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2008 Winter Tour Schedule -- and Slowes?

So the Nats firmed up what they're billing as their "Winter Tour," which we discussed a bit last week. One bit jumps right out at you: Charlie Slowes will appear. Slowes's new deal to return as the Nationals' radio play-by-play guy has not been announced, though it has been close for months. I'll check into that. Basically, there are four players and Manager Manny Acta appearing, and the only two players all but certain to be on the major league roster are veteran infielder Aaron Boone and right-hander Jason Bergmann.

Slowes will moderate the events from Jan. 12-16.

Here we go:

Sat.-Sun., Jan. 12-13: NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo, 1-3 p.m.
Stan Kasten, Bergmann and Boone will be on hand, and there will be a skills deomonstration, a Q&A and an autograph session. The event's at the Convention Center. Bergmann returns on Sunday, but Boone and Kasten don't.

Mon., Jan. 14: Food & Friends
Players will assist in food preparation for delivery later that day. Appears to be a media event. Acta joins the events here, as does lefty John Lannan.

Tues., Jan. 15: Children's National Medical Center
Team members (at this point, Acta, Bergmann and Lannan) will donate toys to the hospital and visit with patients.

That night, they'll be at the Capitals game for an autograph session from 6-7 p.m.

Thurs., Jan. 17: Smart CEO Future 50, a banquet where Acta will serve as the keynote speaker.

Thurs., Jan. 24-Jan 26: Lefty Mike Bacsik joins the group -- and everyone else departs. Bacsik will serve ice cream at Gifford's Ice Cream and Candy i nthe District from 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 24, visit the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda earlier that day, go to the William Wirt School Assembly in Riverdale, Md., on Jan. 25, conduct a clinic at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington in Prince William County, Va. on Saturday.

There's an event listed from noon-3 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 27 at the Washington Auto Show, and a visit to an Arlington County Public school on Mon., Jan. 28, but no players listed for those yet.


By Barry Svrluga  |  January 10, 2008; 2:41 PM ET
 
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Comments

Ice cream? Why wasn't I told about this?

Posted by: Fake Ray King | January 10, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Bacsik did kind of show on that San Francisco night back in July that he's a master at serving up the softy, didn't he? Perhaps that's why he got the ice cream gig. Or maybe it's an audition for his post-baseball career...

Posted by: Section 419+1 | January 10, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Hmm...
Arlington County Public school on Mon., Jan. 28 will be interesting considering the kids have no school that day. The teachers on the other hand will have a great time...

Posted by: Teacher Work Day | January 10, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Why don't they have an event where attendees can see how long it takes to tick off Elijah Dukes, sort of akin to that Monty Python skit where the twits had to keep slamming the car door until they woke the neighbor? That could be fun, and an exceptional opportunity for a player-fan bonding experience.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

uh, because the ice cream would never have made its way across the counter? :)

---

Ice cream? Why wasn't I told about this?

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 10, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Dang, 419 beat me to it! :)

---

Bacsik did kind of show on that San Francisco night back in July that he's a master at serving up the softy, didn't he? Perhaps that's why he got the ice cream gig. Or maybe it's an audition for his post-baseball career...

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 10, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Apropos of nothing, but Ball-Wonk is back!

http://www.ball-wonk.com/

Posted by: Juan-John | January 10, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

This is lame. Worse than lame. Yeah, they've gotta work on planning the stadium opening, but this is worse than even trying and coming up lame. This is not trying and coming up super-lame.

Enjoy Aaron Boone, sports fans!

Posted by: Where Have You Gone, C.J. Nitkowski? | January 10, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, the cheap Lerners have doomed us!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | January 10, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

can't necessarily blame this on anyone but the FO. kasten's team fell down on the job when it came to players marketing the team leading up to spring training. the fact that they don't have even one the handful of recognizable players listed at all is pitiful. how can the "face of the franchise" not even be involved in a single offseason event? chevy chase bank did a better job of promoting a nationals player in 05 than the whole FO has done in 07-08 offseason... i still remember brad "i swear i can speak more eloquently than joe jacoby" wilkerson's CC commercials.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | January 10, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Man that is weak.....How can Stan take a look at this and say he is building a world class organization without laughing or crying....or both......Only thing to top if this would have been Boz had written yesterday he is 95% sure the Nats are going to have a much improved marketing effort this year.

