Friday, September 15, 2006

4 Changes

Here's a little game to contemplate here as we start the offseason.

Pick 4 changes that you'd want the Spirit to make over the offseason- ANY kind of changes: on-field, off-field, management, advertising-- ANYTHING related to the Spirit that you want to change.

Here's mine.

1. Surprise! I want to fire every coach except Jeff Ware. Kennedy has his ups and downs but his system just hasn't gotten us to the promised land. But even more important than that, Donahue has to go. He is a complete liability at the 3rd base coaching position. My dad listens to the games on the radio at home, and just based on the RADIO he can tell Donahue's a bad 3rd base coach.

2. Of course, I'm a realist- I know #1 won't happen. So presuming Kennedy et al. stay, I say reform the team to fit the style of the manager. In '03 our team was based on contact, speed, and wreaking havoc on the basepaths-- and Kennedy looked like a genius. In '06 we had sluggers in spots 2-7 in the lineup, yet Kennedy would constantly bunt, steal, etc. I mean, I saw a time this year when he did hit and run with Andrew Wishy and Alex Trezza!! I'm all for hit-and-run but that's NUTS! So I say remake the team with an emphasis on speed and contact. Keep Weed and Sabino; get back Marcos; get that leadoff guy from New Haven. Make the offense dangerous that way. It's not like our offense was SO good this year that we HAVE to keep everyone.

3. Sack 1510 the Zone in favor of either web-based radio or radio that will broadcast at least our PLAYOFF games live.

4. On, someone once said, "If Nick really is losing $1m/ year, wouldn't it make sense at that point to just spend an extra $100k/yr on a group of people whose role it is to drum up publicity and sell group tickets?" To which I say: Amen. And I don't mean 'drum up publicity' figuatively; we should have people stand in Wyoma Square or whatever other Squares there are in Lynn, with a frickin' drum if necessary, with big signs advertising the fact that there's a game that night. They should have info tables around the city on game days with Spirit pocket schedules, directions to the field, parking info, etc. They can have contests there to win free tickets. They can do this in other cities further up the North Shore, too. They should create a "Spirit van" that drives around the city on gamedays, and if they see kids in the street playing stickball, baseball or wiffleball, they stop and give them free tickets.

I agree that the Spirit need to be more creative, but being "creative" doesn't have to mean resorting to disgraceful on-field gimmicks. Don't you agree?

Let's hear what ya got.


TonyTheTiger20 said...

joe, ive got to admit, as much as i may hate (and, consequently, love sometimes) how ur almost ALWAYS right, these are some of your best ideas yet.

you seem to be all for preserving the sanctity of the game.

i ask you, what is more in the spirit of baseball then giving kids free tickets to games?

1) i havent been watching long enough to have a good opinion of kennedy

2) that just makes sense regardless of the manager

3) cmon. i think at the very least the listeners of the station should be able to vote about whether they want to listen to baseball or a talk show about vietnamese olympic toe wrestling.

4) like i said, this is brilliant. there should be alot more advertising about the team, and theres no reason to do it with gimmicks. i dont think giving kids tickets is gimmicky (and giving kids playing baseball in the streets free tickets is one of those things that gives u a good feeling to be american. lol....stupid and cliched, but whatever).

benoit emond said...

joe - i'll get back to with my changes but i'm sure that removing kennedy and our high school coaches is one of them.

I want to say that once again you will probably here from the team about how they lost a lot of money again this year. here's how i think that works.
the baseball operation and the concessions operations are two different companies. i'm sure that if you look solely at the baseball side of things the expenses do outweigh the revenues, but given the new concessions deal this year there is no way that this team lost money if you add in the concessions.
that's why they give away so many tickets -- it doesn't matter how tickets are sold it only matters how many $3 cokes people buy.

Joe Grav said...

There was a new concession deal?


benoit emond said...

the way i understand it is that before this year the spirit did not own the concessions outright - -- they only recived a cut. this year they owned the whole thing -- all of the profit went to the team.

benoit emond said...

i have to do it -- i'm heading for brockton tonight!!!! who will be there????

SoSayethI2006 said...

Not me.
Gotta' work.

DaveCo said...

