Kalamazoo Growlers Announce Lifetime Ban For MLB Commish Rob Manfred
I said it earlier this week when the Kalamazoo Growlers, within about 15 minutes of the news hitting the internet, announced a job offer for former Miami Marlins CEO (and Kalamazoo Maroon Giants alum) Derek Jeter, minor league teams seem to be bolder and funnier in their PR and in getting publicity.
There's no way Jeter is coming back to Kalamazoo, but it got the Growlers some "pub", some headlines. Now the Growlers may get some more "pub". The team has announced a "Lifetime Ban" on Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, with a subheading in the proclamation saying "Manfred is ruining baseball".
In the statement, the Growlers says they've been "committed to having fun to make a difference", and that Manfred has not. It goes on to say "amid the ongoing lockout, Manfred and the MLB owners have shown only an interest in money, and not providing baseball for their players and fans. They are ruining baseball simply for their financial gain.".
Then the Growlers mention fellow Northwoods League team, the Bismarck Larks, banning Manfred until the lockout ends, and in the spirit of "size matters", the Growlers took it a step further with the lifetime ban.
It's a great little publicity stunt. The fact is, Rob Manfred probably has no idea who the Growlers are. It's a collegiate summer league, not affiliated with MiLB. There is no retribution coming to Growlers management (unless someone applies for a job and the resume get checked.)
But here's where it's interesting. I remember talking with the late Kalamazoo Kings owner Bill Wright about why the Kings weren't affiliated with a major league team while over in Battle Creek the team was. He said the rules and restrictions in place by MiLB were more than the Kings wanted to deal with. Sure it's great to see kids make it to "the show", but what's the price tag of that, and will it factor into the cost of whether someone come to a game. But the Kings' successor, the Growlers are having some good-natured fun.