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Article: Minor League Pay: Some Progress at Last?

Other Baseball Today, 09:30 AM
When the Cedar Rapids Kernels host the Lansing Lugnuts in a three-game series beginning July 13 of this summer, Lugnuts players will have...
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Twins Spring Training Highlights

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:22 AM
I'll try to update this thread anytime I'm able to grab some spring training highlights. Here are a few from today:  
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Twins and Gibson Discussion and Extension

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:17 AM
http://www.startribu...lier/507159692/   Interesting to see how this plays out. I'd have to think an extension is likely since the T...
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Leadoff Batter

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:17 AM
In most games this spring I've noticed Kepler being used as the leadoff batter. And based on results thus far (yeah, yeah, small sample s...
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Article: Twins 2019 Position Analysis: Starting Pitcher

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:04 AM
Nowhere has the reforging of this team's identity over the past half-decade been more apparent than in the starting rotation. Five years...
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Mailbag: Adding Keuchel, Opening Day Rotation, Angry Fans

Opening Day is a little over two weeks away. Even with the mounds of snow that continue to grow, they believe there will be baseball played at Target Field on March 28. I’ve been to every home opener at Target Field and I have been at something like 15 of the last 16 home openers for the Twins.

It’s not happening this year. No number of puffy vests could change my mind. That being said, there are still some things that need to be decided about the club. Let’s open the mailbox and see what the people have sent in.
Image courtesy of Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Keuchel would be a strong addition to the Twins rotation, but I don’t think it is going to happen. I truly don’t understand why he is still a free agent. Houston’s front office knows him the best, but they haven’t bitten the bullet on adding him back to staff. There must be more to the Keuchel situation. There are some health and durability concerns about Keuchel, especially if he wants a long-term deal.

He’s only 31 and he has a Cy Young, four Gold Gloves, and two All-Star appearances. He’s not going to pitch the same way he did in 2015, his Cy Young year, but he could be a nice number two or three pitcher on a contending team. At this point, it seems like his agent might be waiting for a key injury to a starting pitcher to drive up the Keuchel cost.


When it comes to the final rotation order, some of the pieces are already decided. Jose Berrios has been named the team’s Opening Day starter. It seems likely that weather will impact some of the team’s early season games and the club wouldn’t need a fifth starter for the first couple of weeks.

Behind Berrios, Kyle Gibson seems like a logical number two pitcher. From there, things get murky. Michael Pineda, Jake Odorizzi, and Martin Perez are the next three in line for starting spots. Odorizzi got crushed in his last Grapefruit League start but he might have been working on some specific pitches. Perez has some experience in relief so he could start the year in the bullpen. A couple more rough starts and Odorizzi could switch places with Perez.

Twins Opening Day Rotation
  • Jose Berrios
  • Kyle Gibson
  • Michael Pineda
  • Jake Odorizzi
  • Martin Perez (begins in the bullpen)

Minnesota has focused on power this offseason, but I don’t think it is enough to reach the 350-home run mark. Last year, the Yankees hit 267 home runs and that was the most in big league history. Minnesota ranked 23rd with 166 home runs. Only five teams in MLB history have hit over 250 home runs and that might have been what you meant.

With Minnesota’s revamped line-up, I believe the club can crack the 200-home run mark. This would put them near the top-10 in the league. Most of the Opening Day line-up should have the potential to hit 20 home runs or more. Also, Nelson Cruz certainly helps any club’s home run total.


In the last week, the Twins announced some family friendly pricing on items at concession stands in Target Field. Unfortunately, there are only two stands with these family friendly prices. Target Field still lets fans bring in any outside food that they want as long as it is in an appropriate container. I took advantage of this policy multiple times when I lived in the Twin Cities.

Unfortunately, I think Twitter allows fans to be negative when it isn’t necessary. People can hide behind their computer screens or their phones and complain about things that don’t have that much of an impact on them. The Twins made an effort to lower prices at Target Field. They didn’t have to do it. If you don’t want to wait in the lines, bring in your own food or go to a more expensive stand.

I love the food options at Target Field. I only make it to a couple games per year so I’m going to buy the food I want and pay full price.

