Yes, it was wonderful to see Houston get within one game of being halfway to .500. They're 4-9 courtesy of a 7-5 win over the soon-to-be Miami Marlins (I'd call them the Florida Marlins, but I'm worried that noted Tampa Bay Rays fan Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea might send me an angry message, BROTHER!).
Yes, it was wonderful to have Lance Berkman back. He doubled and drove in two runs. We miss his spot on the team along with his sense of humor (I still think it's hilarious that Berkman, a graduate of the academically-tough Rice University, replied "Eligibility" when someone once asked what he'd majored in at R.U.).
But as I watched clips of the game tonight, I saw lots and lots of the Green Family.
The Green Family? you ask.
I used to attend a tiny church in Monterrey, Calif. called, fittingly, Monterrey Bay Baptist Church. Now in a different building and known as Central Coast Baptist Church, we had very few families in the church, which resulted in a lot of empty green chairs during the service. The pastor referred to the empty chairs as a visit from the "Green Family."
And so, since the seats at Minute Maid Park are green, Houston has been getting visited lately by the Green Family. Or for our Spanish readers of Bleacher Report, La Familia Verde. And for those who speak Russian: Cem'ya Zelyonaya. And for those who speak Chinese: Lu Jia.
With that, I've thought of four crazy promotions and one other thing Houston Astros could do to entice more fans to come to the ballpark.
5. Water Bomb Carlos Beltran Night
Remember the days of Bill Veeck? He had that infamous Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park. It was memorable, but unfortunately since it turned out to be a complete disaster, the White Sox forfeited that game.
Well, the purpose of a promotion should be to get fans into the park and win the game. So perhaps we could do something more harmless.
Instead of destroying a bunch of vinyl records and prompting a stern-but-well-deserved lecture from actor/environmentalist Ed Begley Jr., the first 25,000 fans would instead receive biodegradable balloons in the shape of a stack of $100 bills.
They could then go to the restrooms in the park, fill them with water and throw them at Beltran during batting practice or when he's in the outfield immediately after the inning ends.
That'll teach that traitor to let himself be brainwashed by Scott Boras (who I'm quite sure is Satan Incarnate) while letting the Astros fans engage in good, clean, family fun.
4. Who Wants to be the Houston Astros Owner For a Day? Night
The first 30,000 fans would have their row, section and seat number entered into a drawing. A lucky fan's seat would be picked in the seventh inning, and the winner would get to be the Astros owner for an entire day.
There would be rules, most notably: Drayton McLane cannot be fired. The team cannot be sold to yourself for one dollar. Minute Maid Park cannot be re-named The Texas Rangers Suck Stadium.
What would I do if I won this promotion? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out.
3. Turn Back the Clock to 1910 Night
While the Astros didn't exist 100 years ago, they could still wear flannel, collared uniforms that would resemble what they would have looked like if they had existed.
Perhaps they could use their famous rainbow jerseys in the good ol' days design, but it probably wouldn't work since we know from photographs taken in 1910, colored clothing hadn't been invented yet.
Due to prices "back in the day," no seat would cost more than 50 cents while sodas would be a dime, hot dogs a nickel and beer would cost a few pennies...on second thought, maybe this promotion would only work if the Astros chose to sell O'Douls, L.A. Beer, or some other non-alcoholic brew.
Such cheap prices, though, would be sure to entice even the most fickle Astros fan to the park.
2. Be the Astros Manager Night
Each of the first 30,000 fans would receive several placards. "Fastball", "Curveball", "Changeup", "Slider", "Yes", "No", "Swing", "Don't swing" and "Please fire Ed Wade and bring back Gerry Hunsicker."
These placards would allow the fans to tell the pitcher what pitch to throw, along with telling the batter whether or not they should swing at a pitch. And, of course, it would be a not-so-subtle hint to McLane that perhaps getting rid of Hunsicker wasn't a good idea.
Majority would rule. This would especially come in handy during a game in which Brad Mills gets ejected in the early innings or if, well, nature calls his name for extended periods of time.
1. Win more baseball games
Naaaaaaah, it can't be that simple, can it?!
Richard Zowie is a Bleacher Report blogger and a diehard Houston Astros fan. Unfortunately, for those who sell Astros merchandise, Richard bleeds blue and orange, not black, brick, and sand. Post comments here or e-mail Richard at email@example.com .
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