Results tagged ‘ Cave Shrimp ’

Back To Life, Postponing Reality

abysss.jpegI enjoyed my jaunt out to the Midwest, and am grateful to all who took the time to read about it. It was a suitably jam-packed end to a jam-packed season.

But that’s the real issue here: we’re dealing with the end times.

A handful of teams are currently immersed in the playoffs, but that’s just a postponement of the inevitable. The offseason — that endless abyss! that unfathomable void! — has opened up its voracious maw and will soon consume us all.

But not yet. I’ve got plenty of in-season content left over, carefully pickled and preserved, and I intend to dole it out sparingly.

Starting…now!

Since we’re on the topic of “the end times”, check out the so-called “Aqua-palypse” that recently befell Gwinnett County’s Coolray Field. This was the culmination of a season-long bullpen vs. promo crew battle, and none were spared:

And then there’s this, a kilt-wearing skipper:

haleysquat.jpg
haleygotit.jpg

That’s Mark Haley of the South Bend Silver Hawks, participating in the Ronald McDonald House “Men in Kilts” fundraiser. He wore the outfit during August 27’s ballgame in order to raise money and awareness; further info can be found at meninkilts.org (don’t make the same mistake I did and type in meninkilts.com. This will lead you to a Vancouver-based window and gutter cleaning service).

I’ll leave you with photos of two unique late-season giveaway items. The St. Lucie Mets gave away a custom Banana Phone (inspired by the Raffi song of the same name, an unlikely ballpark standard at St. Lucie’s Digital Domain Park):

BananaPhone.JPG

In Bowling Green, the iconic “What Could’ve Been” Cave Shrimp made a triumphant return in 2010. This time as a stoic figurine:

Bowling Green_cave shrimp figurine.JPG

We live in the age of the mash-up, and if this thoroughly 21st-century concept ever makes its way to the Minor Leagues then I would like to make the following suggestion:

Cave Shrimp Banana Phone Giveaway.

That thing could blow some minds, and if some graphic-design wiz out there could send me a conceptual drawing I’d really appreciate it.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

From 30 Rock to Round Rock?

coco.jpgI am a big fan of late night TV in general and Conan O’Brien in particular, and as this Tonight Show imbroglio has steamrolled into a bigger and bigger story one thought kept lodging itself into my brain: When is a Minor League team going to offer Conan a job?

This sort of publicity stunt is certainly not without precedent. In recent years the Huntsville Stars courted Roger Clemens, the Augusta GreenJackets went after Brett Favre, and the Toledo Mud Hens set their sights on A-Rod. Granted, Conan is not from the world of sports, but on multiple occasions he has mentioned the tongue-in-cheek job offers he has received. On national TV! Look! If a morning radio show in Fargo, ND could get a mention, then why not a Minor League team?

Well, I am glad to report that the Round Rock Express have come through. In a video posted on their website and Facebook page, the team tries to convince Conan that he would excel at a wide variety of game-day positions. Here’s hoping it catches on. 

In other news, the slow but steady release of 2010 promotional schedules has been a mostThumbnail image for Bowling Green Cave Shrimp.png heartening development. The Bowling Green Hot Rods announced theirs yesterday, eager to defend their 2009 MiLB.com Promotion of the Year title. I am happy to report that What Could’ve Been Night will return, and this year’s version includes a Cave Shrimp bobbletail giveaway. Check it out.  

Likewise, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs unveiled their promo slate. As has become the club’s habit, the press release features a ridiculous, pun-heavy quote from GM Kurt Landes.

“We’re the IronPigs — and no team exhibits more zeal to make their fans squeal,” he said.

This quote is excellent, and I’d encourage more GMs to talk in such a manner. Am I naive in assuming that all quotes had to have actually been spoken aloud in order to make it into a press release?

