This is the time of year, I like to post my meaningless diatribe about the “State of Major League Baseball” and my plan to…”FIX the game”. Oh sure, winning the powerball lottery has a much better chnce for me than this ever being taken seriously
Now, I posted this last year and got comments such as, “baseball doesn’t need fixing”, “The season is the perfect length” and “Fan attendance is fine”, These were, I assume…”PURISTS”.
Meanwhile, attendance and revenues were in fact down, weather at the beginning of April still sucks, fuel and transportation costs continue to rise and we had a very good chance of having a late October World Series in…Minnesota!
Oh and yes…the All star Home Run hitting contest is still boring.
Oh, and now there is talk of adding more teams to the playoffs and a slight re-alignment by MLB.
Apparently MLB does not think is fine to remain “status quo”.
So here is my annual “shout into the black hole” for 2012.
I was watching the opening game of the 2009 World Series last night and watching the mist and the cold of the night at Yankee Stadium, while simultaneously the NBA opening night game was on another channel and some college football game on another.
I have always wondered why baseball has to extend into November to finish the season. I love baseball and at least this year there seems to be a marquee match up, but it’s not always like that. Here is a plan that I’ve had in my own mind for fixing Major League Baseball, or should I say, enhancing MLB to cater to the fans and benefit the game it’s self. Bud Selig, if you read my blog, feel free to call me and discuss. I have more ideas than just this, but lets start with re aligning the divisions and creating a Regional plan that works.
I will also state that I am fully aware that the rating for THIS (2009) post season have been very good. But lets not forget that there is the benefit of a marquee match up and any time the Yankees are in the post season there is going to be a huge ratings boost. I will guarantee that if the series was being played right now, between the Rockies and the Twins, you would have a hard time giving advertising away and there more empty seats than a Vanilla Ice reunion tour.
I know baseball went through re-alignment a few years ago, but that means it can be done again, for the better of the game, by being better for the fans.
I also know that this is not the first time the idea has been approached by columnists, bloggers and various sources. But while google searching the realignment arguments, I have yet to find a posting during the first three pages that either 1) Makes Sense or 2) Presents a valid reason behind their plan.
And while there are those who scream that my ideas mess with tradition, I state back that the definition of stupidity is to keep doing the same thing over and over, simply because you’ve always done it like that, even if it doesn’t work.
Here’s a thought; Lets not change anything and re-address the issue in ten years when there are less fans and less revenue and we start caring about the health and the future game and less about upsetting the ghosts of the past. There isn’t really a corn field in Iowa where Shoeless Joe will walk out of the tall stalks to pass with you if you make him happy. It was a movie.
Baseball needs to make a radical shift in the way it does business and markets its self if it wants to continue to grow and develop a generation of fans from the ranks of the youth. Today’s kids have more alternatives than ever baseball has more competition than ever before.
Look no matter how much the old “traditionalists” with hair growing from their ears want to believe that the spirits of Jolting Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb, The Babe and Ted Williams are going to re-appear and curse the game if Major League Baseball breaks from tradition, the fact is that interest in the game, fueled by a weakening economy and and alternatives to going to the park such as High Def TV and 300 cable channels with several games on per night.
The Vincent Rush / Cincinnati Sports Photography Plan for Fixing Major League Baseball
Lets create 3 Divisions of 10 teams each in a way that makes sense regionally;
Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago White Sox
St. Louis Cardinals
Kansas City Royals
San Francisco Giants
Arizona D Backs
At the end of the season, top 8 teams in baseball advance to a seeded bracketed playoff system based on record. The winners of each division are in. If the winner of a division has the 9th best record, then a 1 game playoff or shall we say a “Play In” game would exist between number 8 and number 9, but only if that was the unlikely case.
First round best 3/5 next two rounds best of seven. This, although it does not guarantee, it does create a better probability of the two best teams meeting at the end.
Start the regular season on the 15th of April and end on the 15th of September.
Either reduce the regular season schedule by the 25 games lost or make up a portion of them in more double headers throughout the season as a way of enticing fans to come to the park knowing that they can get a full day of baseball for the money. Double headers were and are still great for families on a Saturday or Sunday. It does not matter if the players like them or not. The fans are the ones who buy the tickets. Hey, if I just paid Albert 27 mill a year…he’ll play 2 when I want him to play 2.
