MLB drafts Cook to pitch postseason


NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball is swinging for the fences in its attempt to boost its postseason, going four decades' younger in its choice of ad pitchman.

Last year's campaign to promote postseason baseball starred 80-year-old former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, shown traveling from town to town exhorting disaffected Indians and Cubs fans to watch postseason baseball even if their beloved teams aren't involved. On Monday, MLB said that it had selected 35-year-old actor/comedian Dane Cook to headline its professional and user-generated content campaign titled "There's Only One October."

The campaign kicks off todayTuesday, the day of the All-Star Game, with a Web site, that will solicit user-generated content talking about fans' favorite postseason baseball moments and will include 60 archived clips from playoff and World Series games. Cook's portion of the campaign will talk about top playoff/World Series moments throughout history as well as some of today's players who might end up being key to October dreams in 2007. Celebrities scheduled to appear in the spots include William Petersen ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation") and Ellen Pompeo ("Grey's Anatomy").

MLB executive vp business Tim Brosnan said that Cook's career was launched in part via user-generated content and that he has 2 million friends on his MySpace page.

"Dane Cook is going to direct an audience that is much more familiar with posting user-generated content," Brosnan said.

MLB postseason partners Fox and TBS also will have their own creative. Turner Sports president David Levy said that Cook's participation fits well with the TBS brand. Fox Sports chairman David Hill said he could see the campaign leading the way for other sports to do the same type of thing with user-generated content.

"I think this is truly interactive, and I think the fans are going to make some incredibly good stuff," Hill said.