Breakfast & Baseball: The BP Fiasco, MLB GIFs, Lew Ford Wisdom, Empty Marlins Park, & Pronunciation Guide

USA TODAY Sports

Today's B&B post has my opinions on the Twins' attempt to charge $15 for viewing batting practice before gates opened, a collection of animated GIFs from around baseball, Lew Ford giving wise advice to a Twinkie Town author, the Marlins successfully alienating their fans, and an online encyclopedia of baseball names.

Since Kevin Correia has actually pitched pretty well in his first two starts (albeit with an awful strikeout rate that would make even 2003-2005 Kirk Rueter jealous), I had to find a different horse to beat into a bloody pulp. That wasn't too hard to find, as I just had to look at something noteworthy that has outraged many Twins fans recently. Save for Aaron Hicks batting a quarter of his weight, that storyline is the batting practice promotion that the Twins rolled out for a couple hours before retracting it.

I won't rehash a bunch of the stuff you've already read, as that wouldn't serve much of a purpose. But I have had so many facts and personal opinions go through my head that every time I tried to hash out a thought on Twitter or Facebook, I'd end up staring at what I typed for a minute or two before hastily deleting everything as I wasn't satisfied with my final product. Eventually, I gave up on trying to join online conversations about the promotion because I figured I could just use my weekly B&B post to pour out everything at once instead. I might not even touch on everything that I want, but I'm going to give it a shot... and yes, I do have a lot to say. If you really don't care about this or you want to tl;dr my thoughts, just skip down to the first bullet point.

1. When I first read the press release, I didn't get why fans were outraged. Every excuse I heard boiled down to "I misinterpreted the press release," except the person would spin it as the Twins trying to screw fans once again. Seriously, click that link and read it. It's pretty easy to comprehend, no? They never said batting practice would become an exclusive event.

2a. Remember that I'm an usher at Target Field, and working there for 3+ years has netted me a few connections within the organization. I was able to find out that when the Twins said, "The early entry program outlined in the release was not fully vetted across the Twins organization," that this is the truth. The promotion wasn't axed because of the negative reaction. It was honestly axed because the appropriate people within the organization had not yet signed off on the promotion.

2b. Which, by the way, is quite funny because at my usher training in mid-March, we were told that this promotion was going to be announced during the season. Thus, I find it odd that this had been in the making for quite a while and yet some executives had not heard a single whisper of the promotion.

3. One of the reasons I think the promotion was not fully approved yet is the staffing that would have to take place in order for an event to occur. It was going to be run by the tour department, and they'd need to figure out who was going to be present in the ballpark and when they would arrive. It wasn't just as easy as letting 60 fans into the ballpark, it was also a logistics issue of who was in charge of supervising those 60 fans to ensure they weren't going to cause any mischief or require first aid for taking a ball to the noggin (trust me, I've been there).

Edit: I made a mistake, the staffing would be done by the tour department, not the ushers as I first stated.

4. While this promotion would have been pretty cool for some combination of two parents taking their child(ren) to see batting practice, I fear ball hawks would have taken advantage of this deal more than any other type of fan. The good will of this promotion being directed towards families would have been destroyed by glove-wielding, backpack-toting males out to scoop up every loose ball that cleared the outfield fence.

5. Want to see the Twins take BP for free? Just get tickets for a Friday or Saturday game and show up when gates open 2 hours before game time instead of the 1 1/2 hour gate on weekdays (Sundays rarely have BP). You'll be fighting with more fans for space, but you also would have saved yourself the $15.

6. With the collection of misfits on the roster right now, the away team's BP is typically more interesting anyway.

7. Chill the (redacted) out. You were not going to be, nor will ever be forced to pay the $15. If you didn't like it, you didn't have to it.

Okay, now that I've vented a bit, time for the fun stuff.

  • Upon discovering this website, I think my purpose of writing on the Internet has faded now. That is MLB GIFs, which gives you the very best GIFs from baseball. Some recent posts include Lorenzo Cain dropping Aaron Hicks' fly ball from the Royals series, Dodgers players Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, and Matt Kemp dancing to "Gangnam Style," and Cubs reliever Kyuji Fujikawa accidentally kicking a foul ball into his own face. This can be your destination for 5 second funnies each day.
  • Our own Jon Marthaler was already impressed by Lew Ford's advice on avoiding wearing a swimsuit at the gym, but then Leeeeeeeeew added in one more piece of wisdom. By the way, after doing some digging, it appears as though Lew did iron his shirt while wearing it, he did burn the shirt with the iron, but did not burn himself.
  • Target Field was pretty empty last night, but it had nothing on Marlins Park for its second game of the season on Tuesday.
  • I don't know about you, but it drives me crazy when broadcasters are unable to correctly pronounce a player's name. For example, Bert Blyleven with Danny "Valenshia" and Johnny "Giovatelly." On a related note, I was getting frustrated last year when the A's signed Yoenis Cespedes and then I couldn't find out how to say any part of his name. Turns out it's "Yo-eh-niss cess-ped-ess." Anyway, J.K. Kelley has started putting together an online encyclopedia of name pronunciations in baseball. It's nowhere near a complete list, but he is willing to have you submit names of players and coaches so they can be added. Now, who's going to be the first to tell him to add Marc Rzepczynski to his website?

I'll be working today's game at Target Field, and this time I should be able to get the game thread together. I'm in Section 238 if you want to brave the cold!

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