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View Full Version : Absence makes the heart grow fonder


sandiegopaul
07-03-2007, 10:26 AM
I don't post very often, but felt inspired to throw in my two cents. Many of the recent postings have expressed varying levels of frustration about various aspects of GBL play and performance. Even though I agree with many of the concerns, I wanted to come to the defense of the league. I am one of those Surf Dawg fans who have experienced a long period of grief over the "temporary" loss of our Dawgs. This first part of the 2007 season have given me ample opportunity to reflect on what we are missing here in San Diego. Quite simply, we are missing the experience of the "toddling steps of a young child". Many of us who have been taken in by the seduction of the mature and fully developed features of the major leagues lose the joy of watching something very special grow. Those of us who are parents wouldn't miss for anything the stumbling, awkward steps that our offspring exhibit. Same thing with the GBL. It is true that the GBL and its participating teams fall short of our expectations some of the time. The league office, players, umps, and team leadership may not exhibit major league performance we havegrown accustomed to over the years, but let's not forget what we have to appreciate. Independent baseball has never been about being the same as the big leagues. But what it is about is the experience of watching dreams grow and develop. The Dawgs absence has made my heart grow fonder and I can't wait for their return to SD (hope grows eternal). So as a solid "GBLer", I encourage all GBL fans to appreciate what we do have. David and Patel and their leadership team have given us a gift to be appreciated; a sharing of their dream. Embrace Independent baseball, even when it appears to be the worst you've ever experienced. Let's get out to the ballpark and voice our support, encouragement and excitement for the GBL. The long term success of the GBL depends on us far more than it does the field or front office performance. Just my two cents; I am not "Polly-Annish" or naive. But I appreciate what we have. Let's go out and enjoy our toddlers. Maybe it's better they don't grow up too fast; they'll end up looking like every other major/affilated minor league clone.
Paul

S.Sox
07-03-2007, 01:07 PM
SD Paul,
Great post, I must say you don't see many if any complaints regarding the players.. I enjoy watching professional baseball again in Reno!!!!!!!
It just becomes frustrating when the area wants to embrace the Sox/GBL but the staff does nothing to bring them in, let alone communicate with the fans who want to help!!
I hope the GBL prospers in the elite Indy league with the Sox here to stay!!
See you at a Dawg game soon!!
S.Sox

Silver Sox Fan
07-03-2007, 01:46 PM
Paul:

Great sentiments and I agree with you...at least 99% of the way.

That other 1% I reserve for constant improvement. Just good enough...isn't. As with S. Sox you won't hear me criticize players other than on a statistical level. I think anyone can agree that if you average almost 3 unearned runs a game or have a 7-error game, that is not good baseball. However on a personal level, I would never attack a kid who is trying to keep the dream alive (even some of the "older" kids we have in the league).

And I don't criticize the competence of management. They have a tough job as we all do and until you walk a mile in their shoes you will never know just how hard it is. That being said, if they are just not doing things that they are rightly expected to do as professional baseball staff then I think concerned fans are within their rights to point it out.

As for me, I love baseball and I will support it, especially indy baseball. Maybe it is something about an underdog (I still love Arena Football over the NFL) or maybe it is because I remember when we didn't have pro baseball in Reno for a long time. Either way, I will always support the Sox.

However, I am just concerned how long that "always" will be. True, Triple A has been promised since 2001. And this time it seems closer than ever. But even if it does fall through, PCL's Branch Rickey wants it in Reno and big time investors do as well so in my mind it is not a matter of if but when.

I want to see the Sox do all they can to leverage their headstart on Triple A and make sure that they can establish their strong market niche now and maintain it when Triple A finally arrives. So all my comments are focused in that direction. It doens't mean I don't love the game...it means that I DO love the game. In fact, I think the coolest thing would be to take my son to a game in 16 years as he heads off to college and remember all the good times we had with the Sox. Not like 2023 when they draw 9,000 at their own stadium but way back when it was just a cozy 1500 at Peccole in 2007.

In a lot of ways, I haven't grown up [and my wife never misses an opportunity to let me know that :)]...I still love going to the park, I love cheering for guys with my hometown on their jersey, and once my military service is over, I will get into minor league baseball operations knowing full well I will work long hours and start at the bottom as an intern. But, as has been said before, there is nothing wrong with America that baseball can't fix. I believe that and I will always believe that.

And though there will be constant debate on what the team should or shouldn't do both on and off the field, it all comes down to seeing a kid with his glove at the park waiting to catch a foul ball and remembering just how big a part of our lives baseball always was and always will be. I think we have a responsiblity as fans to make sure everyone has that same opportunity.

