Major League Baseball (MLB) announced this week a new program called “postseason ticket reservations” in which a fan can place a deposit on a seat to a potential playoff game and assure himself a seat should that game be played.
This might seem like a good idea for fans of teams such as the first-place Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres—but a particularly cruel joke for those who are doomed to follow perennial also-rans such as the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Ticket reservations, which are available on the MLB Web site, start at $10, and the system is run on the DIBZ Platform, operated by the former, once-troubled FirstDIBZ, which has rebranded itself as TTR, Inc.
The Orioles, who are in the midst of their 13th consecutive losing season, ended play Thursday, July 1 with a record of 24-54, which left them 24 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East race but “just” 22 ½ games behind the Boston Red Sox in the wild card derby. On the bright side, the Orioles get a chance to gain on the Red Sox in a three-game series this weekend.
As bad as the Orioles have been in recent years, at least they have reached the playoffs since the first Bush administration. The Pirates, who finished play July 1 with a 28-51 record that had them a mere 16 ½ games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central, are well on their way to a 17th straight losing season, the longest such streak in the history of the four major American sports.
The Pirates haven’t had a winning season since 1992, when they won the last of their three straight NL East titles, and have finished within 10 games of a playoff spot just once in the previous 16 seasons.
But if you are an eternal optimist and harbor hopes of another Orioles-Pirates World Series 31 years after the Pirates won a classic seven-game tilt, well, you can go ahead and place that deposit. Bad news though: It’s non-refundable. So there are probably better places to spend that money if you expect to see a return on your investment. Like, say, in bank stocks.