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California Dreamin'

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 23, 2002


HIT SIGN, WIN TACO: Taco Bell is willing to trade a few million tacos for a ton of publicity. The fast-food chain has its name on a 15-foot wide target floating beyond the rightfield wall at Pac Bell Park, and it says if any home run ball hits it during the three games here, everyone in the country will get a coupon for a free taco. Taco Bell made a similar offer last year if the Mir space station hit a 40-by-40-foot target in the South Pacific, but it missed.

SUCH A DEAL: Tickets are incredibly tight and ridiculously expensive, with scalpers claiming to be getting up to $5,000 per ticket. That has inspired some creative marketing. Among the more interesting offers reported were a man offering use of his motor home for two weeks in exchange for tickets and a woman who either will play her guitar at a wedding or wash a car and change the oil. Then there was the anonymous Web site posting from a woman who claimed she was willing to trade two upper deck tickets for "healthy sperm."

TAKE THAT: San Francisco Chronicle columnist Ray Ratto offers local fans several alternatives to the Rally Monkey. Among them: Phone-y, the Rally Cell Phone -- "Aptly named after the organizers of the Look at the Geek Festival, who stand behind home plate talking on a cell phone and telling their friends they're on TV;" Willie, the Rally Mayor -- "Will wear hats and odd-looking outfits, pops up every now and then show his undying (but usually dormant) love for this local industry, and has never met a TV camera he doesn't like;" and Bud, the Rally Commissioner -- "He hasn't been able to rally his old team, but coming off a walkoff piece over the union, could be convinced to do a few turns for the Giants."

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