Baseball will make it up on the increased revenue from concessions, better weather and the laws of supply and demand. If there is any doubt as to this theory, ask yourself how many teams sold out the season in the current schedule?
Regional divisions will help foster closer rivalries, and encourage more fans to attend more away games because of the closeness. There will be less time difference conflicts that lose TV viewers.
Baseball as a whole and teams in general will save money on travel throughout the course of the season and can promote it as a environmentally conscious step to help reduce carbon emissions through decreased fuel consumption. Do you realize for example that the Yankees made 10 road trips to Chicago or further. The average team made about 10 long distance road trips. What if all the coastal teams could eliminate the cross country treks?. If MLB wanted to maintain some form of inter league play, they could work coordinate cross country match ups. The savings on travel would be into the millions for baseball and the teams.
As a result of the new start and finish dates of the season, there will be less chance of snow games, rain outs, temperatures in the 30’s and re-schedules. Baseball will also not be starting the World Series and competing with the beginning of the NBA season. The Series will end in October with only the NFL to compete with.
One conflict will be how to determine who plays in an All Star Game, or if it will be necessary to continue.
Or what if a team moves, folds or MLB wants to expand? What if Florida moves to Indianapolis? Then simply tweak the division by moving a team or two. The key is to be progressive and decisive and not wait 10 years to make up your mind.
Another obstacle, as I’ve said before, is the always strong opposition of so the called “Baseball Purists”. What is purity in the game any more? If these “Pure-ists” were committed to their mantra, all players would be wearing baggy flannels and using the old mitts of yester-year, there would be no designated hitter and there would only be two teams that played it out at the end of the season. And lets do away with all domes and field turf, and the middle relief pitchers.
I think it would also, at this stage of the game become a big part of the Bud Selig legacy. The game is in better shape than when he found it, That doesn’t mean that he can’t set it up to be even better 20 years after he leaves.
Chances of this becoming anything more than a pipe dream????? About the same as my dream of seeing the All Star Home Run Hitting Contest done with Aluminum and Composite bats.
As an adult, I would actually sit through a HR contest if I thought there was a chance of seeing a 600 foot shot or a light busted out of the tower. As a kid, I would run out to Dicks and buy whatever bat A-Rod or Josh Hamilton just hit one out of Yankee Stadium with.
Think of the advertising dollars baseball would draw or endorsement money players would pull down from the likes of Easton, TPX, DeMarini, Rawlings or Miken! And don’t cry about tradition again. Since when does a batter stand at the plate and hit off of a batting practice pitcher during a traditional game? The Home Run hitting contest should be the same type of freak show the NBA Slam Dunk contest is.
A 7-15 year kid knows nothing about tradition! Baseball has to quit marketing to the “wing tips” and start marketing to the flip fops, to continue to grow it’s fan base.
Vincent Rush is an award winning Professional Sports Photographer and owner of Cincinnati Sports Photography. Based in Ohio, Vince Rush has covered Bob Hope, Oliver North, Chris Gardner, The Cincinnati Reds, University of Cincinnati Bearcats, NFL Pro Camps, NCAA Track Championships and various professional sporting events throughout Ohio.
(Please note this post is written from the perspective of a professional photographer. If you want to do photography for charity or use it to provide social outreach or pure art, this post may not be something you’ll care to read. Thank you.)
Every time – every single time – someone says – “Your price is too high,” it means that you have the wrong prospect. You don’t have the wrong product or price. You have the wrong prospect.
A man with $2000 in his pocket out to buy a car walks into a Jaguar dealership, sees a lovely XJL sedan and says, “I like that. How much is it?” The salesman replies, “$120,000 sir.” The man says, “That’s too much.” Is it? Obviously the problem here is not that the Jaguar isn’t a nice car or that it costs too much. The problem is that the man simply can’t afford a car in this price range. He’s not the right prospect. There will never be a meeting of the minds here.
So this illustrates part one of this problem. Wrong prospect always leads to no sale.
What is the solution? Is the solution to sell a different product or reduce the price? Absolutely not. The solution is to find the person who can afford that price and wants that product.
