Ed Note: This article appears courtesy Bloguin's MLB blog, The Outside Corner.
Let it never be said that minor league teams let a chance for a publicity stunt to pass them by. Our latest entry comes from the Inland Empire 66ers, the Advanced-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. It would seem someone in their marketing department must be a regular listener to Joe Posnanski's podcast because when they heard guest Bob Costas wax poetic about his dream of working as a play-by-play announcer for a minor league team, they jumped all over it:
The Inland Empire 66ers are officially extending an offer to legendary sports announcer, Bob Costas, to become the Voice of the Inland Empire 66ers for the 2013 season. In a recent interview with sports columnist, Joe Posnanski, Costas stated that he still had a dream of calling an entire season of minor league baseball. According to Posnanski, "He (Costas) has often talked about a dream — one he insists he still has, even after hosting all the Olympics and winning all the awards — of broadcasting a full season of minor league baseball somewhere. The draw for him is the preparation, it is getting to know all the players and the manager, it is working through the daily stats and stories, it is about immersing himself in baseball."
Their offer had the slightest smack of legitimacy right up until they said Costas could have "all the hot dogs, soda, and popcorn that he wants." So, there's that. Naturally, they've also carpet-bombed Twitter all day with their #HireCostas hashtag.
There is clearly no way that Costas would ever accept this offer. However, it does make the mind wonder if he ever would settle into such a gig once he enters the twilight of his broadcasting career. What would be more enjoyable way for a baseball fan to enjoy retirement than by spending your evenings calling games for the local minor league club? Being so far removed from the spotlight of MLB, someone like Costas could focus solely on the beauty of the game at-hand without worrying about the big money, big personalities and big media of the big leagues.
If you really think about it, it isn't that much different than what former national broadcaster Dick Enberg is now doing as the play-by-play man for the San Diego Padres, only moreso. So, sure, this is all one big joke now, but who is to say that in fifteen years that Costas won't retire from NBC and set up shop in the booth for the Brooklyn Cyclones or Staten Island Yankees?