On “selfie girls” and alienating your fans

In case you haven't seen it, here's the video from last night's Arizona Diamondback's broadcast.

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I won’t begin to say that I can speak for the Arizona State sorority girls that were captured on the Diamondbacks broadcast and soundly mocked by Bob Brenly and Steve Berthiaume.

Nor can I say, at 34, that I entirely understand the appeal of selfies. (or SnapChat.)

The single most-important takeaway here needs to that what I understand or like really doesn’t matter.

Are those ladies hurting anyone? Are they interfering with anyone else’s ability to watch and enjoy the game? Are they interrupting the game of play?

The answer to all of those questions is "NO" and that’s the simple answer to why I don’t give a flying frog’s bottom about how those ladies (or women. But not girls. They’re in college, stop being pejorative) chose to spend their evening.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed pitches, plays and runs at Miller Park because of some couple or family thinking it was a good time to stand up and hand their camera to someone nearby to get a picture of them with the field of play behind them. Some of those folks may have been fraternity or sorority men and women, but that’s not really relevant to their fan knowledge of baseball, I assume.

When I’m interrupted multiple times an inning for folks to go get food and beer and head to the bathroom - where’s Brenly to mock how those folks aren’t really actually there to watch a game?

Perhaps the best part of this story is one that’s been ignored in a lot of the wealth of articles I’ve seen about it. The broadcasters literally ask fans to send in pictures of themselves as part of an on-screen promotion during the litany. Of course, they do so without an ounce of irony.

So Brenly and Berthiaume are shaming these women for doing something they’ve just explicitly been asked to do. And that Fox Sports is making money from.

Sports have a problem with women fans. This is currently playing out in living color over in the NHL with the Blackhawks and Patrick Kane, but MLB is the worst offender when it comes to demeaning, pointless and silly "Ladies’ Nights." (But I’ve already covered that).

I don’t need my background in PR says to me that it’s probably not the best idea to alienate any part of a fanbase that’s willing to come out to watch your below .500 team on a Wednesday night.

Attendance at last night’s DBacks game was 18,529. That’s a third of the 49,033 capacity of Chase Field. The Diamondbacks are 77-81. But definitely shame a group of fans who shelled out for tickets to watch you play the 66-92 Rockies.

I used to be one of the female fans who hated what we call the "pink hat" fans. That term is meant to derisively mock the female fans who buy team gear in shades of pink and covered in rhinestones.

And it’s true - I’m not that fan.

For a long time I thought I was on some sort of pedestal because I wasn’t there for baseball butts or Ryan Braun’s abs. I could quote you advanced stats and talk authoritatively on why I wasn’t a fan of the designated hitter.

Bully for me. So the lady next to me isn’t keeping score and is wearing something from the Victoria’s Secret Pink collection. Who the hell cares? She’s there. She’s watching baseball, same as me. I don’t get to decide who’s a fan and who isn’t and I certainly don’t get to judge.

Every female sports fan has 100’s of stories to tell about some douche who stopped us in a bar or stadium and tried to get us to "prove" the strength of our fandom by naming players or teams or stats. I’ll take it one further and tell you that I’ve had to do it while interviewing coaches and players - like I had to pass a test before I was worthy to talk to them post-game.

And if I’m going to raise hell about why it’s bullshit that just because I’m a woman I have to somehow prove my fandom to a guy, then I certainly can’t sit around doing the same thing to other women.

Because judging a lady in a pink hat and finding her wanting as a fan is absolutely not any different.

Let’s be real. The ASU ladies were not initially targeted and broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona because they were taking selfies. Whether it’s cameramen or producers, someone behind the scenes of every sports broadcast makes a conscious effort to put young, pretty women both on TV and on the scoreboard. As Justin Bopp put it, this silent objectification of the women who attend their games is odd and uncomfortable. It’s totally unnecessary, but unfortunately prevalent.

Female fans have been marginalized, sexualized, objectified and ignored for far too long.

There’s a tone-deafness to sports broadcasts and promotion that continues to be glaringly awkward and obvious as team after team does things to shame, objectify and alienate women fans.

This is my first experience with the vaunted "unwritten rules of baseball" making their way into the stands, but Brenly and Berthiaume’s commentary was as dated, stodgy and rigid as a lot of the other unwritten rules that pervade this game.

In order for any business to survive, they need income. In sports, that means fans. MLB has done a decent job of drawing in both a younger crowd and female fans. Women are said to make up 45% of baseball’s fan base.

