There Is No Offseason

Legendary front office innovator Bill Veeck once remarked, “There are only two seasons – winter and Baseball.”

Unfortunately for those who follow the Minor Leagues, we are now firmly ensconced in the former. It’s been nearly a month since the playoffs ended, and a foreboding six-month void separates us from Opening Day 2008.

Yet, for those who make their living in Minor League front offices, there is truly only one season: Baseball. The games may stop, but the work never does. Running a team is a year-round operation — one that has nothing to do with free agency, trades, and arbitration, and virtually everything to do with making sure that butts are in the seats from April through September.

As the (somewhat obsessive) author of MiLB.com’s “Promotion Preview” column, I have become well-aware of just how far teams will go to insure that that this goal of maximum seat-fillage is met. But promos are just the tip of the iceberg; now that it’s the offseason a new outlet for Minor League business news is needed. I need to pass the time here in our suddenly desolate MiLB headquarters.

It is for this reason that this alliteratively-named blog has been created. From Tucson to Tacoma to Trenton to Tampa (alliteration, yet again), there is always something going on relating to the business of running a Minor League franchise. And – for better or for worse — I’m here to write about it.

So, consider Ben’s Biz Blog (or, if you prefer, “The Triple-B”) your source for information and analysis relating to logo and team name changes, promotions, stadium renovations, winter meetings, awards, charity events, contests, sponsorships, mascots, and anything else that falls under the umbrella of “Minor League Business News”.

And please, get in touch: leave comments, suggest a topic, provide a tip…whatever. Few (if any) topics are off-limits, and like any good proponent of democracy my goal is simply to provide the people with what they want. Let’s do this.

7 Comments

Ben, You have a shirt and a tie on in your picture. You have come along way from your days in college, and so have I. Man, it was like 10 years ago when pants were optional. Anyway, this is great, I love the promotions column, you might see me at “Scientology Night”. I did hear a rumor that the Pirates are going to have a promotion where the first 9 people through the gates get to start the game.

I would like to see a series of essays that compare/contrast the Lake County Captains with the Lakewood BlueClaws. Does a compound word diminish the gravitas of “lake” in any way? Or, rather, does it provide strength? Should proximity to an actual lake be used as a means to divine a claim to the word? Should any assumptions be made about the allegory betwixt a BlueClaw (a crab) and a Captain (of a fishing boat…or should I say CRABBING boat)? Who has the better hotdog? Teach me.

Yes, I may be wearing a shirt and tie, but pants remain optional.

And Mr. Shal, the questions you ask are answered in my doctoral thesis “The Nature of Identity in Class A Baseball and How It Applies to the Body Politic”.

I’ll send you a copy.

I love the site. But I must admit I’m offended there is no info on Drew VanDam. He’s a deity among athletic trainers in the minors. He was the f’ing athletic trainer of the year in 2003 for his leagues. Show some love. Give the people what they want. Offseason updates, ankle taping techniques, groin stretch simulations. Can we remedy this situation?

http://www.mississippibraves.com/mbraves/coaches/index.html?staff_id=24

Alexander —

Is Drew related to Jean-Claude?

Even if he’s not, his expertise could help us all stay in shape during the offseason. I’d be willing to run posts on training techniques if it is, indeed, what the people want. Perhaps Mr. VanDam will get in touch and offer to share his knowledge.

Out of curiosity, what led you to become such a fan of Mr. VanDam?

I first became aware of the legendary healing prowess of Mr. Van Dam when I was a pontoon/skiff boat driver in the Mississippii Delta huntin deadly flesh eating croc in the summer of ’03 (don’t ask – I answered one of those ‘work from home’ ads and landed up chasing gator on the Delta. But I digress). To make a long story short, I took a nasty bite on the leg from a rabid croc. The “doctor” I saw said it needed amputation, but I sought out the legendary healer known as Van Dam (his reputation preeceeds him on the Delta) and to this day, I’m walking on two legs.

But in answer to your question – no direct relation to Jean Claude, but they were spawned from the same energy source. J.C. absorbed the unnatural ability to maim and torture, Drew the supernatural ability to heal.

Oh, and I come to find out I was wrong, the “people” (singular meaning I) weren’t aware that D.V.D is no longer practicing his craft in the minors. He’s moved to the collegiate level, but I’ll see if he’s available to share his insights with the people (plural – the other 301,139,946).

I am reading the comments posted by Alexander and I have to agree. I played a little minor league baseball back in the day, but never got a chance to get to the show. I hit quite a few dingers, many of which would not have been possible without Van Dam’s hangover cure. Van Dam some how got a bunch of 3am wasted dead beats physically ready to lace ‘em up the next morning.

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