Monday, July 6, 2009

Scranton Wilkes-Nightmare: Don't Ever Go There

So we just got back from our Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees trip, and have quite a few updates. Namely, don't ever go there. As some may know, the outing was planned as part of a larger group outing by fans over at Pete Abraham's blog. First and foremost, I have to give a lot of credit to Ron, who was the person who organized the whole outing, and who has had to deal with the logistical nightmare of the Scranton Yankees incompetence.

Allow me to elaborate. We traveled down to Scranton on a beautiful bright sunny day as we had on Sunday, and got there around 2pm for a 5pm game. When we checked into our hotel, I checked my email and saw that the game had been postponed due to unplayable field conditions. Yes, unplayable field conditions on a bright beautiful sunny day. Unsure of what was going to happen to the larger group outing, we basically killed time, which in Scranton is very hard to do. Ron sent several emails updating everyone, and it was decided that a new date would be set for the group outing. It was a good idea since a lot of people were just coming up for the day, and not everyone with tickets would be able to stay until Monday. However, we already had a hotel room that we had checked into and we already had Monday taken off of work so we were committed to staying there. We decided at the time that we would stay until Monday and exchange our tickets for that game. As we're killing time in Scranton we ran into another Yankee fan who had come up for the weekend to watch some games. He told us that it was bright beautiful and sunny on Saturday as well, but that the field has a terrible drainage problem and that's why both Saturday and Sunday's games were postponed. Apparently when they converted the field from turf to natural grass they never changed the drainage system. It also apparently alluded them for an entire year as they used the same park all last season.

So we go to PNC Park around 11am this morning, and they have one guy working the ticket office, who has no idea what's going on and basically tells us to come back at 4pm. We hung around a little while discussing options, and finally went back to the guy and told him to get us his manager. The manager came, and we had it out with him. Basically we were arguing that we came for a larger group outing and paid $32 per ticket to be apart of that, so we needed something of equal value for that nights game. The manager of ticket operations, Jeff, basically said that we could exchange the tickets, but that the food was organized through a different entity and therefore we needed to get the group coordinator to speak with them directly. We asked to speak to someone higher up, and Jeff says they're all in a meeting discussing how to drain the field. It was a fantastic lie. And of course, they won't refund our tickets. Nevermind that we drove 4 hours to see a game and that it was cancelled due to the idiotic drainage system used in the field. If it had been cancelled due to rain it would have been one thing, but it was a bright beautiful sunny day. At that point we left. So basically, we're out for the tickets though Ron said he could get us a refund for the food, and suggested we could sell the tickets. We're not going to bother reselling since instead we're suggesting to everyone not to visit Scranton. Ever. When you can have your game cancelled because it rained two days before, its really not worth the risk, and Scranton is really not a top tourist attraction. You will get bored there. The best thing we experienced was the Marvelous Muggs restaurant. We drove a total of 8 hours to basically pay for a hotel room, visit a strip mall, eat out and play cards until 2 am, all things I could have done at home. So if you're considering a trip to Scranton, don't bother. If something goes wrong you won't find any help at the stadium, and they will pocket your ticket money. Worst part of it all, this trip was a birthday gift.

So between poor customer service, no customer recovery, and being located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, that's three strikes the Scranton Yankees can never come back from. Rebecca over at the Purist Bleeds Pinstripes blog mentioned that the team is looking for other fields to play these games at. I'm hoping this leads to a permanent relocation. All they would have needed to do in our case was refund our tickets, and apologize, and we would have been happy. At this point, I will never visit this team as long as it plays games in Scranton. The Trenton Thunder would probably have been a better idea.

What are we at the RJG going to do about it? Well, we have thousands of people who visit our blog every week, and we're going to make sure each of them hear about our adventure. For this week, and this week alone, we are going to give full coverage to the Scranton Wilkes-Nightmare sponsored by PNC Financial Services. When you lend a stadium your name, you should make sure they don't piss off the people that visit. Further more, you can expect some finely written RJG style letters to show up within the week, and probably a phone call to our favorite GM, Bronny Cash. Lets get it on Scranton.

32 comments:

Joanna said...

I hope you write a nice long post about how much the umpires sucked today.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

we heard the game on the radio, and the umps even sucked without video.

Ruthie said...

Awww!!!! RJG guys, we missed you!!! Sorry about your game...we learned bout this situation in business marketing class..you organize something called a consumer boycott. Contact the head of marketing or consumer affairs at PNC.write about your disgust with their service..the yanks would hate to be in deep poo poo with their treasured sponsers...they will prolly offer you guys free tickets to any game of your choessing with all the hot dogs you can eat..then all order will be restored to yank-blog proceedings! =)..(mikey kay refrence..he really liked the phrase 4 some reason)

anonymous number two said...

