When is a mascot not really a mascot? When the Dodgers tell you it isn't.
Only don't look now, but bouncing around out there in those new plaza areas behind the pavilions and in the kids' areas in the upper decks is an oversized, oh-so-cute person in a Dodgers uniform with a giant bobblehead who looks amazingly like a mascot.
"It's not a mascot," said Dodgers executive vice president of marketing Lon Rosen. "It's a unique performance character."
See, that's what's great about being a marketing wiz, you can just make stuff up. Rosen also called it a "bobblehead character," so you can see he's really trying hard.
This non-mascot mascot made its debut during the Dodgers' first home series of the year last weekend against the Giants. Apparently, it – Rosen refuses to call it a he – mostly walked around waving and posing with fans for pictures. Like this one:
"The kids are wild about it," he said. "They were all taking selfies with it."
The Dodgers unveiled this new toy without fanfare. Without announcement. You know, almost like a big part of them was privately embarrassed.
As they should be. The Dodgers are a proud, traditional, classy franchise which should be above this mascot silliness. Alas, since the Cubs fell victim in the off-season, the only teams left in Major League Baseball without a mascot are the Yankees and Angels.
I mean, if this thingy actually were a mascot. Rosen claims it's not because you'll never seen it inside the stadium, dancing on dugouts or on the field trying to antagonize the opposing team. Maybe in a concourse as he traverses the ballpark, but not out front and leading cheers. Shh, a mascot in hiding.
Also, it has no too-adorable nickname. It has no nickname at all, or gender apparently. And more are on the way. Rosen said three more "performance characters" will be unveiled in the coming weeks, though he was unwilling to say if they would all look like variations of Godzilla-sized bobbleheads.
So, you see, not really a mascot!