CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? LIGHTEN UP!!!

Okay, by now you’ve all heard about our latest and greatest promotion to date…the “Yankees Elimination” from New England Little Leagues. Listen, this promotion is all in FUN. Some of my best friends in this industry work for other organizations; Yankees, Tigers, Nationals, Athletics, Orioles…the list goes on and on. It’s like a brotherhood for those of us in professional sports. We don’t harbor any ill feelings toward any organization. In fact, I told the Staten Island Yankees about this promotion prior to releasing it and they thought it was great! They have plans to retaliate (all in fun) when we visit them this season. I think that’s wonderful. Our main goal behind this promotion was to reach out to AREA Little League organizations to build long-term relationships. We want their players to come out to LeLacheur Park, experience the entertainment we offer and actually play an exhibition game on the field where Major League stars have played. We’re even willing to absorb the cost of “replacement” uniforms. We never dreamed this story would go national. ESPN.com, ABC News, Fox News…. Since that has happened, we’ve extended way outside our market. We’ve swelled to over 30 organizations seeking to “eliminate” the Yankees in favor of the Spinners. While we plan to honor our desire to pay for new uniforms, this has extended way beyond our wildest imaginations. Having said that…we are looking for businesses to help out. Call us if you are interested. Tim Bawmann, General Manager

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43 comments

  1. Mike McGowan

    Dear Sir,

    As a resident of Connecticut and a Little League Coach, I am in total diagreement with your statement that a child is disappointed that he or she has to wear a Yankee uniform. As I recall Connecticut is a New England state so please do not say that everybody in New England feels this way. Another way to spend the money if you would like is to make a donation to each New England State’s Little League. There the money could be put to better use. Thank you.

  2. Pete Stred

    The only thing more ridiculous than this “promotion” is your ham fisted attempt at making it all about “fun”. I’m sure there are Little League kids in EVERY demographic that don’t like the name of the team they play for. Suggesting that all Little League players in New England feel bad about themselves because they play on a team named after the most storied franchise in baseball is ludicrous.
    Your affiliation with the Boston Red Sox makes your claims of “fun” reek more of Yankee hatred and a hunger for publicity then genuine concern for area Little League teams.

  3. Les Krupel

    As a lifelong Yankees fan, and living in New England for the last 28 years, I am totally offended by this promotion. It doesn;t matter to me if teh Staten Island Yankees think it if funny or not. Yes, you should be promoting your team almost any way you can but not by sending the message to the children in various leagues alluding to them that they are on an inferior team that should change their name.
    The Yankees name and logo are known around the world as the best franchise in sports and you shouldn’t be degradating that to kids at an age where they can still be molded.
    I think this is just awful and should be stopped immediately.

  4. Lee Ottey

    First I’d like to point out that I am neither a Yankee or Red Sox fan but am actually a Dodgers fan. Everyone seems to forget that on the other side of the country lies a rivalry close or even more violent to yours and that’s Dodgers – Giants. But in LA county there are plenty of little league teams with that ugly SF uniform and no one cares. I’m sorry but I have to agree with the Yankee fans on this one. This is nothing more than Red Sox fans showing their true feelings about the Yankees. I’d be upset too if in NoCal they suddenly decided that Dodger blue had to go. Thanks for your time.

  5. james

    why do this to kids? perhaps by this point the ball players have learned to dislike all things yankee related, to be shown that that is the wrong way. this promotion is more aggressive than anything relative to honest fun. it seems silly to me that little league teams are named after big league teams to begin with. i feel an overwhelming sense of negatively and inferiority in this world and having people in new england and the new york area in a constant state of anger and resentment is tiresome. while in lowell, let’s all stop off to visit the kerouac memorial and go watch some wholesome little league games rather than the spinners. sweet marketing ploy…

  6. Don Schuster

    Tim,
    One doesn’t need to have taken Psych 101 to know your promotion will do far more damage to a kid’s pysche than having them play on a youth league team with “Yankees” sewn on it. Your attempt to wrap it up as some bland harmless ploy rings hollow. Rather, it amounts to an attempt to lobby hatred throughout New England to a generation of unwitting youngsters and make money to boot. This country is not about obliterating choice – it’s about COMPETITION! I am a displaced rabid SF Giant fan who loathes Dodger Blue but I would never advocate removing that moniker from Northern California. It’s early in the game but I read the score as 5-0 – that’s a shutout in my backyard. Hey, get some notoriety, maybe a photo op from Theo, but don’t try to dress this up “wholesome fun.”

    DMS – Roswell, GA

  7. Chriss

    This is just a big PR stunt for you to attract fans.

