A 2020 MLB Arizona-only short season: greed personified

I know that over the last few years, baseball has definitely fallen pretty hard in terms of priorities in my life, but it’s still my favorite sport, and I’ll always have an ear to the ground in regards to it.  I’ll also include that the lack of the pomp and circumstance of the Opening Day that didn’t happen is mostly lost on me, because of the whole, having a baby owning my life from here on until the indefinite future, but it’s still a sad state of affairs that this is the time of the year in which baseball should be shining the brightest, but thanks to coronavirus, is nowhere to be seen.

Naturally, within the inner workings of baseball and their respective organizations, there are massive repercussions to not having a season; fans don’t get to enjoy watching the national pastime, ballparks all across the country sit dormant as the beautiful spring days and nights come and go, and of course, there are billions of dollars being lost all across the board from there being no baseball.

Ballparks large and small, major league, minor league, semi-pro, etc, make no money on parking, concessions and tickets when there is no baseball.  The local economies that house and surround said ballparks also feel the pinch from there being no focal point to draw traffic to them.  People who work in the ballparks and any businesses that rely on baseball to bring in money, end up suffering and worse, jobless as a result.

And when everything culminates, above all else, the owners, investors and other partners who run baseball organizations and the teams themselves, aren’t making money when there’s no baseball being played.

What’s kind of messed up is that baseball players, are still getting paid in spite of the shutdown.  For doing jack shit nothing at this point, as they can’t really train, since the places they’d go train at are all also shutdown.  Sure, the Bryce Harpers and the Manny Machados aren’t going to be getting their full $30M+ salaries for the year, but it’s reported that quite a few players are making up to $143K a week for doing the aforementioned nothing.

But anyway, the point of this post comes from some news that’s been bubbling over the last few weeks about how Major League Baseball is kicking an idea around, that would attempt to get baseball back onto the field as soon as possible, even if it had some really extreme guidelines about it.

Basically, in this proposal, the entire 2020 MLB season would take place over the span of 4-5 months starting in July or August and go through presumably November.  But here’s the real crazy part of it: all 30 teams would be playing in various stadiums all across Arizona.  And possibly Florida.  Or maybe just Arizona.  The point is, MLB wants to play as much of an entire season as possible in either just Arizona, or they’ll do Arizona and Florida and use the Spring Training Cactus and Grapefruit leagues as two divisions and then mash together a World Series at presumably a neutral site.

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Well, at least it’s no longer called ScumTrust Park

Shocker of the century: Truist Park becomes the name of the new stadium after the merger between SunTrust and BB&T

Welp, nobody saw that one coming.  And by nobody, I means every single fucking person in Atlanta with a pulse knew that it was going to be Truist Park in the end.

No matter how great it would’ve been if Waffle House swooped in and usurped the naming rights to the stadium, and called it “The Waffle House, home of the Braves.”  Or if the ballpark decided to honor the greatest power hitter of all time and called it like “Hank Aaron Field,” everyone and their mother knew it was going to end up as some soulless, corporate stooge of a name, and once it was announced that the merged bank was going to be called Truist, it was only a matter of time before this obvious news was going to be announced.

The best part is that in spite of the obvious, these corporate stiffs all took the time and resources to make an event of it, justifying the claims of obvious corporate circle jerking.  As if an unveiling was actually needed, anyone with a brain knew the name and what the logo was going to look like before any sort of curtain was ever put on a pedestal.

The sad thing is that no matter all the clowning that Citi Field got when they unveiled, Truist Park is worse.  Sure, the Citi Field logo looked like a Domino’s logo, but at least it was still somewhat attempting to look like base paths and relate to baseball.  Truist Park looks like an Epcot reject with an emblem that looks like the ominous symbol seen on the episode of Black Mirror about the White Bear.

And no clever nickname can be applied to something as lame as “Truist.”  Or ScumTrust for that matter.  Turner Field was often referred to as “the Ted” based on the original ownership, but nothing can really be applied to these bullshit corporate names.

Regardless, in spite of the dunking I want to do about Truist Park, at least when the day is over it’s no longer called SunTrust.  Despite the fact that the bank itself isn’t necessarily dead, the lack of identity helps mask their bullshit, and I can probably stomach actually going to a game in the future once my kid gets here, and daddy wants to take his daughter to her very first baseball game.

lol good riddance

In short: SunTrust Park begins removing all traces of SunTrust identity on account of merger with BB&T and the re-naming of the company

I know that at the root of it, ScumTrust is not truly dead, but still in existence under a different name, merged with another company, but damn does it feel nice to know that the logo that I was so familiar with during my tenure and eventual layoff with ScumTrust is being wiped from existence.  Especially from the ballpark, of my preferred team, that I was so diametrically opposed to from the onset, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they were named “ScumTrust Park.”