S.Sox
07-03-2007, 01:54 PM
SilverSox Fan,
Can you retire now and take over the Sox!! You have all the right ideas and desire... I'm sure the Commish would hire you ASAP!!
Good post..
S.Sox:redface:

RW22
07-03-2007, 02:24 PM
Well, it would make too much sense for the GBL to hire him. He is a passionate fan, has drive, and common sense. That is something lacking in all the front office staffs. They are pencil pushers who just "enjoy" the game and want to be a "part" of it all. They do not embrace it, hold it and mold the experience of the game to the fans. The front offices dont have a "feel" for the game and it really does show. It is an inherited feeeling, and I think that emotion is not taken into consideration when they make their hires.
Take Steve Bash in Long Beach, (I am not going to bag on him here) where is is passsion.....it aint baseball-its boxing. So, why hire someone who isnt passionate about what he does? I would rather have a college kid with no degree who is willing to spill his guts trying, than someone who has other interests elsewhere. The college kid may fail, but at least I would know that I am getting a full effort.
The owners set this league up on a business model; they strayed from their intentions and its biting them on the backside right now. I sure wouldnt mind hearing from one of the investors, who do not run day to day operations, to see how they feel about the league.
The product is what it is; indy ball. As long as we have it, lets improve it-for the fans and especially for the young men who play the game, they deserve it.

aztlgrl
07-03-2007, 05:43 PM
They are pencil pushers who just "enjoy" the game and want to be a "part" of it all. They do not embrace it, hold it and mold the experience of the game to the fans. The front offices dont have a "feel" for the game and it really does show.

Well unless you've actualy been to the Yuma Scorpions office (and the other teams offices), met us, and spent a day with us I would say that you are making a pretty broad statement about people you don't even know. I understand that you have some serious animosity towards Steve Bash as well as several others on this board and their resentment of Reno's office, however, just as I do not log in here and bash everyone in general for lack of understanding, I would hope that you would reserve comments such as that for who you DO know about. You don't know me, or my colleagues, and how much we love, respect, and LIVE this game and for our team. I would not spend 12-15 hours a day at this park if I didn't want my team to be the best it could possibly in every avenue and every aspect. Sometimes things fall to the wayside such as player updates, but we do our best to be on top of things. Just as any normal human being, we all make mistakes. I love my town, my community, and I love this team. I work hard daily to ensure that we can get the best or try to get the best for our team, the players, and the coaches. I would welcome anyone on these boards to come to visit us in Yuma and talk to any of our staff. Granted it's not the "coolest" place in the world but we love it.

peeaanuut
07-03-2007, 06:00 PM
aztlgrl: glad to see staff posting in here. My main complaint with staff is Steve. I know for a fact that he does not do anything and pushes his responsibility on the rest of the LB staff. That is actually working quite hard every day. 15+ hour days 7 days a week are not uncommon and I am sure that is the same in all the team offices.

My issues stem from the complete disregard of the fans from the heads of the league office. Namely Kaval and Amit. They make decisions that just make no sense what so ever.

Pietsch Fan
07-03-2007, 06:02 PM
I don't think anyone has said a single bad thing about Yuma's front office or the Scorpions experience. I've been to Yuma and I've seen first hand that the people who run things over there love baseball and it shows on gameday. Yuma, except for that darn heat, is a great place to watch baseball. But that doesn't mean all the other front offices are like yours. It's obvious when a fan goes to games day in and day out if the people behind the scenes give a rats patooty about the fan experience. It's painfully obvious when the "business" is run as nothing but a means to a bottom line. No one here is saying that all team experiences in the GBL are horrible, but it's wrong to pretend that they are all perfect.

Mary

Silver Sox Fan
07-03-2007, 06:04 PM
I hope you can see by my initial comments that I don't neccesarily agree with all of RW's comments and I think your post definitely corresponds with my statement of how hard your job really is. I think everyone would benefit from reading the book Getting in the Game by Josh Lewin for an excellent example of what happens behind the scenes.

That being said, I wonder if you might tell us a little about your 12-15 hour workday or flesh out a little of what you do when you "work hard daily to ensure that we can get the best or try to get the best for our team, the players, and the coaches". I'm sure we'd all love to hear how much you guys do to keep the teams running. And maybe the other teams could benefit as well.

In addition to hearing your POV, I'd also like to see you elaborate on the idea of player updates falling to the wayside since that is definitely one of my pet peeves. I assume everyone from the GM or his assistant who handles the budget to the folks that update the rosters to the field manager all know about this. So, just curious how it falls to the wayside. Is it a concious decision based upon priorities of work? Or is it not seen as important to post it on the website? Or are there just not enough people to do everything?

aztlgrl
07-03-2007, 07:20 PM
Mary & Peeaanut what I was referring to was this statement and the following statements:
That is something lacking in all the front office staffs.
That seems to say "all" and not just "one". So my response was to that statement. Not that I'm angry or mad. I just wouldn't make statements like that about all the offices without meeting them. That's all.

