Dodgers' Efforts To Get WiFi Throughout Ballpark Is Delayed, Hurts ASG Voting
Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten said the WiFi installation throughout Dodger Stadium has been the "thorniest of all our renovations," as a projected June completion has been pushed back into "later in the summer," according to J.P. Hoornstra of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. Kasten said that the process of wiring the 51-year-old ballpark has "been a test of his staff's mechanical and legal know-how." He added, "Drilling, wiring, permits to place towers, but that (getting the permits) hasn't been an issue. We've had outstanding cooperation from the city of Los Angeles." Hoornstra notes the Dodgers were "supposed to be enjoying" strong All-Star Game voting results in part due to the WiFi access. However, in addition to that being delayed, several players "underperformed and got injured, and the all-star voting predictably tanked." Meanwhile, the Giants "had at least one player among the top four at every infield position" in All-Star voting as of Tuesday. That follows three Giants being voted to start the All-Star Game in '12, which "not coincidentally ... was the first year full wi-fi capabilities were unleashed at AT&T Park." Fans were "exhorted to pull out their phones and iPads and vote for the Giants' All-Star candidates at every opportunity." PA announcements "between innings, reminders from ushers, and videos and voting updates on the outfield screen all encourage fans at AT&T Park [to] get out their phones, then get out the vote." The "success of the plan is, in part, a testament to the newfound connectivity of the 13-year-old stadium." Giants Senior VP & CIO Bill Schlough said, "Prior to 2012, honestly, we didn't feel comfortable pointing to fans and saying, `Pull out your devices and vote right now.'" Hoornstra notes eight years of "trial and error were instrumental to the Giants' effort, and Schlough does not envy the Dodgers' position." Schlough: "If out of the chute you had to ramp it up and never had it before? Incredibly challenging. But every stadium has to do it. To us, it's the cost of doing business today" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 7/3).
PUIG'S ALL-STAR GAME PROSPECTS: MLB Network’s Kevin Millar said of Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig’s All-Star Game credentials, "What Puig has done to this club and this city and this team is he’s brought an energy. ... This team, remember, was just spinning in the mud. They were doing nothing but now you're seeing a guy that’s brought a presence a lot like the Mike Trout scene of last year" ("Intentional Talk," MLB Network, 7/1). In L.A., Vincent Bonsignore writes, "Puig is the rarest of sports gifts -- a phenom that seemingly came out of nowhere to capture everyone's attention." When "presented with a gift as rich and remarkable as Puig, you don't hide it," you "show it off" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 7/3). The AP's Tim Dahlberg wrote, "Fans make sure they’re back from the beer lines in time to watch him hit, and even a Puig strikeout has a certain air of excitement to it." For all Puig is "doing on the field for the Dodgers, his impact on the franchise might be greater than his ability to hit or run the bases." Before he was "called up the Dodgers were struggling mightily, and Dodger Stadium was littered with empty seats." Now, fans "notorious for leaving early to beat the traffic are staying to the end of games just to get another chance to see Puig hit" (AP, 7/2).