Oh that's write Boz does not do baseball anymore, he is needed on the Redskins beat too much.

Posted by: Red Flag | January 10, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Any of you besides me annoyed because this team decided to lay dormant until after the Redskins' season ended? For months we have been eyeing the skies for the white smoke from Nats Park that this team is going to be proactive in building its fan base. If the Nats are just going to roll over and lay low until after the local NFLers end their season, we're just going to be treated like second-class citizens in our own home town.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 10, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"Sat.-Sun., Jan. 12-13: NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo, 1-3 p.m. -- Stan Kasten, Bergmann and Boone will be on hand, and there will be a skills demonstration, a Q&A and an autograph session."
_____
I'm interested in knowing what skills Stan is going to demonstrate. Negotiating with free agents?

Posted by: CE | January 10, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least they're not showing up on the 21st. Come to think of it, what ARE they doing on the 21st?

**********
Hmm ... Arlington County Public school on Mon., Jan. 28 will be interesting considering the kids have no school that day. The teachers on the other hand will have a great time.
Posted by: Teacher Work Day | January 10, 2008 04:15 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 10, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

tour stops for the clones! awesome! classic! rack me, i'm out.

Posted by: not jim rome | January 10, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Good news about Charlie, though (sounds like)!

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 10, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to make one of these events, although I am not sure I can. I would like them to do an event in Fairfax- a lot of fans here.

I think that having Lannan come is a bit like having Mike O'Connor, but with more talent. However, I think either Bergmann or Aaron Boone is an improvement over Nook Logan. It might have been better to ask Lastings Milledge for these events, but I imagine they are being careful with him.

Posted by: Five more weeks | January 10, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

forget milledge. where are the events with zimmerman, kearns, WMP, meathook, chief, lurch, etc? where are the "best" players? why aren't the names most casual fans would know involved?

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | January 10, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

"Thurs., Jan. 24-Jan 26: Lefty Mike Bacsik joins the group..."

I'm glad to see it. Could we get someone who is actually ON THE ROSTER??

Posted by: WINdge NOW | January 10, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I just can't believe it, they're skipping us South Carolina fans again by not visiting us...ok ok, stop laughing. Guess I'll have to go visit Viera and Vero Beach before dem birds take over next year..yuck!

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 10, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Cholly! Glad to have ya, Cholly!

Posted by: 6th and D | January 10, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you SC! We're just a bit down the raod from Prince William.

Posted by: lowcountry | January 10, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Attn: Stan Da Plan and JimBow. The Caps are committing $124 million over 13 years for the face of THEIR franchise. How about ponying up some dough for the face of YOUR mostly faceless team?

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 10, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

OK- Here is what a Baseball America chat had to say about spending more money in this market, and they weren't discussing the Nats directly:

pjfsks (morristown, nj): Joe - you are the man ! The Mets saved $10 million from Glavine leaving plus '08 revenues will be up. Who are they going to/should they spend it on?

Joe Sheehan: There's nothing out there to spend that much money on. You could assemble a trade for Johan Santana, but it doesn't seem like the Mets will do that, at least at the moment.

Everybody is swimming in cash now. The hardest thing--outside of Miami--is not spending it.

Posted by: Five more weeks | January 10, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Here's the other from that chat. It was my question, and I am afraid I set us up for a wise crack:

Kevin (Fairfax VA): I understand that everyone now agrees that Tyler Clippard had been overhyped, and the Nationals did pick him up cheap. Has everyone gone too far in beating on him now? Does he have a chance to crack the Nationals' rotation in April, and what is his ceiling?

Joe Sheehan: He could be the Nationals' Opening Day starter.

His ceiling is a #4 starter, a 4.40 career ERA guy.

Those two sentences are most definitely NOT mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Five more weeks | January 10, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Last year, I talked to one of the ST holder reps about a Fanfest after reading about the one in Cincinnati . Recently, there were all sorts of rumors of a Fanfest event for the Nats this year. If this is all that the Nats are going to do for the fans, it is really disappointing. The list of participants AGAIN does not consist of a single starter except Jason Bergmann. 2 of the players may not even make the team. Where is the "Face of the franchise?"