I haven't heard the "horror" stories about Steve Bash other than what I've read here and I've never met or talked to the man. I cannot make a judgement on that point. However I have talked to most of their (LB's) front office and they've been nothing but pleasant and extremely helpfull to me anyway.

Keith: Normally I would update the website with player info. However there are times, well with our team anyway, where we are on the road more than anything. While on the road we've dropped some players and added players and before I even know it they're playing in the next game. This is why Mitch, our road announcer, has taken over adding new players and stats to our website as he has more of a bead on it than I do.
On a game day I'm in the office by 9AM, instantly check e-mail and determine which fire gets the hose first. I update website with new game info. Send out Scorpions Insider informing e-mail subscribers to website of what's going on. Check voicemail. Determine which fire gets the hose first and work way down. Call clients and/or new potential clients to get new sponsorships (I try to spend about an hour on this). Ticket sales and ticket sales. Call food vendor for the evening to ensure food will be ready for players after game. Head over to field to double check any issues with either signs or music. Back to the office to handle more e-mails, confirm hotels for next away trips, fax out room lists. Field calls from Workman's comp. (which has grown lately with out injured players). Try and help Glenn with making sure promos are ready but he's dealing with his own schedule and is just as slammed. Head back over to the field and double check to make sure promos are ready for Glenn and that prizes are available and lined up. Try and get kids or willing fans to commit to between inning contests. Back up Glenn with whatever he needs me to help him with. And then it's anything from getting the coach's drinks to getting keys to the trainers so they can run back to the clubhouse. After game, stay on field to ensure fans don't get into dugout after player's glove was stolen weeks ago. After players leave the field and all stuff is gone, back to the office to make sure everything went well with the food and no other issues. Check e-mails and voicemails again. And then it's normally off for a drink at the waterin' hole....and then bed. Leaves little time for my underwater basket weaving but alas we all need to sacrifice. That's just on my end. You should see what Glenn goes through(dir. of sales and promotions) or Joe our director of ops, Christina our office manager, etc. etc.
Each has their own tales they could shoot out for ya but that's a basic game day for me. Non game days are far more "sales" driven and very much on the phone making calls or sales appointments. Plus most of us are on Rotaries and involved with our Chamber of Commerce so we have those meetings to go to as well. We thoroughly believe in being active in our community. Which is why we push things like the GTS sponsored Kids Club and the 1st Bank Yuma Reading Program. We also are heavy on military appreciation (with a marine base and army base here you'd be daft not to) and border patrol appreciation. We try to get involved with fundraisers and appearances with the team.
I hope this gives you a little bit of insight and if anyone ever has any questions I'll do my best to answer with what I know!

RW22
07-04-2007, 02:22 AM
Aztgrl.....

I want you to apologize to you up front. My comments are based on league wide experiences. It has absolutely no reflection on the staff at Yuma. When we have been there, we have been treated quite well. Your staff is one of the teams that "gets" it.
I read your post, and YOU are the one that this league needs...They need to find more like you. Your reading program is one of the best in professional sports (and I have seen a ton)---the 6000 kids you hosted at last years opening weekend is testament enough. Does anyone else in the league know that Yuma chose one child in their reading program to bring his/her family on a hummer limo trip to see a weekend series in San Diego???

You are exactly what this league needs...compassion, dediction and caring for the community. I would hire you in two seconds based on your reflections. I just wish the GBL would do that with EVERY hire! There are just so many people out there willling to work hard for these kids...and I am proud to know that you are one of them.....

I'm really not a pain, just watching people do an inept job--in a hard market, frustrates me...continued success....and next time I am in town...I will buzz the office and say hi!

(Go peanut patch!!)

Silver Sox Fan
07-04-2007, 03:08 AM
Aztlgrl:

Thanks for the info. You definitely are doing the right things. In fact, I would say the changes you guys made on player movement for example proves you are focused on continuous improvement which is all anyone can ask. At the end of the day, you have results that go beyond corporate sponsorships and ticket sales. Those things are the lifeblood of a minor league team but the things you have done with your community are what make the difference between just surviving and actually succeeding in a community. And your attendance figures validate your efforts. Keep up the great work and if you ever make a road trip to Reno, I'd love to meet you if only to say "great job".

aztlgrl
07-04-2007, 06:59 PM
:D Awwwwwwwwwwww Shucks! lol! Thanks guys...I figured you didn' really mean us RW22 so no worries...I did want to speak up for mysef and my colleagues who I know work so hard and dilligently day in and out for our team.....just in case :rolleyes:

Keith I AM hoping to make it up to Reno in late July! *fingers crossed* that it goes as planned!

Heather