If you thought renaming the New Orleans Zephyrs as the ‘Baby Cakes’ was the dumbest idea since fat-free beignets, you’re not alone.
And, now, you can blame the Russians for that, too.
In a bizarre and underreported revelation, government officials say Russian hackers are responsible for the moniker that almost every person was against for replacing “Zephyrs,” finally disclosing the reason why the team chose such an unpopular name.
According to Senate testimony last week, former FBI Director James Comey revealed that, as a run-up to hacking the US Presidential election, the agency learned that Russia hacked the Zephyrs Internet naming contest last year and used a computer virus to change the majority of votes to ‘Baby Cakes.’
“No one really voted for ‘Baby Cakes,’” said the investigation’s lead cyber-security expert on the condition we not reveal his name is Brad Milton.
“The most popular names on the Internet Contest had been the ‘Drive-Byes’, the ‘Muggers,’ the ‘Monument Men,’ and ‘The Pitchers.’ But suddenly the ‘Baby Cakes’ name showed up and all the votes changed. We may as well call them the Pravda Cakes.”
The unnamed expert said Internet polls are notoriously unreliable and prone to manipulation.
According to the expert, “If you believe Internet polls, Ron Paul or Jill Stein should be President today.” He also said the Zephyrs front office should have known something was suspicious when the initial spelling of Baby Cakes was in Cyrillic.
NGN’s Crack Investigative Unit (CIU) has confirmed that the Zephyrs front office hired a marketing consultant named Pavel Schatchinitch in 2015. Scratchinitch, who oversaw the contest, is alleged to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and the GRU – the Russian Security Services. He is also alleged to have eaten puppies raw, tripped old ladies down escalators, and once was in a steamy romantic relationship with Kathy Griffin.
Scratchinitch has since fled the country.
Reached at his beach-front dacha on the Black Sea, Scratchinitch told NGN that he got the name Baby Cakes after reading it in several of Hillary Clinton’s private emails to John Podesta. And the mascot? “The face is Mitch Landrieu taking a really big dump.”
Scratchinitch said he still cannot believe the Zephyrs fell for the ploy and actually changed their name.
“You guys won the Cold War? Seriously?”
Baby Cakes General Manager Augusto Rojas, when told of the investigation’s results, said the team is considering renaming the team to something that makes more sense than what Russian hackers thought would be a funny joke.
“Clearly, Baby Cakes is not truly New Orleans. After speaking with investigators, I see that now. So, starting this offseason we will give this another go and rename the team, but this time something that is local and not crowdsourced.”
According to the Baby Cakes front office, the team’s new name starting with the 2018 season will be the New Orleans “Sons-of-Mitches.”
“This is a name that will unite the area, is a brand that will be instantly recognizable across Greater New Orleans and, best of all, lets us use as much of our existing merchandising and graphics as possible,” Rojas said.