    Years ago in CT a minister tryed to get a town’s high school to drop its nickname of the Blue Devils. He was laughed out of town

  8. Ed M

    I agree whole heartedly with no Yankee uniforms for our youth baseball programs here in Massachusetts. The Red Sox Yankee rivalry has been around as long as I can remember(I’ve been a Sox fan since 1975) and has been passed on from generation to generation. My grandfather disliked the Yankees, my father dislikes the Yankees, I dislike the Yankees and my boys have followed suit. It also makes for an even greater apprecation for the game.

  9. Al Gregoire

    Hi,
    Just wanted to pass this on. A friend of mine is attending the Pro-Bowl today 2/12, in Honolulu and he just called me to see if I had heard about this Little League article, which appeared in the Honolulu News. So it has now made its way all the way to Hawaii.

  10. Jeff Gaulin

    I think this is great fun and if anyone takes it for more than just that then they are taking little league baseball way too serious. Unfortunately, people think little league is professional baseball. This seems like fun and a lot of leagues can benefit with getting new uniforms which can be extremely costly.

  11. karen vergakes

    This is all in fun. When I changed my teams name last year, to the spinners. It was for two reasons.One to pay respect to the Spinners and the great work that they do. And lastly being a Red Sox fan, and living with the Red Sox – Yankee rivalry, I just had to change the name. The Spinners do a great job incorporating youth Baseball and Softball teams into their program.

  12. Morris Hattrick

    Yeah, this is a great way to make the kids feel good about baseball: replace the greatest franchise in professional sports with a bush league outfit no one’s ever hear of. I can see it now:

    Coach: Even though the Yankees have won 26 championships and are the greatest team in professional sports, we don’t want to hurt your little feelings, so we’re now going to be called the “Spinners.”

    Player 1: What the heck is a “Spinner”?

    Coach: No one knows. Something about records, or Spiders, maybe. But it’s all for “fun.”

    Player 2: Fun? What’s so fun about “Spinners”? If it was supposed to be fun, they could have chosen something like the “Chowderheads.”

  13. Tim Bawmann

    Okay, I feel I must respond to some of the “un-educated” criticism that is coming in. First: To Mike in CT. You are right. Not every child in NE is a Red Sox fan. Perhaps I over-stated that. Second: to Pete from who knows where. Probably New York. The Red Sox had nothing to do with this promotion. We aren’t attempting to “eliminate” the Yankees teams with the Red Sox “B” teams. Third: to Less from NE (somewhere). We aren’t degrading any Major League team with this promotion. We also aren’t twisting any of the now 29 plus teams/leagues that have inquired about the offer as far away as Florida and Michigan. Fourth: to Lee in California. I’m sorry but the Dodgers/Giants rivalry in California pails in comparison to the Red Sox/Yankees. I grew up in Illinois and thought the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry was the best…until I moved out here. You have to live in the Northeast to experience it. You wouldn’t believe it. Fifth: to Chris from who knows where. No one is laughing at this promotion. The last time I checked; ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CNNSI.com, MLB.com and a plethora of other media outlets thought it was fantastic. PS: you can catch us on ESPN’s Cold Pizza Wednesday morning. Sixth: Morris from who knows where (probably New York). You obviously know nothing about Minor League Baseball. The Lowell Spinners currently have the longest sellout streak in Minor League Baseball at 233 games and counting. Minor League baseball is not “bush league” as nearly 40 million fans flooded to games in America last season. When is the last time you went to a Minor League game? Why don’t you give the Brooklyn Cyclones or Staten Island Yankees a try. Seventh: to Al. Thanks for the Hawaii news. That’s great. Guess Chris wasn’t paying attention. And LAST: thanks to all of the Spinners fans who have chimed in. We love all baseball you all!

  14. John Stewart

    Finally… I can’t believe how disappointed my son was two years ago when he was assigned to the Yankees. He played loyally becuase they were all a team under those shirts but you can bet it’s not a uniform shirt that he would wear if he wasn’t within eye shot of the ball field on game day. At the end of the season, all but one member of the team (who was a true Yankee fan and proud to wear their uniform) wanted to have a uniform burning party. We didn’t let that happen obviously… He just had to be satisfied with throwing that jersey and hat to the bottom of the trash bin after his last game.

  15. Frank R

    The paranoia of being second best most of the time continues to rear its ugly head in Boston. As a board member of a LL in NY, no thought has ever been given about dropping our Red Sox teams. We have many other important things in our lives and day to day activities to even think about the Sox. Grow up and get over it.

