by The Baseball Observer, April 5, 2014
The Rockies trotted out their rote Opening day program with honor guards from 5 service groups, followed by a gigantic American flag being stretched out over the field by other service men and women with help from the Denver Sheriff’s department. Then they finished it off by releasing a few hundred purple and silver helium balloons and firing off some ear-splitting fireworks that released some sparkly streamers. I did not attend any other opening day ceremonies this year, but I am confident that none was as boring and unimaginative as this one. I only hope that the Monforts are adequately compensating the service groups for their participation in this event and not just using them to save money.
Last year the Rockies management did away with the traditional “fly over” by military or commercial aircraft, claiming it was because of the sequester budgetary crisis affecting the military. They ignored the fact that there are numerous non-military alternatives that they could have turned to but didn’t. This year there was no fly over at all and they didn’t even bother to make excuses.
Fans from the early days of the Rockies will remember star-studded opening days that were truly entertaining – but those were during the Jerry McMorris years before the penny-pinching Monfort twins took control of the team and started making games more like going to church than attending a sporting event. Speaking of church, as often as they complain in the press that they are losing money, I expect the Monforts to start passing collection baskets around in the audience soon.
Widely acknowledged as having the worst marketing in Baseball, as well as the worst concessions and customer service, not to mention one of the worst teams on the field most of the time, the Rockies won’t be satisfied until they have the worst of everything, apparently. At the same time, our cost for opening day went from $44 in 2012 to $68 in 2013, to $95 this year, for progressively worse seats. This year I was on a flat metal bench deep in center field that didn’t even have cup holders and was soaking wet at gametime. They also run some kind of “sold out” scam to jack up ticket prices, even though the stadium never looked more than two thirds full.
Thankfully, the baseball players, especially Charlie Blackmon, did an excellent job of providing entertainment. Juan Nicasio pitched an excellent game and Blackmon got 6 hits and knocked in 5 runs as the Rockies trounced the Arizona Diamondbacks by a 12 to 2 score.