By Joel Ray
Times Sports Editor
As Tom Hanks taught us in the movie “A League of Their Own,” there’s no crying in baseball. There is also no Baby Cakes Field in baseball.
In November, the New Orleans Zephyrs changed the name of the team to the Baby Cakes. That upset Zephyrs fans, to put it mildly. Many baseball fans had a hissy fit about the name-change and let the world know by going on social media to express their shock and disappointment.
Many fans understandably assumed that the name of the stadium where the Zephyrs played would be changed from Zephyr Field to Baby Cakes Field. That did not happen. Baby Cakes management calls the former Zephyr Field “the Shrine on Airline,” which was the longtime nickname of Zephyr Field because it is located on Airline Drive in Metairie.
So, there is no Baby Cakes Field in baseball.
Understandably, the Baby Cakes name has remained unpopular with the majority of former Zephyrs fans. So much so that many refuse to attend Baby Cakes games. And those who do attend games wear Zephyrs shirts and caps as part of the ongoing silent protest against the Baby Cakes name where protesters wear Zephyrs apparel as a display of their displeasure and disapproval of the Baby Cakes name.
It seems even Baby Cakes management is not thrilled with the team name. They almost never use the team’s full name, preferring to call the team the Cakes instead of Baby Cakes. And they never call them the Babies, which is more fun. At least calling them the Babies is amusing. Baby Cakes is just silly.
Since Baby Cakes management has decided to name the stadium the Shrine on Airline, fans have come up with new nicknames for the facility. The one heard most often is “the Crib”. If you overhear someone say they’re going to the Crib for a Baby Cakes game, you will know the person is talking about going to what used to be called Zephyr Field.
Calling the stadium the Crib seems to have caught on with many people who go to Baby Cakes games, but there are plenty of other joke nicknames for the stadium like “the Playpen,” “the Diaper Bag” and “the Nursery” for those who joke about the word “Baby” in Baby Cakes.
Other local baseball fans and would-be comedians have given joke nicknames for the stadium based on “Cakes” in the Baby Cakes name, with “the Bakery” being the most obvious. But the majority of joke nicknames have been based on the word “Baby”.
For most of the season the Baby Cakes have had the worst win-loss record in their league, the Pacific Coast League (PCL). As a result of that fact, many former Zephyr fans who hate the new name have taken to sarcastically calling the team the Bad News Babies or the Bad News Baby Cakes after the hapless baseball team featured in “the Bad News Bears” series of movies.
Like it or not, local baseball fans are stuck with the Bad News Baby Cakes. But, look at the bright side, at least there’s no Baby Cakes Field in baseball.
The next Baby Cakes home game at the Shrine on Airline (or the Crib) will be onFriday, July 21 at 7 p.m. against the Nashville Sounds.
The New Orleans Baby Cakes are the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball.
By Joel Ray