Barry's post in NJ that quoted a Nats official as saying the "Nationals got off to a slow start on pinning players down at the end of the season, and it's difficult to catch up to guys over the holidays" is just insulting to me as a fan. You'd think that Milledge and Dukes (as well as ownership) would want to be here to gain fan support in a new place willing to give them a fresh start. You'd think that WMP, Belliard and Dmitri would want to welcome the fans that treated them so well after their former teams dismissed them. You'd think that the owners would want to create positive buzz about their team from the fans who support them. Everyone has cell phones. Get the right players on the phone and get them here.

I understand that this is hard, but it should have been a priority. I was looking forward to bringing my kids to a FanFest type event. Something that would help them become the next generation of Nats fans. Now, I have a bad taste in my mouth instead.

What we, the fans, are looking for is not unreasonable. It is what other teams already have. We are just looking to be equal. I know that ownership is relatively new, but I don't want to have another team in this town that markets something other than itself. It is sad to watch the Wizards and Caps market the teams they play. I was not happy to see the Nats marketing last year that focused solely on the new stadium. You have a fledgling fan base. We are spending a lot of money for your product. We expect to be treated like other similar fans.

I am generally a supporter of the FO. I like what they did for the on field product this winter. I'd like us, the fans, to be treated like we are important. Stan talks about the fan experience. Well this is part of it and so far, since we left RFK, the fan experience stinks.

At least it seems like we still might hear about "Curly W's" being in the books again!

Go Nats!

Posted by: Sect 129 | January 10, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

RE: Quotes from Pundits

The thing about being a pundit is that being right isn't a qualification. Being bombastic is.

(though they are occasionally right, such as when they say there's nothing to spend salary money on)

Posted by: Wigi | January 10, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Winter events? No fan fest the year of a gorgeous new stadium? Pathetic, simply pathetic.

Charlie Slowes likely coming back - fantastic!

Posted by: natswriter | January 10, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

According to ESPN Rumor Mill, the "Orioles and Cubs are once again discussing a trade involving second baseman/leadoff hitter Brian Roberts, The Chicago Tribune reports.

The Orioles reportedly would send Roberts to Chicago for pitchers Sean Marshall and Sean Gallagher and infielder Ronny Cedeno."

I would consider giving them choice of FLopez, Belliard or Guzmann and a couple of pitchers like Clippard and Chico for Brian Roberts. That is pretty equal to the Cubs offer and gets you a lead off hitting all star 2nd baseman for the future.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

errrr...no. An offer of Lopez, Clippard and Chico is in no way similar to the trade that the Cubs and O's are discussing for Roberts. Marshall is a potential #2 starter. And ultimately the Cubs will have to give up more than that to get Roberts.

Posted by: NatBisquit | January 10, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie ...

Posted by: NatBisquit | January 10, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I took the time to calm down...and I'm still angry, but no rants here about marketing. I'm going to take the time to write a well reasoned, respectful letter to the Nationals - a letter, not an email to make my feelings known. I encourage others who feel the same way to do likewise. It's the only way anything will change.

If this is the best they do, I don't want to hear about DC being a bad baseball town. I want a Washington baseball team to at least TRY to market to fans before we blame fans for not showing up. There's something nice about being invited that people respond to....I just hope the Nats send a decent invitation - these events are not even close.

Posted by: natswriter | January 10, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it is a shame the FO doesn't see fit to throw a well planned fan fest this season. I would hope with the stadium completed they would hold something there next January/February. Anything less would be completely unacceptable and a slap in the fans faces. Surely they wouldn't let that happen...would they?

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 10, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

And to add, I may even drive north to attend such an event should the weather be ok...(no deep snow), I gave that stuff up when I moved south.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 10, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the stupid O's are looking for a little more than that for Roberts, which they should...

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/01/brian-roberts-t.html

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | January 10, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

"I'm interested in knowing what skills Stan is going to demonstrate. Negotiating with free agents? "

No, it will be How to over promise and under deliver. That must be the organization motto that hangs on the Wall of the 8th Floor at Connecticut and L. I've been a season ticket holder in the Field MVP, now Dugout Box from the start to the tune of almost $20K.

I've harped on it time and again. DON'T MAKE PROMISES ON WHICH YOU DON'T FOLLOW THROUGH.