  16. Ruby

    I am originally from Brooklyn and lived some years in the Bronx and am a die hard Yankees fan living in Lowell. I am also a Spinners fan because you represent Lowell, not because you represent the Red Sox. I am now reconsidering whether I am going to remain a Spinners fan after this ridiculous promotion of yours. I think that this rivalry has gotten so out of hand…and mostly here in New England. New Yorkers don’t think as much about the Red Sox as the Red Sox fans think of the Yankees, they have the Mets to contend with. These types or rivalries start out as fun and games and next thing you know there is someone getting beat up for wearing a Yankees hat or shirt.

  17. Tim Bawmann

    Ruby,

    Come on, lighten up. You have to admit this hasn’t been a ridiculous promotion. Look at all the national media outlets that have commented on it. People from all over America now know who the Lowell Spinners are. Bet there are some major corporations wishing they could pull something like this off to get noticed. To reconsider wheter or not you’re going to remain a Spinners fan because of this FUN promotion seems to a bit much. If you attend our games, you will know that we DON’T tolerate any negative Yankees’ clothing in our facility. Staten Island is on record in favor of our promotion. Call them. Check it out!!! THIS IS ALL IN FUN!!! And look at everyone who has taken notice.

  18. Kenny

    Ok, I saw you guys on cold pizza this morning, and I like how you guys explained your idea, except for one problem. As Mike McGowan said in his entry entitled “Dear Sir” that Connecticut is a New England state, and about half of us are Yankees fans. In the next town over from me, I’ve had friends who have played for the Red Sox being a Yankee fan, and isnt that just as much a slap in the face as a red sox fan playing for the yankees?

    If you are going to present the Connecticut Little Leagues with this idea, you better find out a way to get rid of the red sox too, because i do not think that the board of directors in most little leagues will be all Red Sox fans.

    Good Luck With your promotion in northern New England, but i doubt that it will be a success in CT.

    Thanks

  19. Tim Bawmann

    Hey Kenny. It was NEVER intended to be a promotion outside of the greater Lowell area. We AREN’T trying to extend it into CT, NY, RI, ME., it’s just happening. Perhaps you misseed the explanation that we told the Staten Island club about it and suggested they try the same thing. I’d love it if they try to “eliminate the Red Sox” in favor of the Staten Island club. It would be great for Minor League Baseball all-round.

  20. mike

    this is the best promotion i have ever seen. im a life long red sox fan/yankee hater. but put all that aside i honestly cant think of a better way to build a better relationship with little league teams across new england and the rest of the country. you all have my best wishes.

    you guys rule

  21. The Mick 536

    You and Dibble played slow pitch today. Embarassed for both of you. He’s arrogant and you don’t realize that the promotion, aimed at kids as it is, promotes all the wrong attributes of being a baseball player, spectator, or good sport. What you did was the functional equivalent of the Dane who doodled the prophet. You Garfield type innocence doesn’t wear well. But who am I to say anything.

    Not all Yankee fans hate the Bosox, especially the ones who live in Vermont and cannot follow their team without great cost and great effort. I go back to the days before Yankees suck. You should too.

  22. Cory (Iowa)

    You people out there are crazy for ripping on this great promotion. It’s about having FUN!!! It’s about the kids. Who cares if they would rather be a Spinner over being a Yankee. I think more minor league and major league teams should get involved. There are a lot of kids out there wearing just a t-shirt and miss-matching pants and that’s what sucks. FREE UNIFORMS!!! Why don’t you whinners get off your butts and do something for the kids, like the Spinners are. All minor league teams have promotions, it’s how they get fans to come out. I’m amazed that so many grown men are acting like children, quit crying and put on that Spinner (or Yankee) uniform.

    Love the idea – It’s FUN!!! That’s what little league baseball is all about. It’s not about the parents and their favorite team. Grow up!!!

  23. Don S

    Hi Tim,

    Great idea/promotion for the Spinners and one that Greater Lowell kids will surely benefit from. The folks complaining just simply miss the the overall intent of this idea. Having lived in Greater Lowell most of my life, the kids on youth teams will LOVE this idea. And anytime kids can get new uniforms, well thats always a good thing!

    Hopefully this idea will spread in the Minor Leagues as I’m sure this would be useful in other markets as well for any Major League affiliate.

    I do miss the Spinners since I moved to Phoneix last March. Especially the travel trips. Will always remember the trip to Coney Island wih the Spinners, still a favorite time for me and my son. Tell Danny B, Donny says HI!

    Regards,
    Don

  24. Bill (Iowa)

    Everybody that has a problem with this is way too high strung. It’s all for fun people! Naturally there are just people out there that like to find something to complain about so they chose this forum to do so but honestly, is it really that bad? The kids benefit from all of this by getting the new uniforms and being apart of all the media attention which I’m sure they will love. The very people that are upset about this are probably the same ones that always complain to the coach for not playing their kid here or there. Bottom line, get your priorities straight and let the kids enjoy their moment in the sun and be part of the fun.

