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I Become the Sock Puppet’s Purveyor of Fan Pleasure


Dear Anderson Rathburn [General Manager; Burlington Sock Puppets]:

In your last missive to me, you inquired just what it would take for the Burlington Sock Puppets to ride with Bads85 for a season (I am loosely paraphrasing here). Well, the short answer is a case of Monster drinks, a large suitcase of various flavors of Bugles, and open road with a dive bar as the final destination. The long answer requires a little bit of detail.

For starters, I need an official title. The Otterbots have ruined “Ambassador”, so I was thinking I could be the official “Purveyor of Fan Pleasure”, which is not as dry as “Director of Promotions”. Along with the title should come business cards and an official Sock Puppet email address so I can reach out to community leaders and captains of industry to solicit support for our organization. Also, it is much easier to conduct acts of cyber espionage on other clubs with an official email address, and I can send my good buddy Allan Benavides [General Manager; Eugene Emeralds] reminders that will make him jealous that I brought my talents to Burlington.

What I also need from you, Anderson, is information. Appalachian League cities, despite their numerous charms, are not big tourist destinations, so information about these cities is hard to come by on the internet. I need to know what makes the city of Burlington tick. If I am able to form a bond with Sock Puppet fans. I am not talking Chamber of Commerce stuff. I am talking about the hopes, dreams, fears, and desperate power plays found in Burlington. While these are certainly similar to other MiLB towns, each MiLB community is unique, except for Rancho Cucamonga, California, home of the Quakes. It is just an outdoor mall.

I also need information like:

  1. Daily attendance figures.
  2. Tickets sold by zip code.
  3. Merchandise sold by zip code.
  4. Concessions menu.
  5. Beers on tap and beer special
  6. List of between inning promotions
  7. List of local golf courses, preferably private.
  8. Playlist of stadium music pre-game and in-game.
  9. Emergency exit routes in case I need to make a quick getaway when I visit.

Where are you and I going with all this? Allow me to tell the bus parable.

In 2013, after the San Jose Giants clinched the Northern Division Championship of the California League, the team was immediately awarded with a bus ride to Southern California to play either the Inland Empire 66ers or the Lancaster JetHawks, who were playing the deciding game of the Southern Division Championship. When the bus pulled out of the stadium parking lot, the Giants were not sure who their opponent would be as the the southern playoff teams were still playing as the Southern Championship game had gone to extra innings However, the bus driver knew to go south, and he would get the final destination via his radio, so through the night the Giants’ bus went into the San Joaquin Valley as the smell of rotting corpse of Tom Joad permeated the air. 

Meanwhile, the 66ers and JetHawks kept playing. And playing. And playing. Eventually, the bus came to a fork in road the Sierra Pelona Mountains– one way was San Bernardino; the other was Lancaster. The bus was forced to pull over on the side of the road, idling until the 66ers would eventually win in fifteen innings after the clock stuck two in the morning. No one remembers it was Abel Baker for the 66ers who drove in Angel Rosa in the fifteenth that night, but some still picture that bus doing its Robert Frost imitation in the desert morning, wondering which way to go with miles to go before the team could sleep.

Most fans do not remember the bus story at all though either as the years have passed. And why would they? The minors are a fresh slate each year, players, coaches, stats, and records all pulled out to sea by the tide known as the passing of time. Memories in the minors usually do not last through Christmas. Still, the bus idling in the pines of Gorman on a September night is a damn near perfect snapshot of the minors. To the east, one destiny. To the south, another. But first we must wait for other paths to catch up. And sometimes, people get off the bus and walk towards the future — or run from the law.

However, most of us remain on the bus, waiting because eventually that bus is going to point towards MAGIC. What form that magic will appear is always different. However, sometimes, something mystical brings the night together. The crowd feels it. The players feel it. The employees feel it, even the acne faced kid boiling hot dogs in a dungeon known as a MiLB concession prep room. Even though the magic is fleeting, it endures in memories. It is the minor league front offices that facilitate this magic occurring. Oh, they do not have the power to create it, but sometimes with a bit of luck, the proper promotion, and the exact amount of human touch with the fans, and perhaps the sliver of the moon, the magic appears. 

