Some elected officials say several of the new names under consideration for the Staten Island Yankees would give the borough an unnecessary black eye. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
Pride and pinstripes. The New York Yankees' motto.
For 17 years, the club's farm team on Staten Island has basked in the glory of the Yankees' name. But now, the Staten Island Yankees are rebranding, and some local officials are alarmed..
"Honestly, I just really hate the idea that one of those five names could represent Staten Island," said City Councilwoman Debi Rose of Staten Island.
Rose's district includes the team's stadium. She is imploring team offcials to reject the five new names being considered.
The most controversial, the Staten Island Pizza Rats, was inspired by a viral video of a pizza-toting rodent in the subways. Also on the list:. Heros, Killer Bees, Bridge Trolls and Rock Pigeons.
"If you're going to walk away from the Yankee brand, then walk away from it as far as you can and be on the cutting edge," said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. "To me, this isn't the cutting edge. This is like a self-inflicted wound."
The farm team asked fans to propose new names in June. In early September, the team announced the finalists and gave fans the rest of the month to vote online for their choice.
Some elected officials say a name like Pizza Rats would reflect poorly on the borough, which suffered image problems for decades because of the now-closed Fresh Kills landfill.
Guy Molinari, who helped bring the farm team to Staten Island as borough president, said the proposed names also reflect poorly on the Bronx Bombers.
"Some of those names are just so bad that people got to be crazy to think about associating the Yankee organization with it," he said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio's office declined to comment. Over the summer, he proposed the Staten Island Captains, in a nod to the borough's ferries.
Staten Island Yankees say the online vote is binding, so the borough is stuck with it, like it or not.
The Staten Island Yankees say they're working on a logo and supporting artwork for the team's new name. And while officials wouldn't say which name is the winner, they did promise more details and an official announcement by the end of the year.