Thursday, June 01, 2006

Brainstorming Ideas for Getting Butts Back Into Safeco

Not that it's my job, or anything. I probably shouldn't even care one bit how many fans show up to Safeco. In fact, it might be detrimental to actually have people showing up again, as a sizable dip in profits may actually force the ownership group's hand into removing Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln (the only constants in the front office blunderings).

But I digress...

With the real crowd-drawers showing up to Safeco this weekend, it's going to be very interesting to see what attendance will be like. Sure, trading card night might actually cause several baseball card store owners to hire some twelve year olds to walk through the gates 4-5 times with CF bleacher seat tickets to pad their inventories as well as the M's "attendance" totals. If that didn't happen, I'd be willing to bet that they could give every person in attendance two sets and still have left-overs. The weather's supposed to be crappy all weekend (with the exception of a few hours of Saturday sunshine, perhaps), and the team that's coming in is the only team in baseball that's arguably worse than the Mariners (although they made a change in the front office, and nearly simultaneously took two of three from Oakland).

With that in mind, and somewhat inspired by Gomez and my mateys over at Lookout Landing, I've brainstormed some ideas for boosting the attendance totals at Safeco. It'd probably take one or two of these ideas for me to actually want to spend money directly on the Mariners again. Without further adieu...

1) Randomly-selected fan dictates and delivers to the umpires tonight's starting lineup (excluding the starting pitcher).

Boy, that'd be an interesting one to see. An M's 'Net Rat would probably put together something like this:

Ichiro, RF
Reed, CF
Lopez, 2B
Ibanez, LF
Petagine, 1B
Johjima, C
Everett, DH
Beltre, 3B
Yu-Bet, SS

A non-M's 'Net Rat would throw together something like this:

Ichiro, RF
Bloomquist, CF
Sexson, 1B
Morse, DH
Ibanez, LF
Rivera, C
Beltre, 3B
Lopez, 2B
Betancourt, SS

If they could coax Dan Wilson and Bret Boone out of retirement, they'd swap 'em in in a heartbeat. But the rules would dictate that they'd have to use players currently on the 25-man (and give them no power over that 25-man roster construction). So Griffey, Edgar, Buhner and Tino are all out of the question...

2) Albertson's Junior Broadcaster becomes the Albertson's Junior Manager.

I suppose that's not all that different than #1 above, really. Imagine some 8-year-old trying to wake Hargrove out of his slumber. "Hey -- Grover, wake up! It's time for a pitching change!!!" Grover would be all like "Hubb hub hubbbb, whaaa. huh... Oh, yeah. 'Throw strikes, son!' Er, uh, wait, I'm miked up. Get it -- Mike's miked up. Huh huh... So, uh, kid. Who's your favorite manager?"

Shut up and Free Dan Rohn already...

3) NRA-sponsored gun show the first Friday night of every month.

That'd be interesting, wouldn't it...

4) Turn Ahead the Clock night, sponsored by Nintendo.

So, everyone gets a game console upon entrance to Safeco. The ultimate in virtual reality technology -- all the players are wired up and are controlled by two or three randomly-selected fan's consoles throughout each inning of the game. Try out bunting with Sexson. Keep Beltre from swinging at the low-and-away crap. Put Willie Bloomquist in CF, and have the entire team of infielders run out there and beat the crap out of him between pitches* . Have Felix actually throw an off-speed/breaking ball on his first pitch.

*Okay, that's not nice. I wouldn't advocate that. I like Bloomquist, I really do. Just not as a starting CF'er...

5) $1 hot dog and $1 garlic fries nights.

Okay maybe not the garlic fries. The place would vacate by the third inning. Still, a "Feed the family for $5" night would be an interesting option to explore. I think $1 beer nights is waaay too obvious, and would be waaaaaaaaay too radical for our family-friendly front office to ponder. Besides, there are too many drunks there as it is. That actually wouldn't help things.

6) Flood the field and have REAL hydros there.

Imagine the look on Bob Christofferson's face when he gets that inter-office memo. Make it a part of the Sea Fair festivities. Bring back the vintage hydros, too!

7) Wardrobe Malfunction night.

Of course, it would have to be a non-televised game. And they'd probably want to keep kids out.

8) Blog-'n'-Pitch, sponsored by Google.

Free admission to people who run their own M's-related blog. Wait, no. That would suck. Nevermind. Too many people would sign up for M's blogs, and the market would flood, and the faithful 35 1/2 that read this site would disappear.

9) Bulgarian Olympic Committee Mariner Ticket Night

The lucky Wooters who bought Bags O' Crap (within the 2 minutes and 45 seconds it takes for them to generally sell out) all get Mariners tickets for the next series vs. Kansas City (or the Lou-less Devil Rays). Of course, with Woot being a nationwide phenomenon, there might be a few extra local Wooters in the stadium, but the butts-in-seats problem wouldn't be solved.

10) Lou Piniella Bobblehead Series

Have one with him throwing a base. Another with him kicking his hat. Capture that Griffey "steak" moment forever, by releasing one with Lou surrounded by a bunch of cows.

I'm sure there are other promotions we could brainstorm...

We're overdue for a diagnostics check-up. Marc -- you wannna handle it this month? Or should we accept reader contributions. Yeah. Audience Participation. I like the sound of that...


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