San Angelo Colts exploring social media to engage fans
03/28/2012 10:07 PM - Devo
Earlier this year I wrote about the Normal CornBelters and how they were using social media to their advantage. Now the San Angelo Colts are also using Facebook to begin a special promotion Thursday on Facebook.
I have said it many times and I know I’m not the only one, but it’s just not enough these days to market in magazines, radio, or in in-game promotions. There is a whole new world out there with Facebook and Twitter where any marketing or promotions employee can update the world on any facet of the organization’s business.
Beginning tomorrow “from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., fans of this page can purchase buy one, get one free full season or 10-game mini plan tickets. At 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 29 a comment will be posted that fans can then comment under. After you have commented, call the front office to get your BOGO season or 10-game mini plan tickets. You may purchase up to 10 tickets.”
Talk about a really ingenious way to get people to purchase ticket plans.
The majority of the world is on Facebook these days, and with the way the word spreads, the 1,126 people who “like it” can tell there friends, who tell their friends and so on.
The days of actually going to the ballpark and purchasing tickets are almost long gone. And for an Independent team that has been around for over a decade, they are fully aware how to change and adapt to the times.
For more information on the Colts’ ticket promotion, visit their Facebook page or their website.
Jays playoff hopes are sky-high, questions remain
03/25/2012 6:24 AM - Devo
With the best record in Spring Training, hopes for the Toronto Blue Jays going into the 2012 season are through the roof. The problem is is that this is Spring Training and it has the same sort of feel to it as when the Toronto Maple Leafs finish their pre-season successfully.
Spring Training is all about smoke and mirrors.
The Texas Rangers are currently 6-15 and sitting with the worst record in MLB, but there is almost no chance they end up in the basement of the AL West come playoff time. Oakland, on the other hand is having a remarkable spring, second only to the Jays. The A’s who have been compared to a Triple-A squad is 14-4 and ranks first in OBP, SLG, OPS and second in runs scored and RBI. In this case, I can guarantee those numbers will not convert over once the regular season begins.
If everything plays out according to plan, the AL East should round out in the usual fashion with the Yankees and the Sox cancelling each other out, and the Rays either sneaking into to the division lead or in one of the two Wild Card spots.
I’m fully aware that if the Jays were in any other division except the East, the odds are very much in their favour that they catch a hot streak and make the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Still, history shows, unless they win 90-plus games-something they also haven’t done since 1993-their usual fourth place finish is what the fans will see.
Number of Toronto wins
2011 - 81 (91, AL East)
2010 - 85 (95, AL East)
2009 - 75 (95, AL East)
2008 - 86 (95, AL East)
2007 - 83 (94, AL East)
2006 - 87 (95, AL Central)
2005 - 80 (95, AL East)
2004 - 67 (98, AL East)
2003 - 86 (95, AL East)
2002 - 78 (99, AL West)
2001 - 80 (102, AL West)
2000 - 83 (91, AL West)
1999 - 84 (94, AL East
1998 - 88 (92, AL East)
1997 - 76 (96, AL East)
1996 - 74 (88, AL East)
1995 - 56 (79, AL East)
It’s pretty obvious the Wild Card comes from the AL East almost every year, and I’m very confident every baseball person knows this as well, but one thing I think we don’t remember is that when the Jays were in their heyday (late 80’s early 90’s), they ranked in the top five of payroll every single year. And I can’t remember anyone every saying that they had the misfortune of playing in an unfair division.
1994 - $41,937,668 (2)
1993 - $45,747,666 (1)
1992 - $43,663,666 (3)
1991 - $27,538,751 (9)
1990 - $18,486,834 (13)
1989 - $16,009,666 (6)
While the early season success is great for the fans and sports talk shows, money and power are still what makes this game go round.
A revamped minor league system and some savvy manoeuvres have brought the Jays to the forefront of a youth movement; Brett Lawrie, Brandon Morrow, Colby Rasmus, Kyle Drabek, Henderson Alvarez, Travis Snider, Eric Thames, Yunel Escobar and J.P. Arencibia. But the question still remains; Can these young guns overtake two dominant clubs in the Yankees and Red Sox and a Tampa Bay Ray’s team that has proven that youth can do the unthinkable?
