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Civics day at the K

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Vote with your wallets

MLB: New York Mets at Kansas City Royals
Can baseball wisdom be crowd-sourced?
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Inspired by current events, the Royals are planning to host “Civics Day at the K” on June 31st. Throughout the day, aspects of the ballpark experience will be altered to help fans engage in, understand, and appreciate the current state of American political culture. While not all details are finalized, some early plans are available.

Crowd-sourcing managerial decisions via Twitter

In a nod both to the rapidly-developing science of crowd wisdom and the communications prowess of the current administration, the team will give manager Ned Yost a well-earned day off and allow fans to make the decisions. A special update to the Royals Twitter app will allow instant voting on choices such as lineup construction, calls to the bullpen, and bunts. It is not yet clear whether that power will be vested in all fans, or only those fortunate enough to be in attendance. It was also unclear whether sufficient precautions have been taken to prevent Cardinal agents from hacking the system to influence the outcome.

Weighting fan votes

As part of the crowd-sourcing initiative, the Royals are reportedly considering two approaches to weighting fan votes. In the first, votes from higher-priced seats will count more than votes from the cheap seats (reflecting campaign finance). Alternatively, votes will be aggregated and weighted equally by section regardless of seat count, such that smaller seating areas will collectively vote with the same influence as larger ones (reflecting the Senate and Electoral College). Should you even bother to vote if you’re in the upper deck?

Changes in media coverage

Traditional “fake media” outlets like newspapers will be banned from covering the game, with preference given to websites and other fringe bloggers. Royals Review editor Max Rieper may be invited to join the front office for the day, while Jason Kendall will act as press secretary. It’s not clear how the Royals will handle any critical stories, comments, or tweets, but the team may respond with alternative stats.

Fan safety & health

Stadium security will be altered for the game, with existing personnel redeployed to the gates and the highest-priced seating areas. Fans in other areas will be encouraged to provide for their own protection in accordance with state law: a new Stand Your Seat rule will allow personal retaliation for any provocations, as long as the fan’s enjoyment of the game is being threatened. Possibly unrelated, the first 10,000 fans through the gate will receive a Royals beer holster. In addition, the main First Aid office provided by the University of Kansas Health System will be replaced by competitive vendor booths staffed by health insurance companies, from which fans can purchase private in-game coverage if they choose. The upper deck First Aid station will be moved from section 420 to a “more responsible, less high” location.

New outfield wall

As the Royals have been suffering from uneven offensive competition, a new wall will be constructed in the outfield to prevent home runs from reaching the parking lots. One team executive noted the success of the iconic Green Monster in Boston, saying that “ours will be a tremendous wall, much bigger”, but would not confirm whether the team expected MLB to pay for it. Asked whether the wall would hurt the Royals’ own offense as well, a team spokesman responded that the team intended to focus on manufacturing runs within the stadium, adding “Trying to hit home runs is bad. Don’t you read Lee Judge? He’s tremendously smart.”

Get your tickets today

Tickets went on sale April 1st. The team expects strong fan interest, announcing that “many, many tickets have been sold” and that attendance on June 31st will be “the largest crowd ever to witness a baseball game, period”. Will you take part? Or will you choose to watch the Cardinals instead, or some obscure minor-league team with no chance?