Dear Allan Benavides [General Manager; Eugene Emeralds]:
Good day, Sir. Once again, the creative forces that perpetually flow through my mind have developed a solution that will make the Eugene Emeralds’ a great deal of money in the 2021 season. All we have to do to initially fill your wonderful stadium is to float the idea that there is discussion that a reality television show will be filmed at PK Park this season, and the good folk of Springfield and Eugene will purchase tickets like, well I really cannot think of the proper simile right now because it will be so huge. Not a PG-13 simile anyway.
All we have to do is leak to the public that some big shots are coming to town who want to film a reality television show about the Eugene Emeralds lovable front office and the spender fans that frequent the park. I mean, we are not lying. I ask about it every damn day, and I am kind of a big deal on most minor league circuits, and a major deity in the Cactus League — not some minor god like Dionysus who invented wine but forgot about beer and bourbon, but Thor and Apollo like shit.
Yes, the rumor will be the producers want to follow the ups and downs of America’s greatest unknown team as they transition from Short A Season ball to the gritty mean streets of High A Ball in a world gone mad. Led by their fearless, charismatic leader, El Comandante (you), and the enigmatic but gorgeous stranger he brought aboard (me), the Emeralds’ staff will show the audience the inner workings workings of the tightest ship in minor league baseball. Nobody loves fun as much as these rascally mischief makers who are not afraid of hard work and showing their sensitive side.
We can work out the particulars later but once word gets out, it will just be a matter of time before Netflix is banging on your door. Once the show is being filmed, we can insert our laments for a new stadium to be free of the shackles the University of Oregon. An important rule of MiLB is never miss a chance to cleverly promote ulterior motives, so we are killing two birds with one accurately thrown empty beer bottle. Skillz. We’s gots skillz.
We do have one problem to address before we move forward with our bold plan: Righteous Stoics, the crotchety old fans who fancy themselves purists who believe baseball should only be played in a silent, pastoral setting. We briefly discussed these folk in our historic breakfast meeting a couple of weeks ago. Sure they are usually season ticket holders, but why fear them? Where are they going to go? Hillsboro? Pasco? Of course not, plus we are going to outlive them. They might incessantly complain, but they need the Ems more than the Ems need them. I fought these curmudgeons for decades until I finalized realized it was easier to embrace them than fight with them.
Since the county health board will not let us give them want they truly want (a steaming phlegm concession treat), we can give them what all minor league fans want: a sense of belonging. They just want to feel wanted, and the best way to do that is to throw a couple of coupons their way when they are complaining about other people having fun. Fifty cents off a pretzel brings a gleam to their eyes and a smile to their faces most of the time. Here is some of the best advice I can give give you, Allan: Every time a Righteous Stoic smiles, a young minor league front executive gets his/her wings (that is bumper sticker material; roll the press!). Oh, it is not always easy to get Captain Grumps to smile, but when it happens, it is like Christmas morning without all the damn trash after opening the presents.
Of course, if we are going to be part of a reality show, our season needs a theme, something that appears to be sorely missing from the Ems’ social media platforms. Most organizations are going to go with something like “Baseball is back” because most organizations are unoriginal drones ravaged by furloughs who lack the courage to look past COVID seating charts into the brave new world. But not us, Allan, not us. Once again, we will be pushing the intellectual envelope, dancing where angels fear to tread. Most organizations are wondering what is going to happen next; The Eugene Emeralds are dictating what happens next. However, we will discuss theme in another missive as it is late, and the mayor needs my attention.
I have given you some excellent motivational material for your staff recently. Let’s review:
1. When the old ladies want to touch your Squatch, you are winning hearts and minds.
2. Every time a Righteous Stoic smiles, a young minor league front executive gets his/her wings.
3. If you burn it, they will come.
4. Kids love both dinosaurs and soldiers.
5. I am am sure there is another one, but I am too tired to go back and find it.
Anyway, let’s talk soon. I have a Tonka Truck Obstacle Course idea I need to run by you.
Your friend in baseball,
PS: I just thought of #5, even though I have not shared it with you yet.
“There are two types of bad promotions: ones that lose money, and one that prevents a club from making more money that night. There are promotions designed to get fans to the park a particular night, and there are promotions to get fans to return another night.”