My top 5 ridiculous front office shenanigans for 2007.

Promise #1) Tickets will be delivered in early-mid March-- they show up 4 days before opening day (for the third straight year)-- it should not be a surprise that you need to print tickets-- I pay by December or January, start printing in Feb deliver early March. Not too difficult.

Promise #2) We will hold special events for STH-- we get nothing all year, and then a sloppily put together early gate opening for a few Sept games that you didn't even need Season Tickets to atttend

Promise #3(ok just a stupid, stupid non-event) The Brian Schneider Safeway incident-- Schneider is supposed to go to Safeway in Maryland (some one stoplight town) first Saturday in August. It's promoted on TV, I call store day before to confirm. It's all a go. My family drives an hour out there-- daughter loves "Schneiderman". He doesn't show. Ask Brian later in the season what happened, and Schneider says, "the Nats marketing team called me at 9AM that morning and told me not to go, 'that it was too far away from DC'-- Schneider responds that he lives just 15 minutes from the store and his wife was planning to go shopping there anyway-- the marketing team just responds "don't go". We get to Safeway, and the dumbfounded manager says simply they called an hour ago and said he wasn't coming.

Promise #4)Season ticket packets for new park will be sent in April, no --early May, no- May 15, no- May 29, finally shows up mid June

Promise #5) Now this-- Kasten in Sept at one of the "season ticketholder" early admit days-- "We'll look forward to seeing you this winter at our FanFest"- confirmed later in the Post-- heck they take a lot of flack for holding it in Bethesda-- but then it disappears quietly in the night.

If they hadn't promised these things (or had put realistic time frames), then I wouldn't have been annoyed on at least 5 occasions in the last year. But they consistently seem to fall short on the front office end. Frankly, on that side of the house I think it was (unbelievably) better when the league owned them.

I'll be looking forward to see when the date for our "meet your seat" event that they promised is scheduled. Hopefully this is not another disappointment.

Posted by: pennquaker | January 11, 2008 2:54 AM | Report abuse

pennquaker: you forgot to mention the MP3 player...

Posted by: NatsNut | January 11, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I think we finally figured out where we all agree that ownership is being cheap. That is, where it concerns season ticket holders.

We continue to get overlooked, overpromised and severely under delivered. If I get my tickets the week of opening day this year, it may be my last year with tickets. They get my money in early December, they can get me tickets 3 months later? All I expect is to have them by March 15th every year. Its not like they don't know that the lower bowl will be sold out at this point.

Not having FanFest is a travesty. natswriter, I intend to join your letter writing campaign. The quote by the Nats FO person about it being hard to contact the players still annoys me.

Posted by: Section 129 | January 11, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

"I'll be looking forward to see when the date for our "meet your seat" event that they promised is scheduled."

I don't recall ever hearing any _promises_ for a "meet your seat" event. I believe Stan Kasten has said on a couple of occasions that they'd _like_ to have such an event, depending on the progress of the stadium construction. That's not a promise to anyone to have a "meet your seat" event, so no one should complain if they can't pull it off.

And I wonder how many people complaining about there not being a FanFest this year are aware of the true nature of such events? Here's what was posted on ballparkguys.com about the FanFest being held this winter by Stan Kasten's former team. From the Braves (quote):

GETTING EXCITED FOR FANFEST THIS WEEKEND?
Braves FanFest
January 12-13, 2008
Georgia World Congress Center

The Braves have over 40 current, former, and future Braves players confirmed to attend and participate in various interactive activities including skills clinics, autograph sessions, photo stations and more.

Braves FanFest Auction
Elite Pass FINAL DAY TO BID
Fans looking to meet as many players as possible will want to bid on FanFest's Elite Pass, which allows holders of the pass a separate and quicker entrance to all FanFest player sessions and activities. The Braves are accepting bids for the Elite Pass now!

They list at least 35 players as attending including all the big stars. Tickets are $12 for one day and $18 for both days.

Note that last bit: Tickets are $12 for one day and $18 for both days. Obviously, these FanFest events are not intended to recruit new fans, rather they are a way for the team to wring more money out of existing fans. No doubt the players who are appearing are being compensated for being there. They are not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts or to "give back" to the fans.