Photographers often charge too little because they have an “opinion” based on their own experience about what the market will stand for. But that’s the core problem. The photographer isn’t the buyer. The photographer doesn’t necessarily represent the market. You should be aiming higher than your own income bracket if you want to grow your business so find clients who CAN afford your higher prices and sell to them.
Most often it’s your opinion that is the problem. It’s not the price. It’s not the product. It’s your opinion about what the market will stand for.
Let me give you another example. If you live in a world where the average income is $50,000 a year, you probably haven’t considered adding a Rolls-Royce Phantom to your garage. This may lead you to believe that since you can’t afford it, nobody can. But that’s wrong-headed thinking. Want proof? Rolls-Royce sells a model called the Phantom. It’s $380,000. Now they also sell a special edition of the Phantom called the “Year of the Dragon” edition. That version of the car costs $1.2 million. Guess what. They completely sold out of those cars – worldwide – in 60 days. So while you may not be able to afford that car, it doesn’t mean someone else can’t.
There are people in this world – in fact in your neighborhood – who can write $100,000 checks without even asking their spouse for permission. There’s plenty of money around, even in a bad economy. You just have to find it.
So study demographics. Which zip code in your area is the most affluent? Where are the country clubs? These are the places where your prospects for high-end photography exist.
Not everyone cares about making a great deal of money in their photography business. Some prefer the social nature of the job or the artistic nature of the job. For them, this isn’t going to resonate. But for those of you who would like to make more money, start thinking about finding the RIGHT prospects – the ones who can value and afford what you do.
An article by Scott Bourne posted on Twitter on Feb 6th, 2012
Re-Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com Check out my about.me profile!
An article by Scott Bourne
It’s a done deal. The war on photography is in full swing. Mindless, mind-numbing attacks on all sorts of photographers and their photography occur world wide. Even here in the USA where we are supposedly a “free” people, we’re not THAT free if we have a camera in our hand.
Whether it’s just badge-heavy cops who want to throw their weight around, or poorly-trained security forces who think that a camera means there is a terrorist nearby, it really doesn’t matter. The consequences are the same. It’s harder than ever to get the picture.
I’ve tried to fight it. I’ve written to politicians, filed civil rights lawsuits, you name it, but the bottom line is that the war is in full swing and it’s going to take extraordinary methods to win.
So I have decided to take the easy road. I don’t like it, and it might not be something everyone can or will want to do, but after a few years of this I know it works. The answer? Good old fashioned grease. I’m not talking bribes mind you, but the reality is, money is the best way to get the access you need and the best way to do it hassle free. The fact that it works also proves that almost none of this madness has anything to do with security and everything to do with power.
Want to get the best shot you can of the Seattle fireworks from the Space Needle, find a Capital Hill resident who will let you use their property for a fee. Need to go shoot pictures of airplanes at the airport? Offer to pay the airport management for access and security so your camera pointed at airplanes doesn’t end up in having you visited by the FBI.
Whether it’s special access in national parks or regular opportunity to shoot in public places, if you have a police escort, nobody will bother you. If you call your local police agency and ask who to speak to about hiring private security, you’ll be put in touch with local police unions who arrange off-duty police security for your event. So while these officers are off-duty, they still have all the power and connections of any cop and having them by your side will eliminate any pesky, nosy, busybody who has nothing better to do than to harass anyone with a “professional-looking camera.”
This works at all levels. Need early access to a park or refuge? A $50 bill given to the guy/gal who works the gate usually allows for early access. Sometimes the answer is just to rent access for a “private event” and make that event your photography.
For example, I wanted to make some stock shots of the Las Vegas strip years ago. I knew which hotel would provide me with the best shot, but the hotel policy regarding photography, combined with overzealous security guards made getting that shot impossible. My solution? I rented the suite with virtually the same view and got the shot. I also paid one of the bouncers at the hotel (er, excuse me “security people”) to come up and run interference for me. What is “impossible” under most circumstances becomes “no problem” with a few bucks placed into the right pocket.
Even if you don’t have the cash, you can save yourself some trouble by sometimes just taking an extra minute to notify authorities of your intentions. When I go to any national park, despite the fact that I have an absolute, complete right to photograph as long as I don’t go off road or cause the park to provide security and staffing for my access, I still stop in the ranger station and let them know who I am and what I am doing. It sometimes even yields free advice on where to find the best wildlife or best scenics.
