Here’s the third installment of Playing for Peanuts.
Episode 1.3 – [blip.tv ?posts_id=1267867&dest=-1]
Opening dates for the eight independent leagues currently scheduled to operate in 2008:
Atlantic League – April 25
American Association – May 7 (Sioux City @ Wichita only); full schedule begins May 8
United League Baseball – May 13
Northern League – May 15
Frontier League – May 18 (Washington @ Chillicothe only); full schedule begins May 21
Canadian-American League – May 22
Golden Baseball League – May 22
Continental Baseball League – May 23
Earlier this month, team officials for the Macon Music, a participant in the independent South Coast League, announced plans for “Elliot Spitzer Night” at the ballpark, to be held June 13. The idea took advantage of Spitzer’s disgrace to draw the team national attention at both the mainstream media and blogosphere levels. EVERYONE was talking about it.
Unfortunately, I’ve fallen behind in my reading recently, so it was only today that I stumbled upon two very sad factoids:
1) On May 22, the Music announced that in light of fan dissatisfaction, they were canceling the event. A poll on the team’s Web site showed that 55% of respondents were in favor of letting Spitzer off the hook, which surprises me because I didn’t think anything in the event description was too ridiculous; it’s not like they were giving away coupons for free hookers at the gates or anything (although it should have been a lock for sponsorship by any motels with questionable reputations in the area).
2) Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that the South Coast League was suspending operations for the season due to “unrest throughout its organization and weakness in the economy”. They had already pared the league down to four teams: the Music, South Georgia Peanuts, Anderson Joes, and Aiken Foxhounds.
Unless some funding magically appears, the SCL is probably no more (it’s bad enough when single teams have to shut down for financial reasons; when entire leagues go that route, it’s not good news), but that has turned into the secondary point here. The real question is this: what happens to Elliot Spitzer Night?
Sadly, it has probably gone the way of dinosaurs and dodo birds. Mildly offensive though it was, this was one of the more interesting minor league promotions that I had seen planned for this season, but the Music screwed it up by coming up with it and not following through, thereby ruining it for any other team that might have had the creativity and wherewithal to put together a truly outstanding night. No one wants to take sloppy seconds on an idea as cool as this. So sad