Dear Sean Peterson [Director of Ticket Operations and Sales; Inland Empire 66ers]:
Oh, how your most recent missive warmed the cockles of my heart! It was almost as if you were writing directly to me instead of creating a form letter for all the season ticket holders of the Inland Empire 66ers! Almost. Sign me up for that full season ticket package. Give me ALL THE GAMES, even though my travels will take me elsewhere on certain dates.
I do have some burning questions that your missive created:
1. You mention the 12 foot buffer between the dugout and the fans that Bobby Manfred’s goons are enforcing this year. That could be very problematic since San Manuel is famous for its dugout bar (and the ruggedly handsome fans who drink at that bar). Where does that buffer zone start? Please, please tell me The Garage will still be open this season. If not, has construction started on new bar, preferably one that faces the field and has TVs larger than a computer monitor? WHERE WILL I BE ABLE TO GET MY FIREBALL?
2. I think there is a typo in your letter. You state that aluminum beers will be $4.00 on Thirsty Thursday. I think that was supposed to be $2.25 for REALLY LARGE DOMESTIC DRAFTS, including Michelob Ultra drafts this year. A $4.00 aluminum is going to anger both the baseball and drinking gods. Have we not suffered enough in the last year? When I was a young man, Thirsty Thursday at Fiscalini Field meant $2.00, 64 ounce pitchers of Coors Light. Passing out before the seventh in stretch in the left field bleachers was a rite of passage for the youths of San Bernardino.
3. Another omission was Fireball Ball Friday as part of 50 Cent Friday. There is also no mention of draft beer prices that night. Will there be draft beer at San Manuel Stadium this season? Have COVID restrictions robbed of us of that also? I waited hours twice to get THE VAX so I could drink draft beer at minor league stadiums. Hopefully I did not wait in vain.
4. I do approve of the $5.00 margaritas on Tuesdays. It is not too late to add a tequila shooter special. If there are COVID restrictions on SHOTS!, well then, little airplane bottles of booze will have to do.
5. I see the 66ers are having a Negro Leagues Night. You will probably get a bunch of Wisenheimers asking what the Negro Leagues have to do with the Inland Empire, and the correct answer is that the rail yards of Old Berdoo had a collection of vibrant baseball fields because baseball was immensely popular with train workers, and San Bernardino was one of the largest rail hubs in the West. It was very common for barnstorming teams traveling by train to play the rail yard teams when passing through The Dino. Some of these barnstorming teams were African American teams coming to the West Coast to play baseball in the winter. True story. Drop that on GM Joe next time he is grumpy about your work performance.
6. Since there are no games on Mondays this season, perhaps you should Major League Mondays where fans can come to San Manuel Stadium and watch MLB games on the big screen and drink beer and dine from a limited menu. I can hear upper management chirping about labor costs, but that sound is drowned out by the ringing of the cash register, and I have credit card receipts to prove it. I bet Major League Mondays would be more profitable that that Dog in the Parks silliness of years past.
7. What safeguards will be in place to ensure people follow COVID guidelines? Even though I have been VAXXED, I don’t want any peasants sniffing around my section. I would suggest firehoses, especially with Quakes’ fans. I would put those Quakes’ fans as far away from normal people as possible. Yes, I know you are probably most worried about my dear Section 102, but just offer us bottle service, and I think we will not want to roam.
8. Will there still be between inning promotions? Maybe they can be filmed elsewhere on the premises, then broadcast on the big screen. Mascot races in the parking lot where little kids not only have to beat Bernie, but avoid hobos passing through. Or pre-record the promotions and blow shit up. Slick can die a different creative way for every game. I don’t know what we are going to do about Knocker Ball though. Or the hog dog launches.
9. Do people with VAX cards get to stand in a special, shorter concession line?
10. You know, when we finally get to go to baseball games again, the heckling is going to be intense since everyone has been cooped up for so long. I was reading though some of my narratives from the 2014 66ers season, and perhaps my most devastating heckle during a quiet night when Bacon’s Hag’s phone when off, and she answered it, and started yelling something about “You can’t have him yet!” She left to go to the concourse to finish whatever witch transaction she was involved with (I am sure many newts were required), and I somberly called out to the batter, “Jacob, that was God calling. He wants your soul back.” It brought down the house. Jacob struck out, and an eagle flew over head. Maybe it was a hawk. Maybe it was a a turkey vulture. Whatever it was, we felt patriotic.
Anyway, I need to go. I will call you when your office opens later to finalize the deal.
Your friend in baseball,
PS: Did you know that the all time favorite 66ers manager, Denny Hocking, is at the helm of the Modesto Nuts?