We are going to make magic appear, Anderson. 

Your friend in baseball,

Bads85

PS: We are going to need a press release about our partnership. Those Otterbots are making too much noise. Let’s fly our muscles a bit. 

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I Talk to the New Alex About Allan’s Fears


Dear Alex Cirina [Ticket Representative; Eugene Emeralds]:

Good evening, Sir. I am sorry I was unable to answer you call when you tried to reach me to inform me of season ticket options, but I was introducing my MiLB promotions project to a bunch of seventh graders in San Bernardino, California. I must say it give me quite the charge to see a new Emeralds’ employee to have the ambition to make cold sales calls after an epic NFL playoff weekend, but I believe there is some sort of mistake. 

When I come to Eugene for an Ems’ game, I sit with Allan Benavides [General Manager; Eugene Emeralds. You see, Allan and I are pretty tight. Last year during the High A West Championship in Spokane, Allan and I were roommates at the Davenport Towers. My choice would have been to stay at the Davenport Grand, but Allan is kind of a control freak. We shared a golf cart on the links, and he almost drove it over a cliff, which led to Matt Dompe [Assistant General Manager; Eugene Emeralds] hitting my ball. Hey, are you really a double bogey golfer? If true, you might want to take up tennis instead.

I am interested in the Ems’ season ticket options though. If I am a season ticket holder, then Allan has to watch his tone when I give him a suggestion to better his organization. I often wonder if under his infallible swashbuckler persona, Allan fears change. Fear can paralyze which might explain why there still is no freshly squeezed lemonade stand at PK Park. I do not think it is a coincidence that he hired two Alexes after Alex Stimson [Former Director of Media; Eugene Emeralds] left the profession like the good ones sometimes do.

Word on the street is that Kennedy Schull [Director of Tickets; Eugene Emeralds] used to like to listen to Stimson read my missives aloud. Maybe you will not have to haul kegs around PK Park if you read my missives to her this year. Wait, yes you will. In Eugene, muscle is hard to come by, so ticket reps also are bar backs. Kennedy and Anne Culhane [Director of Community Relations] help me overcome my fear of head trauma in Spokane last September to become an electric scooter daredevil. Who knew I had such skills?

So how are the 2022 ticket sales going? If you guys are just getting to me today, I would say perhaps they are lethargic. I am on that list because one day I will retire to Eugene so Allan can offer me a part time job with limited day game hours and no manual labor. That could be as soon as June if Allan can get past that fear of change. In fact, you should tell Allan you have been corresponding with me, and you think he should bring me around much sooner than later. 

Hey, since we are so close now, can you please give me some sneak previews of the 2022 Promotion Night? Is Allan finally going to allow a Bass Boat Regatta Night? Hockey Princess Night? Mayor Lucy Vinis Dunk Tank Night? Bads85 Bobblehead Night? Viking Funeral Night? Golf Cart Demolition Derby? Napalm Appreciation Night?

Anyway, I need to go. The Burlington Sock Puppets are trying to steal me away from Allan.

Your friend in baseball,

Bads85

PS: Remember this forever: it was you who called me first.

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I Talk To Allan About A Big Meeting


Dear Allan Benavides [General Manager; Eugene Emeralds]:

I regret to inform you I will not be able to attend your fancy fairgrounds party tomorrow in person because I did not receive notification that it was happening when your robot text lit up my phone when I was watching the new episode of The Book of Boba Fett just a bit ago. Had I been notified earlier, I could have been there to galvanize the masses with my wit, gorgeous looks and deep baritone voice. 

