Great Moments in Customer Service: The Marlins threaten to sue longtime season ticket holders

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The Miami New Times reports the latest in Jeff Loria’s apparent plot to alienate every single person on the planet: suing the team’s fans when they have the audacity to complain about something.

The upshot: Bill and Jan Leon have been Marlins season ticket holders since 1998. Last year they moved with the team to the new park and entered into a two-year agreement for tickets, covering 2012 and 2013. They say their season ticket agreement allows them to move their seats if they didn’t like the location after the first year in the new ballpark. They didn’t like it because, after they checked out their seats and entered into the agreement, the Marlins put up a billboard and padding that obscured their view.  So the Leons said they didn’t want those seats anymore. They wanted to be moved further down the third base line.

They got no response from the team and their request to be moved went unanswered, they say. So they gave an ultimatum: move them to a different pair of seats or they wouldn’t pay for the second season.  Then they got a letter dated March 8 which demanded that they pay for the seats or else the team would sue them. There’s a scanned copy of the letter in the linked article.

The Marlins at this point have, what, a few hundred season ticket holders? And how many with the tenure of the Leons? Tell me: does anyone in the Marlins place NOT try to accommodate these people? Does anyone in their right mind threaten them with a lawsuit?  Even if the Leons are blowing smoke and this is really some ploy to get out from under their season ticket agreement, is this the best way to handle it? Or does one in the Marlins’ place instead call their bluff, see if they’re still unwilling to pay and then proceed to collection via less obnoxious means?

What in the hell is wrong with that team?

(link via CBS Sports.com)

The Braves cave, a little anyway, on their outside food policy

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On Friday the Atlanta Braves announced a new policy for outside food, prohibiting ticket holders from bringing in their own. This was a reversal of their old policy — and the policies of the majority of teams around the league — which allowe fans to bring in soft-sided coolers with their own food and beverages, at least as long as the beverages were sealed.

The Braves claimed that the policy change was “a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league,” but this was clearly untrue as no other teams are cracking down on outside food like this. If there are new security procedures, everyone else is able to accommodate them without an opportunistic crackdown on fans bringing in PB&J for their toddlers. It seemed more likely that this was a simple cash grab.

Today the Braves have reversed the policy somewhat:

While they’re looking for kudos here, this is likewise an admission that the “security” stuff was bull because, last I checked, security procedures aren’t subject to popular referendum and aren’t changed when people complain. What really happened here, it seems, is the Braves, for the first time in living memory, were called out by the public for their greed and realized that even they have some responsibility to not be jackasses about this sort of thing.

Still, a gallon bag policy is not the same as it was before. You could bring coolers into Turner Field and still can bring them into most parks around the league. But I guess this is better than nothing.

Donald Trump may throw out the first pitch at the Nationals opener

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It’s just gossip now, but Politico is hearing that Donald Trump is in talks to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Opening Day. The Nats are not commenting. Neither are the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, who no doubt feel slighted given that the president effectively is a local.

With the caveat that, on Opening Day, tickets are likely to be more expensive and thus you’re likely to have a lot more rich people and friends-of-the-owners in attendance, thereby ensuring a more conservative crowd, I’m struggling to imagine a situation in which Trump strolls on to a baseball field in a large American city and isn’t booed like crazy. He’s polling as low as 36% in some places. He’s not exactly Mr. Popular.

Oh well. I look forward to him three-bouncing one to Matt Wieters and then grabbing his phone and tweeting about how it was the best, most tremendous first pitch in baseball history. Or blaming Hillary Clinton for it in the event he admits that it was a bad pitch.