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clark hatersWhat in the world? An historic and venerable baseball organization is resorting to a costumed character to entertain fans and brighten the ballpark experience for kids?

That just can’t be true! Wait, wait. I know the story. It’s a crappy team, right? One that isn’t spending any money, isn’t winning any games, isn’t selling any tickets, and has to come up with some lame distraction. Totally predictable.

Except it’s the Dodgers. The $235 million payrollin’, 92 game winnin’, massive season ticket sellin’, 1800s formin’ Dodgers.

Although they’re making sure to downplay the introduction of a “mascot,” the Dodgers most certainly have rolled out a costumed character at the ballpark this year to pose for pictures and visit kids and generally make merry, according to the LA Times. It’s a bobblehead-ish looking guy, who is probably wearing pants, but who is also wearing a crazy, sideways hat.

When the Cubs unveiled Clark the Cub, the team’s new mascot, the heat they felt from all corners was embarrassing, misguided, and palpable. I said my piece then, and I won’t force you to suffer it again here. Suffice it to say: having a costumed extension of the organization for kids – who isn’t going to traipse around the dugouts and the field – is neither a big deal, nor a bad thing.

With the Dodgers joining in, and with Clark not bothering anyone in the least over the first week of games (most of you forgot about him until I just mentioned him, didn’t you?), I think it’s safe to say the tempest within a teapot is over. 

(Shame on the LA Times writer, however, for trotting out this dusty old meatball sandwich: “The Dodgers unveiled this new toy without fanfare. Without announcement. You know, almost like a big part of them was privately embarrassed. As they should be. The Dodgers are a proud, traditional, classy franchise which should be above this mascot silliness.”

Yes, the Dodgers should be above making things fun for kids. All those damn smiling kids who are “wild” about the character! They’re ruining the baseball GAME with their joy and laughter! They aren’t even watching the PLAYers with the BALL and BAT on the GAME field! For shame, Dodgers! Less costumes! More crusty old curmudgeons! Baseball is serious business!)

  • Jon

    “It’s a bobblehead-ish looking guy, who is probably wearing pants, but who is also wearing a crazy, sideways hat”

    Sad to see both of these organizations endorse gang activity

    • J. L.

      +1

    • E

      You don’t know much.

  • Edwin

    Wouldn’t it be “I said my piece then”, not “I said my peace then”?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ll edit it, to avoid a thing, and to avoid people thinking I’m a dolt. “Piece” is the more well-accepted idiom, but I believe they actually mean distinct things. I didn’t want to just say my part of the discussion (piece). I wanted to say what I had to say, and leave it at that final place (peace).

      It’s like when I capitalize this Summer. I think they should be considered two different idioms with two (slightly) different meanings.

      • Kyle

        “It’s like when I capitalize this Summer.”

        So this is one of those things where you are just wrong and we ignore it? Cool.

        • DarthHater

          “So this is one of those things where you are just wrong and we bitch about it while claiming that we are ignoring it? Cool.”

          FTFY

          • Kyle

            Accurate

        • Funn Dave

          Haha, yup.

      • Edwin

        It’s your nation, rule it however you’d like.

      • Patrick W.

        I always capitalize the seasons. Seems really dumb we don’t.

        • Brocktoon

          It looks odd as the object of a preposition.

    • miggy80

      In my mind it should be peace.

  • Cornish Heat

    “It’s not a mascot,” said Dodgers executive vice president of marketing Lon Rosen. “It’s a unique performance character.”

    Ha. Maybe the business department should’ve said something along those lines.

    • Cornish Heat

      *The Cubs business department

    • MightyBear

      “Unique Performance Character” instead of mascot. Is that like conscious uncoupling instead of divorce.

      • Cornish Heat

        Haha, I think so. Poor, Apple Martin…

  • DarthHater

    Obviously, their mascot should be:
    [img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7016/13722933563_66e840a351_o.jpg[/img]

    • MaxM1908

      Artfully done, sir.

  • itzscott

    Well, the LA Times…. one of the nation’s most respected newspapers headlined it fittingly:

    “Oh, the pain: Dodgers unveil their non-mascot mascot”

    To drive home the author’s chagrin:

    “The Dodgers unveiled this new toy without fanfare. Without announcement. You know, almost like a big part of them was privately embarrassed.

    As they should be.

    The Dodgers are a proud, traditional, classy franchise which should be above this mascot silliness.”

    Nothing’s sacred anymore

  • Patrick W.

    I spent two days in the ballpark this last weekend and I didn’t see Clark once. I saw Tom Ricketts when he came up to my section for a visit on Saturday to pass out commemorative baseballs to the kids, but no Clark.

    • Brocktoon

      Was Tom wearing pants?

      • Edwin

        I laughed.

      • Patrick W.

        Hah!

    • itzscott

      After how the mascot thing was accepted, I seriously think the Cub organization is afraid that Clark will get mugged in the stands. We all saw what ensued when a Clark wannabe walked into that bar.

