The Ogden Raptors want their fans to appreciate the hourglass, and not in a “time is fleeting, enjoy every sandwich” kind of way.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ affiliate recently announced plans for “Hourglass Appreciation Night,” an Aug. 11 promotion that appeared to invite male fans to ogle at shapely women. that proved so misguided that it was quickly deleted and later apologized for by team President Dave Baggot, who called the promotion an “unauthorized press release.”
Too bad for him, however, the press release was screen captured by the Internet, which had a lot to say about the promotion that initially lauded the night by praising baseball for being a sport played without a clock. (It also isn’t played with an hourglass, but we digress.) The release said:
“The home team hosts the Billings Mustangs, but the real thoroughbreds will join Raptors broadcaster A.P. Harreld in the booth. Since August is the eighth month of the calendar year, and an 8 looks tantalizing similar to an hourglass, be there a better way to remind the world that baseball needs no clock than to feature 18 hourglass-shaped commentators. That’s right! Stars Talent Studio of Salt Lake City will provide a different stunner each half-inning. And the Raptors will video-stream the broadcast booth — well, at least the better-looking half of it!”
Should the message not be clear, the news release continues:
“Fans will have the opportunity to pose for pictures with the lovely ladies as we showcase seriously splendid visual appeal: Utah’s legendary mountains, Dodgers and Reds farmhands — and gorgeous women whose curves rival those of any stud pitching prospect!”
And, should the message still be murky, the release was illustrated with three bikini-clad women.
— Kate Feldman (@kateefeldman) June 6, 2017
Stars Talent Studio, which calls itself the largest talent agency in the Intermountain West, says it represents “actors, models, voice talent, singers, bands, musicians, dancers, pro-athletes and more!” In addition, its website says it is the “ONLY talent agency dedicated to developing healthy role models within the media.”
Look, we get it. Minor league baseball promotions are fun. They need to be distinctive and the challenge of getting attention can cause misguided, albeit creative efforts. The Charleston RiverDogs, for instance, have tried a Father’s Day Vasectomy Night (nipped in the bud), Nobody Night in 2002 (no one was allowed to enter until the fifth inning so that the official attendance would read zero) and Silent Night in 2003, when no talking or cheering was allowed. Two years ago, they came up with a “Bobble Boobs” giveaway on Breast Cancer Awareness Night, with ballpark mammograms offered and the support of a local Susan Komen group.
Promotions are clearly a hit-or-miss endeavor for minor-league teams. Two years ago, Utah whiffed mightily when it brought us the Orem Owlz’ “Caucasian Heritage Night” featuring “Wonder Bread on burgers with mayonnaise, clips from shows like ‘Friends’ and ‘Seinfeld’ and trying to solve the vertical leaping challenge.” That one was canceled and the team’s communications director ended up resigning.
It doesn’t appear that anyone is going to be fired over the Raptors’ promotion, but it has the team scrambling to apologize.
“The Ogden Raptors regret that an unauthorized press release was disseminated over the weekend announcing a promotion that was not approved or scheduled by club ownership or management,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter. “This promotion will not take place and steps have been put in place to ensure this will not happen again. The Ogden Raptors offer a sincere apology to anyone who was offended by the promotion itself and the contents of the press release, and in no way supports or condones the objectification of women. It is not reflective of the values of the Ogden Raptors, Los Angeles Dodgers organization, the Pioneer Baseball League or Minor League Baseball.”
The apology may be too little, too late for social media, however, which has reacted overwhelmingly negatively.
— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) June 6, 2017
The top soon-to-be-cancelled minor league promotion of the year. It's exactly what you think it is: https://t.co/MIpRvGyp8t
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) June 6, 2017
— Ben Poplin (@BenPoplin) June 6, 2017