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Welcome To The Culture Wars, Minor League Baseball

“Hourglass Appreciation Night” in Utah ain't about timepieces.

The Ogden Raptors have put forth a serious test of the idea that there is no such thing as bad publicity with the fiasco this week that was the announcement and near-immediate withdrawal of “Hourglass Appreciation Night.”

HourglassNight

The minor league promotion in Utah was not going to be a tribute to vintage timepieces, but rather to shapely ladies, in the best way possible to salute women in 2017, by thoroughly objectifying them.

The Raptors promised “real thoroughbreds” in the form of “18 hourglass-shaped color commentators” in the broadcast booth, “a different stunner each half-inning.” The plan included live-streaming video of the “gorgeous women whose curves rival those of any stud pitching prospect!” Fans also would get to “pose for pictures with the lovely ladies.”

Now, the good part. On Tuesday, the Raptors said that none of this was real. “The Ogden Raptors regret that an unauthorized press release was disseminated over the weekend announcing a promotion that was not approved or scheduled by club ownership or management. This promotion will not take place and steps have been put in place to ensure this will not happen again.”

Everyone loves a good mystery, so who might have been responsible for this egregious error? Well, the Raptors’ website lists 10 positions in the front office, including the assistant groundskeeper, and one of which is “Team 86” as director of security. There aren’t a lot of suspects here, and while the promotion might not have been “approved or scheduled by club ownership or management,” that sounds a lot like a technicality.

Remember, this is a team that takes groundskeeping seriously enough that 20% of its front office listings are groundskeeping-related. So, now know that it was just last year that Ogden was pretty much forced by the Pioneer League to stop having the infield raked by “Drag Queens” – men in dresses dragging the dirt, get it?

How forced? Salt Lake City’s KUTV reported that Raptors management’s response to the man who complained about the “Drag Queens” read: “I had just written a long diatribe in response to your complaint but I deleted it all. … Do not respond to this email as we will no longer talk about the matter.”

The Raptors also made clear in their press release canceling Hourglass Night that the team would not be taking calls or answering questions on the matter.

So, you may be wondering, how is this series of events anything but terrible for the Ogden Raptors?

Well, Ogden is in Weber County, Utah, a place that went for Donald Trump by 20 points last November, and a theme that you might find among the MAGA hat crowd is that they do not particularly enjoy it when told that the way they enjoy themselves is wrong, be it living out college party fantasies of driving poor people to the morgue, putting up monuments to the Confederacy or treating women as nothing more than sexual playthings at a baseball game.

Here are some comments posted to the team’s announcement on Facebook that there would be no Hourglass Night…

Mike Simmons: “We love our Ogden raptors. The owner puts on such a great event each and every game. It’s sad that people are easily offended and cry baby’s out there. Can’t wait for my raptor baseball.”

Scott Coleman: “Who cares. We are not offended”

Jared T. Legge: “The only thing you have to apologize for is for all the snowflakes ruining a good promotion.”

The comments weren’t exclusively like this, but you get the idea – there are lots of people out there who see the disgrace in this story being the fact that the Raptors were forced by “snowflakes” to cancel “a good promotion,” rather than it being, well, the incredibly obvious disgrace of considering this a good promotion in the first place. Had this not been such a busy week, you could’ve easily seen Fox News getting in on this with a shout about political correctness and all the rest.

In the universe where the Raptors are the aggrieved party in this story, which somehow also is the universe we live in, people hearing about the Raptors for the first time might be inclined to show their support. They might want to buy something. Say, a cap.

Well, good news, the Ogden Raptors have those folks covered.

Because of course they do.

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