Bricks, beer, fried chicken, game-used merchandise from the biggest collapse in baseball history and now "Rudolph."
As if the Boston Red Sox weren't already atop Santa's naughty list after Carl Crawford's contract, the Great Collapse of 2011 and throwing Tito under the bus.
The Red Sox turned "Rudolph" into a minor-league ball player in their annual holiday greeting e-mailed to fans the other day, but it turns out the team never had permission to use the trademarked character. The site "Boston Sports Then And Now" detailed this Christmas story in a post Tuesday, which was subsequently picked up by Deadspin and others.
BST&N reported that an outside marketing agency presented the Red Sox with the idea of working Rudolph into a story - whose proceeds would go to charity - where "David Ortiz Helps Rudolph Save Christmas." The deal fell through because the people who own "Rudolph" - Character Arts (The Rudolph Co., L.P) and its tongue-in-cheek subsidiary - The North Pole Talent Agency - were unable to provide licensing for Rudolph's usage. The reindeer's mythical status needed to remain intact. Apparently, Rudy has "never been brought out of the fictional realm" and his keepers are "very careful to safeguard its current mythological reverence."
The site noted that did not slow down the Red Sox, who subsequently used "Rudolph" for their 2011 on-line holiday greeting, e-mailed to fans this past weekend. It told a the story of Rudy being shunned by his minor-league teammates before eventually making it to Fenway Park (trademark Boston Red Sox). The e-greeting has since disappeared from the internet. Links to the card now send folks to the redsox.com homepage.
The Red Sox can always try to work a three-way deal with the Cubs where they can get "Rudolph" next year as compensation for Theo Epstein.
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