Are you complainers really so upset about missing out on yet another opportunity to hand Stan Kasten some of your money? At least the Winter Caravan events, or those that are open to the public anyway, are either free or cost no more than the events they are piggybacked on (e.g. the auto show). So, if you complain about them giving the fans that little bit, at least be glad they're giving you somthing rather than wanting to take more of your money just for the privilege of standing in line to get an autograph or say hello to a player. And be glad that they're not spending time organizing and marketing a FanFest (yes, if you're going to hold an event that has an admission price, you're gonna have to market it if you hope to have a good crowd) when what they should be doing, and hopefully are doing, is the behind-the-scenes work on the more important things that fans are legitimately upset about, such as the parking/Metro plan, delivery of season tickets, and a smooth opening of the new ballpark. Not to mention putting a competitive team on the field. Whether or not there is a FanFest shouldn't be on anyone's radar screen. Who cares, really?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | January 11, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Would that everyone could, or would, take the constructive approaches of natswriter and pennquaker in delivering well-deserved criticism to the FO.

Granted that we on NJ are an intense bunch, one needn't be a blogger to feel that one's team could be marketed better. Even if the low-key approach (with occasional dropped balls) is the most cost-effective, which seems unlikely, it sure doesn't look good.

For an alternative approach, check out Chris Ballard's "Point After" in SI this week:

http://tinyurl.com/2zrqus

Posted by: Hendo | January 11, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

While I agree with Natswriter's and Pennquaker's excellent analysis, I somehow feel that the Nats are using the opening of the new ballpark to justify cutting corners in other phases of the operation. It kinda reminds me of the tawdry gimmicks Susan O'Malley used to use to try and lure fans to Capital Centre.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 11, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

419+1
If they are going to do a free Winter caravan. Wouldn't you expect something more like the one being sponsored by the Reds? It includes star players, star prospects, HOFs and management. I have cut and pasted excerpts from Bowden's former team's website:

On Wednesday, the team announced its itinerary for the 2008 Reds Winter Caravan, which will run Jan. 24-27 in partnership with CincinnatiUSA.com. The plans are ambitious -- 28 stops in 25 cities and towns covering four states in four days for a total of more than 1,500 miles.

There will be two separate caravans touring simultaneously. The trips kick off Thursday, Jan. 24, and will include 12 fan stops that will be free and open to the public and 13 Hot Stove stops at Reds radio affiliates.

At each stop (not including the field renovations), the Reds will raffle off two tickets to the 2008 Opening Day game against the Diamondbacks. The groups will field questions from fans, sign autographs and pose for pictures. There will also be Reds representatives to discuss season tickets and group sales, while the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, the Reds Community Fund and Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network also will attend selected stops.

Scheduled to appear in stops on the Northern leg of the caravan are general manager Wayne Krivsky, second baseman Brandon Phillips, pitcher Todd Coffey, Reds Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Browning, Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman and Reds mascot Gapper.

The Southern leg group includes manager Dusty Baker, outfielder Ryan Freel, outfielder and top prospect Jay Bruce, Reds broadcasters Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley, senior vice president of business operations Phil Castellini and Reds mascot Mr. Redlegs.

Posted by: Sect 129 | January 11, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Good strong points offered by Penquaker. Very tangible failings. I am sure there is a confderacy of dunces in the Front Office and that it cannot be blamed on a single person, but I do believe someone holds the accountable position - perhaps a title like VP of Marketing or something like that. Whoever it is needs to understand the depths of their failings. They are undoubtedly responsible for community activities, outreach, events, etc... Perhaps they don't have an adequate budget, or they don't have adequate manpower, or they don't have adequate training and experience. Whatever the root causes are, someone (hello Stan/Mark) needs to identify where the organization has failed and begin the process of fixing it. Step 1: Admit you have a problem. Next understand the root causes. Then fix it. Establish reasonable goals and objectives, timelines, measures of success. Don't get too fancy. Simple, measurable goals. Don't hide behind excuses. If lack of financial information or H/R information is somehow inadequate, figure out what you can do instead of worrying about what you can't. Above all, don't just sit there, do something. (OK, back to work).

