Make Some Noise(?)

A shot of the COPP board from 2006 taken by Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.

Right now I have a handful of friends who are all in Fort Myers taking in Spring Training baseball. One of those friends is Tru (someone who has contributed to this blog in the past and someone I hope to get to contribute more this year!)  He sent me a message last night that I thought was interesting:

So I’m sitting in the stands at COPP and looking at the scoreboard. I’ve seen it before and know it is not really a very good one, as it is old. I also don’t expect COPP to upgrade the thing since the Sox are moving to a new field.

But it struck me as odd that the people (whoever they are), run the board during games use images and words to try and get people to root the team on. It didn’t register at first, but it wound up making me a bit angry. This is Red Sox baseball, and although it’s only ST, the idea that people in the stands don’t know what’s going on down on the field offended me.

Now I don’t pretend to know the details of who, how, what, when and why concerning the scoreboard and how it’s decided what goes on. But it seemed to me that it was wrong… very wrong.

I remember you blogging about the new score board at Fenway, and hoping the Sox marketing team decides they’ll pass on the temptation to put up cheering like messages. But here in Ft. Myers, the Red Sox winter home they sure as hell are doing that and it bothered me.

I’ve only been to City of Palms Park for one Spring Training and that was in 2005. Being amped about actually being at Spring Training, plus the excitement of meeting people I knew online but hadn’t met in person PLUS the fact that it was the beginning of the 2004 World Championship victory tour, all means this: I have no idea if they were encouraging fans to make noise via the scoreboards at the time.  And there are people who read this blog (as well as friends of mine down in Ft Myers right now) who have been to many years of Spring Training in Fort Myers who could probably answer the question as to whether this just started this season or if it has gone on all along.  I’d be interested to find this out.  (As a note, Tru has been down there plenty of times as well. I think it is probably something you wouldn’t take much notice of normally but if there is time to focus on it you suddenly would have a “Hey, they’re telling the fans to ‘make noise’?” moment.)

I’m not sure how I feel about it.  I’ve maintained that I’m all right with the scoreboard encouraging of fans at Minor League ballparks because, well, because they’re the Minor Leagues and there is a different atmosphere (and slightly different audience) for those games.  Even in the minors, though, there are exceptions.  If you go to a PawSox game, with some exceptions (like there being mascots), the atmosphere is very much geared toward it being like a Major league game.  So I have mixed feelings.  I guess the excuse for it in Fort Myers could be that the games “don’t count” and everyone is just down there for fun.  But I share Tru’s feelings in that I’m wondering if this is just a precursor to get folks used to what is going to happen at Fenway this season with the new video boards.

Man, I hope not.

(Speaking of Spring Training…Kelly O’Connor is there and has already taken some fantastic photos that you can find here!)

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