Thumbnail image for cyclones10.JPGI’d also like to mention an excellent contest being staged by the indomitable Brooklyn Cyclones — The “You”niform. Here’s a summary:

“The Brooklyn Cyclones are inviting young fans to participate in a
unique art contest, with the winning jersey design to be worn by the
team as a special, limited-edition YOUniform, and auctioned off after the game to support Camp Brooklyn.”
 

Finally, how can a week go by without a mention of the Lakewood BlueClaws? Answer, it can’t. Today, the team announced that seven types of hot dogs have been added to the concession menu, each one named after a Hall of Famer.   

This leads to a fun comedy-writing exercise: what hot dogs would YOU like to see named after a Hall of Famer, and why?

benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

What Could've Been Has Been

Thumbnail image for BGHRlogo.JPGAs regular readers of this blog are well aware, I have devoted a fairly substantial amount of virtual ink to the Bowling Green Hot Rods’ “What Could’ve Been Night” (for all the background info you could ever need, click HERE).

Well, “What Could’ve Been Night” came and went, and all we are left with are the memories. That, and copious documentation of the promotion via the Hot Rods’ YouTube channel. And since I have slowly become adept at posting videos on this blog, I will share many of these creations. That’s just the kind of guy I am. The kind that shares videos.

The idea for the promotion first came about when the front office found themselves pondering “What Could’ve Been” had “Cave Shrimp” emerged victorious in the Name the Team contest. But why stop there? This philosophical exercise was soon expanded to include a wide variety of hypothetical scenarios.

Scenarios such as “What if Brooks and Dunn had chosen different singing partners?”
 

I would have taken this concept to its most literal extreme, and paired Dunn with a pair of brooks. As in bodies of water. At the very least, their music would always sound “current.”

Moving on to the next concept — What if Roseanne had actually been blessed with a beautiful singing voice?

Moving into an even more absurd realm — What if fainting was a sport?

It’s very easy to engage in “What Could’ve Been” hand-wringing when it comes to the world of sports, and the Hot Rods did not disappoint.

All of the above scenarios may be intriguing, but let us not forget that it was the possibility of being named “Cave Shrimp” that sparked this promotion in the first place. How awesome would it be if there was a team with the logo below? (answer: very)

I would love to see “What Could’ve Been Night” become common around the Minor Leagues — the supply of material is inexhaustible, and each club could expound on themes unique to their particular geographic area. And, most importantly, it would always give me something to blog about. Make it happen, teams. Make it happen.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com 

A Brief Exploration of Life's Infinite Possibilities

BGHRlogo.JPGThis past offseason, the fledgling Bowling Green baseball club staged a “Name the Team” contest (as new franchises are wont to do).

“Hot Rods” ultimately emerged victorious in a hotly contested fan vote, and that is now the moniker that the club now utilizes. So far, it’s been so good.

But…that hasn’t stopped the dreamers in the club’s front office from wondering “What if?”

What if the fans had instead gravitated toward one of the other choices in the “Name That Team” contest? What if they had had a greater tolerance for outside-the-box thinking, and therefore willing to embrace a far less orthodox option? Specifically, what if the chosen name had been “Cave Shrimp”?

Bowling Green Cave Shrimp.png
Cave Shrimp was indeed among the list of contenders. Here’s why:

Mammoth
Cave, located near Bowling Green, is home to the endangered Kentucky
Cave Shrimp, a sightless albino shrimp. The blind cave shrimp has been
registered as an endangered species since 1983.

Apparently, too many fans had reservations when it came to naming their hometown team after a sightless crustacean. History will be the ultimate judge of these anti-shrimp, pro-visibility partisans; to weigh in on the prudence (or lack thereof) of their choice would be premature and needlessly divisive. (My stance on the issue is well documented).

At the very least, the team is giving us all a chance to momentarily revel in a world in whichtheroad.jpg things had turned out differently. August 15 is “What Could’ve Been Night”. From the team’s website:

Remember when someone may have once told you, “If you see a fork in the
road, take it”? What could’ve been had you listened? In Bowling Green
we are going to celebrate “What Could’ve Been” had Cave Shrimp won the
name the team vote. A polarizing name, with people either loving it or
hating it, has inspired the Hot Rods staff to ask you, “What Could’ve
Been?” The first 1,000 fans (13 & up) to the game on August 15 will
get Cave Shrimp t-shirts.