Instead, I will have to attend this little shin dig virtually, probably wearing a Burlington Sock Puppets shirt to expand their national brand. Oh, I will still wear an Ems’ cap and my Squatch boxers that I made myself since your team store refuses to sell them, but I will not be able to hang out at The Cooler after I tell the Lane County just why Eugene is a baseball town. Eugene is a baseball town because, well, I will let that be a surprise for when I get the microphone tomorrow. 

I am very pleased about the progress the Ems have made on acquiring a stadium site, although I cannot help but wonder if the Ems would already be breaking ground had you allowed me to begin a personal relationship with the saucy Mayor Lucy Vinis while mining Eugene Country Club for investors. I hope you remember that personal seat licenses (PSLs) area status symbols for The COMFORTABLE, and PSLs ensure the peasants do not have to pay for parking. Free parking is very influential in determining if patrons return to a game during the rest of the season.

Have you missed me? It has been a while since we had a real conversation. I hope you do not think I became some Twitter big shot and forgot about those whom I stepped over on my ascent to the top. I would like to think that when your are sitting in a jacuzzi, and the jets soothingly pound your anal fissures, you find inner peace think of me. I am almost positive Mayor Lucy does in that situation.

Speaking of Twitter, allow me to give your organization some professional advice. Nobody cares about your front office’s Worldle score. In fact, many people want to eviscerate those who post their scores on social media. It is very much like that one dude who feels compelled to tell everyone how his entire roster fared each week. Also, your Twitter person should “like” all the Inland Empire 66ers’ posts.

Did you know Kyle Day [General Manager; Spokane Indians] has tentative plans to erect a giant inflatable of the likeness of your head at the entrance of the Kids’ Zone at Avista Stadium? I am not sure exactly why, but he shared that with me in one of his missives over the winter. I think he was a bit miffed about how many times you were on the Bads85 holiday card. He and I have begun implementing a plan to make Spokane a baseball pilgrimage destination — the terminus of the Moose Drool Trail, a Pioneer League/High A West baseball journey.

I see you have some new faces on your front office team page. I was wondering which front office person I should write this season now that What’s His Name is gone. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. Right now Max Mennemeier [Ticket Manager; Eugene Emeralds] is the front runner, but I bet that last name is going to be a pain in the ass to type. Maybe we should just call him M&M’s. Nicknames build camaraderie in the front office, even if it is just Stinky Ass we are talking about.

Your friend in baseball,

Bads85

PS: When is the promotion schedule being released? As you know, I am a planner.

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I Speak to Kyle About the Moose Drool Trail Baseball Roadtrip


Dear Kyle Day [General Manager; Spokane Indians]:

Thank you for your response. I have been slow with my rejoinder because National Hat Day was quite the demon in the sack this year. Plus, my boostered ass still managed to acquire a case of the Omicron, so my missives have been in short supply of late. I am am glad you initially enjoyed my annual holiday card, and let me assure you that my greatest regret of the 2021 season was that your picture was not on that card. However, we were not able to have a drink together because you were so busy when I was in Spokane. Meanwhile Chris Duff [President; Spokane Indians] is in about fifty pictures on my cameral roll. My wife asked if that guy actually works for your organization, or was he a groupie.

Winning the prestigious Golden Bobblehead might indeed alter your children’s perception of Christmas. As a parent who is pushing (lovingly) his last child out the door soon, I would suggest that you just fake winning the bobblehead until they are old enough to learn the truth about Santa, and then they will not be so mad at you about the Elf on the Shelf thing. Also, I think it is important to begin sharing experiences of PROMOTIONS GONE BAD, lest they grow up and forget to tape the wrappings around the hots dogs before they are launched from a giant slingshot between innings. Yes, I know the Spokane Indians do not have bad promotions, but plenty of other clubs do. You do not want to have to sit in Section 102 of San Manuel Stadium while the crowd chants “Tape the Foil!” for the rest of the summer after your child rushed his promotion preparation. 