What do you think about this week’s questions? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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38 Comments

Agreed, to an extent. I have some sympathy for concession price complaints because of the ballpark funding. I think the public gets a bit of a raw deal when we partially subsidize the activity, yet the team is allowed to set full "market price" for everything -- tickets, concessions, even TV broadcasts.

Also, the combination of high concession prices plus longer games puts families at a bit of a disadvantage, compared to the average fan. The average fan can deal with those factors by bringing in a sandwich and a bag of peanuts pretty easily. A family has to either bring in a ton of snacks, pay the high concession prices, and/or leave the game early. (On top of paying full freight for kid's tickets too -- the Twins have pretty well ended the longstanding practice of kids ticket discounts over the last couple years.)

So I don't mind a little grumbling about concession prices, although I usually focus my energy on spreading the gospel of outside food. :) If they ever try to ban outside food, though, I'll lead the revolt.


The other option is to go somewhere else.
I take my family to our local townball games instead. Admission is $2 each. Hot dogs, nachos, and beer are $1 each. Pop is 50 cents.
We all have the power of choice.

The other option is to go somewhere else.
I take my family to our local townball games instead. Admission is $2 each. Hot dogs, nachos, and beer are $1 each. Pop is 50 cents.
We all have the power of choice.


Well, Hennepin County residents don't have a choice in subsidizing the Twins.

Obviously we can choose not to watch -- and many do, particularly non-baseball fans. But for those of us who are fans, it would be nice to get some benefit to our subsidy beyond the Twins mere presence.

Well, Hennepin County residents don't have a choice in subsidizing the Twins.

Obviously we can choose not to watch -- and many do, particularly non-baseball fans. But for those of us who are fans, it would be nice to get some benefit to our subsidy beyond the Twins mere presence.


Not to get too far into the weeds, but you always have a choice.
People opposed to the subsidy can move, or do their shopping in a different county.

Also, that's just not how subsidies work, it's not realistic to expect them to sell concessions for less than the market will bear, just because they took public money. Amazon didn't pay a dime in federal tax last year, effectively a massive public subsidy. That doesn't mean they are going to give Prime away free to everyone.

 

Not to get too far into the weeds, but you always have a choice.
People opposed to the subsidy can move, or do their shopping in a different county.

Also, that's just not how subsidies work, it's not realistic to expect them to sell concessions for less than the market will bear, just because they took public money. Amazon didn't pay a dime in federal tax last year, effectively a massive public subsidy. That doesn't mean they are going to give Prime away free to everyone.

 

We're definitely in the weeds now. :)

 

But don't you also have a choice to give feedback? Why is that choice pointless to you, but telling someone to find an alternative activity, or even move or shop away from Hennepin County, is valid? Especially when the choice to give feedback is not mutually exclusive from choosing not to buy either.

 

Businesses get customer feedback all the time. And that feedback is not necessarily invalid simply because the service is "nonessential" or the feedback suggests a price lower than the current price. Heck, that feedback could actually be considered part of the equation for determining the market price -- I imagine setting optimal prices for concessions and tickets is rather complex. "Voting with your wallet" is important, but often unclear if it could be caused by a multitude of factors (concession prices, ticket prices, team quality, accessibility, weather, etc.).

 

Especially for a business with a *direct* public subsidy (not just tax breaks), I think it's also fair to expect they'd consider public feedback, even if it runs contrary to maximizing profits.

 

At some point, I'd agree with you -- asking for free Amazon Prime is definitely pointless. But is it pointless to ask for $2 hot dogs or sodas during events at a publicly owned facility? It's possible that feedback was even a factor in this new concessions pricing too. (Although I suspect the larger factor was testing this new kiosk ordering system.)

 

Link to the new special pricing:

https://www.mlb.com/...essions-pricing

 

The best "values" from that list are probably the peanuts/popcorn ($3, down from $5 normally), and the 16 oz. soda for $2 (normal price $6.50 for 24 oz.). Those two items could come in handy, if you don't have a chance to bring your own snacks or get the free soda coupon with the "designated driver" pledge.

 

No price for a soda is a good price.....

We're definitely in the weeds now. :)

But don't you also have a choice to give feedback? Why is that choice pointless to you, but telling someone to find an alternative activity, or even move or shop away from Hennepin County, is valid? Especially when the choice to give feedback is not mutually exclusive from choosing not to buy either.