      Clark will need some bodyguards.

    • MaxM1908

      I saw him in the concourse behind home plate. He was surrounded by families taking pictures. I didn’t think he looked that bad in person, and the kids were really excited to get their pictures taken with him.

      • Wilburthefirst

        Ditto, saw him at Spring Training and the little kids love him … for those who disagree just take one for the kids.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Billy Cub can kick both of their asses!

  • 5412

    Hi,

    For the price of tickets, you expect the family to have a good time. If the little ones (we took a 4 & 9 year old to a spring training game) enjoy the game it is easier to take them again.

    I am a traditionalist and agree with Mr. Wrigley who felt the game was the entertainment. I detest the on the field, top of the dugout mascots because they do take away from the game. I detest the stupid guy who goes down a slide in Milwaukee, the focus should be on the player who just hit the home run.

    It is all in how we define entertainment and what we enjoy. If we grew up with a mascot we would think that is just the way it is supposed to be.

    So far, Billy the Cub does not seem to be a distraction at all. Beats the daylights out of Ronnie Woo Woo grabbing the behinds of young women when they ask for a photo.

    regards,
    5412

    • CubbiesOHCubbies

      I assume you mean Clark the Cub does not seem to be a distraction, because judging by the weekend headlines, Billy the Cub is a major distraction and definitely NOT a member of the a Cubs organization. That being said, I completely agree. My daughter loved seeing Clark at the cubs convention, and that makes it good enough for me. If that’s what she needs to make going to a ball game enjoyable, so be it. Especially when the product on the field is sub par at best.

  • Spoda17

    Since the whole pants controversy… I have uncomfortably paid attention to mascots and if they have pants on… I admit it… I am in therapy… But the “data” is in… most mascots do not have pants on… The Chicken, no pants, the Gorilla, no pants… Clark, no pants… the Philly Fanatic… no pants…

    • Brocktoon

      It’s true, it’s a dumbass trumped up controversy thanks to places like Deadspin.

    • Argonzo

      It’s not odd a bear doesn’t wear pants.

      It’s odd he wears a shirt and hat.

      Hell, Yogi Bear (top ten years all-time) didn’t wear pants.

      • Argonzo

        (top ten *bears all time)

        • Edwin

          Who are the others?

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            Smokey…ummm….Boog (or whatever the hell that bear’s name is from Open Season)…ummm…well…er…

  • Indy57

    It may have pants, but it definitely looks like some kind of rodent trying to escape from under its’ hat.

  • Jon

    Last year Valbueana had a .318 wOBA against RHP pitching. It’s not that he crushes RHP, it’s just that he’s not as terrible vs righties. All things being the same, I think I would start Olt.

    • Wilburthefirst

      How can you insert a truly baseball oriented question into this stirring discussion of the merits of over sized, artificial personalities becoming the face (or pant less backside) of their respective organizations …

      • ssckelley

        It is actually quite easy to do.

  • candyland07

    I know when I take my grandchildren to Wrigley Field sometime in the future, I think it will be nice that the younger children can have a fluffy mascot to help create a fun family experience at the Ballpark.

    As a grandparent , I do enjoy seeing families having Fun and I think the mascot can only be a positive

  • L. Roq Hudson

    There’s actually going to be four of them in Los Angeles. And judging by the mug on this one, they’ve already had some work done. [img]la-sp-dn-dodgers-mascot-20140408[/img]

  • L. Roq Hudson

    dang. take two[img]http://www.trbimg.com/img-53443923/turbine/la-sp-dn-dodgers-mascot-20140408[/img]

    • Brocktoon

      That’s way creepier looking than Clark.

      • Brocktoon

        And the mascot doesn’t look great either. wakawaka

        But yeah, why is his tongue visible? What’s with the anime eyes?

        • Edwin

          The eyes scare me.

          • Fishin Phil

            We could gouge them out if it would make you feel better.

            • Edwin

              Maybe give him an eye patch.

              • Fishin Phil

                Before or after we gouge his eyes out??

                • Edwin

                  Yikes.

          • Brocktoon

            [img]http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0okwja2Sg1rn9ov6o1_500.jpg[/img]

    • ssckelley

      Where are his hands?

      • Brocktoon

        Between 2 pillows.

        • ssckelley

          be more like pin cushions wouldn’t it?

    • MightyBear

      That whole picture is creepy. I don’t even wanna know the “unique performance” that character is having with those two teenage girls but it doesn’t seem like it would be for kids.

      • ssckelley

        Based on how short you have to be in order to wear that costume I would think it is a woman wearing it, right?

  • L. Roq Hudson

    I told youse guys he obviously had some work done… the nose .. botoxed the eyebrows clean off … not to mention the steroids for that melon of a head. On off days, I hear he waits tables at Wolfgang Pucks…

    • Fishin Phil

      Are you sure that’s not Steve Garvey?

      • Brocktoon

        Where are his other 13 children?

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