Sounds like a hellacious time was had by all. Did I miss the coverage at the Lohud Blog? BTW, Ruthie, great idea to contact PNC directly.

Jon Roberts said...

On the way home from a Myrtle Beach road trip my friend and I broke down in Wilkes-Barre. It sucked so much that we left the car.

Fred Trigger said...

you guys could always plan an outing up here and partake in a Newport Gulls game for $4. I think its free game jersey night in a couple of weeks.

pipin3d said...

You understand that PNC Field, Marvelous Muggs restaurant, and the Stip mall you are referring to are all actually in Mossic PA and not Scranton. Dowtown Scranton Is about a 15 minute highyway drive north on 81 from this area. Scranton has a pretty bussling downtown for a a city of only 75,000. It's a shame about your game however.

TribeGirl said...

That's interesting about PNC minor league park...because PNC major league park - Pittsburgh Pirates - is BEAUTIFUL!!!! Also, I've been to Yankees minor league games in Tampa and Trenton and both parks are nice. Of course no minor league park tops Legends Fields in Tampa...oops, I mean Steinbrenner Field, but you get my drift. Also, I think had a team that used to play at the stadium the Cleveland AAA (Columbus Clippers) team plays at now in Columbus, and that is a nice ballpark too. I guess my whole point is that it really surprises me the Yankees play at a such a crappy field, especially at the AAA level. That sucks about your trip - I was looking forward to hearing about the good times!!!

Fernando Alejandro said...

Pipin3D, for the sake of the rant we went with Scranton. People have heard of Scranton, where no ones heard of Moosic. At least not up here. Sounds like your from that area, if we ever go there again you'll have to show us a good spot to get a beer and chill.

Jon Roberts, haha, that made my day.

Ruthie, PNC has already heard from me, and believe me I won't be the only person they hear from. The Scranton Yankees want war, we'll give them war!

Tribegirl, I want to visit Trenton. I've talked to some people there and it sounds like it would be a good time. I think maybe in the near future, I want to try and do a minor league road trip (barring Scranton) and go from Staten Island, to Trenton, to Charleston, to Tampa. I think it would be a sick trip albeit long and probably costly.

cr1 said...

Make your next minor-league field trip to the beautiful little gem the Staten Island Yankees play in. Just pleasant 20-minute ferry ride from Manhattan (it's a short walk from the ferry terminal on the Staten Island side), lovely views from the stands over the bay, breezes from off the water, built to Yankee standards so drainage is never an issue, friendly crowds, low-key atmosphere, team usually wins in its division, and the whole family can have a great time for the cost of one YS ticket. You'll see the latest crop of Yankee young'ns before anybody else has even heard of them.

Jackson Thriller said...

Thanks for the donation. Send more of your friends.

This is why I love Scranton. People come in all the time and just leave their money on the table, and we don't give them anything in return. I think we have the best business model in the country.

All together now: 'S_U_C_K_E_R_S!'

Please come back again soon.

'S_U_C_K_E_R_S!'

The Count said...

Jackson Thriller,

You should be more empathetic and compassionate for these unfortunate souls. They are obviously mentally challenged, if you know what I mean.

Jackson Thriller said...

Count,

You are probably right. The only point I was trying to make was that if they send more of their mentally challenged friends we will have tons of money to fix lake in right field. It costs alot to have a helicopter hover over the field for two hours to dry it out.

We also need to get our $600,000 back from Paul Savino. The movie will never be made and Savino is doing some major bar hopping in New York with our tax dollars.

So I want these poor unfortunate folks to keep coming and shed their greenbacks. I promise I will be nice to them. Here's lower case: 's-u-c-k-e-r-s!'

Agent J said...

I can only guess that PNC decided having their name associated with the Yankees was a big enough deal to put their name on a nearly twenty year old stadium that never had a corporate named sponsor before. The latest reports is that the stadium needs $13 million in work to remain usable for the next two years.

I was living in the region at the time the Yankees deal happened; it was politicking beyond belief. After the sole negotiator lost his reelection bid for county commissioner (this was after their first season in SWB) he announced that he had promised them a new stadium. It doesn't seem a reach to me that decisions were made on the work at the current stadium with the belief that it only had to be a short-term fix.

Sarah Palin said...

Hey, did anybody get a look at what the girls looked like?

Fernando Alejandro said...

Agent J, $13 million is insane. You're probably right in that it seems it was a rush job. It sounds like the fans aren't the only ones getting upset about it. Its been quite a nuisance for the Yankees as they can't send their rehab players there. Its a shame because it looked like a nice park otherwise.

Jackson Thriller said...

Palin Babe,

No boobs. That's the first thing you notice. They have no boobs; and butts as big as a boxcar. The third eye was actually an attractive feature for them. But compared to the guys they could be models.

