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Optical/IP

Cisco's Field of Dreams

5:35 PM -- I can live with the designated hitter, with rampant free agency, even (to a much lesser extent) with steroid-riddled offense. (See 756.) But you know what bugs me? People who come to a ballgame with no intention of watching the game.

Modern baseball stadiums are a Jackson Pollack canvas of distractions. Fancy food. Big slides and inflatable bouncy houses (as my kids call them). WiFi. Even the cell phone you brought in your pocket -- how many crowd shots on TV now feature someone jabbering on their phone?

I prefer to be surrounded by fans who are involved with the game. That enhances my experience more than any WiFi connection or sushi bar or Web-based ticket swapping.

I just wanted to get that on the record, because I'm probably going to take a lot of pot shots at Cisco Field -- the Oakland A's ballpark of the future, literally and figuratively -- and it's not because of bias against Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) or the A's. It's because Cisco Field, as proposed, will exacerbate many of the problems with the modern-day Major League experience.

And I haven't even mentioned ticket prices.

All this comes to mind because Cisco has recently said it's getting inquiries from other Major League teams -- and today, it's announced a technology deal with the home of the Amsterdam Ajax.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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