Businesses get customer feedback all the time. And that feedback is not necessarily invalid simply because the service is "nonessential" or the feedback suggests a price lower than the current price. Heck, that feedback could actually be considered part of the equation for determining the market price -- I imagine setting optimal prices for concessions and tickets is rather complex. "Voting with your wallet" is important, but often unclear if it could be caused by a multitude of factors (concession prices, ticket prices, team quality, accessibility, weather, etc.).

Especially for a business with a *direct* public subsidy (not just tax breaks), I think it's also fair to expect they'd consider public feedback, even if it runs contrary to maximizing profits.

At some point, I'd agree with you -- asking for free Amazon Prime is definitely pointless. But is it pointless to ask for $2 hot dogs or sodas during events at a publicly owned facility? It's possible that feedback was even a factor in this new concessions pricing too. (Although I suspect the larger factor was testing this new kiosk ordering system.)


I agree, except that complaining on Twins Daily isn't providing feedback to the business.
Yes, people should give feedback directly to the company when/if the prices are high enough to dissuade their patronage.

But, the reality, and my point, is that complaining/feedback will not affect prices.
Prices are set based on supply/demand and other market factors. If everyone complains that the prices are too high, but still continue to purchase the product, what do you think will happen to prices?

I agree, except that complaining on Twins Daily isn't providing feedback to the business.
Yes, people should give feedback directly to the company when/if the prices are high enough to dissuade their patronage.

But, the reality, and my point, is that complaining/feedback will not affect prices.
Prices are set based on supply/demand and other market factors. If everyone complains that the prices are too high, but still continue to purchase the product, what do you think will happen to prices?


Why do you assume that people complaining are still buying the concessions? Or at least buying them at the same rate they would if the prices were lower?

Not only are my concession purchases limited, sometimes the concession prices discourage me from attending altogether.

I also wouldn't assume that people are only complaining here and not directly to the Twins. (Although the Twins are high profile enough that I don't believe feedback necessarily has to be private and direct to the business. I suspect they can easily hear and consider general public feedback here as well as on social media.)
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The Voice Of Reason
Mar 16 2019 09:01 PM
The prices are high but it's not the end of the world to drop $100. Big deal. It's a fun experience.
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Mr. Brooks
Yesterday, 07:51 AM

Why do you assume that people complaining are still buying the concessions? Or at least buying them at the same rate they would if the prices were lower?

Not only are my concession purchases limited, sometimes the concession prices discourage me from attending altogether.

I also wouldn't assume that people are only complaining here and not directly to the Twins. (Although the Twins are high profile enough that I don't believe feedback necessarily has to be private and direct to the business. I suspect they can easily hear and consider general public feedback here as well as on social media.)


All fair points. And, it's a free country, my opinion certainly doesn't have to mean anything.
I just don't believe that feedback does much. The team and vendors know the sale totals. If they go down enough, prices will fall, even without a peep of feedback. If they don't fall, prices will stay the same or go up, regardless of any amount of feedback.
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TheLeviathan
Yesterday, 10:47 AM

I choose not to attend big league games in part because of price gouging, but one thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is that sometimes the prices on concessions are just a big middle finger to fans.

 

Yeah, the clubs can get away with it.Doesn't make it any less obnoxious.

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Mr. Brooks
Yesterday, 12:18 PM

I choose not to attend big league games in part because of price gouging, but one thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is that sometimes the prices on concessions are just a big middle finger to fans.

Yeah, the clubs can get away with it. Doesn't make it any less obnoxious.


What is obnoxious about it?
It's a business, not a charity. Charging less than the market is willing to pay would be awful business.
The people who pay those prices are the obnoxious ones, not the business who is doing exactly what they should be doing.
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TheLeviathan
Yesterday, 12:49 PM

All of that can be true and it can still be obnoxious to pay $6 for a hot dog.

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Mr. Brooks
Yesterday, 02:00 PM

All of that can be true and it can still be obnoxious to pay $6 for a hot dog.


And I agree it is obnoxious to pay $6 for a hot dog. Those lining up to shill out their hard earned $6 for a hot dog are the problem. Only a fool would refuse to take their money.

As PT Barnum said, there is a sucker born every minute.

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