Bakosphere Blog

Sunday, May 26 2013 09:57 PM

Good news, you're going to Bakersfield! Bad news, you're going to Bakersfield!

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    By modbee.com

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By BAKOSPHERE

If you're a baseball player in the Cincinnati Reds minor-league system, you may find yourself starting out playing for the Single-A Dragons in Dayton, Ohio, where the last 925-plus games have seen the stadium fill its capacity of 7,230.

The good players are promoted to the Bakersfield Blaze, which plays in a so-called "fast" Class-A league. But the Blaze also plays in dated, oft-criticized and lightly attended Sam Lynn Ball Park, a far cry from the sellouts in Dayton.

That irony wasn't lost on Brian VanderBeek of The Modesto Bee, who wrote that at Blaze games "the moths generally outnumber the fans" in Bakersfield.

"Yes, Sam Lynn Park - one of the worst minor league parks in the county, one that draws the smallest attendance in the league and hasn't averaged 1,000 fans per game for a season since 2007," VanderBeek wrote.

VanderBeek does explicitly say, "The intent here is not to kick Bakersfield," noting that Blaze ownership has pledged to build a privately funded stadium in northwest Bakersfield.

So what's a player to do?

"I don't know how to explain it," Blaze outfielder Kyle Waldrop told The Bee. "Dayton is such an amazing place, and we don't get a lot of fans in Bakersfield.

"I guess it humbles you and makes you respect the game a little more. It gives you motivation to do better and move up because Pensacola and Louisville also are unbelievable places to play. Fans or no fans, you're still playing baseball."

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