The seats at Great American Ballpark are falling apart, but ex-inmates are fixing them

41 Comments

Great American Ballpark: helping to bankrupt Hamilton County, Ohio AND prematurely falling apart! It’s a win-win. Actually, it’s a win-win-win, because now it’s a job-creator too!

Hamilton County has adopted a do-it-yourself approach to fix stadium seats in the Great American Ball Park that are unexpectedly falling apart.

Facing costs as high as $5 million the county hired a local firm to design new seat molds, found a plastics company to make the backs and bottoms and is paying ex-jail inmates and others about $10 an hour to install them.

They’re saving money that way, it seems, and now it’s only costing taxpayers $1.3 million. Meanwhile, the Reds will pay around that much to Brayan Pena in 2015.

My favorite part about this is how, in the Cincinnati Enquirer’s original report of the story, the thing is couched as a fun, quirky “welp, looks like the county had to get creative!” kind of story, not really questioning why in the heck the seats are falling apart so early nor suggesting that maybe the Reds could help out. Given, you know, that the park is a massive drain on the citizens of Hamilton County that benefits, basically, only the Reds. But life is funny!

It’s not a business the county ever expected to be in, especially so soon after the original seats were installed. Stadium seats typically would be expected to last as long as 20 to 25 years, but Feldkamp said Great American’s seats began to fail as early as 2008, just five years after the stadium opened in 2003 . . . Feldkamp said the seats look so good the county might be able to make some money on the mold designs by licensing them to other stadiums.

Those crazy stadiums!

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

Getty Images
2 Comments

PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.