But apparently Brenly and Berthiaume don’t think the Diamondbacks are in need of young fans. If nothing else, their tirade of mockery was a steady buzz of "You kids get off my lawn" where they continued a long tradition of diminishing young people because they "don’t understand."

One thing I can guarantee - not one of those young women went to Chase Field Wednesday night looking for Bob Brenly’s understanding or approval.

Until the cadre of old, white men who seem to think they can choose how and why people play and enjoy baseball have left the sport, I’m not sure how baseball can grow.

We are a society that thrives on ridiculing others and making ourselves feel better by making a spectacle of someone else. A quick Twitter search for "baseball selfie" over the past 24 hours calls the ASU sorority women "vapid" and features tons of folks virtually high-fiving Brenly and Berthiaume for "destroying" these "chicks."

Those women were there having a good time. They and 18,000 other poor souls watched two mediocre teams play a mediocre game of baseball. How or why they enjoyed it is really none of my business or concern.

What We Learned: Zach Davies makes his case for the 2016 rotation

Zach Davies finished up his month with the Brewers with a very strong start against the Padres. We discuss that and more in today's What We Learned.

Yesterday's Results

Brewers 5, Padres 0

It's hard to believes that it's only been a month in the majors for Zach Davies, but he has shown a lot of improvement in that month. After getting hit hard in two of his first three starts, he settled down to pitch quality starts in his last three, with the last two both scoreless appearances. Last night was the best one, as he pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just five hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Meanwhile, the offense put up five runs on five singles and a run in the fifth inning, which was more than enough for the win.

Brewers News & Notes
Minor League Update
NL Central Update
Team W L
Cardinals 100 59
Pirates 96 63
Cubs 93 65
Brewers 68 90
Reds 63 95

Today's Division Games

  • Cubs (Jason Hammel) @ Reds (John Lamb) - 11:35 am
  • Cardinals and Pirates have the day off.
Around Baseball

Roster News

Other Notes

Today's Action

The Brewers play their final road game of the season tonight as they conclude their series with the Padres. Taylor Jungmann faces Ian Kennedy as the Brewers go for the series sweep. First pitch is at 5:40 pm.

The new BCB

Same as the old BCB?

Yesterday Noah made the announcement that he'd be stepping down as the site's managing editor. As of today I will be taking over that role here at Brew Crew Ball. Before I get into that I just want to thank Noah and before him Kyle Lobner for bringing me on board and helping me get started. If they hadn't I don't know where I'd be right now as far as my baseball writing career is concerned. So thanks guys!

On to the topic at hand. I saw some of you voice concern over possible changes at BCB. I'm happy to announce that indeed there will be changes. Wholesale changes! First and foremost we will now be a pay site. There will be an option to pay $9.99 monthly or $99.99 for a whole year.

Second, we're getting rid of the "What I learned" articles, the BCB Community polls, etc. We're going to have new and different articles every day. It'll be a surprise every new day because no one likes regularity and familiarity.

Finally, we will absolutely not be writing humorous articles anymore. We will also now discourage humor in the comments section. No more memes, non-sarcasm-font sarcasm, or Broxton. We all need to learn to comment about baseball the right way. The A-M-E-R-I-C-A-N durgdurmit. Baseball is a holy institution and it should be respected. Having fun is not a part of that. If I see you having fun I'll bring out the ban hammer. It's time to get serious.

I am of course joking. None of that is happening. I'm taking over the site but I don't really want to change BCB. I like it the way it is for the most part. And I'm not all that dissimilar to Noah. For example, he had a borderline obsessive admiration for lovable underdog Khris Davis. (To be fair, if you've read any of my articles anywhere I've written you'll know I share that fondness for Khrush.) Well Khrush is to Noah as Jason Rogers is to me.

Seriously. The guy has been overlooked for far too long! First he was overshadowed by Hunter Morris and we've seen how that's worked out. Then he ignored in favor of Matt Clark and Adam Lind. I think in part because they're both left-handed. Of course Lind is just very good. But Rogers has crushed pitching at every level in the minors. And yeah he might be kind of old at this point to be the long term, 6+ year solution at first base but that's not really his fault. Plus he is still young enough that he could be productive for a good solid 4-5 years yet. Maybe more, who knows? He's crushing at the major league level right now too! What does he have to do to get some more playing time with this club? It's not like they need Adam Lind next year. And as good as he is he's not the type you look to extend into his mid- to late-30's. And furthermore...uh well I'll move on.

One thing  I do hope to change is the the number of posts per day as we've had some trouble maintaining that lately. To that end I will be looking to hire some new writers. There will more a more specific post about that coming hopefully next week if not sooner. So I won't elaborate here. But if you want write for us having a writing sample or a link to one ready is a good place to start.

