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The Round and the Furry A costume drama comes to L.A.

June 14, 2004
June 14, 2004

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June 14, 2004

Ronald Reagan 1911-2004

The Round and the Furry A costume drama comes to L.A.

By Bill Scheft Edited By Mark Bechtel

Dodgers Vice President Lon Rosen says the team is strongly
considering creating a mascot to appear during home games.
--Los Angeles Times, June 1

This is an article from the June 14, 2004 issue Original Layout

(June 2, 11 a.m.)

Phone rings.

"Lon Rosen? Lon! Lonnie! Marty Fleck Sports Entertainment
Unlimited. Saw the item in the paper, figured you people need
help.

"Loving the mascot idea. Loving it like I used to love things
with carbs.

"I read where you're the VP in charge of marketing. Don't take
this wrong, you boys have done a swell job over there for the
last 46 years, but this pride, tradition and class drum you've
been beating don't get people up on the dance floor anymore.

"Okay, enough throat clearing. Let me long-toss a few
possibilities. You can have any or all of them. Seriously, why
have one when you can run out a different weird character every
other inning, like Lou Piniella's doing on the mound in Tampa?

"First off, do you want to do the conventional mascot route?
Before you answer, I think I read in the trades last month that
the Expos let Youppi go. So he's available. And he's a pro. We
get him down here, give him breast implants and a nose job and
we're done. Maybe we should change his name. All I have so far is
Youpay. Is that anything? Don't answer.

"This next one is a little conceptual. I figured you might want
something that speaks to the Dodger fan experience, but yet is
also L.A. indigenous. What about an adorable, furry patch of smog
that shows up in the third inning and leaves in the sixth?

"You're right--too esoteric. Okay, how about something for the
kids? Botox the Clown. Big hair, big shoes, big smooth brow,
bigger syringe. Yeah, yeah, I know. Better wait till this BALCO
beef cools down.

"Let me know if I'm treading on some sort of hallowed ground with
this gimmick: Tommy Lizarda. Enormous green, no, blue reptile
that runs around waving his arms and hugging strangers. Unless a
Sinatra record comes over the P.A., in which case he stands at
attention.

"Here's one. All I have written down is a name. The Film
Phanatic. No, the Filmy Phanatic. I never developed this. No,
wait, it's the Pilly Phanatic, and we do something about rehab
starts.

"Now, technically, this is not really a mascot, but it might
create the buzz we need that these are not your dad's Dodgers. We
replace the ground crew with babes in lingerie dragging the
infield in the fifth. Do you love it? The Raker Girls!

"And the last thing I want to do is be derivative, but can we do
the sausage races using sashimi? I'm thinking Maguro, Toro and
Unagi. Of course, it's your choice, with salad and soup.... Just
kidding. And how's this for a wrinkle? The sashimis race around
the warning track while Milton Bradley tries to pick them off
throwing rice balls?

"I've saved the best for last. Are you sitting down? The Brito
Bandito! It's a giant papier-mache head of Mike Brito, with the
white suit, the Panama hat, the cigar, but instead of the JUGS
gun, he's got one of those T-shirt howitzers. He shoots the swag
into the stands during the last three innings. We keep the kids
there, and people have an hour of material they can see coming
from a mile away, like The Tonight Show.

"By the way, how about how I used the phrase 'JUGS gun' and
didn't say anything about Jose Lima's wife? Classy, huh?

"Hello? Hello?"

"The Dodgers have scrapped plans to consider adopting a team
mascot."
--Los Angeles Times, June 3

COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATION BY STEVE BRODNER

"Williams began spending lots of his agent's money."--RETURN OF
THE PRODIGAL SON, PAGE 18