First it was “fake news,” which has now become an offensive term for those who seek the truth.
Now several Major League Baseball teams have doubled, tripled and even quadrupled-down on “fake.”
With no fans allowed in the ballparks for games, a number of teams are using cardboard cut-outs of fans and putting them in the first few rows of their stadiums. They are using it as a way to stay connected to their fans and raise money for charity. It’s a novelty that non-baseball purists might find fun, interesting and resourceful.
But, to top that, teams are piping in fake crowd noise to simulate the ambiance of having a full stadium. Even more ridiculous, they are playing organ music and utilizing their Jumbotrons to pump up their non-existent stadium crowd. At the Oakland Coliseum for A’s home games, you can hear a recording of Tom Hanks hawking hot dogs! Other than the actual games, it’s all so fake.
There is, however, some cleverness, or brilliance in subtly calling attention to a major sponsor. The San Diego Padres, who play in Petco Park, have a couple of dog-cut-outs sitting in the front row. To be fair, in the past, some teams have held “Bark in the Park” events in which fans have been allowed to take their dog to the baseball game. In this case, I chalk it up to being a clever tie-in to their stadium sponsor – and it’s a home run.