Time once again to check in on the world of minor league baseball, with Rick Chandler's Minor Enterprise!
Michael Vick finally gets his comeuppance — plus your dog can chew away tartar for a mouth that is clean and fresh — with the new Michael Vick Chew Toy. The Independent St. Paul Saints are giving them away to the first 1,500 fans who attend their game against, appropriately, the Lincoln Salt Dogs on Tuesday, August 21.
This isn't the actual Saints chew toy in the photo here; it's one from another company. The Saints' version is a little different. An e-mail from the team explains.
The toy is an actual rubber dog toy shaped like our mascot — a pig. The pig is adorned with Vick's name and number on its back. Initially, we planned to create a doll in Vick's likeness but it was brought to our attention that we were beaten to the punch by another company. As an organization that prides itself on originality we decided to tie the item in a little closer with the Saints by utilizing the pig shape...and let's be honest, a lot of people would agree that his actions make him a bit of a pig.
I plan to get one for all of my dogs; except for the collie, who will not gnaw on anyone's likeness until proven guilty in a court of law.
Startling Julio Franco news, the wonder of Kenny Rogers Lookalike Night, plus the creeping terror that is The Wave, all after the jump.
• Player Of The Week. You cannot stop Julio Franco, you can only hope to contain him. Franco, who turns 49 on Thursday, has accepted a minor league assignment with the Rome Braves (Class-A South Atlantic League), with an agreement that Atlanta would bring him back up to the Majors on Sept. 1. That's right, Julio is back, and possibly playoff bound! For a sneak preview, he'll be playing tonight as Rome welcomes the Greenville Drive. So Franco is now on the same roster as Cole Rohrbough, who, at 20, is a mere 29 years his junior. So awesome.
• Salute To Bo Jackson. Tonight. Birmingham Barons (Class-AA Southern League). The first 1,500 fans in attendance for the Barons' game against the Mobile BayBears will receive a Bo Jackson figurine, featuring Bo in the Barons uniform he wore while a player for Birmingham in 1991; as well as in an Auburn football uniform (where he won the Heisman trophy). A more versatile collectible you will never own.
• 25th Anniversary Of The Wave. Saturday, Aug. 18. Lakewood Blueclaws (Class-A South Atlantic League). Professional drumbeater Krazy George, who will be at Saturday's game, claims to have invented The Wave in 1982 ... let's get him! It's also Hockey Night, featuring the No. 2 overall selection in the NHL Entry Draft, James vanRiemsdyk of Middletown ... let's get him!
• Kenny Rogers Lookalike Night. Sunday, Aug. 19. Lancaster JetHawks (Class-A California League). Do you look like The Gambler (the singing one)? Do you know when to hold 'em? Then you could win valuable prizes! (Detroit Tigers pitchers not eligible).
• Faith Day With Sid Bream. Sunday, Aug. 19. Rome Braves (Class-A South Atlantic League). The former Atlanta Braves player, who scored the winning run in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS over the Pirates, will heal your troubled soul. Please do not heckle Mr. Bream. [Thanks to Benjamin Hill]
• Night Of A Thousand Infomercials. Tuesday, Aug. 21. St. Paul Saints (Independent American Association Northern Division). In which the Saints tailor all promotional activities toward "the goofy characters who host infomercials. Plus, portions of the night will be laid out like an infomercial." Look, just enjoy your Michael Vick Chew Toy and be quiet.
• Mascot Of The Week. Bristles. Wilmington Blue Rocks (Class-A Carolina League). Bristles is a large toothbrush who makes periodic appearances at Blue Rocks games, where he races around the bases brushing them sparkling clean along the way. And now he's starred in this commercial for the Massachusetts Dental Society. Represent, Bristles.
• Bobblehead Of The Moment. George McGovern Bobblehead Night. Sioux Falls Canaries (Independent American Association Northern Division). Second in the Presidential race of 1972 but first in our hearts, South Dakota native George McGovern on this night receives the only honor in life that really counts; one's likeness in miniature bobbing-head form. The former U.S. Senator himself will be at the game, and hopefully you will be one of the 1,000 random spectators to receive this prize and get it autographed.
We want your minor league tips! Send all game reports, photos or promotional heads-up to RickChand@GMail.com. My dogs thank you!