My latest (and therefore greatest) Minor League ballpark road trip wrapped up in Jacksonville on Saturday. Click here — and scroll down — to see a round-up of all the blogs and articles that have been produced so far; you can sleep well knowing that there’ll be plenty more where that came from.
That trip ended in Jacksonville, the home of the Suns, who are in the midst of a season-opening homestand that can only be described as “Brobdingnagian.”
This sustained stretch of home games came about because the Biloxi Shuckers’ MGM Park won’t be ready until (at least) early June. Therefore, the Suns are playing in Jacksonville as the “road” team during their current (April 20-24) series against the Shuckers, in addition to regularly scheduled homestands from April 9-19 and 25-29th.
It should go without saying that hosting a homestand of such magnitude is an extremely taxing experience for the front office staff, who will be working unremittingly long days at the ballpark with nary a break in sight. If there’s one team that feels their pain, who have been there and done that, it’s the Rochester Red Wings.
In 2012 the Red Wings’ Frontier Field served as the primary home ballpark of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, who were forced to spend the season on the road due to an extensive renovation to PNC Field. The Red Wings’ front office ended up hosting a whopping 109 games that season, with several stretches of a duration comparable to what the Suns are experiencing right now.
The Red Wings staff, a sympathetic lot, feel the Suns’ pain and have sought to help them in their time of need via this handy list. Suns staffers are advised to print it out and put it in their wallets (or purses, or fanny packs, or what have you):
Top 10 Survival Tips for a Really, Really Long Homestand
10. Nothing but day games!
9. On-site laundry service for all employees
8. Nightly anti-rain dance to prevent doubleheaders
7. For female employees with significant others, four letters: B-E-E-R
6. For male employees with significant others, three letters: F-T-D
5. Initiate a daily post-lunch siesta
4. Daily Red Bull happy hour for the staff
3. Give mascot “body optional, head required” days
2. Hire landscaping company to do staff lawns
1. Fans pull tarp after Day 10
Thanks to Dan Mason, Matt Cipro and the entire Red Wings front office for sharing these survival tips, and good luck to the Suns as they seek to survive. I’ll have much more material from my recent Jacksonville visit, hopefully before this current homestand finally, mercifully ends.