Red Sox Fail Yet Again - At Least This Time It was Only at Marketing...

I suppose I shouldn't still be bitter about this baseball season. Even as a born and raised Red Sox fan, I at least had the pain of this historically bad Sox team numbed by a move to the nation's capital around the time of the All-Star break, allowing me to bask vicariously in the glow of Strasburg, division wins and playoff excitement. And the Sox just (re)hired a new manager. Additionally, after the World Series wraps, it does make more sense for all fans to look ahead with hope to the spring than back to the dog days, particularly since that is what the teams themselves are doing.

It also must be said that Sox fans were supposed to stop complaining for at least ten years after that deal with you-know-who which we made to enable two World Series victories in the mid-2000's, but then Bostonians have long been known to employ a little trickery in their dealings. Caveat emptor Beelzebub...

All that said, the season was a complete loss from a Red Sox perspective, and any signals directly from those linked to the team that the year was anything but forgettable are particularly galling. That's why the contents of an email I received within a day or two of the close of the regular season incite bitterness to this day.

Maybe it isn't a good time...

Balls. Commemorating the worst season in recollection. Yes, I am aware that they were intended to celebrate the centennial of the park, that they were probably dumping surplus, yadda yadda yadda, but I am also certain most fans, like myself, were at least a little miffed at the timing.

It seems to me there is a special place in marketing purgatory for whoever came up with this one. On second thought whoever came up with this idea has some responsibility for selling Red Sox gear - after a historically bad season, after trading away half the team, and with a few other much more competitive teams in town jockeying for limited ticket and memorabilia buying resources - perhaps they are already there?


  1. It's so bad... and while these "offers" are sent to everyone on an email marketing list the Red Sox have compiled over the years, they are directed at and most likely purchased by the so called "pink hats" of red Sox Nation - you know the first people in line to buy an off color Sox hat that is somehow popular - these are most likely the same fans who booed Johnny Damon when he came back ... and these are definitely the same people (or lets call them suckers) the Red Sox Marketing gurus targeted when they actually sold Red Sox Nation, Citizen cards for $10 after we won the World Series in 2004 (wait you have to PROVE you are a member of Red Sox Nation? I just paid $200 to sit in the left field grand stand behind a pole). Or how about The Fenway Park 100th Anniversary Brick Program? The Red Sox gave fans an "opportunity" to purchase bricks with a personalized message so they could be placed in the Fenway Park concourse area inside Gate B and Gate C... for $250 or $475 / brick.

    You can't knock the Red Sox Marketing team to go out and make money anyway possible - thats their job and they are very good at it... but after a historically horrendous season where the team somehow talked LA into accepting $250,000,000 in contracts - maybe just MAYBE the Front Office could say, hey you know what? We have the most ridiculously expensive tickets in baseball and we saved some money this year ... lets pay the fans back by lowering ticket prices a little bit. They might even get some positive PR from a move like that...

    in other news - I bought 5 bricks... just kidding.

  2. Hi Eric, thanks so much for the comment. I apologize that it took so long to respond.

    I think I am with you on your main point...maybe I can't blame it on the folks in marketing. After all, they are just doing their jobs. Even when it means selling to the Pink Hats, I suppose you can't begrudge someone for doing an honest job in this economy.

    I guess I should have made it clear that I was thinking of whoever has the signing authority - the front office folks you mentioned - who pulled the trigger on this without a paired announcement of lower tickets, or new players, or fan appreciation, or something.

    This ownership group's plans were always going to backfire as soon as the team had a poor season. All of the things they put into place which allowed prices to rise were mostly geared toward the Pink Hats. Once those bandwagoners started to lose interest, the ticket prices remained, but many real fans weren't interested in paying for them. It seems almost as if prices have to fall now to catch up with simple supply/demand forces, but I doubt they will. There are too many park improvements and salaries to pay for.

    I should have acknowledged in the original post that a lot of my disappointment reflected an undercurrent of anger many fans have experienced since the World Series seasons. For me, perhaps being away from the city often as I am, it took a while for the anger to boil over. However, this ball issue was just the final straw of many.

    At any rate, thanks again for the comment, fingers crossed that ball sales will at least help bring in some starting pitching.


  3. To all-

    I suppose I should note that this post was a little more personal than most, as well as a little further away from our typical wheelhouse of looking at things through the lenses of legal and economic theory. Baseball fandom is a personal thing however, and I have the soapbox, so there you go.

    Thanks to everyone who has checked in on this post...it has received a good amount of traffic. As noted in my recent post wrapping up the month of October, maybe I should stick to sports blogging...sports posts certainly get more hits.