Your idea of a giant Allan Benavides [General Manager; Eugene Emeralds] inflatable head to mark the entrance of your kids’s zone is quite brilliant. I would add eighteen holes of miniature golf since you already have the clown head. Maybe Allan’s head can say things like, “STRANGER DANGER!” and “Just Say No to Red Ribbon Week!” Keep the tequila away from THE FACE as tequila make’s Allan’s mug do odd things.

While I appreciate your idea of tiered ticket prices, I think you might have it backwards. Charge the out of staters far less money to attract the baseball roadtrip pilgrims. Let’s face it; Spokane is a bit out of the way on the baseball roadtrip route. However, Pioneer League roadtrips are becoming very popular with MiLB bucket listers, and Spokane has a very accessible airport, and so much quality golf that it could be the gemstone of a Moose Drool Trail baseball roadtrip (I just made up that Moose Drool Trail moniker. I am sure your corporate accounts people can make something happen with Big Sky Brewing).

Speaking of gemstones, your parent club, the Colorado Rockies, play in the Jewell of the Cactus League at Salt River Fields. I highly recommend a stop by there, if only to check out the minor leaguers on the vast practice field, which might might be the extent of the Arizona action in March if Mr. Manfred gets his way. It might be an NCAA spring baseball journey this year.

I am going to try very hard to get to Spokane this summer for a game, especially now that Kalispell, Montana has the Glacier Range Riders. Because of the limited amount of games in Spokane in July, I will not be there when the Emeralds are in town, so perhaps I can repair my reputation that certainly took a vicious hit while traveling with the Eugene contingent. My liver is just getting back to normal from that the last trip. Well, it will never get back to normal, but I have learned to live with that.

Your friend in baseball,

Bads85

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I Talk to Anderson About Angles


Dear Anderson Rathbun [General Manager, Burlington Sock Puppets]:

Thank you for responding to my recent missives. I apologize for the delay in my response, but Omicron slowed me down a bit this past week. You asked me what my angle was in terms of reaching out to the Burlington Sock Puppets, which is a very fair question is this age of grifters and fraudsters. The short answer is that I have to save minor league baseball, and I cannot do it myself. I need an organization willing to look past the status quo that is slowly choking MiLB while offering fans the glory of cheap, cheap beer and hot dogs aching to burst in the bun.

How I came to be in the position is a very long, but well-documented story, most of which can be found on Bads85.com. I do not expect you to take the time to read all that, but you can ask around and almost certainly hear re-tellings of my exploits. The gist is a I am an affable road warrior who travels from city to city, interacting with fans and front office personnel. I am a smoke jumper in the devil’s arcade, a troubadour with a heater, and an emissary of good will for minor league baseball. Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was considered an ambassador, but your little cronies in Danville usurped and soiled that term, I am without a proper title these days. 

Anyway, after much extensive research, I chose your organization to be an object of my attention this year, and the Sock Puppets will be my muse — but enough talk about me! We are already behind this season. The Portland Pickles have already pulled off MiLB’s first excellent Twitter prank of the season, and the Sock Puppets have a posted Tweet is some dude going to work for Gastonia Honey Munchers or whatever they are called. Look, I am sure Bradley Salisbury is a fine, fine fellow, but we have a brand to promote. National Hat Day, a High Holy Day in MiLB, is this Saturday. Are we ready?

Have you held mascot tryouts yet? Socksquatch needs some muscle this year. I am sure that rules out the interns, but ‘Squatch is begging for a bit of a makeover. Maybe a leather vest and a tattoo. Perhaps a flask. Definitely some dark sunglasses and Otterbot scalps on his belt. A golf cart with an “I Brake For Small Furry Creatures, but not one from Danville.” The days of the plush toy mascots have passed, Anderson. The fans want bad boys with ‘tude. Studies show the threat of danger sells concessions. What studies you might be asking? My studies. 

I have some more promotions for the upcoming season. Since there are not many home days in the Appalachian League, we can double up certain nights.

