If I Were President

As a kid growing up I remember February as a month of strange celebrations. It began on February 12 when we celebrated the birthday of Abraham Lincoln. That was followed shortly by Valentine’s which taught us at a very early age that the best way to a girls heart was through a fancy card and some candy. This was of course augmented as we got older and had to add expensive jewelry to the list of things that women find romantic. Once Valentine’s Day was over we moved on to February 22 when we celebrated George Washington’s birthday. In school we made stove-pipe hats and wore fake beards to begin the month and ended wearing powdered wigs and making our teeth look wooden. It was an interesting month to say the least. At some point the powers that be decided that the United States had more than two presidents and hence there should be a federal holiday that would recognize all the accomplishments of the Executive branch of the government. This resulted in the establishment of President’s Day. And in order for federal employees to be assured of a long weekend the holiday would always fall on the third Monday of February.

This holiday has always been an interesting time. It gives us opportunities to not only celebrate the life and times of the presidents but it also allows us to reflect. I always stop to ponder what would I do if I were president? So with all due respect for our current president, Derrick Hall, I thought I would share with you my platform. If I were president of the Arizona Diamondbacks I would work closely with the Diamondbacks players to make them more accessible to the fans. The fans are the lifeblood of sports. Without the fans it wouldn’t matter how good the team was, you could not afford to keep the team together for very long. I would teach the players how to approach the fans so that you build a partnership on and off the field. If the fans think they are a part of the team they are more apt to remain loyal and support it. My next order of business would be to try and create a richer experience at the ballpark than could be obtained at home. While it’s great that the Diamondbacks have a strong television audience; the most important thing is to get the fans to come to the ballpark. I’ve never heard a player comment that they feed off the energy of the television crowd. Compare that to the number of players who proclaim that playing in front of a boisterous home crowd brings energy and excitement to the game. What is it keeps people from the ballpark? Or put another way what advantages are the fans gaining at home that they can’t get at the stadium? One of the major complaints I hear in the stands is the fact that at home you get various camera angles and instant replay whereas at the game they never show the close replays. I understand that MLB and the umpires frown upon replays as they believe it shows the game’s weaknesses. I tend to think it enhances the human element. Sometimes that element goes your way and sometimes it goes against you. We all make mistakes so let’s get over it. If you can’t deal with a little constructive criticism then find a different job. With all the data that we have at our fingertips it should be made available to the fans in the stands. Whether it be through the use of devices such as smart phones, wireless devices, or some other delivery mechanism, give the fans something they don’t get at home,

The Diamondbacks have done a great job to create a family environment at the stadium. I would just take that and run a little farther with it. It’s great that they have Futures Field and the batting cages at the upper deck but those should be augmented with the ability to run 90 feet from home to first and see how fast you are compared to a big league player. More activities for the older kids too. There are the play toys for the little kids but for the 9-12 year olds it’s just the batting cage which usually has a long line. Granted the game should be the focus but I can attest that when you go to 83 games per season there are times when the kids just want to do something different. If that something different is at the stadium then at least some of the family can still enjoy the game. This next request came from my daughter who is not exactly a diehard baseball fan. She would love to see an art station where kids could draw and color pictures. The pictures could be hung up for the series so that fans could admire the artwork before and after the game. I can guarantee kids would want to come back to more than one game if they thought their artwork was being displayed for a 3-game series. Finally I would reintroduce a fan loyalty program for adults. It’s not fair that Dakota can earn a wiffleball bat and ball while I can’t. There is nothing worse than having your 10 year-old son flaunt the fact that not only did he get the Todd McFarlane designed lunchbox but he also got the free wiffleball and bat. These are just a few of the things I would do as president. Taking this time to reflect has given me a new appreciation of the job Derrick Hall does, being president is a lot harder than it looks.

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