Much Ado About Clustering
For today I would like to draw attention to the “Around the Horn” ticket package, which is being offered by the Cleveland Indians and four of their Minor League affiliates. Here’s how it works:
The Around the Horn Ticket Package has been created to allow local fans the opportunity to enjoy a baseball game at each of the Cleveland Indians affiliated professional baseball venues in the region at a discounted price and with exclusive benefits.
Packages will be sold by the Cleveland Indians and their Northeast Ohio Minor League Affiliates, Akron Aeros, Lake County Captains and Mahoning Valley Scrappers as well as the Columbus Clippers in Central Ohio.
The Indians are one of several big league clubs who in recent years have taken steps to consolidate their Minor League operations, so that affiliates are located as close as possible to the Major League facility. This practice, sometimes called “clustering”, is beneficial for several reasons. It provides the parent club with an increased ability to monitor the farm system, while prospects have much fewer travel hassles after receiving promotions or demotions. And, most importantly for the purposes of this conversation, it gives fans the opportunity to actively root for the entire farm system.
In this particular case, it means that those who live in Ohio’s northeast quadrant can easily experience five levels of Indians baseball (out of six overall, with the lone exception being Class A Advanced Kinston). The “Around the Horn” offer is the first attempt I’ve seen to explicitly make clear the fan benefits of “clustering”, and I hope it’s not the last.
A few other obvious candidates include Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York (both Mets and Yankees), Boston, and Pittsburgh. Click HERE for a list of Minor League teams grouped by MLB affiliation, and start plotting your own organization-specific 2010 itinerary.
In other news…Over the past week, we here at MiLB.com have been continually updating our story on how Minor League teams have been pitching in to help with the Haitian relief efforts. Today, reports have come in from both Albuquerque and Everett on how their efforts fared. Check it out HERE and HERE.
Finally, today’s Gameops.com blog post raises an interesting possibility for Minor League teams: fan-created ad campaigns. Click HERE for more info.
And, apropos of nothing, I’ll close with this excellent Conan O’Brien quote from Friday’s farewell show. Words to live by, in 2010 and beyond:
Please do not be cynical…Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.