had to delay the start of the season due to college baseball requirements. That is why the season was shortened and the all-star game was cancelled. I also read that because Chico already made committments with sponsors, their scheduling was pretty much honored as it was and that will mean Chico will have more home games than anyone else in the league.

And you're right, it is weird that with six teams Reno will be 51 games into the season before they see the Flyers. And in those first 51 games, they will play Chico 19 times. Maybe it has something to do with keeping travel costs down. It might make sense if there was a northern and southern division to have an unbalanced schedule. It seems a little unfair with a one division league especially if at the end of the season one or two teams are really bad and a couple of teams got to play them more than everyone else.

But you're right that the scheduling is pretty odd and the fact that one team has more home games than everyone else seems a little unfair.

06-25-2007, 04:16 PM
Silver Sox Fan...

I enjoy your blog and thanks for the regular info on the Silver Sox....In your last post I think a couple of things are important to remember: first is that Les Lancaster has never had a losing season and knows hows to rebuild and second is that the season is two halves so no one is ever out of the playoff really until early August...looks like you guys need to find an outfielder and starting pitching now to go along with an upgrade in the bullpen that you've needed all season...that Devoir kid at short looks like a player and was with the Yankees at one time wasn't he...maybe he has that Steve Sax thing going on...

I don't know how much an advantage it is for the Outlaws to have more home games....so far we have been better on the road...I do know it is pretty typical in indy ball to have unbalanced schedules due to travel and blackout dates.. check out the American Association this year where Pensacola and Shreveport don't even play in Lincoln and Coastal Bend never goes to St. Paul...one year in the western league it felt like the Heat played Yuba-Sutter about a million times..I think with non-league owned teams the GBL will have to be more balanced next year...or maybe not if the new ownership groups demand schedules that keep their costs down...we'll see but it would sure help if the league had 8 teams next year...

Silver Sox Fan
06-25-2007, 05:48 PM
Chico, as always, great post. I know you don't have a lot of time on-line but you HAVE to do a Chico blog. Even if you only post once a week, I think the insights you bring would be great.

Just some quick responses to your points:

1. Agree with you on Les Lancaster

2. Yeah, there is a second half and they will not really be out until August. I just know that momentum is huge in baseball but if it happens to late, it won't make a difference. But, as with response #1, if anyone can do it, Les will be the guy.

3. On Devoir--good call, he played in the Yanks organization for 1.5 years for a total of 70 games. He's a career .203 hitter in the pros entering this season with 2 HRs and 2 SBs in those 70 games. On defense he was pretty good with a fielding percentage in the high .800s. But he's really had a tough time this year getting going in the field. Obviously Les liked what he saw in spring training so hopefully this kid pans out. Of course, the entire team is underperforming so hopefully they all break out together.

4. Loved the Sax reference...took me back for a minute (my grandfather and I went to a lot of Dodger games in the 80s).

5. I love how you always bring other indy league info to the table to validate the situations in the GBL. It is good to know the GBL isn't too far in left field on its schedule, level of play, etc.

6. I too hope we get two more teams in 2008. Sorry, Colorado Springs and San Diego, but I hope they are in No. Calif or in OR. That way we could have true divisions and only make a swing into the other division once or twice a year. But if SD and CO get the teams as rumored, it will mean Reno and Chico will do the bulk of travelling so if the schedule remains unbalanced again next year, we may see Chico and Reno play about 50 games against each other :)

Thanks for the feedback. I always appreciate it. And this board and my blog definitely add to my enjoyment of the league and its teams so please keep the comments coming!

06-26-2007, 02:03 AM
you also forgot to add that the league could care less about LB or OC. Well LB now that OC is bought up. They dont make the dollars that they do in Reno or Chico so LB gets the least amount of concideration with anything. Also before OC was purchased the league treated them the same way. Crappy schedule where they play tons of games up north where the league sees more dollars. F the college conciderations, they have done fine for 2 years around them, why was this year different? It wasnt. They just want to make more money and push the so-cal teams into the toilet as they did with SD. The socal teams get less marketing, less league attention and certainly less press. Heck, I am not even sure that the heads of the league or anyone in the front office know how to get to any of the so-cal stadiums. Its becoming a sick joke.

06-26-2007, 09:51 AM
peeaanuut... having been around the Flyers the last 3 years I have to agree with what you say except the league does know how to get to so cal. There was a league guy there last night at LB, I had a minute to talk to him and your GM about the ship not being in the outfield... really miss it, it added to your entire theme. I am sure we had an almost non-exisistant marketing budget. With the new owners this is way better now. I don't think us being where we are in the standings (and I mean Armada, too) was in their plans since they are so big on the north. I predict a lot of changes to Reno by the second half (team wise), heck we don't even meet with them until then!

06-26-2007, 10:35 AM
someone said that Kaval was in the stands yesterday but I didnt see him. I was looking too. Our new President is a little bit more visable and seems to be making positive changes. Lets hope that continues. However I was surprised to hear that he was the only one NOT at the meeting with the Armada staff yesterday in regards to duties. Im sure he had a valid "excuse". Just put Jay Klein in charge, he will get things done. And for petes sake, give these teams the resources they need to get the job done. This cutting corners and short sheeting of staff is really just going to hurt people in the end.

Give each team someone who is in charge of communications. They make sure the websites are updated and the fans (you know the ones that spend the money) remain interested and in tune with the team. The more the fans feel part of the team, the more likely they are to show up to games and spend money. LB recently had 2 very good promotions but none of them came to fruitation because of lack of communication. Get the word out!

