Fire Jim Tracy

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Brevity Is The Soul Of Wit

I have a few questions when it comes to L.A. baseball, no names on the backs of uniforms and strange marketing campaigns.

If the Dodgers' new advertising slogan this season is "This is L.A. Baseball," then why so much emphasis on what happened in Brooklyn 50 years ago, even going so far as to have their players wear Brooklyn jerseys at times this season?

You know that Great Depression thing? Never happened.

If "This is L.A. Baseball," why take the names of the players off the backs of the uniforms, in part, as we've been told, because it pays homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers, who didn't wear their names on the backs of their uniforms?

You're right, T.J. They're moving back to Brooklyn. You caught them.

(NOTE: I don't care much whether names are on the backs of jerseys or not. I lean toward names. Mrs. FJT has pointed out that it will make it harder for her, as a casual fan, to know who players are. Of course, once you've made the decision to do it, paying homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers is as good a reason as any.)

If "This is L.A. Baseball," who cares if a team from Brooklyn won a World Series 50 years ago?

Who cares if Sandy Koufax pitched four no-hitters in the 60's? Who cares about Fernando Valenzuela? Who cares about Kirk Gibson? Or Shawn Green's statistics in his Toronto walk year? More to the point, who cares if Alex Cora hit an 18-pitch home run eight months ago? Or Jose Lima shut out the Cardinals in a measly playoff game four months ago? Why does T.J. get to be the grand arbiter of emotional appeal and the use of historical record?

The Dodgers said their new slogan, "This is L.A. Baseball," has nothing to do with the Angels' name change. This from the guy who said the Dodgers were never really considering a mascot, and this from the team that said it had no desire to trade Shawn Green.

To date, I haven't seen a mascot. And if the Dodgers took a poll to see whether a mascot was popular, who cares? What if it had been? 88% of Dodger fans thought that the Dodgers should have re-signed Alex Cora, so who knows what they would have said? Probably something called Larry the LoMota.

YOU HAVE to admire the Dodgers' marketing chutzpah, rolling out a campaign that has Sandy Koufax dissolving into Fernando Valenzuela into Odalis Perez. The Dodgers showed no interest in re-signing Perez at the end of the season, but it's pretty obvious now why they changed their minds, or they'd have had to dissolve Koufax into Valenzuela into Kaz Ishii.

I wonder why they didn't do Gil Hodges to Steve Garvey to Hee-Seop Choi?

Why doesn't the Los Angeles Times have Jim Murray dissolving into Allan Malamud dissolving into T.J. Simers? They do? Hence, your 21st Century Los Angeles Times. Whoever said evolution had to be progressive?

P.S. What use is having a column if you can't name drop? Here's a task for you, T.J. Next time you "talk" to Coach Wooden, why don't you ask him whether he agreed with Plaschke's argument that a meaningless homecourt victory over the second place team in the PAC-10 heralded a return to the Wooden Era. Or would that get in the way of promoting your radio show? It appears that the word "credibility" holds the same sacred place among newspaper reporters as the word "chemistry." Which is why teams that rely solely on the latter don't get very far, and why newspapers that rely solely on the former lose money and offer Calendar-only delivery.

P.P.S. This entry used to have an introduction. What happened to it? I don't know. But here's the original link to today's latest Simers travesty, whatever the case.

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