Ratto: Advice for the Championship Baby's parents


Ratto: Advice for the Championship Baby's parents

July 19, 2011


Follow @RattoCSNRay Ratto

As someone who has avoided marketing and its practitioners as though they were door-to-door salesmen, and because I have not yet been hired as Comcasts West Coast obstetrician, I have largely remained free of the details of the World Championship Baby promotion.
RELATED: The Giants World Championship Baby

But as the day grows closer, I will serve as the childs de facto ombudsman as he or she faces an uncertain world wearing nothing but orange and black for most of his or her formative years.

I have not cleared this with the parents, as (one) I dont know them and (two) as the stupidly-titled Senior Insider, I dont have to. I checked with Legal on this, so dont mess with me.

But on behalf of little Todd or Toddina, let me say the following things:

1. There are other colors in the rainbow than orange and black. The child will have to wear Dodger colors on the Fourth of July, and Minnesota Wild colors on Christmas. Thats just how it goes. A duo-chromatic world is bad for a childs mental health.

2. Slapping a beard on the childs face for photos is not something one can easily explain to that child later in life. Save years of disgusted looks from family members and friends and leave the little ones mug free of props. That includes bow ties as well, unless you want the child to spend time fighting off assailants in schoolyards.

3. Panda outfits are probably acceptable if you are willing to lie in play groups and say, we just like baby bears, and besides, you dressed your kid up like a platypus, for Gods sake.

4. Calling the child The Freak is the same as investing 400,000 in therapy futures.

5. In fact, all nicknames should be eschewed so the little being can develop an actual individual identity. He or she is not MadBum or Vogey on Sanchie or Miggy or HuffDaddy or Buster Junior or Pat The Bat or Buckethead (for the manager) or Crankypants (for the general manager). These are all awful ideas when attached to the adults currently under contract, and their use is an unalloyed blight on the fan base. But since they apparently have no shame in the area of infantilizing their players, well have to make our stand on behalf of the winning zygote.

6. And Zeets is right out. Perfectly ghastly.

7. Using the word Torture, which is already a tedious clich, is not recommended for raising a child. It will be torture without questions, especially once the child starts to walk and irretrievably when talking in complete sentences follows. But kids take a dim view to being compared unfavorably to waterboarding. Bad for the self-esteem, were told by child psychologists who charge 145 an hour and therefore must be smart.

8. The child does not care about the Dodgers. The child cares about its next Fig Newton. Prioritize properly. Do not teach it to say Beat LA unless there is a good reason to do so. Let the miniaturized human find his or her own path.

9. Tommy Lasorda doesnt know your kid. Hes not a factor.

10. Teaching the child to bitch about lineup selections, bullpen construction, rotation maintenance and things like OPS, WAR and BABIP is not a bad thing, but dont forget the basics. ERA, batting average and wins and losses may not be great statistics to draw sweeping conclusions, but knowing the seven times-table doesnt put rockets into orbit either. First things first. Teach the fundamentals.

11. If the child grows up and decides to follow another team, thats your fault. You will have overplayed the Giant angle and sickened the child into nausea. Do not rebuke the little ingrate for wanting to seek his or her own path; let the diminutive little soul-sucker choose the Pirates, or the Nationals, or the Winnipeg Jets, or West Bromwich Albion, if he or she wants. Its called letting him or her be an individual. A stupid idea, I know, but you follow the Giants with a creepy monomania that has caused your friends to back away from you at parties. It is not fair to make the child live your pathologies.

12. If the child grows up and decides to follow a divisional rival, make the malignant little brute live in a tree in the back yard. Individuality has its limits, and a few missed-meal cramps ought to straighten him or her out.

13. And never ever ever let the liquor cabinet be depleted. The team angle aside, a child is a frightening responsibility who will cause years of sleep deprivation, worry, stress and heart palpitations. A child costs damned near a million bucks from the womb to the front door going out, and if you think about it too hard, youll hit yourself repeatedly in the head with a mounting hammer.

14. If after all this you still want to be in the WCB contest, then we cant help you. But you can never ever say you havent been told. So drink up, Brittany and Scott if you win, only a few of us will make fun of you.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Internet immediately goes to DefCon1 on Chip Kelly-to-Cal


Internet immediately goes to DefCon1 on Chip Kelly-to-Cal

In what can be considered your standard bolt out of the blue, California head football coach Sonny Dykes has reportedly been fired.

In what can be considered your standard spur-of-the-Internet-moment-connect-the-dots inspiration, the Internet went immediately to DefCon1 on Chip Kelly-to-Cal rumors.

The logic, of course, is impeccable. Dykes never really snapped the Cal program around, taking a bad program and making it, well, mediocre, and he has spent much of the past two years aggressively seeking out other jobs, so one can assume there was at least some trouble in paradise, even if you want to make the case that Cal football and paradise are somehow connected.

And Kelly just got canned by the 49ers as part of Jed York’s latest I-will-not-be-made-to-look-ridiculous twitch, so he could sign a properly modest contract at Berkeley and still get his full $6 million with the offset from the three years left on his Jed deal.

So it makes perfect sense . . . which is why it should be judged with considerable skepticism.

For one, Kelly can almost surely do better in the college job diaspora. Cal is a big name with modest ambitions due in part to constant budget constraints, and there are better jobs out there even if he sits for a year.

For two, Cal and Kelly are an odd fit, given the persistent tensions between academia and athletica at Berkeley.

For three, the job comes with massive roadblocks, including Stanford, USC, Washington and (potentially) a resuscitation of the Oregon he left behind. Success will not come easy, if it does at all.

For four, Cal just finished four years of gimmick offense and overburdened defense, and Kelly would provide a more successful version of the same.

