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Thread: Cheerleaders in baseball?

  1. #1
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Cheerleaders in baseball?



    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...604150359/1071

    BY KEVIN KELLY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

    Fans who visited Great American Ball Park during the Reds' first home stand, and even some players, probably strained their necks checking out the franchise's new look.

    The Ben-Gals now have major-league company: the Reds have cheerleaders.

    "I think it's a great idea," left fielder Adam Dunn said. "It gets the fans into (the game) and gives us something to look at."

    The new MDX Reds Crew, all-female cheerleading and dance troupe sponsored by Mountain Dew's new energy soda, formed this spring.

    About 30 hopefuls auditioned last month for 12 spots. The majority of those selected have cheered or danced competitively at the professional or collegiate levels.

    "It's the kind of thing we hope takes off and continues to be a positive and uplifting thing," said Phil Castellini, senior director of ballpark operations for the Reds.

    "I think it's a fun, healthy, energetic addition to an already fun venue. We think the possibilities are endless."

    Clutching red pompoms and sporting form-fitting outfits that offer a new take on the traditional baseball uniform, the Reds Crew is an offshoot of the more conservatively attired Pepsi Reds Rally Pack that launches T-shirts into the stands and dances atop the dugouts.

    Three or four Reds Crew members work weekday games and four or five work weekend games. Each works under an independent-contractor agreement with the team and is paid based on the number of games worked.

    "We're not here to 'flaunt,' for the lack of a better term," said Reds Crew supervisor Allison Leonard, a former Ben-Gals cheerleader. "We want the girls to be collegiate and classy and sporty.

    "I really foresee this as being a huge opportunity for the girls to be involved and help make a difference in the community."

    The troupe performs one choreographed dance routine on the field before the game. It joins the Reds Rally Pack atop the dugouts for more choreographed dancing between two designated innings that vary by game.

    "We're being respectful of the purist nature of the game," Castellini said. "In our opinion, there's not supposed to be anybody on the field but players, umpires and grounds crew when necessary.

    "So we did not look for ways to try and get them on the field in between innings, nor do we have a goal to do that."

    The Reds Crew spends the rest of its time at games assisting with various in-game promotions and mingling with fans.

    "With other cheerleading and professional dance teams, you're always down on the field and you're not really interacting with the crowd," said Reds Crew member Amy Livingston, 28, who cheered for the Cincinnati Swarm and Cincinnati Marshals indoor football teams and owns the Wellness Circle Inc. in Mason. "This really puts you right in the middle of the crowd.

    "I think it's nice for the fans, too, because they feel like you are approachable and you are part of the Cincinnati Reds. It kind of makes them feel closer to their team."

    But a concept unlike anything Reds fans have experienced before at the ballpark has drawn a mixed reaction.

    Some fans snapped pictures of the Reds Crew or asked for autographs during the home stand. One fan approached Leonard during a rain delay April 7 and praised the idea.

    "I think the fans are embracing it," she said. "I'm not going to lie and tell you there haven't been some negative comments, but I think it comes with the territory."

    Tuesday's and Friday's broadcast of "SportsTalk" with Andy Furman on 700-WLW included discussions of the cheerleaders. The majority of the callers Tuesday did not support the idea.

    "I don't think it's hurting anybody," Furman said Thursday. "But certainly there are people that are baseball purists in this town who say, 'What do we need it for?' It's almost funny and comical to have it in baseball, I think."

    Mike McCafferty, a Cincinnati attorney, attended two games during the home stand.

    "I think a lot of (young) people are kind of more into seeing something like that than getting a T-shirt thrown to you," he said. "(Reds chief executive officer Bob) Castellini seems in touch a little more with the fans than prior owners."

    Even in a sport that operates without game clocks, television timeouts or halftimes, this is not unprecedented.

    From Latin America to Asia, cheerleaders are fixtures at some baseball games.

    A handful of Major League Baseball teams have tried the idea with mixed results over the past decade. The Florida Marlins, however, have made it work.

    The Marlins Mermaids, a 20-member group that debuted during the 2003 season, thrive in the culturally diverse South Florida area.

    "Especially in this market, sizzle sells," said Sean Flynn, Marlins vice president of marketing. "It was a pretty easy integration because of the environment here and almost kind of a no-brainer once the idea was brought up.

    "We were fortunate enough to find a corporate partner, Banana Boat, which is a perfect fit. Since then, it's just taken off."

    The Mermaids average 450 community appearances per year, and rival Billy the Marlin for most appearance requests.

    They perform a choreographed dance routine on the field before the game and after the top of the fifth inning, dance on the dugouts three times a game, and act as emcees for in-game promotions. Afterwards, the Mermaids sign autographs and pose for pictures as fans leave the stadium.

    "We've kind of developed our own way to utilize this asset, and this team is an asset," Flynn said. "Off the field is really where the big upside is. The in-game element brings added value."

    The Reds hope to achieve similar success with the Reds Crew.

    Plans are in the works to assist charities and represent the team at various team- and community-related functions.

    "If they continue to be well-received and we're using them in various capacities," Phil Castellini said, "then I think it's something that will work and we'll continue."
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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  3. #2
    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    I like the idea - as long as they do not become a large distraction. It seems right now, they actually seem to have the right idea - before the game, and between a couple of innings out of the way on top of the dugouts.
    Besides...they look like a rather cute bunch.

  4. #3
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    I hope this isn't the new regime's idea of good marketing. It doesn't hurt anything, but I hope they can do better than this.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  5. #4
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    Terrible idea.

    And no..if I met a cheerleader I would not feel closer to the team...gimme a break.
    Go Gators!

  6. #5
    Member The Baumer's Avatar
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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    I don't know what Castellini and Krivs are thinking bringing these cheerleaders on board. Their career numbers are below league average and they are taking up spots that can be better used on the unproven yet younger guy who operates the t-shirt gun. Looks like we have another DanO on our hands!

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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan
    "I think it's a great idea," left fielder Adam Dunn said. "It gets the fans into (the game) and gives us something to look at."


    Perhaps now we've found the reason behind some of Dunn's left field adventures? Lack of focus?

  8. #7
    Davey BuckWoody's Avatar
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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    As long as they're a scrappy bunch and give you a professional cheer every time out there, I've got no real problems with them.

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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    I think it's great. The only problem I have with it is that I don't live in the Cincinnati area anymore and can't go to the games.

  10. #9
    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    Couldn't they find a better place to take that picture? I mean, the only place available was between an SUV and a batting cage?
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

    All models are wrong. Some of them are useful.

  11. #10
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    Do they cheer the right way, though? Do they give the fans a professional cheer every time up?
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rally-...24872650873160

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    More importantly, do they do the little things?
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  13. #12
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62
    More importantly, do they do the little things?
    I can vouch for the fact that, from personal experience, they do indeed do the "little things."
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  14. #13
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    My biggest complaint [not getting into the sanctity of baseball arguments] is that the name is terrible. The MDX Reds Cheerleaders? C'mon. Rosie Redlegs. Something. Anything. Just not a sponsors name. I can accept the Reds cheerleaders are brought to you by MDX, but they have MDX right on their unis if I recall correctly. [not that I looked at them at all while at the games]

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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered
    Couldn't they find a better place to take that picture? I mean, the only place available was between an SUV and a batting cage?
    Haha I was wondering the same thing when I saw that picture!

  16. #15
    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Cheerleaders in baseball?

    they certainly didn't choose them based on their headshots. :

    how about going out and getting some pitching, they would bring the fans closer to the team.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton


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