Monday, September 12, 2011
This Loss to the Dodger Front Office Really Hurts
Josh Rawitch leaving the Dodgers is a big loss.
I attended bloggers night back in July, incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be in the presence of fellow bloggers that were much more experienced and savvy that I. I had the chance to converse with Al Ferrara, Ron Cey, Mark Langill, Ben Platt Josh Suchon, Dylan Hernandez and the entire public relations staff of the Dodgers, led of course by Public Relations Department pioneer Josh Rawitch. I call him a P.R. pioneer for a number of reasons that will follow in this posting.
Josh is awake to the technology of today. He understands marketing in the 2010‘s. While many other organizations are slow to embrace the internet and social media, Rawitch has his staff fully engaged in it. While I conversed with Adam Chodzko, a sharp young man hired by Josh away from the Angels this past off-season, I was told that Rawitch is an outside the box thinker. His daily staff meetings would encourage his P.R. department to come up innovative marketing ideas to activate the Dodger fan base.
That particular day in July, someone on his staff came up with the idea to have the first five fans that responded on twitter or facebook to be placed in a Dodger Stadium Club suite to vote over and over again for Andre Ethier on the All-Star game ballot. It was an interesting idea and received by everyone positively. Such are the types of innovative creations of the Josh Rawitch staff. Josh understood the value of social media, Facebook, Twitter, message boards, email and blogs.
In an age where anyone with a laptop and internet connection can create a blog and run off on a rampage with inaccurate and irresponsible postings, Rawitch recognized the value of bloggers and the audience they reach. It was a risky move on his part to embrace us, and I’m sure that there are some of us out there that he would prefer not to have to interact with. But I think that Josh believes that Dodger blogger positive traits outweigh the negative.
He started out blogger’s night asking us how we got ideas for our postings and the latest news. He wanted to also know how we reached our maximum audience. He wanted ideas. He wanted opinions. He was interested in what we thought worked and what didn’t. He mentioned how Roberto Baly at Vin Scully is my Homeboy had reached a popularity level that rivaled anything out there and specifically brought up how Roberto’s blog was influential in getting the Dodgers to agree to repair Vin Scully’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
So as the night wore on and Josh spent some time visiting with bloggers, we couldn’t help but notice the sparce crowd. It was the only time that I had a hard time agreeing with what he was saying. He spoke of the Dodger injuries and the hard luck the team was having in that area. He primarily blamed the low Dodger attendance on the horrible misfortunes they were having in the injury department. I had a hard time buying it and I’m pretty sure that others were thinking the same as I. But was was he to do? Frank McCourt was his employer. It was a tough spot to be in. And here we were, enjoying a night on the Dodgers, thanks to Mr. Rawitch. I wasn’t about to tell him that I thought he was way off base and that the ownership was the real reason for the dwindling attendance.
I guess now, once the season ends, Mr. Rawitch will finally be free of the nightmare ownership that is the Dodgers of today. He can join the likes of Derrick Hall over in Arizona, where he can deal with trying to market a team that is dedicated 100% to putting a winning product on the field. Rawitch will no longer have to make excuses for ownership that is borrowing money, battling MLB, trying to make payroll and dealing with a disenchanted fan base that feels betrayed and angered.
The Dodgers have lost a class act and loyal employee. This is another sad day for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. I can’t blame Josh Rawitch though for moving on to somewhere where he won’t have to deal with the circus that has become the volatile ownership situation.