  1. How Liberty Dies in America Night — We do nothing. Get it? You are certainly thinking. “Bads85, that is the stupidest promotion ever,” and fans will hate it. You are right of course, which is why we immediately pivot to Padme’ Amidala jumping out of a cake, and presto! Star Wars Night! (without those cumbersome license fees).
  2. Mickey Rooney Dunk Tank Night — find some old guy and put him in a dunk tank. Charge people  five dollars to throw balls to dunk him. That should give us drinking money for a couple of weeks. If anyone tell you he is dead, say, “No, he is not. He is right there!”, then point to the old guy in the dunk tank.
  3. Drink More Beer Night — the simplicity of this is mad genius. Just post signs around the stadium that state to drink more beer. Have you PA dude repeatedly announce “Drink more beer.” If people ask why, tell them it will make them smarter and prettier.

I need to run because of all those miles to go before I sleep. I am not sure i f you are aware of this, but I do not reside in your time zone, so my emails might arrive alter than you expect. Hey, do we have any secret sayings like, “Sock Puppets Forever and a Day”? 

Your friend in in baseball,

Bads85

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Second Inquiry to the Sock Puppets


Dear Anderson Rathbun [General Manager, Burlington Sock Puppets]:

As your new Director of Promotions, I must say I am a bit concerned you have not been responded to my initial inquiry. I know the holidays recently passed, but MiLB promotions never sleep, even in the college wood bat leagues. Perhaps Baker Mayfield drove you to drink, which would be the only successful drive Mayfield has had since the Bengals’ rout on November 7th, which was a lifetime ago. Lord knows that Kevin Stefanski and Little Lord Mayfield took a sledgehammer to my liver these past few weeks, but the Case Keenum mop up duty should begin next week, so let’s get busy.

While you have been enjoying your holiday as much as Mayfield will allow, I have been brainstorming successful promotions for the Sock Puppets. The first thing we need is an official Sock Puppet shot. Due to the rather absurd dew points in Burlington during the season, my first inclination was to choose old school kamikazes, but serious social drinkers prefer those in pitchers these days, which is why that will be one of our Wicked Wednesday promotions. I decided that Water Moccasins should the the official shot of our organization.

Every game in the middle of the fifth inning is Water Moccasin time as thirsty fans hoist a toast of Crown Royal, peach schnapps, and triple sec to celebrate the boys of summer and to raise funds for a new digital scoreboard, which is not going to fund itself. We will this Shoot for the Scoreboard, and the local will call it Scoreboard Shots, and we will have created some wonderful and pure. Of course, we are going to have to have an official song to do this, and it will be not Styx’s “Mr. Roboto” because that song broke up the band. I would suggest The Smithereens’ “Wall of Sleep” because that is the type of song cool people will dance to at a ballpark. The not so cool people will follow, and we will have an instant tradition that will lead to the premier score board in the Appalachian League.

Let’s talk golf polos. By now, you have probably thoroughly vetted me and know that designing quality golf polos for MiLB teams is one of the things I do. The polos currently offered by the Sock Puppets are not hideous, and are probably a big hit with physical education teachers whose style tastes still lean to the 1990’s, but we need to pursue the golfing market. Solid color polos just are not what is hot these days. North Carolina is a golf mecca; we need to target golf tourists with sharp polos that will draw them to Burlington Athletic Park. This actually could be a massive endeavor; have your interns hammer out some logistics as I have had a little too much drinky drink tonight. Tell them there are no shortcuts while pursing a dream, and that if they fail, they will be forced to pursue a career in retail in an era of disappearing mortar and brick stores.

