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Businesses should embrace wacky ideas, says the St. Paul Saints' Mike Veeck

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Mike Veeck
St. Paul Saints part-owner Mike Veeck chats with the organist at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, Minn. Sunday, June 10, 2012. The Saints have sinced moved into a new stadium.
Jeffrey Thompson | MPR News 2012

As part owner of the St. Paul Saints baseball team, Mike Veeck has built a successful business on unorthodox ideas.

The use of mimes during games, for example.

Mike Veeck's book on business
"Another Boring, Derivative, Piece of Crap Business Book" by Mike Veeck and Allen Fahden
Courtesy of publisher

"We were going to make instant replay obsolete and so we had mimes recreate close plays," Veeck said in an interview with MPR News host Cathy Wurzer. "It was one of the great disasters. I'm standing there watching people paralyzed. They couldn't believe how stupid it was."

A stupid idea isn't such a bad thing in the world of business, Veeck argues in his cheekily-named new book "Another Boring, Derivative, Piece of Crap Business Book."

Whether it's employing a nun to give massages to fans in the stands, or locking people out of a stadium in order to set a record for low attendance, the Saints experience has always been more about fun than baseball itself.

Veeck says businesses should have a laugh, and be unafraid of the wacky.

"People have great ideas every day that are blown away by one simple word," Veeck said. "And it's 'no.' People say 'no' too quickly. If it makes you laugh and you have the germ of an idea, you should nurture it."