Lasorda and his fun-loving Dodger schtick ended on May 14, 1998, the day that Frank Sinatra died and the Dodgers traded Mike Piazza to the Florida Marlins. Since then, he's pretty much been an embarrassment, bragging about how winning the Olympic Gold Medal as manager of the Olympic baseball team was a much greater deal than any World Series title he won with the Dodgers, and trying to sell us on what an incredible idea the World Baseball Classic was. Sure Tommy, whatever you say (Great, now Lasorda's going to get on me for being sarcastic and smart, oh well).
Here are five people who Major League Baseball should have selected instead of Lasorda to do those cheesy promos:
- Vin Scully: Now here's the guy with Dodger ties who would have really classed things up. Just hearing Scully's voice is enough to bring back positive baseball memories to any disgruntled fan who's team missed the playoffs. Vin Scully could convince anyone to watch any baseball playoff game over something like, oh I don't know, Dancing with the Stars maybe? Plus he can calm Dodgers fans down after their inevitable collapse at the hands of the New York Metropolitans.
- Spike Lee: Hey, it worked for Michael Jordan didn't it? Plus you could have saved some money, allowing Spike to write and direct all the spots. We're not suggesting he bring back Mars Blackman, but Spike would have given the campaign an edge and definitely attracted a different audience that the current television audience is certainly lacking, and one that MLB craves. I don't know how a Yankee fan like Spike is going to convince Royals or Devil Rays fans to watch post-season baseball if it wasn't already in their plans, but the guy still lives and dies with the Knicks, so he certainly has some idea of what it's like to root for the worst franchise in your sport.
- NOTE: In one of the saddest and heartbreaking news we've heard all year, Buck O'Neil died earlier this evening. We had Buck already in here at #3 on our top 5 selections, and the cruelest part about Buck's passing is that he didn't live long enough to see himself inducted into Cooperstown, an honor he justly deserved to receive at this past summer's ceremonies. Buck was the best ambassador of the game around, and for all the proof you need go read his "What I've Learned" article in Esquire printed just printed a few months ago, or check out the Ken Burns Baseball Documentary and just watch the segment with Buck. RIP old friend. You would have been perfect for this campaign. In Buck's passing, we nominate Yogi Berra, ever the character who would bring some much needed humor to these spots. Yogi is still the throwback to another era, and his one-liners remain legendary. He could come up with something better than "To the TV!"
- Scarlett Johansson: She just admitted to Esquire that she's a huge baseball fan, and that magazine in turn just named her the sexiest woman alive. Hell, she's even signed a partnership with an athletic apparel company. You're trying to tell me Scarlett in a Cubs hat won't get some attention? You've already tried to put hot women in baseball jerseys walking around with Lasorda in the current promos. Why not go for broke with this little minx? Hell, reunite her with fellow Lost in Translation star and Cubs fan Bill Murray? (NOTE: The only reason Murray's not on this list is because it's our understanding that he doesn't like to do many promotional things, unless these were exclusively about his beloved Cubbies). Plus imagine how proud Woody Allen would be as he was watching one of these promos during a Mets game.
- Denis Leary: And make the promos just like those old rants he used to do on MTV, like when he'd demand an "All Cindy Crawford Channel, all Cindy, All the Time". Even let him smoke cigarettes curing his rant. Let him recreate the now legendary "Sandy Koufax would drill Mel Gibson in the head routine" that he did earlier this season during a Red Sox game. There's nobody that could do a better job of convincing the entire world to root against the Yankees better than Leary. Plus he's already an employee of Fox, doing a little show on F/X.