Here are some other promotions for the 2022 season:

  1. Sock Hop Saturdays. After every Saturday night game, host an old fashioned sock hop in centerfield do fans can Twist and Shout, Jitterbug, and whatever kids do these days. Re-open alcohol sales and dance the night away.
  2. Steal Second Base… with a Sniper. Contestants will rely to steal second base, but instead of beating the catcher’s throw, they must elude the paintball rifle of the sniper in the press box. The sniper gets one shot.
  3. Socratic Debate Sundays: Fans can argue with complete strangers, just like they do on the internet, but at the ballpark.

I hope to hear from you very soon. Tempus Fugit! Tempus Edax Rerum! Caesar crossed the Rubicon, and all we got was this lousy salad!

Your friend in baseball,

Bads85

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I Announce My Partnership with the Burlington Sock Puppets


Dear Anderson Rathbun [General Manager, Burlington Sock Puppets]:

Congratulation on the hiring of your new Director of Promotions, who will be a fine addition to you staff as he brings decades of minor league experience wherever he goes. Once upon a time in the wild west of San Bernardino, legend has it that he invented the Beer Batter at Fiscalini Field on a summer night so hot even angels were pleading for a tumultuous downpour. Sixty-four ounce pitchers of Coors’ Light were only $1.00 on Thirsty Thursdays back then, and when the crowd howled at the night, the night answered back.

You might be thinking “Wow, this is great, but I did not hire a Director of Promotions.” You are correct, Anderson — another example of why you are one of the sharpest front office minds in what remains of the Appalachian League. You did not hire anyone; I appointed myself your Director of Promotions. Let’s face it, despite the 37% increase in attendance last year and all those numerous accolades you should be very proud of, you need a wizened MiLB veteran like me to take your club to the next level. 

I know you might also be thinking, “Whoa, whoa Bads85! We cannot afford a person of your expertise!” Again you would be correct, but since I am spiritually wealthy, monetary compensation does not interest me. Plus, I will still be living high in the hog from all that sweet, sweet cash Allan Benavides [General Manager; Eugene Emeralds] will be paying me for my work with his team past and present. You do not have to pay me anything, not even a team store discount, although 20% is sort of the standard rate on the MiLB circuit. 

Since you will not be putting me on an actual payroll, our successful partnership will be based on my terms. First of all, I work remotely. I have no plans to move from Southern California to Burlington, NC. High Point, maybe, but not Burlington. On the chance that I am at your Burlington Athletic Stadium on game day, I can assure you I will be at a local watering hole long before the stadium lights are turned off for the night. Or maybe I will be at your desk sipping fine bourbon while you finish up. 

Secondly, I do not work exclusively for the Sock Puppets either. I have other obligations like running the Inland Empire 66ers Twitter amount (for now — I won that privilege in a fantasy football bet with the GM), and I write COMEDY GOLD for the Eugene Emeralds (also for now; Allan has not been returning my texts ever since I forgot his birthday). I do not think you ever have to worry about me working for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, although there is a brick with my name on it at their stadium.

So let’s get down to business. By now you have probably done some research and realize I was the mind behind the Fayetteville Woodpeckers’ smashing inaugural campaign in which I introduced the one of the greatest slogans of all time: “Fear the Wood! Respect the Pecker!” Upper management was not too fond of it, but a local t-shirt company in town sure was. Some of my other greatest hits were:

  1. Viking Funeral Night
  2. Yard Gnome Paintball Target Tuesdays
  3. The Bass Boat Regatta 
  4. Canadian Car Bombs and Strafe Canada Night
  5. Touch My Squatch; Win My Heart and Mind Night

Hey, is Jack McDowell still your manager? Have you ever had a sit-down with him to explain how his free agent signing with the Indians crushed the hopes and dreams of a city? Or is something that should stay in the past? If not, we could probably come up with nifty promotion that involves spot welders from Parma.

Anyway, I have to run. I am supposed to be on the Dad Hat Chronicles’ podcast tomorrow, and I have no idea what to wear. I listened to your episode on that show. You were not as good as the Otterbots’ guy, but you have me now to rectify that.

