Braves, Giants brass apologize to fans

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Has this always happened, or is it a new thing?

Braves’ President John Schuerholz and Giants managing partner Larry Baer have each written letters to the fans talking about how much of a bummer it was for the teams to miss the playoffs but, dadgummit, we’re gonna double our efforts and happiness is but a season away.

Actually, they’re not both technically apologies.  Schuerholz’s sounds more like that and, as is clear from the personalized greeting, was sent via email to whoever had signed up to get Braves’ spam. Baer’s letter is more like a hybrid commiseration/introduction with a few bones thrown to the idea that 2011 was not fun. It’s in open letter form, posted at the Giants’ website.

I guess it’s a nice gesture. It’d be better if the Braves’ one contained pics of Fredi Gonzalez getting worked over by a couple of hired goons, but it’s nice enough.  I just kind of wonder what the letter from the Astros or the Twins would look like.

Report: Mariners enter into a ballpark naming rights deal with T-Mobile

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Maury Brown of Forbes reports that T-Mobile will be the new naming rights partner for the Seattle Mariners’ ballpark beginning in 2019. Their park had been known as Safeco Field since it first opened in the summer of 1999. The 20-year naming rights deal with Safeco ended with the close of the 2018 season.

Brown reports that the deal will be around $3 million a year, which doesn’t seem like a whole lot. Then again, I have long been skeptical of how much naming rights actually bring back to the naming rights partner. That’s especially true when the partner is slapping its name on a ballpark that was known as something else beforehand. People tend to still use the old name and, I suspect, resent the new one a bit. Maybe that’s less the case when the park has only been known by corporate names, and no beloved traditional name is being displaced, but I still question if anyone really makes a single purchasing decision based on the name of a ballpark.

I know this much for sure, though: despite the relatively small cost of naming rights here, none of the most notable Seattle-based companies — which include Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Microsoft, Costco and Alaska Airlines — felt it was worth it. Possibly because they know people are gonna call the place “Safeco” for several years regardless.