Tuesday, April 24, 2007

SoSG Reports: "Inside The Dodgers" Blue Carpet Event, 4/23/07

SoSG could not make the special "Inside the Dodgers" RSVP-only event on the Fox lot last night, attended by Luis Gonzalez and Rafael Furcal (both "stars" of the evening), as well as Ned Colletti and Manny Mota (I'm surprised MLB allowed Manny Mota to attend this event at all, given their strict regulations on the number of coaches a team can have). Since we couldn't attend, we sent our beat reporter to the event for a full recap:

Knowing it was the Dodgers, I got to the Fox Parking lot early, as attendees were warned in advance to be "patient" as each guest had to be "checked off at the gate." Let me tell you, parking was fast, efficient and orderly...unlike an unnamed stadium on opening day...ha, ha.

Guests were directed to the commissary for the hour-long reception...WOW, it was quite a reception, food and drink flowed--stuffed breaded mushrooms, mini White Castle burgers, a platter of cheese, strawberries, figs and blackberries, platter of assorted vegetables with ranch dressing, foccacia bread, mini hot dogs, sausages wrapped in pastery...then with circulating servers--crab cakes, chicken quesadillas, coconut shrimp, beef wellington....the best part, open bar with beer--Amstel, Heineken, Corona--wine and soft drinks.

Roger Owens dressed in his fancy garb tossing bags of peanuts while chatting up the crowd; Ned Colletti was also working the crowd, meeting and greeting. Owens has been with the Dodgers organization for 50 years; there will be a special thing honoring him next year.

Two big televisions at each end of the room were continuously running "stories" about the Dodgers. They were difficult to hear, but the images were nostalgic. After an hour and a half of heavy gorging, grazing, laughing and gaffing...

At 8pm, guests were led to the Zanuck Theatre, escorted along a BLUE CARPET to the theatre (nice touch!) and were seated.

A SVP (Steve Simpson?) of Fox Promotions greeted the crowd and then turned MC duties over to Patrick O'Neill (?, I think he is the "on camera" guy) who set the evening's tone: "a collision of sports and entertainment, a real "collaboration" between Dodgers and Fox to provide "access to the fans." The fans were excited!

Three pieces were debuted and screened:

  • 1) "Dodgers Insider: Campo Las Palmas" Profile of the famous baseball academy built by the O'Malleys in the Dominican Republic. Nice review of the Dominican Republic (which represents 12% of the players playing), the former sugar cane plantation, which is now a self-sufficient place from food to maintenance, and has two full fields, one half-field, a dormitory, and club house. It looks like quite an operation, a place that provides hope and training to aspiring players.
  • 2) "In My Own Words: Luis Gonzalez" A portrait of a seasoned player making his debut with the Dodgers and having the right attitude and leadership qualities that will contribute to this year's efforts to WIN. Gonzalez said when he plays, he gives it his all, but when he goes home, he "has to take out the trash" just like anyone else. (Hopefully he gives his all taking out the trash too.)
  • 3) "Before the Bigs: Rafael Furcal" A really moving story about a young boy from a Dominican Republic border town to Haiti, who was always told he was "too small and too slow." With perseverance and effort, Furcal overcame many obstacles to achieve his current place with the Dodgers, including his incredible season last year. His "Rookie of the Year" award [2000 with Atlanta] put his little town on the map. Furcal spent his first two years' pay to build his Mom and Dad a home back in his hometown.

Guests were "thanked" for attending, and given gift bags as they departed that included a "Blue Carpet Event" t-shirt, Dodger cap, bag of peanuts, "In My Own Words" Tommy Lasorda cd, a soft squishy mini-baseball and a Dodger blue PRIME FSN Ticket bag. More feature stories are coming, supposedly on Brad Penny and Manny Mota.

All in all, a great fan event, thanks to the Dodgers and FSN. And thanks to Sons of Steve Garvey for the "heads up"!

SoSG is often critical of Dodger management, and make no question that we feel that criticism is often deserved. But it's only fair to give praise where praise is due, and the Dodger management really made the 200 fans who attended this special event feel like part of a special family. In some ways, this event wasn't a big deal (these shows are all going to be aired on television anyway), but it's exactly the kind of nice marketing touch that pays dividends down the line. A job well done.

Thanks to Inside the Dodgers for the invitation, to Dodger management and FSN for organizing it, and for our fearless beat reporter for the recap. Go Blue!

UPDATE 12.55p: Dodgers.com also has a recap of the evening.

And by the way, when are we getting FSN Prime in HDTV?


Orel said...

Excellent reportage! I think we need to work the words "squishy mini-baseball" into our posts more often.

Steve Sax said...

If I can fulfill my pledge to increase the beer-to-dog gap, there will be something squishy indeed.

Albeit not mini.

Rob said...

I understand that Rafael Palmiero's looking for work... maybe he can help you with that squishy thing...

Steve Sax said...

Not that squishy thing!

Though I do like the sound of, "Ask your doctor if the Olmedo Saenz Pavilion is right for you."

Anonymous said...

"squishy is the word of the day..."QUISH THOSE GIANTS"