MLB: The Top 10 Promotions You Probably Won't See at Parks in 2011
Bobbleheads, t-shirts and refrigerator magnets.
One of the pleasures a fan of a lousy team has to look forward to every season are the cool promotions that sucker you in to handing over a hundred bucks you may not have otherwise.
I've become an expert at this in recent years rooting on the Mariners, unfortunately. I have more dolls than any 31 year old man should, thanks to the annual Ichiro bobbles. Though, they're sucking me in again this season.
This year's edition includes a hit counter so we can follow him on his quest to 200 a season and 3000 overall.
I got to thinking, naturally, because that's what this stuff does to me: what promotions would us fans who like a good old chuckle line up for, even though our favorite team would never do it?
This list is the byproduct of that thinking. I apologize in advance.
April Fools, Derek Jeter!
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Hahaha, you thought you deserved that Gold Glove?
Oh, you're so gullible, Jeets.
Did you think the managers and coaches of the American League, who vote for this award, didn't notice how horrid your defense was while posting a -5.4 UZR in 2010?
Did you think Alexei Ramirez and his 10.1 UZR was noticed by no one?
To kick off the season, the first 10,000 fans will get a replica Gold Glove Award with the inscription "Psyche!" engraved.
Free Money Night
On a mild Tampa June evening, the Rays will run a promotion that will make fans of the other 29 teams jealous.
Free Money Night! All fans in attendance will walk away with $100 in cold hard cash.
It appears Rays fans still have no intention on watching their team play games as early projections show this promotion is only expected to cost the Rays $5,000.
Red Sox Nation Night
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This will be the first ever time the Red Sox play 29 games all on the same day.
In an effort to drum up ticket sales, each team will have a home game against the Red Sox the night after the All-Star game, since all teams have it off.
How is this even possible, you might be asking?
Red Sox legends, mainstays and even guys who only had a cup of coffee in Beantown will be signed to one-day contracts and slide into uniforms. They'll mix with current players. They'll head out to every corner of the country.
Oh, and their bandwagon fans will be in tow.
You know them. The hoards of people you swear you saw the night before in home town gear, now in attendance in brand-new-tag-still-dangling Red Sox apparel.
They'll all go "YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUK" when Kevin Youkilis comes to bat, they'll partake in fun chants and in the seventh inning they'll gripe about not being able to sing along to "Sweet Caroline."
Red Sox Nation, the actual nation can't get enough of you. We look forward to your visiting our stadiums with your special brand of fandom. Seriously, we do.
Jamie McCourt Cheating Bobblehead Night
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"Oh, Frank—you think you can fire me?"
That's etched on the mini version of Jamie McCourt with the bobbling head. She's also holding a cell phone with the picture of a shirtless subordinate she allegedly had an affair with.
The first 28,000 fans go home with this unique collectible. Why 28,000? Why, that's exactly half of Dodger Stadium's capacity, representing how much Jamie McCourt believes she owns.
We Know What We're Doing Night
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Astros fans, ignore all the facepalms and criticism of your front office.
They have a master plan. Despite a bad major league roster and an even worse farm system, good things are coming.
That's why the team has decided to give the first 20,000 fans on opening night a copy of "Ed Wade's Big Plan," which is a page from a sketch book with some baseball players names scribbled in crayon on it.
No, really, he knows what he's doing. Trust us.
Ken Griffey, Jr. / Don Wakamatsu / Chone Figgins Tripple Bobble
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Griffey took his ball and went home. Some say it was because he was throwing a fit because Wakamatsu benched him due to a performance he could have got from a middle school kid.
The clubhouse got mad at Wakamatsu.
Chone Figgins made one of the most effortless plays in history (see photo - yes, he's really just watching it roll by). Wak benched Figgins, so Figgins tried to fight him.
Last season the Mariners had the first dual bobble featuring Ichiro and Griffey.
You smell that? That's the smell of a perfect storm. Quite obviously, the Mariners should should have the first ever triple bobble. Right in the middle will be Wakamatsu, flanked on either side by bat-wielding Griffey and Figgins, with those silly cartoonish faces.
Luckily for Wakamatsu, Junior's bat speed couldn't make contact in the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese anymore and the worst Figgins can do is a light slap.
Ozzie Guillen and Bobby Jenks Hug Night
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Tapp your calendar app, and insert a reminder for July 29th.
Yeah, the Red Sox don't come to town until after mid-season, but when they do it should be a night filled with a rekindling of the fire that has tried to go out between Ozzie Guillen and Bobby Jenks.
It's always sad to see a player leave town. I know Ozzie was sad. Bobby was surely sad.
So on this hopefully warm summer's eve, the two can embrace during pre-game warm-ups on the diamond as Willie Nelson performs "Always on My Mind" live at the ballpark.
It'll be a grand showing of affection.
Until Oney Guillen, Ozzie's son, runs in and tackles Jenks, that is.
Carlos and Carlos Cage Match Night
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Have a loose cannon named Carlos that doubles as a lousy pitcher? How about two of them?
Well, let's get some entertainment out of them while allowing them to fight a teammate without reprimand.
Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Silva can square off in a Vince McMahon promoted cage fight at Wrigley after a game.
As it turns out, someone screwed up and measured their egos and bellies wrong. So, for safety concerns for all involved, both combatants will be asked to make their offensive attacks towards the Western side of the cage.
A-Rod Presents: New York Baseball Etiquette Video Night
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The first 15,000 kids that spin the turnstiles at Yankee Stadium on July 25th against the Mariners will walk away with a real treat.
It's a DVD with a collection of Alex Rodriguez highlights. Not just any highlights, though. No, these are of A-Rod showing kids how to play the game the right way.
I'm not going to give it all away (I was sent an advance screener. Thanks, Uncle Hal!), but here are some cool features.
Things really get interesting in Chapter 7: "Hustle And Good Things Happen."
A-Rod will show you how to slap balls out of the hands of a fielder, amongst other tips, to ensure you get on base at all costs. Also, your little slugger will learn how to shout "I got it!" while rounding the bases to trick those silly infielders into letting the ball drop.
A special section is rumored to have been added to the final cut. In it, A-Rod sits down with Yankee fans and discusses how to welcome visiting players and their families to the Bronx. He stresses the importance of spitting on the wife of soon-to-be high profile free agents, throwing stuff and of course, threatening physical harm.
Stay classy, A-Rod and New York.
Albert Pujols Please Don't Leave Us Night
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I'm still pretty sure the Cardinals will make this work. Maybe they cave and give him the huge money, or maybe they get the future stake in the club thing ironed out.
Maybe they won't, though. So how much is the face of your franchise worth, fans of St. Louis? It's time for you to take a stand and help fill the gap between the low-ball offer the Cardinals made and what Albert wants.
That's why the Cardinals should run a promotion where the first 30,000 fans pay $1000 each on top of their ticket price for one home game. That's $30 million! Alby can stay!
Let's say you make 60 grand a year. Would making only 59 put you into bankruptcy?
Or, how about you cut back on the triple mocha soy espresso every morning? That's like 800 bucks right there.
You smoke a pack a day? Easy math tells us you could take that $1800, stave off lung cancer and help Albert Pujols buy a new headlight for his Bentley.
Stop being so selfish, St. Louisers.