1. I agree that the coaching staff needs a little shakeing up....but maybe only Donahue. Sorry Tommy,I like ya-but I don't know if you can give us another good year at third. I say that the hitting coach should be Carey...becuase I don't know what's up wth Vic as hitting coach and the player's either not hittign good or have their avergaes fall later in the season. This may not happen,like Joe said,but hey--we can dream. ^_^

2.Reforming the team to fit the style of the manager sounds like a good idea. I didn't think of it before,but Joe's our earlier years we seemed to be a better. contact, speed, & baserunning team. We shoudl try to keep some key players while getting,getting back and keeping others. We had a great year with what we had,now let's fine-tune it to work for Kennedy and not against him. Make it sluggers and hustlers...not mainly sluggers.

3. AGREED 100%...unless 1510 realises that the deal last year wasn;t the best for the playoffs. If they agree to air the playoff games instead of stupid talk shows then keep 1510. It was good for the broadcasts...but bad for the fans occasionally.

4. I've been calling for better marketing and marketers since year two. They need better ads in papers,better radio ads (if there ARE any),TELEVISION ADS (I'll do EVERYTHING for $30-40,a bargin around here I'm sure.),advertise in OTHER/MORE cities,put banners up on Boston St. & Western Ave,and other things like that. Even some of Joe's ideas sound good. Even promising a mini-plan to families along major streets to put Spirit signs in their front lawns sounds good to me. With their new consession deal they should def use that money for the betterment of the team...ADVERTISING FOR THE TEAM!

I agree with the "'creative' doesn't have to mean resorting to disgraceful on-field gimmicks" thing. It's just dumb,but it gets people to the I don't COMPLETLY agree.

SoSayethI2006 said...

I'd bet my last "Two-Bits" that it wasn't a typical hit-and-run w/ Wishy and Trezza; It was wanting to get Wishy into scoring position and trying to avoid the strike-em'-out, throw-em-out.
With his (Trezza) predelrilection to K, it ain't that bad an idea.
We had some speed, but below average baserunnin' (3rd base coach). When the "contact" guys swing and miss, like Trezza, Wishy, Brooks, and Rowan, the runners aren't moving up. JK realized that and had to start baserunners when he may not have had to otherwise.
Now that the SHOCK is waning, I can see that JK did a nice job, his team peaked too early and could'nt get it started again when they had too; don't hurt much less though.

average fan said...

In business the three most important ingrediants are 1. location, 2 location, 3 location. Let's face it, if you do not live in any adjoinining city, it can be somewhat of a pain with the traffic coming down 129. Most of the other stadiums are located just off a major highways.

The concessions are thought of similiar to a movie theater. You make your money with the food. Buying out the minority owner and running the concessions themselves had to boost up profits. I know the concession manager very well and he assured that there will be many changes for next year.

Don't forget about the souvenir shop or should I say say lack of. Unless you had a game jersey, I hardly saw anyone wearing Spirit hats or shirts. Why-because they were boring. I remember during and after the first season, I would always wear my growing collection of attire. Quite often, people actually stopped me and asked me about the team. I felt that I was a walking billboard only to happy to promote the team. This year I actually bought nothing from the souvenir store.

Anonymous said...

Nashua under new owner Stabile has finally discarded the original concept, that if anything is sold for less than full list price, it "cheapens the franchise." Discount/free tickets are a staple of minor-league baseball; and people do spend money once inside. ("Shameless between-inning promotions" are another staple.)

However, Nashua is still in the situation that it needs to pump people into the park to get critical mass to convince other people something is going on. I don't think the Spirit is in that situation.

I heard wide criticism of cablecasting video of home games. Are you showing people that it's fun to be at Fraser? or are you giving them a way not to be?

You know, you DO have game-day signs posted in Wyoma and out at the rotary on the edge of Lynn and they are helpful. One of the best things the Pride did is rent space on an electronic sign on the expressway. One message you have to sell is that the ballgame is a fun experience; the important other message is that it is now game-time; it is time to make a decision now.

The worst thing the Spirit do is, about twice a year, cancel a game and assume that four-hour notice on the Internet is sufficient.

Web-only broadcast doesn't get it done, either with email-only people like me (I'm blogging at the library right now) or fans in the stands who want to know what just happened or why.

Finally, one thing that shouldn't change: Top to bottom, Spirit people understand they are not in the baseball business but the HOSPITALITY business and they have always made me feel welcome.

See you at Brockton tonight!
(20 visits to Fraser in 2006)

benoit emond said...

HEY--- who is going to brockton tonight(saturday)? last night there was spike and me and about 500 other people who were mostly from quebec.

we should all be there to give it to both the quebec fans and the brockton fans.

be there

TonyTheTiger20 said...

thanks for a proper anon post, spike!!!