As April approaches, so also should baseball season.
Thanks to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, everything is on hold. That includes the start of the season for the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and it’s lone Texas franchise the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Without knowing when the season will start or if it will be a full or shortened schedule, the Skeeters are continuing to sign and re-sign players and revamp its promotional schedule.
“Instead of lamenting this virus we are working to cement previously new ideas as well as brainstorming innovative, even newer ideas,” Skeeters president Christopher Hill said in an open letter to fans.
He explained how most of the staff is working from home and how Constellation Field is being staffed by a skeleton crew.
“For the most part, we are speaking with our customers and making sure they are doing OK. We are also preparing for the eventual return of baseball and a time where we can all be together again. Just like winter in Game of Thrones: Opening Day Is Coming. We just don't know when. As such, there are promotional dates tied to specific events that will probably not happen this year,” Hill wrote.
He understands that fans are eager to know when opening day will be and what the season will look like.
“Once we answer the question of when the season will begin, we also have to know how many games to play. Are we doing a modified half-season? Or are we going to compress a quasi-full season with planned doubleheaders?” he wrote. “Once we have those answers, we need to re-schedule all of our team flights for the season. We also have to reorganize the promotional schedule, finalize the hiring of our game-day staff plus tens of thousands of things we would do in the offseason compressed into a week or so. We are going to have some slow weeks that culminate into a mad dash of preparation.”
With so many unknowns, he is offering fans a unique ticketing option this week.
“Each fall, we make a one-day sale on un-dated flex books, basically tickets for when you want to come out, with no assigned days. We are going to do something similar but add four extra tickets—a total of 14 undated tickets at $110, $100 savings of 47%. The sale will run … through next Friday (March 27). Please, though, when you come out, buy a hot dog or two ... or three.”
Roster shaping up
One person in the organization who has been busy this spring is manager Pete Incaviglia. As of March 22, he has signed contracts with 14 players with more joining all the time. The current roster includes:
Alexi Amarista, 30, infield/outfield; Barrett Barnes, 28, outfield; Blair Beck, 27, infield/outfield; Andrew Bellatti, 28, pitcher; Wynton Bernard, 29, outfield; Javier Betancourt, 24, infield; Albert Cordero, 30, catcher; Daniel Gibson, 28, pitcher; Felipe Paulino, 36, pitcher; Denis Phipps, 34, outfield; Jose Ramirez, 30, pitcher; Jake Romanski, 29, catcher; Juan Silverio, 28, infield; and Chuck Taylor, 26, outfield.