I'd never heard of David Martin until yesterday and hope to hear as little as possible of him in the future. He's the owner of a new franchise in the independent Frontier League. His team is located in London, Ontario so he decided it would be clever to name it the Rippers. That's right, as in Jack the Ripper, the most famous serial killer in history. Mr. Martin is one of those people who thinks that any publicity is good publicity, which is why he's this week's exemplar of malakatude.
As publicity stunts goes it's a pretty good one BUT as promotion for new ball club it sucks. Why? Baseball teams play a lot of games so they depend on repeat business and it's better if the Mayor of your town is NOT pissed off at you and offended by your malakatudinous moniker:
Now London mayor Joe Fontana is asking the team to change their name, according to London radio station AM980. He released a statement:
“On behalf of London City Council, we want to express serious concerns about the name of London’s newest baseball team. While the team owner’s intention may not have been to draw a connection to Jack the Ripper, we believe this name is unfortunate particularly in light of our focus on ending woman abuse. We will be speaking to the owner today and give him an opportunity to reconsider the name.”
But stop right there, Martin tells the London Free Press any link to Jack the Ripper is completely coincidental. Their mascot is a different Jack. Yes.
“That (Jack The Ripper) is not our story,” he tells the newspaper.“Ripping a ball is used in baseball all the time.”
Here is the story he told the Free Press:
“The character’s name is Diamond Jack, a frustrated hockey player who found he could ‘rip’ the cover off baseballs. Despite his talent, teams grew weary of the expense of replacing balls so Diamond Jack decided to form his own team in London, Ontario."
Wink, wink. What a ripping yarn. That's why he's got the dude in Victorian garb and has put out this image to promote the team:
Lurking? Sounds like Jack the Ripper will be hiding in the corridors ready to strike. Women's groups are already threatening to picket games if there's no name change. Pissing off half the population is a helluva way to attract customers, Malaka Martin.
Can you imagine the promotions the London Rippers could have? Meat cleaver night. Free admission for hookers. Ripper theorist night: is it the Queen's doctor or the Duke of Clarence? The possibilities are endless as is the malakatude.