  25. Pete Stred

    I live in CT, not NY. I never suggested that you were trying to replace the Yankee teams with Boston “B” teams as you put it. What I did point out was that this promotion, while clamed to be about fun and kids, is not. It’s about PUBLICITY for your team.
    I have nothing against the Spinners; I bet you have a great team. It seems you are well liked and respected by your community, and that is great. I have been to many games at both major and minor league parks. While there is something to be said about the thrill of being a part of a packed stadium at a major league game, some of the best times I have had have been at minor league parks. I am a big fan of minor league teams and I realize that promotions are what make your team money. There is NOTHING wrong with that.
    My complaint is that you are running a promotion that claims to be about fun and kids but is really about hype. If your team was not associated with the Red Sox and you were not offering to replace Yankee uniforms you WOULD NOT be getting the national coverage that you are getting.
    I am glad that you have managed to make The Spinners a household name, but you have done so by exploiting the Boston vs. New York rivalry. Your claims to the contrary are a farce.
    If you really wanted kids to experience playing ball at a professional park and be able to wear new uniforms then you would make your offer available to ANY team. Not just those with pinstripes. I think that you should have a promotion where you let area Little League All-Star and Tournament teams play at your field. Now THAT would be about fun! While it would not garner you much media attention, or get you on Cold Pizza, your community would wildly support it. That is who you should want to impress because that is who is paying to see your team play.

  26. John (New York)

    Reading the Daily News in New York. Avid Minor League Baseball Fan. This is no harm done to anyone. I commend both teams for being good sports and bringing some laughs to us all. By the way the SI Yankees have posted something on there site now.

  27. Matt (Lowell)

    To those who are complaining (especially Pete from CT),

    The Spinners don’t need the pub…as Tim mentioned, a number of promotions that they put on throughout their 10 years have already brought the Spinners national attention — see Birth Night and Peter Gammons Look-a-Like Contest. Plus, they’ve got the sellout thing going as well. As someone who has been to many Spinners games in their 10 years can tell you, this Yankee thing has a long backstory. At almost every game, the announcer will give Sox updates — however, the BIGGEST cheers of the night (even beating Spinner accomplishments) are when he announces that the Yankees are losing. The region is already swept up in Yankee hatred — the Spinners are just channeling it in another creative way. There’s no harm here and no publicity-seeking. Trust me, the looks on the kids’ faces in different Little Leagues when they get their Spinner unis instead of Yankee will be priceless!

  28. Rob

    Congratulations, you have broken off more than you can chew. Well let’s look at this promotion: First off, you have created the Yankee elimination program, where you essentially buy out Little League teams. But isn’t that why you hate the Yankees? Because they use their money to do whatever they want? Well at least the Yankees are using it to win, not on this foolish Endeavor. Second: YANKEE ELIMINATION PROGRAM? I have heard of people doing things like this in NAZI GERMANY. You are soiling the name of the RedSox with this stupid promotion. How about this you are a team. Lets teach kids to work together, regardless of what team they cheer for, so that in the future RedSox Fans can feel safe at the Yankee’s Ballpark, and so Yankee fans will feel welcome at Fenway. I’m not saying this will ever happen, but for god’s sake it’s a game, let the kids enjoy it.

  29. Jon Goode

    Pete, my name is Jon Goode and work with the Spinners and came up with the idea for the promotion. I wanted to respond after reading what you wrote. You are 100 percent correct that PART of the promotion was about publicity. With any promotion or community event anyone does one of the main goals behind it is to get as much publicity as possible. Another PART of the promotion was to create relationships with area youth baseball leagues for many years to come and assist them with their fundraising. I also see you mentioned letting the kids play on the field and that is also another PART of the promotion as before every game this summer the kids will have a chance to play on the field. Any good promotion has many parts to it with many goals and a good promotion becomes a great promotion when they all come together. You are right we were looking for publicity, but that’s not the only reason we did it. The Yankees part was the fun PART of the promotion and helped with the publicity. Building relationships with youth baseball leagues in 35 different communities around are area is the community PART of the promotion. I can tell you are very excited how both PARTS turned out. I will also add that I do not think we would have been able to have 35 communities contact us without the publicity – the publicity in turn is what is going to help raise some much-needed funds for these youth baseball leagues. How do I know that? Because I have been working on this promotion for two months leading up to the press release and I was only able to get three youth leagues to participate. Since the publicity close to 50 youth teams in less than two weeks. That’s great community involvement and great publicity all in one.

