Adios, Chorizo! . . .
We won't see you again until the home opener next season.
Lost in the local and national hubbub over the introduction of a fifth Racing Sausage to the Klement's lineup at Miller Park is the fact that Major League Baseball, which has authority over such merchandising and licensing matters, has put the Chorizo back in the freezer.
Baseball has strict rules for clubs that want to introduce a new mascot, uniform or logo change, and the Chorizo got caught up in the rules.
According to Susan Goodenow, an MLB spokesman, baseball wants to be sure that fans tie into new characters or promotions from a marketing and licensing standpoint.
She said baseball granted the Milwaukee Brewers a special dispensation allowing the character to participate in last Saturday's Sausage Race as part of Cerveceros Day at Miller Park.
But for the Chorizo, it was one and done for 2006. And with it went a public relations campaign that got Klement's and the Brewers national publicity.
"We were pleased with MLB that they granted us permission to introduce the Chorizo in midseason," Rick Schlesinger, the team's executive vice president for business operations, said Tuesday. "Baseball also has been very accommodating to us with new jerseys and the Negro Leagues tribute. We fully understand the rules when these things are introduced and the timing. It benefits all of the teams."
When teams want to make a chance in uniform or logo or mascot, the waiting period is generally between 12 and 18 months.
Dan Lipke, Klement's senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the company had no problems putting the Chorizo on the physically unable to perform list for the rest of the season.
"Everything in sports and business is a work in progress," Lipke said. "It is what it is."
Lipke said the downtime would enable Klement's and the Brewers to design new marketing and promotion programs for the five racing sausages.
"But baseball has the final say," he said.
Anyone else find the whole illegal Mexican immigrant issue and the illegally registered Mexican sausage kind of ironic?
So long Chorizo. We hardly knew ye.