Rebranding is very familiar to Minor League baseball but, the question is when is it going to happen to your home-team? The Staten Island Yankees are the current MiLB team entering the rebranding process and what was supposed to be a great homage to the Yankees and to Staten Island as a whole has become a laughing stock. This Single A short season New York-Penn league team has been forgotten about for years, only to be brought into the media when its old players enter Yankee Stadium or now in the wake of the new names being released. Yankee affiliates have all been facing the agony of when they are going to have to rebrand or in the cases for many of the teams when they will have to remove the Yankee name from their team title. The most recent affiliate to remove the name was Wilkes-Barre affiliate that has gone from the Wilkes-Barre Yankees to the Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders, paying a tribute to the railroads in the area. So why when its Staten Islands turn the rebranding turns from a business to a comedy show.
A poll was taken and over 2,000 entries were filtered and the front office picked a “Top 5” that again the community could vote for online. The team names given to choose from were:
- Pizza Rats
- Bridge Trolls
- Rock Pigeons
- Killer Bees
Each name was given a little explanation as to why the owners fell like it would be a good fit and each of these two sentences are similar to a college kids failed attempt at trying to do a 50 page paper in one night, just a whole bunch of crap. The names were released September 8, 2016 on the teams Facebook and Twitter page and in typical Staten Island fashion the complaints started rolling in. Many people commented on how funny it would be to have the name the Pizza Rats, although hysterical completely demeaning. It seems to be that people are forgetting that after this process Pizza Rats will stick around for years to come it won’t just be a season of hysterics but years of added derogatory backlash toward Staten Island. Some Staten Islanders are so against the new names they have taken it upon themselves to create a new poll and vote for “None of the Above”
Lets Take a Look at Possible Mascots
Other Teams Rebranding?
One other MiLB team that is in the same process of voting for a new name is the Binghamton Mets. The Binghamton Mets are a AA-Affiliate within the New York Mets Organization. Unlike Staten Island the names that are on the chopping block have great meaning behind each that really captures what Binghamton represents. The “Super Six” names for this rebranding are: Bullheads, Gobblers, Rocking Horses, Rumble Ponies, Stud Muffins or Timber Jockeys. Most of these names stem from Binghamton being the home to these great old Carousels, even being called the “Binghamton Carousels” would be better than 4 of the 5 names chosen for Staten Island. The owner of the Binghamton Mets did admit to backlash, and after checking out their Facebook what was assumed to be great names chosen did not amuse these fans. But, backlash is bound to happen when change is mentioned. At this point the community has hopefully accepted the new names and the reveal will happen in early October.
So, Yay or Nay to Rebranding?
At this time and for these teams re-branding is going to be a huge Nay. With understanding that the rebrand is something that has to happen and, most likely not something that each team wants to do, it may have a negative impact on the teams for a while. Luckily, MiLB seasons are in the last legs of their playoffs and they will have time to do huge restoration to the fan base.
But for now, lets pay homage to the real reason why the Pizza Rats has been considered for this Rebrand