Despite the fact that ScumTrust isn’t truly dead, the fact that they’ve completely lost their identity and headquarters, ScumTrust is pretty much dead.  In short time, few people will remember the ScumTrust identity, and only the corporate stooges who have to take an orientation class will actually ever hear of the name ScumTrust in the future.  Even shorter will be the time it takes before cranky customers bitch about how shitty of a bank Truist is, and then it’s only a matter of time before Bank of America or Wells Fargo consumes them too.

I think my favorite part about the whole saga is that it wasn’t that long ago in 2014 in which ScumTrust signed a 25-year contract to the naming rights of the ballpark that would soon become ScumTrust Park.  Six years, in a 25-year contract, and although the terms of the contract have not been necessarily severed, the fact that ScumTrust’s name is coming off of the entire property might as well be the same thing as the whole contract being dead in the water.

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How to reflect on a decade

This year ending isn’t just an ordinary ending of a year, because it’s also the end of a decade.  Naturally, a sentimental person like me tends to want to reflect on an entire decade, because much like individual years, a decade is a nice round chunk of time that one might think it would be easy to reflect upon, but in the greater spectrum, it’s ten full years we’d be trying to look back onto.  Now I like to think I have a good memory, but even without the aid of my trusty brog, it’s difficult to really look back at an entire decade.

Regardless, that’s not going to stop all the self-important jobbers of the internet who will try their darnedest to speak with authority and copy and paste all the same milestones the major news outlets will when it comes to trying to summarize and reflect upon the entire decade.  The funny thing is that most of the internet savvy generations probably aren’t that much older or younger than I am, which means that in the grand spectrums of our respective lives, we’ve only really lived through 3-4 decades, whereas I’d probably estimate that 1.5-2 of them are pretty invalid, because we’re simply not articulate and/or educated enough to have the capacity to reflect on entire decades.

So combined with the advent and growth of the internet, and the notion that everyone has a voice, I’d wager this is probably, at the very most, the second real decade of the modern high-speed internet that people really care to really reminisce about; and I’m being generous by calling it the second, because DSLs and cable internet didn’t really flourish until nearly the mid-2000’s; I couldn’t imagine people trying to use streaming, auto-refreshing social media on a 56K modem, so frankly I see this more as the first real decade that everyone and their literal mothers on the internet are going to be writing about.

Anyway, I’m going to attempt to try to recollect from mostly just my own memories, and stick to things that are more relevant to my own little world, and not the big gigantic depressing one we live in.  If I had any readers, they can google any decade in review, and probably find more worldly and probably more high-profile shit than the things I have to say about the things going on in my own little life, like the start and finish of Game of Thrones, Pokemon Go, the sad state of American politics, all the endless mass shootings, and Bill Cosby being outed as a rapist.

And the reason that I disclaim the whole “if I had any readers” because one of the most devastating things that occurred for me is the fact that despite my WordPress going online in 2010, at nearly the very start of the decade, midway through the decade my brog went down indefinitely, when my brother relocated from one part of the country to another.  A lot of hardware changes meant no more place to host my brog, and despite having the supposed backups, I simply haven’t taken the time or allocated the funds necessary to get my site up and running again.

If I were the type to do New Years resolutions anymore, I think I’d resolve to get my site back up and running again in 2020.  TBD on if that will actually occur, and frankly with the things I have on my plate going into the next decade, I don’t want to commit and then fail to deliver.

In spite of the brog blackout, that hasn’t stopped me from writing.  Even to the day my site went down, I have been writing on a fairly regular basis, taking no more than two weeks off before the internal guilt gets my fingers flying across the keys again, and I’ve got at this point, hundreds of folders of dated and timestamped Word docs, all awaiting their day in which they can be posted retroactively to a brog.

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Unsurprisingly lame

BB&T and SunTrust banks choose their united name: Truist.

I mean, I can’t say I’m the least bit surprised that this ended up being something as lame as this.  Fewer things in the world are as square and soullessly uncool as the entire banking industry.  I mean, it’s an industry that’s basically built on storing the money of people that are not themselves, and finding every single possible way to take cuts and slices from them in order to profit.

I even yawned heartily while typing out that line, that’s how lame the whole concept of banking is.  I can’t believe I worked in the industry as long as I did, and in some degree of retrospect, I kind of have to thank them for being the tools they are and laying me, as well as my entire department off, because they kind of did me a favor of getting out of the banking industry.  I mean seriously, it paid the bills pretty well, and I would’ve have free parking for years during Dragon*Con, but I have to say that it wasn’t a whole lot of fun saying I worked for SunTrust; as large as it was in Georgia and the eastern seaboard, it was still a regional bank and it was the equivalent of saying that I worked for like, Habib’s Fuel & Automotive in the grander spectrum of the world.

