March 2011

Promotions & Giveaways Review: The AL West

The AL East and Central Reviews (linked) have been posted.  Trying to squeeze in each division before the
season starts if I can.  If not, no
yelling or tantrum throwing.


To give this some basis:


Key to types of promotions/giveaways:

            Primary – The kind of stuff that draws
and extra 5,000 fans or more to the ballpark just to get something

            Secondary – The kind of stuff that will
bring in people who are on the ropes about attending, but most likely will not
have fans jumping out of their seats to get

            Repeats – Whether good or bad, these
are just promotions/giveaways that occur 3+ times on a team’s schedule


I didn’t include things like schedule magnets, koozies, and
stuff like that that are way too widely used amongst most teams, so would
cancel out overall.  There are also many
other scattered promotions on calendars, but I mainly included here the ones
that I thought were worth mentioning and worth traveling to the ballpark for if
you’re the kind of person that needs that extra boost of motivation to go see


Each team name is bolded for emphasis as well as because
they are each linked to their respective promotional schedule pages.


So, here it is.  The AL West.



Los Angeles Angels



Kendrys Morales Bobblehead (5/24)

Dan Haren Bobblehead (6/28)

Angels Gnome Bobblehead (8/18)


50th Anniversary Shirt (4/8)

Angels Ski Beanie (4/9)

50th Anniversary Fleece Blanket

Angels Wrestling Mask (5/10)

Angels Sock Rally Monkey (7/5)

Angels Kids Gumball Machine (9/24


Big Bang Fridays and Flashback Fridays

Family Sundays


Notes: The
Angels, as you can see, have a lineup of a few good bobbleheads to go with a
series of solid middle-tier giveaways. 
If you click to see their schedule, there are a bunch more hats and a
few other things that they have listed, but I didn’t feel it necessary to list
it all here.  The repeats are alright,
but the often giveaways make up for it.


Grade: A-



Oakland Athletics



Rickey Henderson Bobblehead (4/30)

MC Hammer Bobblehead (7/17)

Ray Fosse Bobblehead (8/13)


Hideki Matsui T-shirt (4/3)

Fleece Blanket (4/15)

A’s Home Cap (4/16)

Atleticos T-shirt/Cinco de Mayo (5/5)

A’s Gold Kurt Suzuki Replica Jersey (7/31)


Free Hot Dog Thursdays


Notes: The A’s
have an interesting lineup here.  April
and June are full of some really great stuff, but then after Cinco de Mayo, the
giveaways fall off the map.  There are a
few things for kids in May/June/July, but other than the 2nd and 3
bobbles plus the Suzuki jersey, all that’s really left after those two months
are the free hot dog days.  Interesting
planning.  But the unique bobbles really
set them apart.  Oh, and they have
Mathletics Day.


Grade: A-



Seattle Mariners



Felix Hernandez 2010 A.L. Cy Young Bobblehead

Ichiro Hit Counter Bobblehead (5/6)

Cameron & McLemore “Sweet 116” Bobblehead


Mariners Rally Towels (4/8)

Ichiro T-shirt (4/10)

Franklin Gutierrez Fly Swatter (5/19)

Mariners Train (6/3)

Ichiro Replica Green Jersey (6/17)




Notes: With some
solid bobbleheads and a good selection of some shirts, hats, and other items,
the Mariners represent a solid lineup of promotions that should be set as an
example for all teams.


Grade: A-



Texas Rangers



Josh Hamilton MVP Figurine (5/23)

Nelson Cruz Walk-Off Bobblehead (6/20)


Rangers Yearbook (6/6)

Elvis Andrus Figurine (8/8)

Rangers Football (8/28)


Player T-shirts (Josh Hamilton 4/3, Adrian
Beltre 4/25, Michael Young 7/25, Fan Vote Shirt 9/25)

Player Jerseys (Neftali Feliz 5/15, Ian Kinsler
7/3, Josh Hamilton 7/24)

Thirsty Tuesdays

Dr. Pepper Autograph Wednesdays


Notes: Sounds
like yet again another solid lineup.


Grade: B+



Well, if you can’t tell by the grades and summaries, the AL
West, though discounted by only having four teams, has a solid group of promotional
schedules.  This division is by far not
only the closest out of all of the AL divisions, but the highest ranked in
overall value of promos.  This is like
the AL East of promotional schedules.


But there can only be one winner…


The Oakland Athletics


The A’s, one of the three ‘A-‘s of the division, take it
all.  Why?  Their unique bobbleheads.  The variation of secondary promotions is
quite good, as are the other three teams in the division, and with no team
having any exciting repeat promos, the Rickey Henderson, MC Hammer, and Ray
Fosse bobbleheads give the A’s the edge. 
Catch them face the Mariners on Friday in what I believe to be one of
the more underrated pitching matchups to begin the season: Trevor Cahill vs.
Felix Hernandez.





So that’s that.  Here
are the links for the other two division promotional schedule reviews:

The AL East

The AL Central



Will start with the National League tomorrow.








