Saturday, October 19, 2013

Look Back; Look Forward

Durham Bulls Athletic Park, October 19, 2013

Most seasons we do a review of what we liked and what we thought were areas to work on for the DBAP and the Bulls in the season. We put out an invite for further comment and we usually get a few interesting observations.

This year is different because of the renovations going on. To be honest, until the announcement was made I had not noticed that things were getting a bit shabby around the edges. After the announcement, however, we started looking more closely and realized that renovation would be a very good thing. On the other hand, until we see what happens (including cup holders for the front row of the terrace reserved seats!) we'll hold off on comments about facilities. The plans look good, though.

So let’s just talk about what worked well:
  • National Anthem singers. When you listen to 60 or 70 performances a year you quickly come to appreciate effort that the Bulls invested in finding performers. We particularly like the choral groups. Also notable were a brass group whose name I missed and an a cappella group called Cognitive Resonance.
  • Bull Durham racers. Fun to watch and creative in finding ways for Nuke to lose each race. Hope they come back next year.
  • Food Truck events. The only down side of the food trucks was that it gave you a hint of what was possible down in the regular concession area. We hate to miss a moment of baseball, so we had to come very early. Being in right field, if the sun was out, it could be brutal for the vendors, I’d think. We appreciate the difficult balance that has to be made with contractors, etc., but it was a good idea worthy of a couple of repeats next year.
  • I’m not big beer drinker, so I appreciated beer in small quantities being available (if not the price). Nice to taste all the varieties available. More always better, of course.
  • Bull City Summer was an interesting adjunct to the season. We are looking forward to the book when it becomes available.
What else? Chime in.

On the Bulls website
  • You can download a stencil to carve a Wool E. Bull pumkin.
  • Buy a Governors’ Cup Champions T-shirt (got mine already).
  • Take a look at the 2014 schedule (April 3! 166 days … a long, long time).
  • Several 2013 Bulls have declared free agency: Ryan Roberts, Shelley Duncan, Jason Bourgeois and J.D. Martin. The last three made a difference this year. I'll miss them. Nothing precludes the Rays from re-signing, but usually doesn’t happen.
  • Out in the Arizona Fall League Mike Montgomery and Merrill Kelly are at work for the Salt River Rafters along with several other Rays prospects we’ve never seen.  

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