BRANDING THE AMERICAN PASTIME – Marilyn Armstrong

In just about a month, baseball’s “spring training” begins for 2019. It’s earlier than usual this year. Garry explained that the Red Sox were playing the Yankees in London, so the season was starting early.

What? They are doing what and where? So, in honor of the upcoming season, a little remembrance of baseball seasons past.


“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. This whole branding thing is out of hand.

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

Petco Park, San Diego,, CA

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 while showing clips of everything but the game in progress. Ultimately, I suppose it didn’t matter since the pitcher gave up three hits but still, they might have at least given the kid his time in the sun.

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

padre player uniformThis made me wonder if they should be playing any kind of game at Petco, especially if the pitcher’s fastball is boring. I understand they are actually saying something technical about the pitch. Nonetheless, words matter.

Boring has multiple meanings, the most common being dull. So how boring was that fastball? And doesn’t Petco Park sound like a dog park to you?

Someone once told me I was “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 would be 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 complete condemnation.

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

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

11 thoughts on “BRANDING THE AMERICAN PASTIME – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Hah! And that tall building on the right is an Omni Hotel — you can sit on your balcony and watch whatever game is being played. The players come onto the field through a tunnel directly from the hotel

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  2. They just renamed the ballpark the San Francisco Giants play at from AT&T Park to Oracle Park. Why? Oh, I can think somewhere between 300 to 350 million reasons per year for 20 years!

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  3. Ha! I just thought of this post a couple days ago (it’s the third or fourth time you’ve reposted it) because the kid throwing the no hitter against the Mets at Petco four years ago was the wonderfully named Odrisamer Despaigne, whose name seem to have been clipped on this rerun…. but anyway, he’d just signed a minor league contract with some team and I’ll always connect him to THIS POST. Just the way my brain works…

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    1. I always wondered what happened to Odrisamer Despaigne. If I could have remembered his name, I’d have asked Garry, but I didn’t remember it until I found the post. I remember how much the announcers LOVED saying his name. I guess he didn’t work out to be a long-time major leaguer, huh.

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  4. I hate that branding too. I have a hard time keeping track of where games are being held when they change the sponsors of the stadiums and when the big racing yachts have sponsor names that are very boring. Yes, Petco totally sounds like a dog park.

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    1. It’s because the sponsor pays a lot of money for the right to have his/her/their name on the stadium. But of course, no one remembers the new name. The Boston Garden is something else — Bank of America Stadium? We all call it “the Garden.” So do the TV announcers. I don’t think B.O.A. is getting their money’s worth.

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