By: Terry Foster

When I was a child batting practice was part of the experience when you went to Tiger Stadium. You got there early with a glove holding your dad’s hands. You got the pregame hot dog and pop and tried to catch home runs from Al Kaline, Willie Horton and Norm Cash.

At some point Major League Baseball took that away. BP was no longer a part of the fan experience. Now the Tigers have gone a step further in the wrong direction. They are now charging fans $5 to watch batting practice during spring training at Joker Marchant Stadium. That is not right and fans should not take the bait. If you go for the fake and purchase BP tickets you can believe they will try to do the same at Comerica Park when the regular season begins.

One of the reasons they got rid of BP is teams did not want to pay for the extra security. If they charge at Comerica they will simply say we are trying to recoup our losses by extending security’s hours. I don’t buy that.

They will more than make up for paying some security guard near minimum wage.
“The saddest thing is I could give a care about batting practice,” said Ralph from Harrison Township who called into the Valenti and Foster Show. “It is the kids that want to see batting practice. People with a tighter budget are the ones that want to see it.”
Mark from Detroit who is a local businessman had a different view.

“I don’t have a problem with what the Tigers are doing,” he said. “You take a risk in business. If it doesn’t work they won’t do it.”

But Mike brought up a good point. This does more public relations damage than the benefits from the money brought in. This will tick people off. The Tigers would have been better off charging an extra $1.50 for tickets and keeping BP open. No one would say boo.

What I don’t like is it reduces autograph opportunities for kids to chase fly balls and get close to Miguel Cabrera.

This is a bad idea. The Tigers need to change their minds.


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