July 19, 2011
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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.
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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