D-Train makes a stop in Baltimore
03/22/2012 4:07 AM - Devo
On Sunday I wrote about Dontrelle Willis getting released by the Philadelphia Phillies. To my surprise, the Baltimore Orioles officially signed Willis to a minor-league deal on Wednesday.
I’m not sure what the Orioles gain with this deal, more than likely a LOOGY, but Willis really has to step his game up if he wants to make it to the big club once the season gets under way.
The bullpen is still work in progress. Clay Rapada, who was the Orioles lefty specialist, is no longer with the team. He was released and has now signed with the New York Yankees. Troy Patton and Zach Phillips have very little experience, so Willis might have fallen into the ideal situation.
Reports have surfaced that Willis’ fastball is topping out at 87 mph, really not ideal when you’re in the AL East and you’re job consists of keeping Adrian Gonzalez and Robinson Cano off base.
MLB.com had a chance to speak to Willis and asked him if he thought he could contribute to the success of the team?
"I definitely hope so, or I'll go home. Simple as that," said Willis, who will likely start the season in the Minors. "Whatever they want me to do. It's so late in Spring Training, I just want to go out there, get in some games and see how it goes, and take it one day at a time. It's tough because the timing of me coming over here. I'm open to anything as long as I can get some good work in and go from there."
A career that once showed so much promise is all but winding down. It’s unfortunate, but this train might have finally made its last stop.
D-Trains career comes to a halt, but it does leave me with bigger questions
03/19/2012 4:55 AM - Devo
Dontrelle Willis was once on top of the baseball world. The hard-tossing lefty took the baseball world by storm in 2005 when he won 22 games, threw five shutouts, and came in second in the NL Cy Young race.
In his first five seasons (2003-2007) Dontrelle Willis won a total of 68 games. Since then he has won a total of 4 games over 4 years.
Chalk it up to ineffectiveness, wildness, Steve Blass disease, or string of injuries for his plummet from grace. Whatever the case may be, after 2006 when his walks increased by 20%, his ERA jumped from 3.87 to 5.17 and his SO/BB ratio radically decreased from 3.09-to-1.93, the signs were there that something was seriously wrong.
Never pitching more than 75 innings in the last four years, Willis became a journeyman donning the uniform of the Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Cincinnati Reds. Never once did it appear the Willis was past whatever was causing these problems, especially when his walks total nearly surpassed the number of innings he pitched.
This past December, the perennial powerhouse Philadelphia Phillies took a chance by signing Willis to a one-year incentive laden deal that could’ve reached $1 million. And within three months of the signing, Willis is again without a team.
After allowing five earned runs, striking out four in less than three innings this Spring the Phillies announced that they had released Willis. Judging by the results that was a major factor in the decisions but so was his velocity which ranged from 82-87 mph according to CBS Sports.
What did catch my attention was what Willis said last month in an interview with the Delaware County (Pa.) Daily Times,
Earlier this spring, I asked Willis about the nature of pitching on a non-guaranteed contract this spring. His response was surprising: he didn't know it wasn't guaranteed.
“I never look at it. Who cares?” Willis said. “It’s not about the money for me. It’s not like I have one of thee big deals like the starters. That’s irrelevant. I just want to get people out. You know what I mean?”
Willis’ contract was not guaranteed. Upon his release he was expected to receive $139,000 in termination pay. (Courtesy of USA Today)
If an athlete doesn’t know what his contract says, that is a major problem. There have been so many horror stories about athletes, despite all the millions, end up with nothing after retirement. Many have made bad investments, and lost everything in ponzi schemes. I, by no means have any idea what his financial status is, whether Willis has invested the, over $40 million in salary he has accumulated in his career, but to say something like “I hope it is” is probably not the best answer.
It’s not enough today to just be a great athlete; you need to be a businessman. An athlete is a brand and with branding comes making educated decisions about your money and have sound financial advice to go with it. You can play the part and look like the most successful athlete in the world but if you don’t plan for your future and/or family, it’s all for nothing.