Pre-season Saints opener, 2003

Dave, Pete, and the Big Pink Thing
Dave, Pete, and the Big Pink Thing

Last night was the pre-season saints opener for 2003. It was an interesting time to be at the ballpark, as it was the unveiling of Eric’s new concept for in-park-entertainment. We got our first indication that things might be a bit different when the Big Pink Thing (aka Mud-Donna) was walking through the parking lot pre-game, and stopped by to squeeze Pete’s butt. I’m not sure who’s inside the suit, but they seem to have found a gal who’s outgoing enough to make it work. [follow-up: Bill from confirms: Mud-Donna is a she who has ten years experience as a mascot, and used to be the Detroit Tigers’ mascot.]

A small turnout
A small turnout

Inside the park, the turnout wasn’t great, but it also wasn’t horrible. About what I expected for a pre-season game, especially since the Wild were playing the same night (but not starting until 9:30). I think it was probably for the best, since Eric and the Saints were trying out a brand-new schtick, and I expected there to be plenty of problems that would need working out.

The Ringmaster
The Ringmaster

Eric Webster served as the ringmaster, directing various performers (no pictures of them that turned out), in the between-inning entertainment. Each section (except for ours) had an “usher-tainer” to stir up the fans. There was a live organist playing various bits of music throughout the game. And since Eric wasn’t in the booth to announce players, they had a collection of kids announcing the batters.

Among the entertainment was the gal who sung the national anthem (and another song that I’m not remembering at the moment), the patron saint of baseball history, a new St. Paul Sieve, Seigo as the patron saint of a whole bunch of goofy things, and others. Overall, they seemed okay, although there were a few annoying things. The “future breeders” skit, where a guy and a gal from the crowd are picked (seemingly at random) and get to go on a date has potential, but still needs some work. There was the nurse character, who needs to find a word other than awesome! And a lot of the scripts just need more rehearsal so everyone hits their marks. I was disappointed there weren’t live kittens in the box that Seigo jumped on the snowmobile (not that I expected it, but it would have been funnier that way).

One other disappointment: for the first time since the Saints started in 1993, there was no Pig’s Eye Beer for sale in the stadium. I’m contacting the proper authorities, for something must be done.

As for the actual baseball, the Saints look promising, but we’ll see what happens come the regular season. We’ve got Eddie Pearson, who can crush the ball when he makes contact, but who was also only one for four last night. The defense fell apart a bit in the fourth when the Saints let in five runs, but the offense was strong enough to keep the Saints ahead.

Overall, I think the new entertainment has potential. As I said to Eric after the game It wasn’t an unmitigated disaster. There was plenty of mitigation, and some of the new bits show a lot of promise if they can continue to come up with new material. And that was really the most promising thing. After ten seasons, some of the old bits were showing their age, and even if the rough edges haven’t been polished off the new material, it’s new, and that’s a welcome change.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:55:43.