For the record, I wrote a post on January 9 that was remarkably prescient when it comes to the issue of a Cave Shrimp t-shirt giveaway. But enough about me. As part of “What Could’ve Been Night”, the club is soliciting suggestions from fans. More from the Hot Rods’ website:

“What Could’ve Been” if Elvis were still alive? If Columbus didn’t
get on that boat? If baseball had 4 strikes and three balls? If Hot
Rods were Cave Shrimp? Get it? We want to hear from you. This is all in
good natured fun so send us your fun ideas about “What Could’ve Been.”

Send your suggestions to caveshrimp@bghotrods.com

I would suggest that those within my vast cadre of loyal readers take the time to email the team. To get things started, here’s a small list of alternate realities that I would like to see explored:

getalife.jpg

“What If the early-90s Fox sitcom Get A Life had been a surprise hit, and was now entering its 21st season? What sort of plot arcs would have occurred thus far?”

“How would the Pirates’ fortunes would have changed this decade, had Derek Bell emerged as a Triple Crown contender instead of engaging in “Operation Shutdown“?

“What if Kurt Cobain hadn’t done what he did in 1994, and Nirvana was now entering its third decade as a band?”

“What would have happened if the NHL and NBA had merged into one sport, as it is rumored they considered doing in the late 70s?”

“How much fatter would I be if O’Boises hadn’t been discontinued?” (This query led me to this link. Who knew?)

I’ll cut myself off there. If anyone would like to share their suggestions with me, I’m all ears. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

What Could've Been Will Be

parallel.jpgThere is a no time for me to compose an overly clever, intensely self-aware introductory paragraph for this post. No, none at all. So let’s cut to the chase and take a look at one of the more intriguing promotions that was announced in the past week:

For many of us, “What Could’ve Been Night” is a regular occurrence. I know it is for me, as I paw through the tear-streaked pages of my high school yearbook on a nightly basis.

The Bowling Green Hot Rods are focused full-speed ahead on the future, but they nonetheless understand this tendency to dwell on the past. On June 8, the first-year club will stage “What Could’ve Been Night”, in which they will attempt to bring to life the various realities that could have resulted from last fall’s “Name the Team” contest.

For a refresher course on this contest, click here. The gist of it was that fans could vote forBG Hot Rods.JPG one of seven possible names. Hot Rods, obviously, was the moniker that ultimately emerged triumphant.

The Hot Rods have thus far remained mum on the specific details of “What Could’ve Been Night”, but they have revealed this much — the first 1000 fans will receive a Cave Shrimp t-shirt! Cave Shrimp, as the Hot Rods explain, was a “polarizing yet unsuccessful finalist” in the “Name the Team” contest. I would have used the word “awesome” instead of “polarizing”, but maybe that’s just me.

Hey! Other teams! May I suggest that you stage your own “What Could’ve Been” nights? Obviously, it works for any franchise that has recently staged a “Name the Team” contest, but that represents the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In order to show fans just how different the gameday experience could be, clubs could also unveil rejected mascots, concession stand items, uniforms, p.a. announcers, and myriad other aspects of the ballpark experience that for one reason or another never came to pass. 

Thumbnail image for blindshrimp.gifThe more ambitious of these clubs could go the extra mile (literally), and stage the evening’s game in locations that were once considered for a new stadium. That probably wouldn’t go over well with city bureaucrats and other such killjoys, but sometimes you’ve got to throw caution to the wind and just go for it.

But, regardless, kudos to the Hot Rods for coming up with this idea first. To the victor go the spoils, and all that. And additional kudos to the Hot Rods for the following segue, which occurred in the same press release that announced “What Could’ve Been”:

[T]he Hot Rods will use the “honor system” to grant free admission to
pregnant women on Labor Day (September 7). Fans who aren’t expecting
may enjoy the Hot Rods’ new season-long Thirsty Thursdays promotion.

