Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How to annoy Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss hung up on The Dugout. Well, it wasn't actually Ted Geisel - who died in 1991. It was the media relations woman at Dr. Seuss Enterprises, who didn't give her name.

Still, it imparted a strangely dirty feeling for the remainder of the day - like The Dugout had somehow managed to anger the happiest guy in the world. It didn't matter that Geisel was a notoriously cantankerous fellow, being hung-up on by his minions was shocking.

The Dugout understands the need for copyright and trademark law, and the need to protect ones image. But it appears Dr. Seuss Enterprises significantly overreacted when it forced Lake Elsinore to cancel the popular Dr. Seuss Night. At worst Dr. Seuss enterprises could have worked with the Storm as part of the reading program. At best they could have let it slide.

That is not in their nature. A web search produces dozens of web sites that have been closed down by Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Lake Elsinore General Manager Chris Jones wanted to fight the order, but eventually the Storm decided it wasn’t worth the effort. That’s a shame. Entering its fourth year, the promotion was more than a fan favorite. The players looked forward to it, too.

“I think the best way we got back at them was the rhyme press release,” said Jones, who provided the above photo. “We wanted to have some fun with it. We didn’t want to take it as seriously as they were taking it.”

Here is that press release:

Storm Denied the Right to Promote Dr. Seuss Night

Lake Elsinore, CA, May 1, 2008 –

The Padres affiliate, the Lake Elsinore Storm
Tried to put on a promotion that wasn’t the Norm
We called it Dr. Seuss Night on our website
But something about that didn’t seem right

Dr. Seuss Enterprises didn’t see it as funny
They said we could do it but we didn’t have the money
They didn’t appreciate our publicity ploys
So we have to inform all the sad girls and boys

Through the face of it all we thought we’d persist
Until we were served with a cease and desist
The theme has been cancelled but the game will go on
Perhaps it wouldn’t matter if we were in Taiwan

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