Bobbleheads and fertilizer: Surveying some of the 2012 Brewers promotions
More Talkin' Baseball
With less than a month’s worth of games in the books, the Brewers’ season is still relatively young. In the promotional sense, however, the Brewers organization is in mid-season shape. Fans have already been privy to schedules in both magnet and pen form, a nifty DVD of 2011 Brewers highlights, and a Jonathan Lucroy bobblehead. There was even a career fair held at the park during Monday’s matchup with Houston, though we suspect this was just a ploy for the Astros to upgrade their roster.
Getting free shit emblazoned with logos of local sponsors is always at least kind of cool, and Milwaukee’s promotions team has come a long way from the days of distributing those creepy Derrick Turnbow bobbles with synthetic hair, or simply counting the opportunity to see Brooks Kieschnick lumber out of the bullpen to pinch hit (poorly) as a giveaway. Still, along with the good promos slated to meet Miller Park patrons at the turnstiles—look no further than “Free Milorganite Fertilizer Day” this Saturday—there’s still some room for improvement.
April 22: Jonathan Lucroy bobblehead
So far this season, George Kottaras has been more clutch than his catching counterpart Jonathan Lucroy. He also has a significantly better OBP, and, frankly, is much better looking. With Lucroy’s recent extension in the books, there would’ve been plenty more time to immortalize him in bobble form. Plus, with Luc’s .265 batting average being a “career highlight” on last year’s bobblehead’s box, a Kottaras collectible would’ve been a better play this season.
May 13: Yovani Gallardo bobblehead
After seeing such less-deserving teammates as Jeff Suppan, Randy Wolf, Damien Miller, Jason Kendall, Casey McGehee, and Craig Counsell receive the honor of having a doll made in their images—not to mention the Beer Vendor and the fucking Racing Sausages—it’s great to see Milwaukee’s ace finally get the respect he deserves. Unfortunately, the long-overdue tribute looks nothing like Yo. Not only is the figurine sans mullet, but the skin tone seems to suggest it was created using parts from leftover Bill Hall bobbleheads.
June 3: MLB Network drawstring backpack
Here’s an idea: Instead of addressing its nonsensical regional TV blackouts, reversing the decision to add more Wild Card teams, and firing someone who mishandled Ryan Braun’s piss, Major League Baseball should give out cheap satchels with its network’s logo that make grown men look 11 years old.
Various dates: Coupon night
According to nearly every radio ad played during Brewers broadcasts, we fans appreciate a good deal when cheering on Milwaukee’s professional baseball club—one that usually can’t be mentioned by name for lack of licensing. If that’s the case, many of the “deals” touted for the variety of Miller Park coupon giveaway days should go rightfully unappreciated. Beyond potentially useful vouchers to utilize at Subway, promotional opportunities are wasted on coupons for the TruGreen lawn care company, Great Clips (“home of that one haircut”), and Kwik Trip (which has exactly zero locations in Milwaukee). Worse yet, many of these shitty coupons are limited to the first 10, 15, or 20,000 fans, meaning if you’re late to a game, your 10-percent-off fertilizer voucher has probably already been thrown away by someone else.
July 14: Brewers beer glass
On the surface, offering fans a Brewers beer glass (one that’s undoubtedly made of plastic, not glass) seems to be a totally fitting idea for a team named the Brewers. Yet a closer inspection reveals the giveaway only applies to the first 10,000 fans 21 and older. This means a great Saturday giveaway will be completely wasted on guys who go in two hours early—glove in hand—to try and snag batting practice balls from kids, and who will use the glass for the occasional serving of hard cider over that icky-tasting devil-swill known as beer.
Sept. 16: Aramis Ramirez bobblehead
Aramis Ramirez is a good player and all, but, like Lucroy, he’s locked up for a few more seasons. Why wedge the All-Star’s only Brewers bobblehead (pending he doesn’t become a racing sausage after his playing days are through) on a late-season game when plenty of other deserving crew alumni had the misfortune of playing before the rise of the bobblehead? Save the Lucroy, Ramirez, Nyjer Morgan (June 10, by the way), and likely 2013 Mat Gamel and Norichika Aoki bobbleheads in favor of nostalgic and past-due keepsakes to honor default ’90s and early 2000s Brewers greats. Let’s see some love for Jeromy Burnitz, Jeff Cirillo, Richie Sexson, Kevin Seitzer, Bob Wickman, Stan Ross (Bernie Mac’s character in Mr. 3000), and The Two Fisted Slobber.