Tim Lincecum, or as some Filipino Americans call him, “The Preak,” had a tough go yesterday.
During the first inning when runners reached second and third base, I told a friend of mine, “Oh that’s his white half screwing up.”
Hey, the guy’s half-Filipino, we’ll take credit for the good stuff.
Sure enough, Lincecum got the next batter to swing at a pitch, and struck out the side. “The Filipino part is still working today, ” I said. But not well enough. After three innings, the Preak was out of the game. The Giants still won and that’s what counts.
This year the Giants seem like the most Filipino friendly team in the major leagues. With Sayang Lincecum getting his Cy Young tonight ( how’s that for you Tagalog punsters), and with the Manny Pacquiao event on Filipino Heritage night on April 21st, the Giants seem to have discovered what ethnic marketers have known for some time: Ethnic pride and diversity develops customer loyalty and profits.
I know Gary Radnich (the KNBR talk host and a former colleague of mine from my KRON days) has expressed how puzzled he is about a boxer being feted at a baseball game. But Pacquiao is the great Filipino-American symbol. A fighter, a champion. Being in a market with one of the largest Filipino American populations in the country, this is just a great p.r. opportunity for everyone. Of course Pacquiao is pimping his upcoming fight, but the Filipino community remains one of the less heralded communities in America. This shines a little much needed light on them.
The Giants great success with a losing team has always been the fact that they’ve always approached the business as being more than just baseball. It’s about the park, and the people who come to it 9 innings at a time, to live their life vicariously through the achievements of their team. Recognizing the ethnic demographics in the greater community is a great formula that can make baseball fans for life.
When I’m at a game now, I see so many Filipino families: a mom, dad, two to three kids in tow, all with their gloves. And their garlic fries.
And boy, do they love “The Preak,” who is half-Filipino.
The good half.