Petco: a commitment to quality
"It's often been said that the hometown crowd is a kind of tenth man," says Petco-Padres liason Des Perate. "As the San Diego Padres continue to struggle this season, we here at Petco have been considering ways that we can make Petco Park itself not just a beautiful place to play baseball, but a genuine advantage for our guys on the field."
The Bleacher Creature - top of the inning and bottom
"Our first suggestion is simplicity itself. You've heard of the Green Monster, the high left-field wall in Boston's Fenway Park that has turned so many line drives from homers into doubles? Well, this is our version: the Bleacher Creature. Only instead of making it harder to knock one out, it makes it considerably easier! The Creature is a series of extendable-retractable bleachers, like you might see in a high-school gymnasium. The genius of it is, we retract the bleachers at the top of the inning, and extend them when it's our turn to bat. There's nothing in the rule book against it, and it makes things a whole lot easier for [right-handed slugger Carlos] Quentin. Plus, we think the kids will enjoy it — it's like the stadium is one of those Transformer things."
"Next, we thought of a way to more fully integrate Petco's famous and extremely popular fireworks feature. Up 'til now, we've been treating the fans to our explosive displays only when a Padre hits a homerun, or at the end of a game. It's a waste, really. Our new plan is to deploy them anytime a Padre hits a fly ball out of the infield. Think of it as a way to encourage a struggling batter. It might be a home run, it might not. Or it might just be a bloop base hit that somehow eludes the outfielders' keen eyes. We call it the Fly Ball Sky Fall. You know, because it looks like shooting stars up there."
Putting the "pop" in "pop fly"
"It's our hope," concludes Perate, "that Petco's commitment to excellence can be reflected in the athletic stadium that bears our name the same way it is reflected in our top-quality pet products. We're always striving to improve; just look at our recent decision to remove potentially problematic Chinese-made dog and cat treats from our stores. If something doesn't meet our standards, we get rid of it, and that's that. Hopefully, the Padres management feels the same way."