With both the Brewers and Brew Crew Ball going in new directions this winter should be interesting and hopefully fun. If you all have an suggestions of what you'd like to see different from us or see more from us feel free to let us know in the comment section. We'll try to take it under advisement. And of course thanks as always for reading.

Brewers topple Padres with five-run sixth

Hernan Perez and Martin Maldonado each drove in two runs Wednesday night and pitcher Zach Davies allowed five hits over seven scoreless innings as the Brewers defeated the Padres, 5-0, at Petco Park.

Brewers topple Padres with five-run sixth

Hernan Perez and Martin Maldonado each drove in two runs Wednesday night and pitcher Zach Davies allowed five hits over seven scoreless innings as the Brewers defeated the Padres, 5-0, at Petco Park.

Davies caps off stellar September campaign

Extending his scoreless streak to 15 consecutive innings, Zach Davies blanked the Padres over seven innings of a 5-0 Brewers win at Petco Park on Wednesday night in his final scheduled start.

Brewers 5, Padres 0: The comeback begins

The Brewers have finally begun their push for a wild card spot.

Win: Davies (3-2)
Loss: Cashner (6-16)

HR: None


Good news that you might have slept through! The Brewers beat the Padres 5-0 and I think, finally, we can say the Brewers are looking like the team we hoped they'd be all year. That means -- again, finally -- they can start making their big dramatic comeback for a Wild Card spot and, eventually, their first World Series title ever.

Of course, the Cardinals clinched the NL Central crown Wednesday, so that's out of the question. But the Wild Card is even more exciting. More games they'll need to play before their inevitable triumph. Seriously, guys, this is the stuff that disney movies are made of. And the Brewers need a new movie where they're featured because right now their cinematic crowning glory is...Mr. 3000. Yeesh.

So, OK, I acknowledge a lot of things will need to break right. Technically (technically), the math is not on their side. But disney movies don't really care about math, probably, so neither should we. Instead, baseball will disqualify the Cubs to keep that whole curse storyline going. The Pirates will decide they'd rather go on vacation for the playoffs, maybe on a cruise to raid some shore towns. The Giants will switch to the NFL and move to Los Angeles and become the Football Giants. The Nationals will be too concerned about Jonathan Papelbon to realize they suddenly had a playoff spot. And so on.

It's finally going to happen!

Anyway, Zach Davies was pretty superb Wednesday, pitching seven innings of five hit ball while striking out six and walking two. Corey Knebel and Tyler Thornburg both allowed a pair of baserunners in an inning apiece, but finished out the shutout.

And the Brewers got five runs in the sixth inning, which was more than enough. Hernan Perez had three hits while Martin Maldonado, Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett each picked up a pair of singles. You know, the usual crowd leading the offense.

Four games left in this season. The Padres again Thursday, then three more against the soon-to-be-disqualified Cubs. What a year.

Jungmann hopes to wrap up rookie season on high note

The Brewers will help the Padres turn out the lights at Petco Park when the teams meet in San Diego's home season finale on Thursday afternoon.

Herrera unlikely to return this season

Manager Craig Counsell confirmed Wednesday that Elian Herrera will probably not play in any of the Brewers' remaining games.

What We Learned: Jorge Lopez impresses in Brewers win

Jorge Lopez made his MLB debut last night and had a good performance in the Brewers win. We discuss that and more in today's What We Learned.

Yesterday's Results

Brewers 4, Padres 3

It wasn't the most impressive debut, but it was an effective one for Jorge Lopez. He allowed three runs in five innings, striking out seven batters in the process. It was enough to back up the Brewers offense, led by Jean Segura's three RBI night. The bullpen kept the Padres in check, and the Brewers won back-to-back games for the first time since September 5 (when they won their sixth straight game).

Brewers News & Notes
Minor League Update
NL Central Update
Team W L
Cardinals 99 58
Pirates 95 62
Cubs 92 65
Brewers 67 90
Reds 63 94

Today's Division Games

  • Cardinals (Michael Wacha) @ Pirates (Gerrit Cole) - 12:35 pm
  • Cardinals (Tyler Lyons) @ Pirates (Charlie Morton) - 6:05 pm
  • Cubs (Jon Lester) @ Reds (Anthony DeSclafani) - 6:10 pm
Around Baseball
Today's Action

The series against the Padres continues tonight with Zach Davies facing Andrew Cashner is game two. First pitch is at 9:10 pm.