News and notes from the business side of baseball
More Food My Kids Will Never Eat
In an attempt to grab headlines and re-shape the food pyramid, the low Class A West Michigan Whitecaps have proposed 10 new items to their ballpark menu. Fans now get a chance to vote on which one will be added.
Highlighting the bizarre and unhealthy, one item stands out: the Twinkie cheese dog. Do two delicacies sure never to go bad combine to make something good? The Whitecaps want to find out, by stuffing a hot dog in a twinkie and covering it with cheese.
West Michigan did garner attention—not all of it positive—last season with its gargantuan Fifth Third Burger, a 4,800 calorie cheeseburger that cost $20 and came with a prize if you ate the entire thing in one sitting. (That item is back this year in case you missed out.)
Other candidates for this year's menu include: chicken and waffles, chili mac tacos, chocolate covered bacon, Cudighi Yooper Sandwich (apparently an Upper Peninsula tradition), and the declaration of indigestion (a half-pound foot-long hot dog covered in a philly cheese steak).
A winner is to be announced in March.
Tulsa Ballpark on Schedule
Despite brutal winter weather, Double-A Tulsa is on schedule and on budget for opening $39.2 million ONEOK Field.
The renovated Durham Athletic Park made its debut over the weekend with a college series that included NC Central (the new primary tenant). Minor League Baseball now operates the former home of the Durham Bulls (made famous in the flick Bull Durham) and MILB president Pat O'Conner was on hand to throw out the first pitch.
Rays Still Looking for New Ballpark
Included in this blog post from a Tampa-area sportscaster, is both the tidbit that he expects the Rays to get a new ballpark and that owner Stuart Sternberg claims that expenses to operate a player development system domestically and abroad are eating away at the money he can put back into the big league team. An interesting point, and one we plan on looking into here—actual costs in the minor leagues.
Stuart sat down with local media at the start of spring training—a transcript of the Q and A can be found here. Sternberg goes on to say that the team can't stay at The Trop long term and expressed disappointment in last year's attendance—noting that they drew 55,000 for a three-game series in June against the Phillies (a rematch of the '08 World Series).
Tiffin (Ohio) Advertiser Tribune columnist Al Stephenson profiles his daughter's quest for full-time employment in minor league baseball after spending the 2009 season as an intern for low Class A Charleston.
• The Double-A Richmond Squirrels are hosting an open house on Wednesday at the Diamond for local businesses to interact with team leaders and check out the ongoing renovation at the ballpark.
• Very good profile on Double-A Montgomery co-owner Sherrie Myers, who admits she does not fully grasp the nuances of baseball but is adept at selling tickets and making the ballpark an attractive local destination.
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