Your friend in baseball,

Bads85

PS: Your stadium needs a corporate sponsor for cash flow. Let’s reach out to Lotrimin, which makes that wonderful product that kills the fungus responsible for athlete’s foot and jock itch. 

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I Talk To The Ems About The Future


Dear Patrick Zajac [Director of Partnerships & Promotions; Eugene Emeralds]:

Hello, my good man. Allan Benavides [General Manager; Eugene Emeralds] had a big announcement yesterday at the Lane County Commissioners’ Big Brunch Party. He announced that the Emeralds would be retiring Mike Schmidt’s jersey next season since 2022 will be the 50th anniversary of when Schmidt played in Eugene. This is the type of promotion that will make Eugene a MiLB travel Mecca. My baseball writing friends are already imploring me to plan a trip that will bring many of us together from all around North America to the Eugene/Springfield area for this gala. You are probably too young to remember Mike Schmidt in his prime, but he was a deity to children of the 1970’s, just like Farrah Fawcett. 

As you well know, I am a meticulous planner, and an event this special requires more than just hopping in the car to make a mad dash up I-5 to Eugene. I understand that the Ems’ promotion schedule is not finalized, but do you have a date for the Schmidt jersey retirement? My wife expects me to traipse all over Europe next summer to places like Madrid, Rome, Paris, London, etc. I told her all I want to do is go to Wichita to see the Wind Surge’s new stadium, and then she gave me her look, so I told her we can go to Wichita when we return. I do not want to be in some godforsaken place like the Netherlands when the Mike Schmidt thingy is happening, so I would greatly appreciate it you could get me a tentative date.

Hey, I have been thinking about possible Marvel Entertainment promotions, and I am firmly convinced that someone from your organization needs to steal the Spokane Indians’ Recycle Man costume. Send your new road announcer up there to take it in the dark of the night. While he is up there, maybe you can have him drop by the pro shop at the Creek at Qualchan to see if my lost range finder has shown up. Yes, I know, I lost it at the Arizona National Golf Club, but sometimes those things migrate.

But I digress. Once the Ems have the Recycle Man costume, you guys can have your own Save the Planet Night where Recycle Man gets tossed by Squatch into a trash compactor. Have a Wall-E Night and preach about sorting trash, then have Luke Skywalketr and Han Solo show with blasters blazing, and watch the crowd go wild. Create some plot line where Recycle Man is a just a grifter in cahoots with China — okay, maybe this one is over the top. Still send your new guy to Spokane to check on my range finder — that is kind of important.

Does Allan have any plans to take the front office to the Cactus League this year? My normal crew will be there, even if MLB is still locked out. The Rite of Spring Training will not be halted by billionaires squabbling with millionaires, at least for our group anyway. We can always find a t-ball field to heckle (the parents, not the players). In fact, we could use a man with your heckling talents. You essentially shut down an entire fan base by yourself during the High A West Championships (I would have had your back had that old man tried to physically assault you). You can ride with us anytime – Allan to as long as he isn’t Grumpy Allan.

Gotta run – much planning ahead. I cannot wait to travel to the Emerald Valley to use the Eugene Loo over the Mike Schmidt Extravaganza Weekend.

Your friend in baseball,

Bads85

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I Congratulate Kyle


Dear Kyle Day [General Manager; Spokane Indians]:

Congratulations for your Spokane Indians being named Minor League Baseball’s Organization of the Year last week at the Winter Meetings. I apologize for not sending you a missive last week, but I was busy chasing glory myself, beating Joe Hudson [General Manager; Inland Empire 66ers] by 83.7 points in our fantasy football matchup, effectively knocking him out of any playoff contention. It was quite the heady win that set the Low A West on fire for a brief time — until I lost this week to the commissioner, raising questions of collusion, as I had already locked up a playoff berth.

