The following Letter to the Editor was submitted for publication by Rob Patton.
Dear Amarillo Professional Baseball,
I'm not sure why I'm writing this message, I feel very confident it will fall on deaf ears but I'm going to write it anyway just for my own peace of mind.
I am a coach and was born and raised in Amarillo. I've lived in other larger cities but this is my home. I've worked with the other semi-pro teams in Amarillo and I've watched their struggles. For starters, you already don't have the faith of the citizens because of the deal you've struck with Mayor Nelson, who also has no support with the citizens. The cost of the ballpark will in time create major financial problems for this community and the people know it.
Secondly, Amarillo simply isn't big enough to support any kind of major semi-pro team and you'll see that soon enough. The wages in this community are so disproportionately low to other cities people simply can't afford to go to games on a regular basis. No team, even the championship teams, have ever been able to sell out and pack a house.
Third, this is Texas. As a coach I can assure you of one thing, we take our sports EXTREMELY serious. If you have any hope of just breaking even you have to win from day one. And I don't mean have a winning record, I mean completely dominate the league and win championship after championship. Maybe you can stay afloat and maybe do a little better if you can do that. I've seen it year after year, team after team, coach after coach.
And lastly, your pathetic excuse on the local news for these ridiculous names went over like a lead balloon. I assure you, you have become a laughing stock on Facebook. I'm seeing thread after thread of people who just can't stand you now. The logic of having a "fun" name might fly, but again, we take sports very serious and you're going to have to do better. Fun is fine, but idiotic is never going to work. If you want people to come to games, they have to take pride in the team. If you want to sell merchandise, people have to like the name and logo. I can tell you right now, Sod Poodles, is leading the way because people aren't thinking prairie dog, they're thinking stupid pink foo-foo uniforms. And if this entire endeavor is doomed to fail, might as well make it the biggest joke we can.
Again, your arrogance and over inflated image of your own importance won't allow you to see the truth in this message so I know you'll just have to learn this lesson on your own, but if things don't change immediately, this endeavor is doomed to fail miserably.
Just a coach and citizen of this community trying impart some sage advice.