BASEBALL, BRANDING, AND AMERICA’S PASTIME

Petco Statium – Photo: Phil Konstantin

“It’s an exciting afternoon here at Petco,” the announcer says. The Padres are playing the Mets. At Petco Park. The mental image this formed in my head were utterly un-baseball, totally non-sporting. The whole branding thing is out of control.

I looked up from the computer, wondering if we needed more dog food and biscuits. We’re forever running short.

But next, the announcer points out the pitcher has been, so far, throwing a no-hitter. Never, in Padre history has any pitcher thrown a no-hitter, so this should have been riveting baseball. Except the announcers couldn’t seem to focus on the game and instead, were busy talking all kinds of nonsense and showing clips of everything except the game in progress. Ultimately, I suppose it didn’t matter since the pitcher gave up three hits in the seventh, but they could have at least given the kid his time in the sun.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Finally they pointed out that the right-hander “… has a great, boring fastball.”

This made me wonder if they should be playing any kind of game at Petco, especially if the guy’s fastball is boring. I understand they are saying something technical about the pitch. Nonetheless, words matter. Boring has multiple meanings, the most common of which is “dull.”

So how boring was that fastball?

Does Petco Park sound like a dog park to you? It certainly sounds like one to me.

Someone once told me I’m “branding” my photographs by signing them. No, I’m not. I sign my art because I’m proud of it.

Branding would be if I sold my blog to Costco, after which this was no longer Serendipity, but Costco Web Thoughts — but I still did the writing and photography while they paid to put their corporate name on my work. That’s branding.

Garry points out the Padres not only have a crappy team and awful branding — Petco really doesn’t work as a stadium name — but they wear ugly uniforms. From Garry, that is condemnation.

Whatever else is wrong with the Red Sox, at least they have not turned Fenway into Burger King Stadium or Walmart Watcharama. To the best of my knowledge, our pitchers throw highly entertaining fastballs.

18 thoughts on “BASEBALL, BRANDING, AND AMERICA’S PASTIME

      • The San Diego Padres’ original owner, if memory serves me correctly, was Ray Kroc — The “Burger King” founder. Kroc was a baseball fan and really hoped to develop a good team, supported by a productive farm system. Ray must be flipping and burning burgers at the big drive thru in the sky as he watches another season of mediocrity at Petco Stadium.

        The Red Sox may be driving me nuts again this year but it’s still a joy to see Fenway Park, MLB’s oldest park, alive and well with minimal concessions to those necessary billboards that help pay gynormous player salaries. Ditto for the Cubbies and the walls of ivy at Wrigley Field.

        Let’s play two!

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  1. I guess I’m gonna have to brand my stuff too. I see my images on other blogs – with no credit. Of course, I borrow stuff myself all the time. But I don’t take credit for it. But even for my photo manipulations I guess they outta know who did that. ??
    Our Hockey rink ‘Scotia Bank Saddledome’. Boooo !!!

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    • I keep being grateful to Fenway for remaining FENWAY. I don’t even know what Boston Garden became, but I am comforted that everyone still calls it “the Garden,” no matter who owns the title this week.

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  2. I agree about the branding, but I’d bet that Petco Park is the only one so attached that you can access down a hallway from your hotel room — or watch the game looking down from your hotel window! They should have called it Omni Park!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There has always been a great outcry against rebranding Wrigley Field, as if the name was sacred, but the park is probably the grand daddy of all sports branding. A few years after William Wrigley, Jr. acquired complete control of the team, he changed the name from Cubs Park to Wrigley Field in 1927. It was a lot of name recognition for his gum brand. They can change it back to Cubs Park as far as I am concerned. Our South Side ballpark is ridiculously named Guaranteed Rate Field.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guaranteed Rate Field is truly AWFUL. Wrigley at least doesn’t sound like a place to take your dog to poop. Fenway is the name of the area, a wetland called the Fens which now a park very near Fenway. I think if you tried to rename it, people might actually riot. I know Boston Garden is named for whichever bank currently owns the rights which are sold (are you ready?) annually. So no one cares what it’s named because we all call it “the garden.” They don’t even put the name up in print. It’s in lights so they can keep changing it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Garry is EVERY BIT as nerdy as you. I defy anyone to be nerdier than my husband, especially about baseball. This is a man who STUDIES box scores. Studies them. Memorizes them. How did I learn about baseball you ask? I have a fanatical baseball nerd for a husband. I was either going to learn to like baseball, or I would never see him from April to November.

      I do NOT study box scores and I don’t know if the famously named Odrisamer Despaigne is still with the Padres. I’m guessing probably not since the team has gone from crappy to crappier. I had to remove Odrisamer Despaigne from the post because I have no idea where is is now. But I bet Garry knows. I’m SURE you know. If you are ever in the neighborhood, we can drive into Boston and see Fenway.

      So. Why can’t the Red Sox tell David Price to stop whining and start playing baseball.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Squirrel, I bow to you on this one. But tell me, my faithful companion, can you recite the batting orders of all 16 MLB teams from 1955?? Not lineups, Tonto, but the batting ORDERS and names of the ’55 parks?

      Seriously, a good grab Squirrel, on this one. While we’re on the subject, how about the gawd awful, clown uniforms worn by the Padres, D’BaCKS, Pirates (Roberto Clemente is turning over in his grave) and Brewers? The Pads uni’s look like prison clothing.

      Deuces Wild!

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      • The Pads unis look even worse when they wear they’re covered in camo. I’m all for honoring the troops, but baseball uniforms should NEVER have camo anywhere! Those new Diamondback uniforms may be the worst ever… even worse than those “Turn Ahead the Clock” designs that were a fad in the late 90’s. This is baseball, not Tron!

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        • Squirrel, do you know which team has uniforms that look like Little League outfits sponsored by the local Bowling club? I mean, truly awful!!

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