And for five, this is too easy, too simple, too convenient. Something about this scenario must be wrong somewhere. When people hit the Internet with photoshopped Kelly-in-Cal-costumes within minutes of the Dykes announcement, you know this is too obvious to actually come to fruition.

Why? Because we don’t live that well, that’s why.

The beauty of a triumphant Kelly at Cal glowering down at the charred ruin in Santa Clara seems more appealing than it actually is, because try as they might, Cal fans will never be backing the more popular horse here, and Kelly won’t win that battle unless he takes Cal to the Rose Bowl while the 49ers are still grappling over draft positions.

In that way, reality sucks. The idea that Jed York could be mocked in collegial absentia by his two biggest coaching hires is delicious but almost surely illusory.

But until we get more on why Dykes got canned 43 days after the team’s last game – recruiting, academic issues, legal issues, photocopier problems from him sending his resume out so often – all we have is the Chip Kelly rumor-ette to keep us intrigued.

Okay, to keep us amused.

Okay, to keep us from falling over in a coma. Cal should matter more than it does, but it’s been 13 years since the Holiday Bowl zenith of the Jeff Tedford Era, and 25 since Bruce Snyder took the Ursines to the Citrus Bowl. The evidence since 1990 is of a team with bigger dreams than means that is slightly below .500 (160-164). Sonny Dykes leaving means one more coach who didn’t make an impact unless his departure leads to either reassessment of the program’s standards, internal or external sanctions . . .

. . . or what the hell, Chip Kelly. Let’s face it – in these dismal days for wacked-out rumormongering, this is pretty intoxicating stuff.

Warriors are most geographically vague team in history of American sports


Warriors are most geographically vague team in history of American sports

The Philadelphia/San Francisco/Golden State Warriors have always had a casual attitude about their home court, even by the once-flexible standards of the National Basketball Association.

Thus, it should be only slightly amusing but not actually surprising that Warriors chief arenologist Rick Welts is now waffling a bit (courtesy Comrade Poole) on whether the team will change its name to San Francisco Warriors when it moves across the pond in 2019-20, or retain its current geographic association with Narnia.

I mean Golden State. I often confuse utterly fictional locales – when I can be bothered to give a toss either way.

But the Warriors, whether they play in Oakland, San Francisco, Pier 30, Pier 32, Westeros, Hobbiton, the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, Curryvania, the Klingon Empire, the Death Star or Planet Nine, are relocating, and once they break the seal on the earth in 12 days, Welts and his fellow elves will almost surely play the team’s future name as a mildly tedious cliffhanger.

Hey, fun is where you find it.

The matter of the team’s relocation will be a sore subject among lifelong East Bay residents, who have put up with the Warriors for 45 years in various stages of development, including the current “We Almost Never Lose” stage. They regard the Warriors’ transplantation to San Francisco to be an unspeakable crime given the high level of fan allegiance afforded them in Oakland.

And yes, they regard Oakland and San Francisco as very real places, as opposed to Golden State, Freedonia, Vulgaria or the Nexus of All Realities.

It is not yet fully known what San Franciscans think of this development, but that’s the nature of the gamble here. They may embrace the Warriors as the new toy in town and then lose interest, and frankly, neither Welts nor anyone else knows the answer to that.

Either way, their die is cast, and Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are now future former Oakland fixtures. Yes, they are quite fond of the exciting new real estate values and their exciting new unobstructed view of the bay, but it has long been assumed that the move would also entail changing the name back to “San Francisco” for the snob appeal.

Now Welts, who has overseen both arena projects (including the one at Piers 30 and 32 which ended up with the piers beating the Warriors in a rout), tells Comrade Poole that the San Francisco Warriors might not end up as the San Francisco Warriors after all.

“Four years ago, I think the conventional wisdom in our building here in Oakland was that yes, we should attach a city name to the team, then it becomes a more global franchise,” Welts marketing-gobbledy-gooked. “There was a lot of head-scratching four years ago about where the Golden State Warriors even played, in other parts of the world. What’s happened with the team over the course of the ensuing years, until today, has made the Warriors if not the preeminent, at least among the three best-known NBA franchises around the world. And everybody who didn’t know where the Golden State Warriors were four years ago, if you’re a fan today, anywhere in the world, you know where the Golden State Warriors are.”

In Oakland.

Now, the mic drop.

“The team’s success has caused us to really rethink whether or not that’s something we should or want to do,” he added. “I guess it’s fair to say there’s been no final decision made. But if you were a betting man, I think you would probably want to wager that the name might remain the same.”

Of course. Why not stay fictional when specificity might move fewer hoodies?

Then again, this is a team that in its 70 years has played home games in Philadelphia (the Arena, the Civic Center, Lincoln High School and Convention Hall), Hershey and Bethlehem PA, Atlantic City, Trenton, Collingswood and Camden NJ, and Saratoga Springs NY . . .

(a moment’s rest here to catch our breaths)

. . . and then after moving west in 1962, the Cow Palace, San Francisco Civic Auditorium and USF’s Memorial Gym, the Oakland Auditorium, San Jose Civic Auditorium, San Jose Arena, Richmond Auditorium, then Sacramento, Bakersfield, Fresno, San Diego, Eugene, Seattle, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

In fact, and you can swindle the gullible at your neighborhood tavern with this one, the Warriors’ first game in San Francisco occurred almost three years before the team left Philadelphia. The Warriors played the visitors to the Minneapolis Lakers, who moved to Los Angeles a year later and had already played a regular season game at the Cow Palace earlier in the year, so this game, January 31, 1960, could have been considered a civic scouting trip for both teams as they sought new homes.

In other words, the Warriors are almost surely the most geographically vague team in the history of North American sports. Moreover, they are about to become the first team in sports history to go home for the third time under three different city names – Philadelphia, San Francisco and Krypton, or whatever the hell they want to call themselves this time.