The Miami Marlins’ Triple-A team, known as the New Orleans Zephyrs and, before that, the Denver Zephyrs for decades, has been renamed to the New Orleans Baby Cakes. Yes, the Baby Cakes.
While the nickname may seem silly — wait, scratch that. It is silly. Let’s start again: while the nickname may seem random, there is some method to this madness. The name refers to Mardi Gras king cakes, which have small plastic babies hidden inside. The team’s new name, imagery, colors and all of that stuff are now Mardi Gras-themed. The primary logo is a baby wearing a crown, popping out of the traditional multi-colored king cake, with a baseball bat over his shoulder:
As for the silliness: I . . . kind of like it? I mean, no, it’s not the best nickname ever and “Zephyrs” was pretty nifty, even if it wasn’t native or specific to New Orleans, but it’s fun. I’m generally in favor of everything that adds fun to sports, even if it’s kind of dumb fun, and I’m especially in favor of anything that leads people to think about sports as entertainment as opposed to something truly serious.
It’s certainly part of a trend we’re seeing in somewhat absurd minor league nicknames. The Binghamton Mets are now the Binghamtom Rumble Ponies. The Brevard County Manatees are now the Flordia Fire Frogs. The Jacksonville Suns became the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Whimsical is the new aggressive when it comes to masctos. Uncool is the new cool.
Whatever you think of this trend, if you can’t smile at the inherent absurdity of an angry baby busting out of cake, ready to hit dingers, you can’t smile at anything.