At the beginning of the summer, the Staten Island Yankees kicked off a search for a new name. No, they couldn’t drop the Staten Island part of their moniker — that was non-negotiable. But the Yankees, for whatever reason, had to go. So they reached out to the general public, we real regular Joe’s, to come up with a slew of names to choose from. Then, from the thousands of choices that poured in, they arbitrarily chose five of those names for us to vote on.
We here at the ever-impartial Village Voice Informed Minor League Team Naming League of Voters believe that it’s every citizen’s right to be informed as possible while a minor league baseball team uses our thirst for democratic participation as a way to get our email addresses. So with all of that in mind, we present our voter’s guide to the election of the name of the team formerly known as the Staten Island Yankees. We’re putting the link to vote at the bottom of this article, so you’re extra informed by the time you finally click.
The Staten Island Bridge Trolls
Pros: Staten Island is the hub for many of the city’s bridges, which adds an air of inclusiveness. This option also yields a great amount of mascot potential, though we agree the preferable route involves the selection of one lucky Staten Islander each year to live under a bridge (of his or her choice) and be summoned only for games. Once in the stadium, the Troll would be free to roam about as (s)he pleased, reading fans’ fortunes, begging for change, or passing time in whatever manner he or she or they sees fit. Feeding the troll would, of course, be encouraged.
Cons: Bridge Troll has the potential to reinforce stereotypes that residents of other boroughs may already harbor toward Staten Islanders. Why ask for that? Also typically, when teams are named after a monster or mythical being (like the New Jersey Devils), there’s an element of historical relevance. Does Staten Island have a history of bridge trolls? A Google search reveals only some online discussion of the “Staten Island Ferry troll,” which refers to an internet commenter. Staten Island, you do not want that association with your team. Trust us.
Also, if this is a play on “Bridge Tolls”…stop it.
The Staten Island Heroes
Pros: Oh I get it! It’s like, the sandwich, and firefighters! Maybe the mascot can wear a roll on his head instead of a bullard. Wouldn’t that just be a scream? And think of the superhero movie tie-ins! Except…there aren’t any superheroes from Staten Island. Well, shit. You guys are making this hard.
Cons: Headline writers and disparaging fans will have a field day, and the collective morale of the city will sink lower with every loss. There’s a lot of risk in designating your minor league baseball team the goddamn HEROES, especially on an island where that word carries real weight. Picture this: You rescue a little girl’s cat from a drainage ditch in a rain storm. “You’re a hero!” the crowd raves as you hand the shivering creature back to its tearful owner. “No I’m fuckin’ NOT,” you’ll have to spit back, because your nominally important team couldn’t turn two and close the inning. Is it at all worth it? (No.)
The Staten Island Killer Bees
Pros: This is a good name. Here you’ve created a promotional crossbreed between the Yankees and Wu-Tang, which raises the stature of the entire borough. You can get RZA to throw out the first pitch. You get all 800 members of Wu-Tang to throw out the first pitch. The name will morph over time into the Shaolin Killer Bees; the sport will morph over time in Kung fu.
Cons: It’s Killa Beez. If you’re gonna do it, do it right.
The Staten Island Pizza Rats
Pros: There had to be a dummy candidate, and this must be it. You know how it’s Carnival tradition to have a King cake, into which a single plastic baby is baked? The recipient of the baby slice is blessed with good luck, in addition to the inherent fun of getting to root around in a confection and wondering if this is finally the year someone swallows it and chokes.
In Pizza Rat Stadium, the same could be done with pizzas, and one single rat. You get the rat slice, you win! WHAT A GREAT GAME.
Cons: All of them? Fine, a list.
Pizza Rat was a hoax.
Pizza Rat (the rat) is most likely dead now.
Pizza Rat (the meme) was declared dead 45 minutes after it was born.
Pizza Rat has never been to Staten Island, and EVEN if he HAD…
Pizza Rat is a creature of the subway, and Staten Island does not have a subway.
This abortion of an idea was drawn up by a sweating marketing manager on a deadline. So there.
Staten Island Rock Pigeons
Pros: Rock Pigeons is everything Pizza Rat isn’t, being that they’re ACTUAL beloved members of the NYC ecosystem. They’re scrappy, resourceful, and sometimes, they’re bracingly beautiful. A Rock Pigeon has fun mascot potential, even if it’s cheesy dad fun — someone, somewhere will invariably think it’s a good idea to dress him in a leather jacket and guitar, fluffing his head feathers into a little mohawk. It’ll be so stupid, but the kids will laugh and the memories will be made. It’s baseball, alright?
Also, the uniform could be just like the St. Louis Cardinals, but instead of a cardinal on a bat, it would be a pigeon. That would be really cool. We’d buy that jersey, for sure.
Cons: The chants will be problematic. LET’S GO ROCK PIGEO….fuck, no that doesn’t work. HERE WE GO ROCK P—no, god damn it. It’s hopeless. Don’t even try.
And now you know all the names. Isn’t democracy great? Happy voting!