Minor League Announcer bashes Rays attendance

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We all know Rays attendance is an easy target. Being consistently last in the league in anything brings criticism, whether it is last in home runs, last in stolen bases, last in ERA, or whatever the stat. For the last few years, the Rays fanbase has come to expect a certain level of attendance bashing from opposing fans and many members of the media.

But the fanbase usually does not hear attendance bashing from people working within the ranks of professional baseball, unless of course it is from the typical “unnamed source”. There is a good reason for that. The Rays problems – if we can call them that – are business problems, and it is unprofessional for people working for MLB or for one franchise to comment on the business of another franchise. If anything, they should be building each other up, not tearing each other down.

Unfortunately, some younger workers of Minor League Baseball haven’t yet grasped this concept. Chalk it up to immaturity or lack of professional common sense, but there have been a few Minor League Baseball employees who have made derogatory comments about the Rays business on social media.

Last year, I wrote about former Daytona Cubs employee Robbie Aaron and his comments.

This year, Michael Broskowski, Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Burlington Bees decided he would take to social media and comment on the attendance of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Burlington Bees announcer comment

Of what business is attendance at Tropicana Field to an announcer of a team in Burlington, Iowa?

None. Zero. Zilch.

Unless there has been a business-wide call from the Rays for comments on how they can get more people to the park, Broskowski has no need to mention the Rays’ business affairs.

Especially considering his own team, the Bees, are a small market team that finished second to last in attendance last year in the Midwest League.

Working in the Minor Leagues should a stepping stone for young professionals like Broskowski. Working at a small team should give him the chance to think creatively, come up with out-of-the-box ideas, and work his tail off in the hopes of climbing the corporate ladder to a position with a Major League club.

But sometimes people get caught up in “what’s funny” on social media, even if it is highly unprofessional.

The shame of the situation is that Broskowski does seem like a driven young announcer. A recent college graduate, his resume is full of entry-level announcing gigs. He probably has dreams of moving up in the profession and doing big things. But commenting negatively about teams and fanbases on social media isn’t the way to go about that. That is the stuff of ignorant fans and bad sports radio.

Here’s hoping Broskowski does the right thing and deletes his tweets on Rays attendance. As an employee in professional baseball, his career might depend on it.

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5 comments for “Minor League Announcer bashes Rays attendance

  1. Muko
    April 29, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    You really wrote a drawn out column about a twitter joke. Wow.

    This is much ado about nothing. It’s only twitter. It’s only banter on an internet platform. The idea that this one seemingly innocuous joke could (or even should) derail the guy’s career is absurd in its face. We’re even seeing big-league teams trend toward making edgy, borderline trollish tweets at opposing teams and fans these days, to the glee and amusement of many (including fans of rival teams).

    Really, you come off like a stereotypical angry and easily-offended sports fan when you come out with stuff like this. Which in itself is a shame, because otherwise you come off as a bright and passionate writer and statistician with a way for analysis and persuasion. Hot takes like these are way beneath you.

    • Michael Lortz
      April 30, 2015 at 3:32 am

      Thanks. I appreciate the compliments and the critique.

  2. Taylor W.
    October 27, 2015 at 3:45 am

    I’ve worked with Michael on many accounts. He’s a professional, and made a quick joke. It was not aimed to the fan base or organization. Also, he’s hired independently, not by the Angels organization. 90% of minor league broadcasters are independent hires from the minor league team as opposed to the MLB affiliate. Michael is a good guy and would never directly take aim at fans.

  3. Taylor W.
    October 27, 2015 at 3:47 am

    I’m sure if you asked Michael to apologize, or for his comment on the manner, he’d be fine with either apologizing or making a comment to show he meant no harm.

    • Michael Lortz
      October 27, 2015 at 9:10 am

      I appreciate the comment. If I remember this correctly – it happened in April – he was very confrontational on twitter when I reached out.

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