Monday, March 17, 2008

Macon prepares to bow out shamefully

The Dugout was ready to give the Macon Music the benefit of the doubt. After all, Macon beat every other minor league team to the announcement of their promotion mocking Eliot Spitzer.

Hey, any politician who allows himself to be labeled “a fierce defender of ethics” by the New York Times; then is foolish enough to be caught with a hooker, pretty much deserves all ridicule.

Sure, it was odd that Macon would wait until several weeks after the start of their season to hold the June 13th promotion. It was almost cute that the front page of the Muzak’s web site referred to “mayor” Spitzer. And maybe they did plan to fly the winner to New York but have them stay in a hotel room in Washington D.C., as the story on their site haphazardly suggests.

The real red flag was paying for said room. As noted in the story on the main site, the South Coast League, which owns and operates all four SCL teams, already owes one of its road hotels nearly $40,000. Scott Adamson, who covers the SCL and the Anderson Joes for the Independent-Mail, is responsible for breaking that story a couple of days ago. It seems the league simply stopped paying many of its bills – never a good sign.

Now the Muzak say they’ve received so many complaints about the tasteless nature of the promotion that it’s allowing fans to vote whether the promotion will happen at all. The ballot is on the Muzak’s web site.

Any guesses how that will turn out? Consider it cancelled. And when that happens, fans of MinorLeagueDugout.com won’t have to bother looking for any South Coast League team to be featured in the highly-regarded “Promotion of the Day” section on the main page. Just can’t trust them.

Congratulations Macon, you got us. You made your splash.

The shame is, the idea was pretty good. Even if it was too expensive to go to New York or D.C., the Muzak could have sent the lucky winner to a cheap hotel in the area. Maybe even offer companionship.

Heck, why not dress up in the colors and logos of the former minor league hockey team from Macon – the Whoopee. Truth is, all of that costs money, which is something the league simply doesn’t have.

This statement from SCL vice president of sales and marketing Steven Tricarico is telling: “You tell me a single team out there that doesn’t owe somebody money.”

He’s right. Most do owe money. The difference is that most pay their debts.

Sadly, Macon probably could let the June 13th date stand. With the money issues the four-team SCL appears to be having, would anyone be surprised if the entire league went out of business before then?

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