I hate the fact that my country has become a place where everyone is suspicious of everyone else, but that’s the way it is. So you can either run from it or deal with it. These ideas are how I deal with it. They may not be your cup of tea but they have certainly kept me out of trouble. Hopefully they will help some of you too.
By: Nick Chaney of The Enquierer
LaSalle coach Dan Fleming became the winningest basketball coach in school history as the Lancers (14-1, 7-0 GCLS) beat St. Xavier 39-22. Fleming won the 335th game of his career, passing Bill Cady (334) on the all-time list.
LaSalle forced 14 turnovers in the win while only committing five of its own. The win reflected the type of play the Lancers have been known for under Fleming.
“We’ve got a bunch of tough guys who are all about winning and competing,” said Fleming. “It’s not always pretty, but the majority of the time we’ve been able to come out on top.”
“(Cady) really got it started here at LaSalle. It’s an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence as him,” said Fleming. “He’s a fine coach and an even better person.”
LaSalle senior guards Josh Lemons and Tyler Vogelpohl led the way for the Lancers. Lemons scored a game-high 15 points while Vogelpohl was the only other player in double digits with 11.
LaSalle took control of the GCL South race after last week’s win over Moeller. The Lancers take a break from league play tonight with a game against Northmont. Even after his record-setting win, that was Coach Fleming’s priority.
“(The record has) never been an issue,” Fleming said. “It’s always been about getting better for the next day, the next practice, the next game. Passing Bill Cady is nice, but we’re just trying to get better for tomorrow.”
Trailing Valley View 12-8 with 17 seconds left in the game, Brookville 5th grader, Mason Stout, gets behind a Spartan defender to pull down a half back option pass and sprint 68 yards for the touchdown and the last second win on Saturday, October 1st in Germantown, Ohio.
Over the years I’ve met and talked with thousands of professional photographers. One of the questions that comes up on a regular basis, especially with new photographers, relates to getting your name out there. A few of these I’ve written about before, but let’s see if we can come up with a list of projects to help you get started.
• Decorate the doctor’s office: I’ve been talking about this one for years. How much money do you or did your parents spend on doctor bills, especially with the pediatrician? Well it’s time for payback! The last class doctors takes before getting out of medical school is about decorating their office. They’re taught to not spend more than $50!
Think about your last doctor visit. There wasn’t much on the walls of the waiting room, unless your doc was a high-end neurosurgeon and then maybe they had a few Ansel Adams posters! So, here’s a great idea and it’s perfect for the pediatrician.
Offer to put some images on the walls of the reception area! Kids, family portraits, anything with a sense of children. Then in the corner, on the table next to that 1984 copy of Popular Mechanics put a stack of your business cards or brochures.
Here’s the deal – women make 98% of the purchase decisions to hire a professional photographer. Who takes the kids to the doctor’s office? It’s Mom and she’s sitting there bored, with nothing to read. This is about the subliminal message you can plant with a few well done family and children’s portraits!
• Restaurants and coffee shops: They all need help, especially if you’re a regular customer. Helen Yancy told a group of photographers at Summer School about getting started at a local Coney Island restaurant in her area just by decorating the walls of the restaurant with her images.
• Meet and Greet: Take a couple of days and just wander around your local business area. Get to know the neighborhood and introduce yourself. Local businesses, sooner or later, have imaging needs and you want to let them know you’re there.
• Start your own network luncheon. Contact everyone in the area who has something in common with your target audience. Find an inexpensive diner type restaurant and get together once a month for lunch just to talk about what’s going on in the community.
• Get involved in your community! With or without a camera in your hand, get involved with the people you’re looking to support your business. Join Kiwanis, Rotary, Exchange Club etc.
• Do your own fundraiser! Vicki Taufer did one of the very first pet days in her area three years ago and today she’s one of the best known pet photographers in her community. She tied in with the local animal shelter, but you can set up a fundraiser with any organization.
• Is there a local children’s store? It’s another great one from Vicki Taufer, who when she was first starting, did all the children’s portraits of the clerks and owner of the local children’s clothing shop. They all became her ambassadors.
• Develop promotions and advertise! I know it’s obvious, but this is the first one in the list that will actually cost you some money, but you have to have a plan. If you think you can get away with running just one ad and then waiting to see the results, think again. You need to have consistency in your timing and in the placement/location of the ad.
