As reported by ESPN, the St. Louis Cardinals have changed their ticket policy for family members and friends of their NLCS opponent, the Milwaukee Brewers, upsetting the visitors in the process.
In the first round, the Philadelphia Phillies contingent received seats in a designated area behind home plate. The Cardinals were afforded the same courtesy in Milwaukee in Games 1 and 2. This appears to be the standard around baseball.
Instead, the Cardinals have moved the Brewers gang to a mix of party suites down the right field line and other seats sprinkled among the regular game attendees.
Some, including Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan, are angry, calling the move “bush” and accusing the Cardinals of gamesmanship.
Let’s consider this.
First, do the math. The first 130-150 tickets are in party suites, a secure area. If you assume as many as 35 players, coaches and the like, that is roughly four family members each. While secure, they are clearly further from the action.
The other 200 freebies may not be immediate family members, anyway. Whoever they are, are they wearing big tags with their names on them or carrying identifying signs saying “I am a friend of Nyjer Morgan”? Of course, they are not.
There will be plenty of Milwaukee supporters in Busch Stadium, whether in team colors or undercover. This isn’t exactly New York we are talking about here.
I suspect this issue is rooted in the Cardinals maximizing revenue generating areas of the park. It wouldn’t be the first time that has driven one of their decisions, though this may be the first time it closely affects players.
However, making this change between rounds makes the Cardinals appear to be acting in a punitive manner. Despite the Cards saying there has been no change in their policy in recent years, why did the Brewers this week not receive the same courtesy as the Phillies last week?
When in Milwaukee, did something else happen to irritate the Cardinals? For example, earlier this season, there were accusations that the banner lighting in Miller Park was being used to disrupt the concentration of St. Louis hitters.
Though not related, I recall a flap during the 2004 World Series after the Red Sox assigned the Cardinals an out-of-way hotel. Lack of adequate food facilities upon a late night arrival and transportation snags angered some in the St. Louis contingent.
Whatever is behind the ticket change, based on the initial information available, the Cardinals don’t come out of this looking particularly hospitable.