By Tom Hoffarth
The email dropped in among the other spam, but with this heartwarming preamble:
“The Dodgers have the best fans in sports, which is why we want to hear from you! Please take a moment to fill out this quick survey so the Dodgers and our 2018 partners can better serve you going forward. The Dodgers and our 2018 partners thank you in advance for your time and participation.”

And if this is all related to advertisers needing some data, what incentive do I have in taking the next 10 minutes to fill this out?
A free ticket? A discount on some prime merch?
Peace of mind that I can connect to a company in a way that affords me the knowledge that my opinions will be heard and assessed and valued and exude change?
I had no choice but to pick the later. The first two were not even options.
(Memo to Angels: When you survey fans about all your sponsors, offer them something. It’s proper customer courtesy).
The survey was completed. In case you wonder what it asked, how we answered, and maybe even why, here’s how it went (and if you get the same questionaire emailed to you, feel free to copy and paste):

i-514e06d5f7e7d634f249c99402cca08f-r-dodgersradQ1: How do you primarily watch/listen to Dodgers home games?
A loaded question from the start, eh?
The options are a) radio; b) TV; c) online; d) Follow on Twitter; e) Watch in person; f) I do not watch/listen to Dodger homes games.
There was no option to list bootleg feed, illegal re-transmission on Facebook or go to a local sports bar/restaurant because SportsNet LA is still not a reason to give up DirecTV or my current provider. Or I’m a cord cutter so deal with it.
Our honest answer: 1) TV; 2) occasionally Twitter, 3) wait until a story posts online; 4) wait to read about it in the next day’s newspaper.
Our preferred answer: Emails from Vin Scully.

Q2: How many games to you plan to attend during the 2018 season?
Trick question: I plan often. Then I see the prices of StubHub has available and usually decline.
Honest answer: 0
Answer filled in: 0.

13914608214_972029598e_bQ3: Can you name sponsors of the Dodgers? If so list them below.
Farmer John and Union 76 were easy. But then there are so many other ads I’ve seen in the stadium that just blur together now.
Oh, Jim Beam is a new sponsor. Why? Not sure.
Remember those old print ads where Red Barber used to endorse Old Gold cigarettes.
And Jackie Robinson promoted Chesterfield.
And Tommy Davis held up a Tareyton and said, “Who says you can’t get flavor from a filter cigarette? Let ’em try my brand .. What a difference.”
I put those three in as well. Made me feel like I needed something that really went well with my Jim Beam.

Q4: What is your preferred method of transportation to/from Dodger Stadium?
From the choices of driving your own car, using a ride share service or taking public transportation, I went with “other” and filled in “future gondola.”

The next set of questions dealt with brand awareness, trying to get me to commit to which luxury automobile, bank and pizza I associate with the Dodgers. My answers: Datsun, Ernie Banks and Mike Piazza, none of which were given as choices.

The next set of questions had to do with how much I used the following luxury automobiles, banks or pizza services. Had to say “N/A” on pretty much all of them. Once someone creates a luxury pizza that won’t make a mess in my car, I’ll reconsider.

The next set of questions had to do with what “attributes” you might associate with the following brands. Given were Hancook Tires, Dennys’, 99 Cent Only Store, Budweiswer, Cedars-Sinai, Papa John’s, Honda and …
Wait for it …
Your Los Angeles Dodgers.
They want to know if you’d click on “high quality,” “good value,” “fun,” “traditional,” “trustworthy,” “exciting,” “global innovative,” “reliable,” “high performance” or “NA.”
Most were “NA.”


Who’s excited? She is!

I gave Cedars-Sinai a “fun” click, obviously. I should have added “exciting.” Like that old TV show, “Scrubs.”
Denny’s and Budweiser are both “reliable,” in the same way a fan belt will last until the time it doesn’t as you’re trying to drive through the Mojave Desert toward the Nevada border.
99 Cent Store I’ve always found globally innovative. It’ss just that other nations are not in the market for crappy products like we are. So much for their hopes and dreams.
So then we came to the Dodgers.
They got a “traditional” click, even though I’m not sure what that even matters to anyone any longer. That could imply old and musty but something that won’t go away, like Old Spice deodorant. It could mean something we thought we knew but don’t know much about any more.
Yeah, put that down.

The next set of questions
had to do with identifying myself based on gender, age, marital status, kids, income and ethnic background. “Perfer not to answer” seemed appropriate to all of them, unless I really wanted to skew things up.

Lastly, do you have any additional comments?
Why, yes, I do. Thanks for finally asking.

* Those advertisements on the foul poles remain embarrassing.
* The incessant music and message board games between innings have no value other than drown our human contact and conversation opportunities.
* Why aren’t the numbers on the outfield walls that indicate the distance away they are from home plate presented in something other than 3” tall?
* Ticket prices are prohibitive. And on this sliding scale that makes it unnecessarily complicated.
* Food prices are unreasonable. Have you heard what the Atlanta Falcons are doing?
* Concession stand operators make great great-grandparents, but often not much else.
* The TV rights need to be sold to someone else who understands distribution.
* How soon will they teach players in your minor league system that they can bunt when an exaggerated shift is on them?
* If Magic Johnson doesn’t land LeBron James, will he leave as one of the Dodgers’ owners?
* Would it be possible for Jaime Jarrin to take a proper bow from the booth before every game for his ability to still remain working this long?
* When does the Charley Steiner bobblehead night happen? And will be they be limited to the first 10,000 mistakes he makes that night?
* What are the chances of Jim Brockmire hired to call games on radio at some point?
* If you charge $6.50 for a Dodger Dog, what does it actually cost to make one, give or take 25 cents?
* What would it take to get a Kings’ Hawaiian concession stands on every level, with unlimited supply of lava sauce, and Steve Garvey working the counter?
* Could the team wear the “Los Angeles” jerseys for every road game?
* When does Fernando Valenzuela get his number 34 retired? Seriously, when?
* Is Dieter Ruehle available for birthday parties and bar mitzvahs?
* Could Yasiel Puig take his shirt off in right field at some point to prove that’s really him in the ESPN Body Issue?
* If the Dodgers ever get to a World Series Game 7 again, would it be appropriate for Yu Darvish throw out the ceremonial first pitch and then head to the bullpen to hear the fans’ reaction in the left-field pavilion?

It concluded: Thank you for taking our survey. Your response is very important to us.
If you want to get back to us on anything else, you have our email.

opinion 2

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