  30. Tim Bawmann

    John,

    Thanks so much for your email. Thank goodness there are fans out there like you that understand our “no harm” promotion.

  31. Chuck Goodwin

    As a past L.L. Coach for both Red Sox and Yankee teams, I have to verify that there are in fact kids that don’t enjoy being drafted as Yankee’s. I’d also have to agree that there are also kids that get upset being drafted to the Red Sox as well as any of the other teams a local league has.

    As a league administrator, I’m wondering if it might not make more sense for leagues to adopt A,AA, AAA teams instead of the Majors! Imagine a local Little League comprised of only New England based teams.

  32. Jim Chandler

    By reading this blog,I see some people do not understand what the fun factor of minor league baseball is all about.THe Spinners do not need the publicy as show by the sellout everynight and a waiting list for season tickets.This is about kids enjoying playing baseball. AS a Spinner season ticket holder, my wife and I have gone and seen the Spinners play on the road.One palce we went to their was a total of 629 fans who came out to see the game.The place was Onenta, NY 20 minutes from Cooperstown, NY.Come on New York fans support your minor league clubs that are in and around your cities and towns.Hopefully some of the people who are negitive about this promotion will go see a minor league baseball and see that minor league baseball is not just the game but all the fun inbetween innings and in the stands.

  33. Tim May

    I disagree with the elimination of the Yankees team in little league for publicity sake. It’s about the kids not whats on their uniform. I am originaly from NY and still a Yankees fan. In response to Jim’s comment on the New York fans, He didn’t mention that Onenota is a very small farming town and the field is like what you see at a high school and 629 was probably the whole town. It’s not like the spinners that are in a large city and have a beautiful stadium and sells out there games. The spirit of baseball is still there and they play there hearts out. I’ve gone to alot of games in Onenota(Tigers),Auburn(Doubledays),Troy(Tri-City), Binghamton (Mets), Staten Island (Yankees) and Cooperstown for the hall of fame game. And as you can see, there are many teams in NY some I haven’t mentioned that have faithful supporters. Eliminating the rivalry isn’t going to happen by just changing the uniform. We are sending the message to the kids just eliminate your so called enemy by kicking them out of the league? It’s a sad day for Little league in New England.

  34. B. Campbell

    I think that this is absolutely hilarious!! I grew up in MS and now live in WV and have rooted for the Bosox since the early 1970’s. And there is no better rivalry anywhere in the world. Who can forget the Bostonians at the Patriots victory parade a couple years ago chanting “Yankess Suck”. I laughed my head off at that as I do about this promotion. IMO I think MLB teams should take note of the promotions and fun generated at Minor League games and try to copy some of it. Who can argue with a Plan Your Own Funeral promo that a local Minor League Team sponcered. Fans were encouraged to write in with what they wanted their funerals to be like. The most orginal one won a free funeral from a local funeral home (Actually they were given a voucher that was redeemable upon death. No one was killed on site. LOL. How great would in be if a Major League team did a promo such as that instead of bobblehead night or umbrella night? And in regards to this promo, It rocks! I never heard of the Spinners, but after this promo I am a Spinner fan!!!!

  35. Ken Mosier

    To Tim Bawmann, I was researching the longest sellout streaks of minor league clubs when I came across your statement that the Lowell Spinners have the longest MiLB sellout streak at 233 games. I am working on an article for a local magazine in Dayton, Ohio, and was looking to see if any club could match the current 497-game sellout streak of the Dayton Dragons of the Class A Midwest League. The Dragons have sold out every game since they first came into existence eight years ago. The 2007 season is also sold out and there is, in fact, a 5000-name waiting list for season tickets. This despite a team that has not really set the world afire on the field althoug they have produced some major league stars. Minor league baseball is obviously a big draw here as well as in New England.

  36. Jon

    Hi Ken,

    The Lowell Spinners sell-out streak is believed to be the longest in terms of time, spanning back to August of our 1999 season. As a short-season team, we don’t play as many games as Dayton, but our sell-out streak dates further back. Similarly, we haven’t yet made the playoffs, but here’s hoping in ’07!

    Jon
    Director, Media Relations
    Lowell Spinners

  37. Chad Bennett

    I would like to say that all you people that are thinking this is “uncalled for”, its a fun thing from a RED SOX organization that has the biggest rivalry in sports. Its a joke that you think this is bad or wrong. Its a fun way to get the Little leaguer’s into something thats historic. I could see if you people were displeased with the promotion if the Yankees organization was not happy but they are all for it. So I think you need to find other things to be unhappy about than a small promotion. Thank you

    Chad Bennett

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