Today, we salute Bud Selig and the rest of the MLB ad wizards for doing what they've done best: separating baseball fans from their hard-earned dollarinos. They've devised a brilliant new scheme to empty the wallets of the sports most ardent and devoted followers while pretending to give them a helpful service:
MLB.com is offering you the opportunity now to buy tickets at the face value price for your favorite team. Postseason Ticket Reservations is a new feature intended to broaden potential access to these valuable seats, ensuring you that if your team plays in a game you reserve, you get to buy a face-value ticket and go to the game.
Translation? Spend $10, $15, or $20 now per game for the LDS, LCS, or World Series and you'll reserve yourself a ticket for one of your favorite team's home games in the playoff. Add in a one dollar processing fee and Herr Selig will set aside a seat in the upper deck for you and your sweetheart. But what if your favorite team fails to make the postseason? Will your mini-deposit be refunded? No! And what if you end up with Game 5 tickets but the series ends in four, will you get a refund? Heck no!
For MLB to call this money grab a 'feature' is shameful. Even for them to describe it as 'investing in futures' tricks even the savviest fan into thinking he/she is playing right along with the team as it tries to win their division. Ridiculous! There are still 17 teams within six games of first place of their respective divisions; at least nine of these fanbases will spend October farting into their couch cushions and not cheering on their team at the ballpark. So why charge them $11-$26 now to reserve seats for games that will never happen?
Granted, the fee is a small price to pay if one's favorite team does make the playoffs, especially for those folks who can't afford season tickets or afford to wait in line outside the stadium box office. And in the end, this will be cheaper than paging through the StubHub listings come October (which is yet another disgusting money grab by MLB). But for this reservation system to be such a blatant scam is embarrassing. C'mon, Bud, refund at least half of the fee for the Mets fans.
Most shameful of all is that MLB.com's Mark Newman quoted a player and manager in his puff piece, but couldn't find any actual living people to say something nice about it.
"I never could stand losing," Hall of Famer Ty Cobb once said. "Second place didn't interest me. I had a fire in my belly."
"What are we out at the park for, except to win?" asked Leo Durocher, who won two World Series as a player and another as a manager.
Allegedly, Durocher also said, "Nice guys finish last because they don't spend $90 plus $6 in transaction fees to reserve playoff tickets." Use the money quote, Mark.
UPDATE: One cannot reserve Yankees playoff tickets through this system, but if you click through to the other teams, it tells you recent activity and if someone has actually reserved playoff tickets. The oddest part: someone has reserved Orioles playoff tickets but no delusional Chicago fan has reserved Cubs playoff tickets.