Jun 182008

I had high hopes for last night. Some friends of mine had met at a Giants Singles Night in a previous season, and since I’ve decided that it’s time to think about settling down with someone in whose confidence I can be assured evidentiary privilege, I thought it would be a good idea to go.

I was wrong. It was an enormous waste of time and money. Except for an increasingly exasperated DJ there was no organization, no sense of place or occasion for these scattered and sparse mingling singles — just a limply cordoned area and a coupon for a free drink out on the centerfield plaza. Men were in short supply, as was maturity generally. It immediately became apparent that any man who might actually be my type had demonstrated it by wisely not attending.

I would have been annoyed, certainly, if it were only the consummate lameness of the event that I had to deal with. But it was the EXPENSIVE, UNDISCLOSED lameness that has me most antagonized. The seat they sold me lists for $20, although aftermarket I’m sure I could have gotten it for less. But suddenly added onto the price was a double-digit convenience fee for a drink and “pre-game entertainment,” which apparently consisted of nothing but one (legitimately) frustrated DJ, an “order processing fee,” and I think by the time I got to the last screen they’d plastered on another fee too.
So it had already cost me nearly $33 to waste my time at a crummy game in a crummy seat, plus $7 more to drive in and park (and it was only that cheap because I parked acres away on the street). My lovely drink coupon did save me the nearly $5 for a soda, but seeing how the pre-game party they promised provided no food I still had to pay for dinner. Approaching $50 for a wasted evening (yes, it was baseball, but it was also the 2008 Giants — and the Tigers) I got so annoyed at the Giants for having hoodwinked me into attending that I decided to protest by rooting for the other team. In the 8th inning the Tigers took the lead with a lead-off pinch hitter. “That’s good baseball,” I thought, noting it was the first good baseball of the night even though we were in the 8th inning, “Massaging your line-up like that. Particularly for an American League team. Relatively speaking, you deserve to win.” While I generally abhor leaving games early, I was so disinterested in wasting any more of my life at this one I cut my losses and left right after that.

It really didn’t have to be this way. It IS baseball. It’s also a pretty nice ballpark. I like how you can walk right up to it from the street, that it’s fairly easy to traverse, and that it has a nice view of the water and East Bay hills. But I don’t like that it’s smaller than it needs to be, forcing ticket prices to be much higher than is affordable for most people, and then once there the Giants continue to pick their pockets even more. For example, a piddly 16 oz soda? A whopping $4.75. Kettle corn? A dollar more than it costs in Oakland, and for less.

But my increasing annoyance devolved into full-blown disgust after one of the half-inning scoreboard danceathons. You know, where people are induced to behave like idiots to try to get on camera. Because as the game started up again afterwards they flashed on the scoreboard (a scoreboard that doesn’t actually include the score when it’s flashing anything else), “Did you see yourself on the scoreboard? Want a copy of the video? No problem! For just $29.95 we’ll give you a copy!” At this point I’m surprised the Giants aren’t retailing gasoline, since they’ve mastered the art of overcharging to such a degree. Of course, the games would probably be a lot more fun if they’d also mastered the art of baseball, but apparently that’s not part of their business plan.

 Posted by at 9:20 am

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