Important Questions For Darren

Dear Darren Pitra [Director of Merchandising; Quad City River Bandits]:

I received notification that my River Bandits’ hat has shipped. Great work! I am hoping it arrives for my golf match this weekend because nothing gets in your opponent’s head like a raccoon wearing a bandana across his mouth, especially one with a black cowboy hat. It is good that your organization has embraced the image of the outlaw in these times of conformity. Kids today need proper role models more than ever.

I can tell you are a busy man because your inventory does not match the sizes offered on your online store, so I will not take much of your time. I really want a River Bandits t-shirt, but I did not see one online that truly tripped my trigger (other than the Yoda one, which is no longer available in my size). I mean, you are offering some good looking shirts, but I want one that captures the spirit of the Quad Cities area, and all of yours seem to be about your thieving raccoon.

May I offer a humble suggestion? Create some options with the Rock Island Centennial Bridge on the front of the shirt. Draw on that civic pride to increase sales.  The Centennial Bridge is what people think of when they think of the Davenport/Bettendorf/Rock Island/Moline area. Embrace your resources, and throw your ferris wheel on there to personalize it. Maybe put your little Rascal the Raccoon on a big rig crossing the bridge. Or in an F-16 with nuclear strike capability. People would buy so many of those shirts. Shot glasses too.

Hey, do you guys in the Quad City area rank your bridges? Are there people partial to Arsenal Bridge who hang out in bars and make fun of the people who like the Rock Island Centennial Bridge more? Are there people waiting for the new I-74 bridge to rise in glory so they can be part of something bigger than they are now? Do these groups have jackets announcing their allegiance to a particular bridge? You guys should have a Bridge Appreciation Night. All the bridge gangs could sit in certain sections with their jackets – unless these people pack heat. We don’t want that type of trouble at the ballpark.

BTW, I put in a good word for you with your boss, Ms. Jacqueline Holm. I told her how courteous you were yesterday when you had to break the tough news that you did not have the Yoda shirt in my size. She told me a couple of weeks ago to send her a resume for the assistant general manager position you guys cannot seem to fill. I had to decline of course because I just am not going to move to the Quad Cities area, especially since I found out today that there really are five cities in the area. I did offer her my services as her special assistant on remote assignment, but I think she is a little hurt that I do not want to come work with her.

I do have to ask you this while she is out of ear shot: do you guys ever call Modern Woodmen’s Park, “The Wood”? Imagine how many t-shirts you could sell with that innuendo! Something as simple as “Got Wood?” would be a smash. I know what I am talking about here – I helped the Fayetteville Woodpeckers unofficially rebrand to “The ‘Peckers.” We created “Fear the Wood! Respect the Pecker!” shirts that are certain to be a smashing success once we get them from the printer.

I really need to let you go. I am pretty confident my travels will take me to The Wood this summer, so perhaps we can slam some Slippery Nipples like real baseball executives in the Midwest League do.

Your friend in baseball,


PS: Who was the greatest super group?

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