So let's say again in case they missed it. They were in Moosic (the armpit of the Northeast) not Scranton. Scranton is a beautiful city full of fun and excitement. Even 'The Office' cast comes in every year. They like Scranton better than L.A. You may even see Paul Sorvino walking in and out bars. It is also home to Jason Miller, the young priest who thought he could actually beat the devil in the original 'Exorcist'.

Fernando Alejandro said...

It sounds like you're issue is with what we've said about Scranton not what we've said about the park. I don't doubt there's things to do in Scranton. As I mentioned in a previous comment, I used Scranton in the post since no one would know where Moosic is. Either way, its a secondary point. My problem is with the Scranton Yankees and how they handled this whole situation.

Jackson Thriller said...

Fernando (isn't that an Abba song?),

First it was the Red Barrons - AAA for the Phillies. The exec clowns come in rude with very, very bad attitude from the big city. They spit in our coffee and sleep with our wives. Now we Scrantonians really like our coffee and get pissed off. Run Philly execs outta town but thank them for taking our wives. Poor bastards. Red Barons demoted to AA and banished to Allentown.

Then Steinbrenner, after studying Sorvino tactics, sends henchman to promise everything, but give nothing, in exchange for a secret deal with former County Commissioner to do taxpayer rip off and build new ball stadium for very rich Yankee owner who has more money than all the taxpayers in Notheastern Pennsylvania. He doesn't want our coffee or our wives - just our balls. So we have Susquehanna River flowing thru right field. So what? Since when are baseball players afraid of a little wet field?

Thanks for the donation.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Haha, fair enough. So do you not want a team there?

Jackson Thriller said...

Fernando, Absolutely! We love having the Yankees here. They have even converted many Philly and Pirate fans in the area. But let Steinbrenner pay for his own damn stadium. This is no time for the poor and struggling middle class to be giving any more money to the rich.

Steinbrenner's retirement is set. For most people in our area that is not the case; and too many do not have health care either. But we'll worry about those things right after we find jobs and put food on the table.

Fernando Alejandro said...

There's no way Steinbrenner's going to pay for that field. They barely paid for the new Yankee stadium! It is a shame that it works out that way. Tax money has already bailed out the financial and automotive industries. Now its being used to build ball parks. Crazy.

PS. You're welcome for my money.

Jackson Thriller said...

Thanks Fernando, you're a great guy. I hope if you do come back you have a better and more enjoyable experience. I hate that crap too.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Well, that great time is going to be largely dependent on the recommendations you give me! What's a good spot to have a beer and chill over there?

Jackson Thriller said...

Well in Scranton here are 3 for starters: Heil's Place, The Bog, and Tink's. But take a short 12 minute ride from the ball stadium down I81 South to the Wilkes Barre exit and go The Woodlands. The Woodlands has two or three exciting nightclubs going on at the same time, and the girls there really like guys named Fernando.

Enjoy!

cr1 said...

Link to news story about efforts to resolve SWB field drainage problems:

http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/pnc_field_drainage_problems_could_force_yankees_to_move_home_games

Fernando Alejandro said...

Haha, I'm sold. Scranton may deserve another visit, but the stadium still does not.

CR1, thanks for the article. Its really a big issue in that the Yankees are considering moving home games, and the league is considering shutting them down for a couple weeks so they can address the drainage system.

Jay Ballz said...

Trenton would certainly be a good trip. Very capable staff there. If you were to be rained out in Trenton, there's plenty going on in the surrounding areas to keep you entertained.

Jackson Thriller said...

Avoid Trenton at all costs. One of three visitors to Trenton are never heard from again. In Scranton we invented 'Transportation Therapy'. That is, when an inmate is released from the Lackawanna County Jail we give him a one way bus ticket to Trenton. The last time Trenton had any stature was when George Washington was there. But even he crossed the Delaware to come to Pennsylvania. The girls here don't like any guy called Jay Ballz. Too ballzy!

cr1 said...

You're welcome, Fernando.

My suggested solution? Move the whole boiling to Staten Island Yankees' beautiful, comfortable, and sturdy little stadium. Much too good a facility to be in use only for the short-season schedule.

Save wear and tear on the guys who go back and forth on the Scranton shuttle, too. Close enough to be considered a bullpen annex.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

Where is PNC in all this? Shouldn't they be putting some money into their field?

Anonymous said...

I used to drive out there to catch Columbus come to town -- saw Jetes, Posada etc. all as Clippers back in the day. The park really is beautiful. I always considered the turf to be its main drawback. Who knew that removing it would be a huge snafu?

Killing time in and around Scranton? There's some kind of coal mine tour I always saw billboards for. And just in case there's another "sunout," bring your sticks: the Scranton Muni golf course, which is actually out of town back in the direction of NY, is beautiful and cheap. Or you could drive about 40 min. west to Rickett's Glen S.P. and hike amid waterfalls.