Feedback…tons of it
Thank you to all of the baseball fans in the Treasure Valley and beyond for all of the feedback from my blog earlier in the week. It is something that the front office of the Boise Hawks will definitely take to heart and can use right away, if needed, to make any necessary changes at the park.
And thank you to the fans that helped make “On the Mike” No. 37 in the latest MLB Pro Blog Top-50 list for the month of June.
A couple reoccurring themes from fans were right on line with what I wrote about, others hit other things that I’d missed.
1 – The Media. The fans can see it probably better than I can (or the Hawks front office) – especially since they watch the late news (I’ll get to see it in September) and know that they have a score of a game most of the time, every now and then a feature. But when the news isn’t great (all the stadium talk, team is losing, etc), the media falls off the bandwagon – especially as Boise State football closes in, and the gap shrinks.
2 – Stadium Issue. Not so much from the fans about Memorial Stadium itself, but that the stadium issue itself turned fans away. When I was on Idaho Sports Talk on Tuesday – Mike Prater mentioned that all of the negativity towards the current stadium and comments from baseball folks in power (when Tom Ricketts came to town last summer) had backed Boise into a corner (giving the community an ultimatum) and Boise doesn’t like to be backed into a corner. Mike’s assessment was something that I completely missed in my five points – but in the same sense, the word needed to get out (maybe words could have been chosen in a different way that wasn’t a so-called PR nightmare). One thing I promise is to not talk about the deficiencies of Memorial Stadium the rest of the year, and instead focus on the positives – the great sight-lines, the backdrop at the base of the foothills, the smells of the park, and maybe even the Heavy Hitter – our 2-foot-long hot dog (yes, Vancouver, your idea is now in Boise).
3 – The Cubs. I didn’t talk about the affiliation outside of the fact that if the Cubs leave, we were guaranteed to have a parent club affiliation with another MLB team next year. I was shocked to see how many fans weren’t fans of the “Cubs Way” – not sure if they were remembering to yesteryear when the Angels brought four NWL titles to Boise in five seasons and a winning record every year? A real good point was made about “developmental baseball” – that they were turned off a couple years back when an interview with a coach mentioned that it is just developmental baseball, that is isn’t about the wins and losses. But for the fans of Boise – it is about the wins and losses, they want to see a winner – and will come out to see one (Steelheads playoff games, BSU Football, BSU Basketball when they are winning). I remember talking with former manager Tom Beyers (now the Cubs Roving Hitting Coordinator) years ago and he said it is developmental baseball, but at some point, you have to teach the kids how to win and play the game in that regards – maybe why Tom had success as manager of the team. Another fan was frustrated when Eugene trotted a pitcher out three-straight games in key situations to stop rallies, but the Hawks won’t, content to let pitchers get innings or players continue to strike out. One person hit it on the head – mentioning that the media in Boise doesn’t lead, it follows – and what it follows are winners (and at 6-14 this season, he is telling the truth). I have always been, and always will be a Cubs fan – whether they are in Boise or not. I have built great relationships within the organization and cherish them – so I won’t comment further on this topic.
All in all, I was enthused by the outpouring of feedback – positive and negative, and the ability for the team to get the word out that the team will be in Boise for 2013 and years to come (with a parent team) and that we want the fans to come to the yard and have fun – which nearly 4,000 did last night (including Jason Lowry and Jessica Jones who became engaged on the field and the gentleman on the first base side who had a foul ball drink his beer).