The confused state of major league baseball came to Cashman Field in the form of the Big League Challenge Crown this past Saturday.
Troy Glaus, All-Star third baseman for the Anaheim Angels won the Challenge, an annual home run hitting shootout pairing eight of the top sluggers from National and American Leagues in a three-round competition.
GamingToday, for reasons best known to the Major League Baseball Players Association, Major League Baseball and the Las Vegas 51s organization, was denied entrance.
What makes this more appalling and embarrassing is that this event could be held anywhere in the country. Major League baseball chose Las Vegas, a gambling mecca, as the site and still denied press credentials for GT, America’s Most Comprehensive Gaming Newspaper.
Freelance photographer Dan Bucher, working on behalf of GT was able to acquire a handwritten field pass and provided the adjacent photo of the competitors. However, the staff reporter was unable to secure a pass from Greg Bouris, director of communications for Major League Players Choice, a division of the MLBPA.
The reporter went through all channels, such as visits to the Media Tent and Cashman Field administration office. Neither avenue proved successful. Word came over walkie-talkie that GT was denied media credentials Friday after the communications director had received a written request from the gaming publication.
“They had nothing ready,” said Bucher. “It was very disorganized, just a lack of communication. I got lucky. They didn’t know who I was. They just worked up a handwritten pass and let me in.”
The on-field security guard, who intercepted the reporter at the third base dugout, would not recognize the firm’s business card or media badge from a previous event.
No explanation was given for the credential refusal and calls to Bouris prior to the start of the competition were not returned.
Perhaps the botched operation shouldn’t be a surprise considering the problems major league baseball is experiencing regarding contraction, the league’s ownership of the Montreal Expos and the increasingly possibility of a players strike.
Also, the media credentials request was faxed to GT last Friday. The application stated that RSVPs had to been sent Wednesday, two days before the fax was sent.
That should have been a tipoff for what was to come.