Posted by: NatBisquit | January 11, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

129, the key words in what you posted about the Reds carvan are these: "in partnership with CincinnatiUSA.com." Translate that to read "CincinnatiUSA.com is paying for this, in whole or in part." The Reds, who aren't opening a new stadium this year, who aren't trying to sell an entire set of luxury suites, who aren't dealing with a city that gave them a stadium with no supporting infrastructure (parking, streets, Metro) and said "It's yours to screw up", the Reds can't even run a Winter Caravan all by themselves without corporate support. Yet you want the Nats to do it, as an entitlement to their fans.

Whay aren't you and the other bashers screaming at corporate DC for not stepping up to support this team? And don't say the Nationals need to be courting corporate DC, because believe me they are. They need to sell those luxury suites. They need to be making deals like the ones they have with Gaylord and PNC Bank. Indeed, I'm sure the reason Joe Ordinary Fan is not being hit with a Nats marketing blitz this winter is because the entire marketing energy of the front office is being directed at corporate DC. If y'all love the team and want it to succeed, why aren't you directing wahatever energy you have towards corporate DC to try to get them onboard with your team instead of saying "Gimee, gimee, gimee!" to the Nats? Instead of writing to the Nats FO and demanding a FanFest, why not write to some slice of corporate DC and suggest that they need to be getting themselves in bed with the team, for the long-term benefit of the community?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | January 11, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Way to think outside the box, 419+1.

Posted by: Hendo | January 11, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

You know, I'm not trying to crush a legitimate discussion at all or be THAT guy or act high and mighty, but 23 people were killed and 47 wounded in yet another bombing in Lahore yesterday. I just can't get truly riled up about a sports issue. Disappointed, maybe (I think 419 made some great points that are making me reconsider), but not pig-biting mad. There's some serious stuff out there and baseball is really just a diversion.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | January 11, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

But the responsibility and accountability for the fanfest still belongs to the team. Yes they should get corproate, political, and government support. But the team still has to put it together. Then you can help fund it through corporate participation as in Cinncinatti and/or through charging for tickets as in Atlanta. Someone has to plan and organize it by planning in advance.

Posted by: NatBisquit | January 11, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

After reading some of the posts, I never realized that some teams actually charged fans for a pre-season fan fest. At least the caravan is not charging you to see the few that are giving there time to hit the road to meet and greet. As I stated in an earlier post, I really do think they'll improve on this type of stuff next season, what with the new park having opened and a year of baseball under its belt. After all, the Lerners have only been in this business for a year and a half.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 11, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I was aware that other teams charge for fan fests.

New post up, btw.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 11, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

why not write to some slice of corporate DC and suggest that they need to be getting themselves in bed with the team, for the long-term benefit of the community?

Posted by: eeewww | January 11, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Re Marketing
"The Braves have over 40 current, former, and future Braves players confirmed to attend and participate in various interactive activities including skills clinics, autograph sessions, photo stations and more."
I don't have a problem with the team charging $15-20 for this sort of thing. You pay at least that much to see a game. You have to pay to get into (most) autograph shows. It's mandatory for the players (or should be), not the fans. If it's worth it to you to go, then go. (Now, if *I* were Marketing Director, it would be free, but I'd have all the games online, or at least TV, free. Different paradigm.)

"The one sponsored by the Reds includes star players, star prospects, HOFs and management."
"the Reds can't even run a Winter Caravan all by themselves without corporate support. Yet you want the Nats to do it, as an entitlement to their fans."

Now, if they can partner with some deep pockets to pull it off without charging fans, even better. Good marketing will find corporate support; it's their job. (MLB found DC govt. support for a whole stadium. They ought to be able to find a sponsor to split promo costs for a fanfest.)

I don't think they're malicious or cheap, I think they are incompetent, maybe lazy (that Safeway story is a stunner).

If, as Bill Veeck said, there are thousands of people on any given day who could manage as well as the guy paid to do it, I'm pretty sure I could get better marketing ideas from the sales staff of Street Sense (that's a newspaper by and about the homeless, in DC, for you OTB folks).

Posted by: CE | January 11, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Because that's not their job. They want to do it because they will make money from it, ultimately.

****
why not write to some slice of corporate DC and suggest that they need to be getting themselves in bed with the team, for the long-term benefit of the community?
Posted by: eeewww | January 11, 2008 10:24 AM

Posted by: CE | January 11, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

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