I recently came across a quote attributed to you on the internet, something about it might be someone’s first game at the baseball stadium, so it is important for the working staff to make the event special. While this is certainly true, it could also be someone’s last game. Some guy could go to a game and be angry at the wait in a concession line, and then be t-boned by a city bus the next day, and his last memory of MiLB will be one of anger and disappointment over a half cooked hot dog on a soggy bun for which he had to wait an inning.

A front office does not want to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths that follows them to the grave. Is increasing the price of a beer by a $1.50 really worth the risk of some old timer never returning to a game as he curses the industry in his last days? Of course not. Realistic thoughts like this are what has led to me being twice expelled from the Optimist Club, but sometimes you just have to keep it real with your staff. Most of the time, you have to be the warm, nurturing father type, but sometimes you have to implore that LIVES ARE IN THE BALANCE.

I just purchased some Spokane Indians’ gear — a jersey, a hat, and a t-shirt as part of a retail experiment. I have a feeling that gear will arrive before the Eugene Emeralds’ gear I ordered in October that still has not appeared. You see, now that I run the 66ers’ Twitter account, I am all about expediting shipping as I promote online shopping at their team store. Sure, promotions are still my first love, bit as you well know, one must versatile in this industry. 

Speaking of promotions, I am sure your elite staff has been busy planning for the Marvel Entertainment spectacles that will certainly grace Avista Stadium in 2022. Have you thought about having a Recycle Man versus Iron Man cage match? I know you might be thinking, “Bads85, who the hell am I going to get to play Iron Man?” Otto Klein [Senior Vice President; Spokane Indians], that is who. Duh.

Does your staff ever make it to the Spring Training? Your affiliation plays at the Jewell of the Cactus League, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. My crew usually attends two games there a year, not that slipshod crew from Eugene I traveled to Spokane with last fall, but real veterans of the road who fully understand the spiritual rebirth offered by meaningless exhibition games mixed with sunshine and copious amounts of booze. I have a suspicion that your staff really enjoys booze.

Anyway, I need to run. Those zany Emeralds won a victory in their stadium pursuit and will probably be drunk texting me very shortly.

Your friend in baseball,

Bads85

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I Talk To Diana For Maybe The Last Time


Dear Diana Jones [Program Supervisor; Board of Lane County Commissioners]:
I received a missive that you were out of the office last Friday, and I was like “You go, Girl! Get that Weekend Freak on! The Eugene Emeralds Stadium issues can wait until Monday. The vote isn’t until Tuesday anyway.”


Hey, would it not be funny is some random guy like me won the Powerball thingy tonight, and bought the Emeralds and decided that my money would be better spent on a potential stadium property not related to the Fairgrounds (after I lightly admonished Allan Bernavides [General Manager; Eugene 66ers] for never returning my texts or missives). Yeah, well some lucky benefactor winning the lottery and financing the Ems’ Stadium is just a pie in the sky dream. It is not happening, which is why it is imperative that the Lane County Supervisors make sure the Fairground partnership with the Ems’ happens.


The clock is running out, Diana. Yes, baseball is not supposed to have a clock, but stadium financing and land partnerships do. Lane County needs the Emeralds because professional baseball instills self-esteem in a community. Salem, Oregon is still reeling from losing their team, and the state capital has to live with an independent team called the Pickles. Sure, the Pickles are a fine organization that promotes themselves in a very entertaining manner, but they are the Pickles.


Can you imagine a Emerald Valley without Sluggo, the beloved mascot of the Emeralds? Without your support, Sluggo is going to get mothballed and thrown into a dark closet on the Island of Misfit Toys. Do you know how many elementary school reading programs will sputter without Sluggo? Without Sluggo, the Emeralds Valley could transform into the Illiteracy Valley. We all know the road to meth addiction is paved with the souls of those who cannot read. I do not think the Lane County Commissioner want to be responsible for that.


Anyway, I trust you will listen to the masses and ensure the partnership will happen. Lunch time is approaching, and this belly is not going to feed itself.


Your friend in baseball,Bads85

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