But back to the point at hand, with the name of the unholy union being established, that means that without any further question, the home of the Atlanta Braves is soon to become Truist Park.  I had to wiki it to make sure that it was going to be the de facto lamest name in all of Major League Baseball, but since I’ve completed my quest to visit all 30, I’ve fallen a little to the wayside when it comes to ballpark names.  And as gargantuan-ly lame as Truist Park is, I think there is some stiff competition when it comes to comparing to Guaranteed Rate Field (Chicago White Sox, replacing “The Cell” US Cellular Field (the worst park in MLB)) and RingCentral Coliseum (Oakland A’s, who are always plagued with bad names).  Ultimately, it’s like comparing herpes to chlamydia and gonorrhea, because no matter which name you have, it sucks.

Given the propensity of the Atlanta Braves to always go in the direction of profit > style, it’s no surprise that they’re going to be perfectly at home playing at a place called something as boring, vanilla and lame as Truist Park.  But damn if they aren’t going to get rich cashing in on those naming rights, despite the fact that the product on the field isn’t going to benefit one iota from said proceeds.  A bunch of old white guys need to take their slice of the pie first, as well as their seconds, before the Braves have any chance at possibly getting a little bit of forward investment to maybe succeed. 

I hear winning is pretty lucrative, but the risk-averse Braves don’t really seem the type to risk possibly finding out.  But misery loves company, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that pretty much any team not the Houston Astros seems pretty content on sitting on cruise control and cashing in on revenue sharing, and if they happen to win, great, but if not, that’s perfectly okay as well.  Fuck that, and fuck Truist Bank.  Need to figure out a simplistic and punny name for the new park, because “ScumTrust” is running out of time.

Plopicana Field

TL;DR: The home of the Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field, decides to close off the upper decks due to paltry attendance

As an expert on baseball parks,* this story interested me, or at least made me think that I could barf out some words about the topic and call it a brog post.

*someone who has been to every MLB city

To cut to the chase, the Plop (a derivative of the actual nickname “the Trop”) is kind of a shitty place.  It’s an old and dated structure in a city full of old and dated people, the architecture of the place makes very little sense, the ceiling isn’t actually high enough to where it doesn’t occasionally come into play, and it’s overall a really lousy place to watch baseball.

It’s kind of ironic too, because the Tampa Bay Rays are one of those teams that I kind of lean towards favoring, because they’re a franchise that has relied on outsmarting the competition because they certainly can’t compete with the payrolls of everyone else in MLB, and has actually succeeded a lot more than they’ve failed over the last few years, yielding somewhat respectable win-loss records since the magic switch was flipped in 2008 where they decided to stop sucking, and made it all the way to the World Series.

They’re a team that I think is kind of cool in the sense that they’re never really a threat to my lukewarm Braves fandom, and I always have respect for teams that rely on smarts and analysis over just haphazardly signing free agents and hoping for instant results.  And it’s a shame that they play for such a disinterested fanbase, inside of a ballpark that’s amongst the worst in the Majors.

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Just because “cool” is in the name doesn’t make it such

lol: Braves’ new spring training home unveiled to be CoolToday Park

Leave it to the Atlanta Braves to always put salary over substance, and until 2040, their future Spring Training home will basically forever, be called CoolToday Park; named after a local Sarasota HVAC company.  And despite the undisclosed financial details of the deal, naming rights aren’t cheap, but CoolToday somehow had a couple ten million dollars in order to secure the rights to a baseball stadium for an actual major league club.

Really though, come on now, CoolToday?  And with a logo that makes it look like it’s right out of the 1970’s?  Clearly, the effort doesn’t match nearly the dollar amount spent in order to get these naming rights, but when the day is over, who really cares because of, money?  But to those of us on the outside judging in, it’s a sad and mundane opportunity squandered to get something remotely cool out of the whole charade of the Braves fleecing yet another town in America for another ballpark the country does not need.

But again, leave it to the Braves to ignore everything with any substance in the pursuit of money.  I guess Publix or Red Lobster didn’t want to put in any bids, or be associated with a perpetual loser like the Braves, but damn would I have been excited had either of these native Florida businesses decided to slap their name onto the Braves’ ballpark.  Dare I’d say, it would definitely improve my enthusiasm to know that the company with the immortal chicken tender subs and bakery, or a company with LOBSTER in the name, would be the official home of Braves Spring Training.

I guess it’s no surprise that the Braves settled on some lame HVAC company to name the ballpark after, though.  I mean, from a business standpoint, if any company is going to survive for 20 years, it’s definitely going to be an HVAC company in Florida, and there will probably be no chance that they end up like Denver’s Sports Authority Field, where the naming company went under, but the venue was stuck with their name until it had to be legally changed.

Come on though, “CoolToday Park” sounds about as exciting as a sermon.  But considering how corporately stiff and rigid the Braves management from top to bottom, this is no surprise at all.

Good thing my ballpark journey is for the most part complete.  I can’t say I’d be particularly enthused about having to add an entry for CoolToday Park into my travels.