Friday, September 19, 2014

Sky Sox: The view from Milwaukee

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 10:11 AM


There are basically three local reactions to the news that the Colorado Springs Sky Sox would no longer be the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies: The Rockies suck, so good riddance; the Sky Sox suck, so welcome new partners the Milwaukee Brewers; and, from Rockies fans, I love the Rockies, so boo the whole deal.

But how's it looking to the folks in the heartland? Here's some excerpts from a piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that gives you a view of what some people really think outside of the canned "looking forward to partnering" statements:

• Former Nashville Sounds (the former Brewers Triple-A affiliate) manager Rick Sweet: "Colorado Springs is a good city. Their fans are pretty good. They really get decent fan support."

• Catcher Matt Pagnozzi on Security Service Field: "The facilities are OK. I'd say they're in the middle of the road. Good batting cages. The clubhouse is old but it's not cramped. The field, it's not bad.

"You can kind of read into it what you want, but I think it says something when the Rockies, you're an hour and a half to the big-league field, and they jump ship."

• Sweet again: "There, you fight elements. ... Travel is bad; you've got to fly out of Denver, so you've got to bus for 6 a.m. flights. It's going to be tough.

"We played eight days there, and seven of the eight days the wind was blowing in. And you've got to crush the ball to get it out of there."

The last comment mirrors complaints the Rockies apparently made about Security Service Field, repeated in June 2013 by Mayor Steve Bach: 
The Rockies have told me directly, and I think they are out there publicly saying, that they are concerned about the physical situation out at Security Service Field for two reasons. One, the wind, particularly the east wind, causes torque on the ball. Second, they lose a lot of games in the early season, because the field is frozen. The stadium is antiquated. It doesn't have enough bathrooms; doesn't have enough concessions; doesn't have cover for bad weather. So, are we at risk of losing the Sky Sox? I think we are.
Clearly we're not at risk of losing the Sky Sox, but at risk of jeopardizing that entire business relationship? Well, looks like Bach was right to worry.

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