• Cross-promote with other vendors. It’s easiest to explain within the wedding category, but essentially you’re going to give a discount certificate to any bride for the local florist and the florist is going to give the bride a certificate for something from you, but try and stay away from discounting. Give an hour of extra coverage or an addition 8×10 – go for added value rather than price reductions.
• Contact the PTA at the local schools. Isn’t it time we upgraded the bake sale concept? How about offering family sittings for a holiday card shot. It’s only September and you’ve got time to work with any local association or group and have an image in people’s hands in time for their holiday cards.
• Career Day and Adult Education: All of you are qualified to do a career day at the local school and help motivate an interest in photography with kids. Many of you are also qualified to teach an adult education class on photography. This is about getting involved in the community and don’t forget to do a press release to the local paper with a picture of you interacting with the participants at each event.
• Enter photo contests and competitions. Most of the national associations have some level of print competition. Local chapters have regular print competition as well as portfolio reviews. This is a great way to get feedback outside your immediate circle of family and friends.
It’s not costly to get your name out there, but it is labor intensive. This is where outsourcing comes into play. By not doing everything yourself you can find the time to market your personality and skill set. Your time is best spent getting to know your client base rather than sitting behind a computer editing images!
2011 Eaton Little League Baseball Highlight Video. Photos by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Cincinnati Sports Photography
“Our Summer Song” by Forever the Sickest Kids
“We are the World Tonight” by an Unidentified Artist and originally played in ESPN’s 2011 Little League World Series Highlight video (My wife thinks it may be the lead singer for The News Boys)
However, the only information I have is
BlueprintMusicProd & Frank Giaramita
All but a few action photos were shot by Vince Rush in Eaton, Ohio, during the 2011 Little League season.
Sports can be hard. Photography can be hard. To be good at sports requires patience, practice and perseverance. So does photography. Sports offer constant opportunity for self-improvement and analysis. So does photography.
I used to play competitive sports when I was a kid. I played in high school football and golf tournaments and for some reason, I was good at both right from the start. I couldn’t break 100 on a golf course today for money, nor could I run a wind sprint – but I have enough experience with sports to be able to use it as a metaphor for photography.
While there’s plenty of negativity in the world today, athletes and photographers both tend to be optimistic. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t put the time in to do what they do.
When I was a golfer, I used to think my best golf was always around the corner. As a photographer, I still feel that way. I still feel like I can continue to make better and better photographs.
Another way that both sports and photography are similar is in their ability to both humble and even humiliate the people who participate in each.
When I was young I had a commanding lead in a high school golf tournament on my home course. I knew the course better than anyone. My putting was fantastic. At the turn, I had a four-shot lead and was going strong. I was confident. I had just won the tournament the week before in nearby Kettering, Ohio and thought this tournament was a lock. Then came the 10th hole where I dropped a shot on an easy putt I could make in my sleep. I found the bunker on 11 and dropped another shot. On 12 I managed to hook my drive and ended up behind a tree. One more bogey added to the score card. By the time I got to the 13th hole, I found out I was tied for the lead. I managed a par four on the 13th and 14th but dropped another on the 15th due another missed putt. I took my lead and threw it away and ended up second. It felt like finishing dead last.
Fast forward to my time as a photographer. Some of you remember my story of Cranes in the Fire Mist. To be blunt, this is a photograph that kicked my ass for more than a decade. Just as I would get close, some essential element of the shot would pass me by, and like hooking my drive behind a tree or missing an easy putt, I learned that misfortune can befall athletes OR photographers at any time.
The point of this post is simple. We engage in activities every day that are challenging because we like challenges. We do things that are hard because we like to test ourselves. We work at impossible goals because we are driven and optimistic.
Things like sports and photography can help us realize our strengths and our weaknesses very quickly. Both can lead to raw disappointment or abundant joy.
When photographers start to realize that there are many things in life that require similar dedication, it might give them the hope that they can outlast the next hard photograph. The few super successful pictures bring them back for more, despite the many failures along the way.
Moral of the story? Don’t give up.
Copyright Scott Bourne 2007 – All Rights Reserved
Follow Scott Bourne on Twitter at @scottbourne
Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at email@example.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com Check out my about.me profile!