Major League Baseball batdogs should be a thing in 2020. Here’s why.
After months of wrangling over the specifics, Major League Baseball will (probably) be a thing this year. So it’s the perfect time for Major League Baseball batdogs to become a thing as well.
According to NBC Sports detailed breakdown of the 2020 MLB season changes, as part of the coronavirus restrictions, batboys and batgirls will not be allowed during the 2020 season. Neither will the ball boys and ball girls who scoop up the balls that bounce down long the foul lines.
So, why not use man’s best friend instead?
Various Minor League Baseball teams have used batdogs since the mid-1990s in a trend that began with the barnstorming Jake the Diamond Dog, and they would provide excellent optics and goodwill for the big league clubs in a time when they need all the PR help they can get.
As his pal Bark-Andre Furry noted, who wouldn’t love to see the Trenton Thunder’s Rookie the Batdog take the field at Yankee Stadium? As the most historic franchise (not to mention one of the most polarizing) in the game, this would set a colossal precedent and draw tons of favorable attention from media outlets that don’t cover baseball. In doing so, this could draw new casual fans to the game, and some of those casual fans would evolve into avid devotees.
This could be especially true with kids, which is a vital demographic to target if the sport is going to be played fifty years from now.
And since in a Western context dogs are typically thought of as honest and innocent, what better way for a sport reeling from sign-stealing scandals and bickering over petty trivialities? That’s a little underhanded and a cynical approach to take, but it would likely work.
Since traditionally the Yankees are the trendsetters, other teams would want to copy them in this area as well, and a handful are well-equipped already to do just that.
The Las Vegas Aviators’ Finn the Batdog would be a great addition to Oakland Athletics games, and while he’s not exactly a batdog as Chief Morale Officer for the Frisco RoughRiders, team dog Brooks would be happy to show off the Rangers’ new stadium.
A trip to Chicago’s Wrigley Field might be a stretch for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans’ Slider, but maybe they could let the Atlanta Braves borrow him for a bit. Similarly, the Bowling Green Hot Rods’ Turbo wouldn’t be able to get down to the Tampa Bay area, but he would be a good draw for the Cincinnati Reds or Cleveland Indians.
Besides, Rookie is likely nearing the end of his batdog tenure (he’s helping train his young cousin Dash this year), so pioneering this concept would be a tremendous way for his career to end.
Let’s get Major League Baseball batdogs to become a thing and get #CallUpTheBatdogs trending, shall we?
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