Sunday, December 26, 2010

White the DBAP

I'm holed up at home, but our web cam has a bead on the snow covered ballpark...

Is this a greeting to our Head Groundskeeper Scott Strickland? (Appropriately, it's in left field.) Call security!

Click here for a live view from the Bulls' web cam. Enjoy the Holidays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Opposing Views

People assume I have a great view of the field from my office in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Not!

Our offices are on Blackwell St. alongside the box office. I'm the only staff member with a window, so I can't complain. This is my view...of the sidewalk...and American Tobacco's Fowler Building:

I stumbled across this video from Duke University on YouTube. The development staff for Duke's medical center has offices atop the Diamond View I office building. They have an impressive view of the ballpark. I'm the w/envy!

For more Duke perspectives on Durham, search for Views at Duke on YouTube.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities - Brainpower & Illiteracy

A recent study rated Durham as the fourth "brainiest" metro in America! and the Business Journal publications ranked brainpower by MSA. Our metro includes Chapel Hill so we get credit for all the advanced degrees at UNC, Duke, NCCU and the local high techies. Here's the Top Ten:

Boulder, Colo; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Washington, D.C.; Durham, N.C.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Bridgeport-Stamford, Conn.; San Jose, Calif.; Boston; Madison, Wis.; and San Francisco-Oakland.

On the other hand, illiteracy in Durham has been pegged as high as 27%. Those are folks who have difficulty with reading, writing and basic math.

My personal contributions to local brainpower are severely limited, but I have persuaded the Durham Bulls and our beloved mascot to promote literacy, and in particular, the Durham Literacy Center.

The DLC turned 25 this year and is launching a $2.5 million capital campaign to improve/expand its services. The DLC is a United Way Agency of Excellence...well run Executive Director Reggie Hodges with a deeply committed cadre of volunteers. ( Durhamite and Bull Durham producer Thom Mount is a DLC Hollywood. His late Mother was a long-time volunteer.

Confession: Our READ poster is a knock-off, albiet a clever one. (After all, the E in Wool E. Bull stands for education.) President Obama was ahead of us. He posed for this one as a US Senator for the Skokie IL public library.

You can jump on the bandwagon by jumping on our Facebook page. The Bulls will donate a buck to the Durham Literacy Center for every new Facebook fan that we nab during December.

Yes, we're buying our friends...but its for a very good cause.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Meetings...brrrr!

We're at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando. At Disney's Swan and Dolphin. Sunny Florida...except it was a record breaking 31 degrees overnight. Disney had to cover the tender tropical plants yesterday. Here's a shot of the beach. Empty!

Enough whining about the weather. We are all about business (when we're not in someone's hospitality suite.)

The Major League clubs make player trades at the Winter Meetings that generate headlines. We are here for league meetings and a gigantic trade show. Our drama revolves around the cost of cotton - a global supply crisis is brewing. T-shirts are a major retail item for us, and a big promotional give-away. The cost is expected to rise 30% or more early next year. Ouch!

The highlight of this convention was the Monday awards luncheon. Bulls' Head Groundskeeper Scott Strickland was recognized as Turf Manager of the Year in the Triple A classification. That means we had the best field among the 30 International League and Pacific Coast League teams in 2010!

There's a point I want to make about Scott's work that has nothing to do with growing grass. This is about more than turf. And it has a lot to do with meteorology and hydraulics.

Until a torrential rain this summer, the Bulls had not lost a game to inclement weather in almost four seasons. Scott's streak was 271 games. That doesn't mean we had ideal weather. It means we got a lot of games in during bad weather. Watching the radar, Scott knows when to put the tarp down as a storm approaches, and his crew knows how to efficiently get water off the field and track. That's what makes a World Class groundskeeper. Congratulations, Scott!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Deck the Halls...with LED lights!

Jingle Bull Bash
Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge

Most companies would be content to erect a Christmas tree in their lobby for the holidays, but not Capitol Broadcasting. Befitting out business, we’re partial to towers.

We decorate and light the communications tower at our Raleigh HQ on Western Blvd, and we’ve continued that tradition with the iconic Lucky Strike water tower on Durham’s American Tobacco campus.

We flipped the switch Friday evening (Dec. 3rd) amid caroling and a community celebration of the holiday season.

If you zip by American Tobacco on the freeway or Blackwell Street, you don’t realize that the complex has an expansive interior courtyard. Come for a visit. Photos don’t do the lighting display justice. It’s worthy of Disney, maybe better!

And there’s an added attraction this season: on Blackwell, next to the Durham Performing Arts Center, fifty Christmas trees line the walkway. Each tree has been cleverly decorated by a local non-profit, and there’s a contest underway that will put some cash in a charity’s treasury, the Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge.

The Bulls are sponsoring Habitat for Humanity’s Youth United tree. It’s decorated with yellow hard hats. We would appreciate your vote in support of Durham Habitat!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A call-up at The Fan

Godspeed to our Capitol Broadcasting comrade Dave Shore, the Operations Manager of 99.9 The Fan and 620 The Buzz.

Dave joined us three years ago from ESPN radio in Dallas when Capitol introduced sports talk radio to the FM dial at 99.9.

We’ve had our share of heartburn in the local radio wars, but overall, it has been BIG FUN…as we increased the station’s power, acquired 620 The Buzz and 1550 ESPN Deportes, added an HD radio channel and premiered and

ESPN has "recalled" Dave, not to Dallas, but to their sports station in Los Angeles. He’ll join the Lakers’ broadcast crew, and Dave gets to work with USC and the Ops Manager at
710 AM ESPN Radio.

Best wishes to Dave and his wife Reenie on the Left Coast. It’s a great gig - sounds pretty glamorous - but you're gonna miss ACC hoops! The Zen Master and Kobe can't fill that void.

Dave's last free lunch on my expense account. From the left:
Sports Radio GM Brian Maloney, Dave, Capitol CEO Jim Goodmon, your blogger