What’s Up, Baby Cakes?

Goodbye Zephyrs, hello Baby Cakes.

The New Orleans franchise announced its new name on Tuesday evening, and it’s a whopper. The Miami Marlins Triple-A affiliate is now known as the New Orleans Baby Cakes.

Now before I go on my rant – yes, there will be a rant – Baby Cakes has some local flavor. In New Orleans, king cake is part of the Mardi Gras celebration, and a small, plastic baby baked into the cake is good luck to the person who finds it.

Regardless what you think of the Baby Cakes name – early returns are polarizing, to say the least – this is part of a continuing trend in minor league baseball.

Spearheaded by a San Diego promotional company called Brandiose, teams around the nation have developed new names and “cute” logos. Brandiose developed the name and logo for our favorite team to kick, the El Paso Chihuahuas.

They also created other team name changes this year in the minor leagues – I believe they had a hand in each of these:

  • Binghamton Rumble Ponies
  • Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
  • Down East Wood Ducks
  • Florida Fire Frogs

Here’s the thing, minor league team owners: you don’t have to permanently change your name in order to cash in on a new cute logo. The Fresno Grizzlies taught us this.

Fresno has developed an alternate reality, playing all Tuesday home games as the Fresno Tacos. The players wear Tacos uniforms and Tacos hats, and there is a full array of Tacos memorabilia available for fans to eat up in the team store. And the stuff sells.

The thing is, it is not permanent. The team is still the Grizzlies, and the Tacos are a silly and fun twice-a-month sideshow.

We could do this here in Tacoma.

What is Tacoma most famous for in our region? Easy: our never-ending freeway construction project.

Let’s do it. One day a week we’ll change our name to the Tacoma NeverEnding Freeway Construction. We’ll do this each Friday, and we’ll start the games during the heart of rush hour – say, 5:35. We’ll have Brandiose create special uniforms with the Tacoma NeverEnding Freeway Construction logo: a lane closed sign, with cute flashing arrows pointing toward a home plate. The hat will feature the Google traffic map – it will look terrific, lots of red. Games will be brought to you by Waze. The team store will be loaded with NeverEnding Freeway Construction gear. It will sell like hotcakes.

Six days a week we’ll be the Tacoma Rainiers, and on Fridays we’ll the Tacoma NeverEnding Freeway Construction.

Then, if the fans ever get tired of the Tacoma NeverEnding Freeway Construction logo (or if the freeway construction project is actually completed – sorry that was just too ridiculous, even for this post), we’ll quietly stop using it and become the Rainiers 24/7/365 again.

This way, we never actually committed to changing our name to the Tacoma NeverEnding Freeway Construction, or the Akron RubberDucks, or the Omaha Storm Chasers, or the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, or the New Orleans Baby Cakes. It was just temporary, and we could get away from it.

OK, that’s it, I’m done. You can catch the Baby Cakes at Cheney Stadium for a four-game series this coming season, May 6-9.

Baby Cakes Links:

The Usual Links:

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One Response to What’s Up, Baby Cakes?

  1. Sammy B says:

    That wasn’t much of a rant, especially considering this new age of rudeness and venom brought to us by our new president, although I do realize that you always bring a certain level of professionalism to everything you do, so I’ll cut you some slack. Seriously, I love minor league baseball and could watch minor league games from the time I get out of bed until the time I go to bed if I didn’t have to eat or have a roof over my head. And they really are about “local flavor” as you know. So I try not to judge the names and logos of other towns. And although I wouldn’t want the Rainiers to become the Baby Cakes, Wedding Cakes, Birthday Cakes, or any other cakes for that matter, if New Orleans can get their “groove” on with Baby Cakes, hey that’s okay with me. Who knows, I might even buy one of their hats, and, uh, give it to a kid or something. Go Rainiers.

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