Thursday, July 13, 2006

Altoona is great at being awful

MinorLeagueDugout.com considers Altoona's Awful Night promotion to be one of the top five recurring promotions in minor league baseball. The Curve held their fourth incarnation of the Awful Night – deemed Beating A Dead Horse – on Thursday night.

Altoona
gave away some marginally useful items (the bottle of glue was a nod to the dead horse theme) and some things both useless and horrific. When general manager Todd Parnell was told he needed his gallbladder removed, was his first thought concern for his health or that the used organ would make a great door prize?

Overweight male staffers dressed in skimpy cheerleader outfits, David Hasselhoff songs blared from the PA, and liver and onions was the food special. You've got to be pretty good to be this bad.

Just ask Reading. A former Reading staffer told me yesterday they tried to copy Altoona, but their Awful Night was truly, well, awful. The highlight came when the Reading mascots switched heads, scaring the bejesus out of children and sending many of them home in tears.

Congrats to Altoona. We can't wait for the fifth edition.

Of All-Stars and Men:
How about ESPN putting the WNBA All-Star game up against the Triple-A All-Star game on ESPN2. Remove political correctness from the equation and ask yourself this question: How can ESPN continue to give priority to a dying league (overall attendance has declined every year since 1999 and TV ratings continue to head south) and not cover minor league baseball?

Triple-A and Double-A baseball players are step away from the bigs. The WNBA doesn't approach the quality of the NBA's Development League. Yet the WNBA gets their highlights on SportsCenter, serving as a Pavlovian signal for any viewer with a conscience to go grab a beer.

The end of the WNBA All-Star game where the teams let players take turns trying (and failing) to dunk set the league back fifty years. ESPN, stop wasting our time with this worn out novelty act and give us the top plays, promotions and antics from minor league baseball.

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