09/11/12 11:00 AM ET
'Bucks' tests out-of-towners in 12th episode
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
Even if you had beer dumped over your head by accident and even if you got stumped by a "SpongeBob SquarePants" trivia question, hey, it was still a day at the ballpark.
"Oh well," Ryan Fleisher said now.
"Lots of fun," Jay Reid added. "Ryan deserved to have the beer dumped on his head."
Fleisher and Reid are best friends, so they can say stuff like that and hold onto priceless Major League Baseball memories. The former is an antiques dealer in Atlanta, and the latter is a transplanted Chicagoan who works in athletics operations. They met up for a recent "wedding weekend," attending one friend's ceremony in Boston on a Saturday and attending another in New York a day later.
While in Boston, they ventured out to Fenway Park, and that's when the old dump-and-stump got officially under way. A new episode of the hit MLB.com game show "Bucks on the Pond" is premiering each Tuesday and Thursday this season, and episode 12 stars that pair. Fans are randomly selected whenever the "Bucks" crew is at a ballpark, so you can watch the video to see what happens to these two when they are snagged on the Big Concourse and peppered with trivia questions.
"I think 'Bucks on the Pond' is hilarious and a fun thing for MLB to use as promotional tool -- it really captures the overall spirit and fun of going to a ballgame," Fleisher said in an e-mail. "I have to admit we were pretty embarrassed ... as we come from a large group of avid trivia-playing friends. That, and it's on the web for everyone to see and make fun of."
Perish the thought!
"Bucks on the Pond" is hosted by Jeremy Brisiel, and you might be a part of it when you least expect it. Fans at the ballpark interact with MLB.com's studio through the magic of technology in conjunction with game action inside. In creating a new experience for fans, MLB.com is giving people a chance to earn bucks while they spend bucks at the ballpark.
Contestants are asked a trivia question -- general knowledge and baseball -- on each pitch during a half-inning of baseball. Get the question correct and win money. Get the question wrong and it's a strike. Three strikes and you're out.
The questions' difficulty and value increase with the number of outs in the on-field action: $5 easy questions to start, $10 medium-difficulty questions after one out and $20 hard questions after two outs. If the contestant lasts longer than the team's at-bat, he or she wins the bucks in their bank.
"I had a great time at the Red Sox game and being in such a historic stadium was really a great experience -- seeing as it's much smaller than 'The Ted' here in Atlanta," Fleisher said. "I'm not a huge baseball person, so it's safe to say I'm a fair-weather fan. I'll cheer for whoever the home team is. The fans were a great deal of fun, being local Bostonians ... I also had the contents of at least two beers spilled on me."
Reid remembered it this way:
"We had some big fans sitting behind us. The first couple times they got up, they had no issues. But as the game went on and on, their motor skills got worse and worse due to the spirits consumed. The seats are a tad tight and walking a straight line became challenging for them. Ryan caught the brunt of it, and he was a good sport and everyone was cool/apologetic about everything.
"It ended up being really funny."
In spite of the fact that they wobbled a bit themselves at trivia and in spite of the frothy freestyling that ensued, Reid speaks glowingly about Fenway and its faithful. He had just attended a Bruce Springsteen concert at Wrigley Field when he e-mailed MLB.com, so he could relate to the historic charm of America's Most Beloved Ballpark.
"The best part of Fenway is its legacy and charm," Reid said. "They have done an unbelievable job keeping the stadium in all its glory, but putting the modern touches that you come to expect these days. Believe me, I can attest to this as I live in Chicago now. Wrigley is awesome, but has seen much better days in the infrastructure.
"Tradition goes a long way in my books and just being part of attending a game in Boston was a ton of fun. The loyalty of that fan base is pretty much second to none. We had a bunch of people talk to us, which lends to the charm that is Fenway, but I was amazed how much people talked about the team and the game that was going on. As an avid sports fan, I keep up with a lot, but it was impressive to hear how much the fans at Boston really knew their team."
Reid said he learned one thing about his experience at Fenway that day: "I used to think of myself as a pretty good trivia buff, but clearly this experience has given me a taste of my own medicine. ... We gave it a go."
This was the second Red Sox episode of the series, following the entrepreneurs of episode 5. In addition to the Red Sox, teams visited so far include the Cubs, White Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Royals, Astros and Marlins. Bookmark MLB.com/bucks and be on the lookout for the "Bucks" crew at your ballpark.