For the record, “the honor system” is definitely the way to go when it comes to determining if a woman is pregnant or not. Sure, it might result in cash-strapped men dressing in drag and stuffing a pillow under their shirt in order to gain free admission, but that’s just the price you’ve got to pay.  

Just 162 Days Away…

pro-mo.jpgOne of my many self-imposed “housekeeping” tasks here at MiLB.com is to compile an Excel spreadsheet of next season’s notable promotions.

As most teams have yet to announce their promotional schedules, my 2009 spreadsheet is currently quite barren. In fact, it includes a mere 28 listings. But of these 28, four are scheduled to take place on the same day. That day is June 20, which is shaping up to be quite an action-packed day in the Minor Leagues. Let’s take a look at what lies in store thus far:

Bowling Green Hot Rods — Fan’s Choice T-Shirt Night

This design of this shirt will be selected by the fans, who will make their voices heard throughbs.gif the magic of online polling. I’m hoping that the shirt will commemorate an alternate reality in which the team’s name is “Cave Shrimp“.

Hudson Valley Renegades — Benchwarmer’s Night

I have already dedicated a post to this most entertaining of promotional nights. Inspired by the Knicks’ laughable Stephon Marbury situation, the Renegades will be paying tribute to benchwarmers all game long. The night even includes a wooden seat cushion giveaway.

HacksawJimDuggan.jpgLakewood BlueClaws“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Appearance

In which the BlueClaws will welcome the WWE’s oldest wrestler, whose weapon of choice is a 2×4.

Peoria Chiefs — Lee Smith Appearance

Even more intimidating than “Hacksaw” is Lee Smith, the legendary 6’6″ closer who amassed 478 saves over 18 Major League seasons.

So there you have it folks…June 20 is still more than five months away, yet we are already assured of four above average promotions. Please get in touch if YOU are aware of anything going on in the Minor Leagues on June 20 (or any other day, for that matter):

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

And now, courtesy of Wikipedia, here are a few other somewhat notable events that have occurred on June 20:

451 — Flavius Aetius defeats Atilla the Hun at the battle of Chalons.

1782 — The U.S. Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States.
seal.JPG
1893 — Lizzie Borden is acquitted of the murders of her father and stepmother.

1976 — The birth of Rob Mackowiak.

2008 — Reading Phillies stage Spam Carving Competition.

Thank you, as always, for making it through to the last sentence.

Freshwater Subterranean Crustaceans Need Your Support

ky-bowling-green-small.gifHard as it may be to believe, the 2009 season is a mere seven months away. And in the Minor Leagues, where change is a constant, every season brings with it a host of changes big and small.

One of the biggest such changes on tap for ’09 is that the South Atlantic League’s Columbus Catfish will be re-locating to Bowling Green, Kentucky. And with the new location comes…wait for it…a new name!

After receiving more than 1100 entries in a “Name the Team” contest, the club has narrowed it down to seven choices. All of these names have something to do with the history, culture, or fauna of the Bowling Green area, and all of them are awesome in their own way. But, I think you’ll agree that one name is a little more awesome than the rest. Let’s see if you can guess which one has received a coveted Ben’s Biz Blog endorsement.

Speedsters
blindshrimp.gifCave Shrimp
Hot Rods
Bluegills
Turbos
Sparkplugs
Mammoths

Of course, my winner is Cave Shrimp. From the team’s website:

Mammoth
Cave, located near Bowling Green, is home to the endangered Kentucky
Cave Shrimp, a sightless albino shrimp. The blind cave shrimp has been
registered as an endangered species since 1983.

I have long advocated for teams to be named after species that are either albino, sightless, or endangered, so to see this holy trinity encompassed into one moniker is a dream come true.  Whether you agree with my choice or not, make sure to cast your vote here. And, rest assured, I will continue to provide updates on the evolution of this new franchise throughout the coming months.

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