Baltimore Orioles letting fans 9 and under in for free this season.
1. I know baseball is on the back burner right now because of NFL anarchy and March Madness, but the Orioles announced something on Monday that did not get nearly the attention it deserved.
For the 2018 season, any adult who buys an upper deck ticket gets two tickets for children nine-and-under for free.
"Baseball is the bedrock recreational institution in American life, where childhood memories are born and family bonds are forever formed," said Greg Bader, the team's vice president for communications and marketing. "It is our hope that this unprecedented program will bring the magic of Orioles baseball to families from all walks of life and ultimately grow our game."
Given baseball's current status in the country with younger kids, this is an absolute no-brainer. Rob Manfred seems like a pretty forward thinking commissioner, so hopefully he will nudge every team into adopting a similar program.
2. On the heels of the Orioles' promotion, I'm now turning Traina Thoughts over to SI.com's MLB editor, Gabriel Baumgaertner, who has another idea to pitch.
"Attending a mid-week afternoon game is akin to sitting in the center of a children’s birthday party—that is if the child had over 100 friends all wearing matching shirts. Sure, you may not be dodging squirt gun fire, chewing the rubbery cheese of delivery pizza or lamenting your misspent youth while the legions of ankle-biters bark for Paw Patrol, but mid-week afternoon games that feature large day care groups are DEAFENINGLY loud. A single section of kids will make more noise during a pickoff throw than the entire stadium will when a home run is hit. Chants rise out of boredom and carry on for multiple batters. The 'SHOW YOUR MUSCLES' videoboard competition elicits a roar reminiscent of the 'Thunderscreech.' The most impressive part of it all is that these children do not relent until the saintly day care chaperones escort them out of the stadium. You think a Bronx Cheer at Yankee Stadium will intimidate an opposing hitter? Think about hundreds of kids screaming at the top of their lungs when instructed to do so. Now consider THOUSANDS OF THEM SCREAMING.
Thus, any team hosting a daytime playoff game (first pitch earlier than 4:30 p.m.) should sell a sizable portion of the upper deck to day care centers. The tickets should be sold in bulk, at a discount, with each child receiving their choice of sour straws or Skittles as well as one of those sugary mocha double-shot espressos to be administered to them in the fifth inning. All videoboard activity is to be directed at the children. The MAKE SOME NOOIIIISE audio recording with the redlining tachometer video graphic is to be played at least three times per inning. If you filled even half of the upper deck with children, the opposing pitcher would balk at least three times. Upon said balk, the stadium DJ is to blast some selection of dubstep with further instruction to the children to scream. Not even Madison Bumgarner would last past the third inning. Opposing teams would be absolutely terrified to play in this stadium."
Please send any and all feedback on this idea to Gabriel via Twitter.
3. At 33 years old, LeBron James set a personal career high by notching his 14th triple-double of the season last night. He made one young fan very happy with this surprise.
4. The Mets sent Tim Tebow down to minor league camp Tuesday. How did his run with the big league club go during spring training? He was 1-for-18 with 11 strikeouts.
5. Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt does an outstanding imitation of what we will all be subjected to for four straight days beginning tomorrow.
6. A local sportscaster turned in the most over-the-top report on last night's Hurricanes-Bruins game. You have to stick around until the end for the payoff.
7. Mike Evans just signed an $82.5 million contract extension, but he still has the same problems as any other man.
8. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: Bobby "The Brain" Heenan was once "banned" in Boston, which led to some great TV.
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IN CLOSING: There isn't one person on the face of the earth who cares about your bracket. Not one.