Silver Sox Fan
06-26-2007, 12:41 PM
My view of the marketing in Reno, from the outside looking in, isn't much different. The team just doesn't do it. In keeping with the topic of promotions, Reno decided on the last homestand to do a cowboy hat day in honor of the Reno Rodeo. It wasn't in the paper, on the promotions calendar, or mentioned during the previous homestand. Basically, I saw it on the website and that was it. Anyway, the promotion was that if you wore a cowboy hat you got two for one tickets. I actually only saw one person with a cowboy hat. But if the info isn't put out people can't take advantage of it.

I've seen one add in the local paper (I have a subscription so I check every day), one commercial on TV that had no live action, just still photos (though there may have been more--I don't watch a lot of TV), and no billboards or other signs in the community. So it would seem that their budget is as non-existant as the SO CAL teams. Box scores are almost never in the paper though I do know the team is trying to fix that based upon the earlier deadlines of the paper. And speaking of TV, I noticed our semi-pro team (Reno Astros) has a public access TV show. Maybe the League could try something like that if cost is an issue. The closest thing I have seen to advertising has been second and third order advertising such as kids selling Sox tickets to support little league or team reps going to the library for a reading program.

Peeaanuut is right about communications. I think the websites are a free avenue to spike interest. But people have to know about it and it has to offer pertinent info. Again, I go back to Reno who still hasn't updated the roster since the first week of the season despite about 8 roster moves. And one of those roster moves (of a starting pitcher) still hasn't been explained (Keaton Everitt). He just missed a couple of starts and ended up on the inactive list. And of course, you all knew my beef that there was no promotions calendar as late as two weeks into the season. I can say they are finally using their newsletter to put out game results and there was one that talked about player movement (albeit several days after it is occured).

I also think Ben Deach needs more info to do his job. By that I mean listen to Rory Miller or John Potter...lots of background on players, good info on upcoming events, info on the other team, etc. One example is Deach on the Sherrill injury. It went from being injured stealing, to a possible hamstring injury, to the MRI saying there was a bone bruise, to a news release stating he would be out with season ending knee surgery. YOur radio announcer is the perfect chance to bury the listener with info without them even knowing it (see Jon Miller or Vin Scully a number of years ago for the perfect example). I don't blame Ben...all announcers uses a media guide or some other notes. There should be a front office person who does that. And again, I don't blame Curt Jacey because he never sits down at a game and I know he works hard. And the one time he stopped by the booth for an inning, he put out great info on player transactions...of course, those weren't on the website which means if you missed that you never would have known.

Anyway, I'm not in the staff meetings so I don't know why they do what they do. But from an outsiders perspective, it sure seems like the website is a complete after thought. Add to this that there is no marketing to get folks through the turnstiles and zero marketing of the players and the operation seems less focused on creating a first class baseball organization. It seems like they are making stuff up as they go like them not posting a promotions calendar until two weeks in to the season. But you'd think the knowledge is there of how to run a baseball team especially when you read Curt Jacey's resume of 10 years of minor league experience to include time as a GM. He knows what a team has to do to be successful in a town so maybe I'm missing something. But it sure seems like the focus is not on convincing people that the team and league are legitimate professional organizations through simple things that have now become industy standards (such as detailed, professional websites and the info they put out).

As negative as this sounds, you know I will still be at the park. It is just frustrating because the Silver Sox haven't leveraged their headstart in Reno. Triple A is coming. Today it was announced that the city council is in negotiations to put a stadium downtown. So they choice is a heavily advertised team with MLB prospects and recognizable pros (especially on rehab assignments), in a $30M stadium, in a location within walking distance of our finest casinos and resorts, restaurants, and botiques, and probably with games on TV...or the barely known independent team, playing at a college stadium in the north part of town, in walking distance to nothing with the closest restaurant being fast food. There is no way even the 1500 people who come to Sox game (and actually closer to 1000 on most nights) will keep going if they have no attachment to the team. That attachment needs to happen now while they still have a chance!

Amit Patel has said in interviews that Triple A won't come, its too expensive, the community won't support it, the Sox can compete with their niche of fans who can keep the team viable, etc, etc, etc...bottom line is I don't believe any of that. The closest to being true is the last one but only with much stronger marketing. And lets be honest, a quick look at one stat will drive people away. Look at the number of errors league wide and then compare that with AAA. That alone is one obstacle to overcoming a bias against the level of play in an indy league. People will pay a little more (which may not be much more considering Sox tickets average about $10) for quality play, players they know, and amenities at the ballpark and around the ballpark.

So please spend some money on making these teams successful before it is too late.

Silver Sox Fan
06-30-2007, 01:14 AM
Though I grew up as a California Angels fan, you couldn't help but follow the Dodgers if you lived in the Los Angeles area. One of their big players, as you know, is now the Yuma manager. He was great with the Reno fans tonight and my blog has a pic of him holding my son. Thanks a lot, Mike!

06-30-2007, 09:55 AM
Though I grew up as a California Angels fan, you couldn't help but follow the Dodgers if you lived in the Los Angeles area. One of their big players, as you know, is now the Yuma manager. He was great with the Reno fans tonight and my blog has a pic of him holding my son. Thanks a lot, Mike!

OMGosh! Your son is adorable.

Keep on bloggin'.