I Talk Scoreboards with the Mayor

Dear Mr. Don Hardy [Mayor; Kinston, NC]:

As the president of the Southern California Down East Wood Ducks Backers, Sons of Vengeance Chapter, I write this missive to implore you to treat the scoreboard issue with the Wood Ducks with the utmost priority. The scoreboard at Historic Grainger Stadium is one of the first impressions visitors see when they come to your city. Quite frankly, Don, the scoreboard looks like ass, meaning the first impression many visitors receive of Kinston is ass. I am quite confident that you do not want visitors to have that impression because visions of ass last a long, long time. Do you want Mayor Mitch Colvin of Fayetteville to be able to continue to chuckle behind your back about the inadequacy of your city’s scoreboard?

A new scoreboard will bring a sense of virility to Kinston. Both visitors and citizens will look upon it and say, “Oh my; it is so big! And erect. It stretches to the clouds!” I ask you Mayor Hardy, can one really put a price tag on that? The answer is a resounding yes because the Scoreboard Fairy is not flying over the tobacco fields anytime soon to deliver a scorecard to your city. Acquisitions of scoreboards require firm leadership from city government, and since you are the BIG DAWG in Kinston, well, it is time to don your big boy pants to make a new scoreboard happen.

I understand that expenditures like this are a swift punch in the gonads to a city budget (metaphorically speaking of course as city budgets are gender neutral). I am a staunch believer in public funds not being used for sports facilities, but the current scoreboard is ass, and needs an immediate improvement if Grainger Stadium is to be a draw that will fill those new hotel rooms in Kinston, which in turns will fill the city’s coffers. In a just world, the Texas Rangers, who own the Wood Ducks, would be footing the bill for this scoreboard, but Kinston is a long way from Arlington. Right now though, they have that contraction leverage, and could easily suggest the Wood Ducks be put on that list as they cut bait to pursue purchasing the Fire Frogs to move them to Wilmington, NC. The only recourse you will be in court, and you might want to research how that turned out for Adelanto, California. 

Do not fret, Mr. Mayor, because I have a possible solution that will not be a burden on the citizens of Kinston. Present to the city council a proposal in which a very small hotel surtax will be placed on the local hotels to pay for the scoreboard overtime, meaning out of towners and those in pursuit of immoral romantic trysts will be paying for the scoreboard. This will give you some leverage with the Rangers also as you can suggest to them some future stadium improvements  in which they cough up some of that sweet, sweet cash they possess — or you could suggest to the Rangers that they match your city’s scoreboard expenditures so Grainger Stadium can have a scoreboard so big and bright that the crickets will think it is day. That big scoreboard will draw all sorts of collegiate baseball tournaments and Perfect Game showcases to Kinston, which will fill those hotel beds and diners, and possibly punch your re-election ticket.

You might be wondering just who the hell I am, coming to you with this profound minor league wisdom, and that is a very long story, and I know you are a busy man. Let’s just say I am one of Minor League Baseball’s greatest ambassadors who travels from to town to town to savor that delicious taste of oral tradition. I even visited Grainger Stadium last summer on my travels and threw out a first pitch because I am kind of a big deal. I spent a fortune at the team shop, and I assume that sales tax went to the city, so let’s just say I now have a vested interest in this matter.

Make your city proud this evening, Mr. Mayor. 

Your friend in baseball,


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