As promised, herein lies the second part of out Spring Training Round-up trilogy, where take a look at some of the not-so-good people and events that have occurred during the Milwaukee Brewers’ time in the Cactus League. If you haven’t read the first part, and you’d prefer to start with the good news, head over here. Otherwise, take a deep breath and try not to be too upset as we handle the bad news.
First, there are a few players I’d like to scold whilst I sit upon my high horse inside of my ivory tower.
Ryan Braun has been seeing the ball better in the last week, but his numbers so far in Spring Training have left alot to be desired. I know he is under a lot of pressure and scrutiny now – but that’s not going to change. You’d certainly hope that getting extra attention during the regular season won’t keep him hitting near the Mendoza Line. Like I said, it’s probably nothing to worry about as he has been hitting a lot better in recent games, but I couldn’t let him slide in on good looks and charm alone.
If I can’t let Braun get by, then I have to talk a little about the underwhelming spring that Aramis Ramirez has had so far. He has one of the lowest batting averages in Spring Training, hitting only .200 in 45 at-bats. I normally don’t get too worked up over Spring Training numbers, except that Aramis’s 2012 outing is the worst Spring Training performance of his career. We welcome the defensive stability at third base now, but the team absolutely will need his bat during the regular season and that bat has seemed flat and inconsistent during Cactus League play. I hope that this situation is just like Braun, where everything gets better as soon as Opening Day gets here – but facts are facts. And the facts are that Aramis Ramirez has been disappointing during Spring Training.
I also have serious issues with Cesar Izturus even making the team after the Spring Training he put together. I know that deep down in some Brewers operations manual it states that the team must sign a veteran player past his prime every season, but Cesar Izturus barely even had a prime of his career. You can’t even pretend to ignore a .189 batting average for a professional ballplayer. THIS IS HOW HE MADE THE TEAM. I know we’re short on infield reserves – especially at short – but Izturus will be far, far from the answer the team needs off the bench.
There’s also just one more thing I’d like to touch on before we move to the really bad news, and that is the new initiative by the Brewers known as Demaned-Based Pricing. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this program, I will give you a quick primer on it. Demand-Based Pricing simply means that for a select number of games, the Brewers are letting you know that price of these games will most definitely increase the closer you get to game day without buying a ticket. If you buy the tickets today, you are guaranteed the lowest price possible. It’s a measure put in place to ensure fans buy tickets as early as possible, and will also help to protect season ticket holder’s values for the year.
I don’t get it. For fans in larger cities with lower attendance, it seems to make sense. If you’re a Mets season ticket holder, it would make sense because you know for a fact that marquee games are going to have a higher attendance and that you tickets are therefore less valuable for other games that you attend or attempt to sell. The White Sox, the Twins, and the Cardinals are the other teams in the Majors that have this system in place. Again, these are teams that can do this because for them (especially in the case for the Twins and Sox), they have issues with attendance for less-than-desirable teams coming to town.
The Brewers have generated over THREE MILLION fans a year for three years running now, and I doubt it’s due to fans paying more money. As an average fan with a less-than-average level of income, I’m not sure I’m willing to pay twice the face value of someone else’s ticket to watch the Padres or the Mets come to town. Those types of games used to be sure bets for a spontaneous hop down to Milwaukee to catch a game (a rarity for fans outside of Milwaukee).
I can understand the reasoning behind it – I guess – but it seems like a system of pricing that is wholly unnecessary for a club like the Brewers.
Hopefully the Bad portion of our round-up didn’t make you too upset, because we’re going from bad to worse in our next segment of the Brewers Spring Training Round-up. Relax, find your happy place, and join us back here when you’re ready.