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Promotions & Giveaways Review: The AL East

Over the next week (yes, into the first day or two of the
regular season), I will be delving into the world of promotions and
giveaways.  I want to not only review
what each team is doing for their fans in this 2011 season, but to also put a
fun twist on it and figure out what team wins each division and then overall
the World Series if it were all based off of these free stuff lineups.


I will do one division each day (well, today is AL East,
then another one up tonight, then another one up each night thru Thursday, and
then Friday will be the final judging and playoffs to see who wins the World
Series (of awesome stuff)).


Key to types of promotions/giveaways:

            Primary – The kind of stuff that draws
and extra 5,000 fans or more to the ballpark just to get something

            Secondary – The kind of stuff that will
bring in people who are on the ropes about attending, but most likely will not
have fans jumping out of their seats to get

            Repeats – Whether good or bad, these
are just promotions/giveaways that occur 3+ times on a team’s schedule


I didn’t include things like schedule magnets, koozies, and
stuff like that that are way too widely used amongst most teams, so would
cancel out overall.  There are also many
other scattered promotions on calendars, but I mainly included here the ones
that I thought were worth mentioning and worth traveling to the ballpark for if
you’re the kind of person that needs that extra boost of motivation to go see


First up, the AL East.


Each team name is bolded for emphasis as well as because
they are each linked to their respective promotional schedule pages.


Baltimore Orioles



Buck Showalter Bobblehead (6/25)

Brian Matusz Bobblehead (8/6)


Orioles Cap (6/12)

Orioles Drawstring Backpack (6/26)


T-shirt Thursday (5/12, 6/30, 7/14, 8/11)

2110 Eutaw Street (5/7, 6/11, 7/16, 8/13, 9/17)


Notes: The
Orioles really cut back this year, taking away two t-shirt days and really
cutting down on secondary promos, not to mention fewer bobbleheads after last
year having a trio that connected as well as a full size one, too.  But what could possibly beat a Buck Showalter Bobblehead?

Grade: B-



Boston Red Sox


As of now, the Red Sox have not released a promotional
schedule.  Who knows if they even do any
of that stuff when Fenway sells out anyways.


Grade: F


New York Yankees




2011 Commemorative Cap (4/4)

Grass Seed Planter (5/24)

Jorge Posada Figurine (6/10)

Mark Teixeira Bat (6/12)


Cap Day/Night (6/11, 6/13, 8/10, 8/12, and I’ll
throw in here that Visor Day is on 7/7)


Notes: I found it interesting that nothing on the Yankees
promo schedule really had my eyes popping, you know, with all their money and
such.  But I guess since they draw great
crowds anyways, why splurge on a few over the top items when you can throw tons
of mediocre junk at fans and get the same turnout.  I really stopped after June with caring about
listing each secondary item (10 or so more). 
There are a whole bunch, really. Too many to list.  Which is cool I guess of the organization to
do.  They try to squeeze so many in that
as I’m writing this, there are a few days that still say just “Promotion Item”
which is just funny (8/9, 9/5).


I also found it funny that on each promo, it was ___ ___
Night/Day.  Like Jorge Posada Figurine
Night or Mark Teixeira Bat Day.  On
every. Single. One.  I just didn’t feel
like redundantly including that all above. 
Oh, and everybody should surely attend Calculator Day on 9/4.


Grade: B


Tampa Bay Rays



Evan Longoria Gold Glove Replica Trophy (4/2)

Manny Ramirez Bobblehead (5/29)

BJ Upton Bobblehead (6/19)


AL East Champs Mini Banner (4/3)

Joe Maddon Bank (5/1)

Raymond Pillowcase (5/15)

David Price Superhero Action Figure (8/21)

Evan Longoria Cereal Bowl and Spoon Set (9/4)


Free Shirt Friday (4/15, 4/29, 5/13, 5/27, 6/17,
7/1, 7/15, 8/5, 8/19, 9/2, 9/9, 9/23)

Postgame Concert (4/30 – REO Speedwagon, 5/14 –
Darius Rucker, 8/6 – Goo Goo Dolls, 9/24 – Miranda Lambert)


Notes: The Rays
are REALLY trying to attract kids this season. 
Other than the Replica Trophy at the beginning, every other giveaway is
only for kids 14 & under.  If not for
the t-shirt days (which, I will admit, they have a TON of) and the concerts,
the Rays would have been really cutting off the older groups of people past
childhood.  Another minor kids (14 &
under) promo they have is a fire helmet on 9/11, which I thought was a nice way
to honor that day.


Grade: A-


Toronto Blue Jays



Jose Bautista Bobblehead (4/3)

Roberto Alomar HOF Bobblehead (7/31)


Canada Day T-Shirt (7/1)

T-Shirt ?? (9/18)


Jr. Jays Saturdays (Every. Single. Saturday.)

Tweeting Tuesdays (Every. Single. Tuesday.)

Fan Fridays (Every. Single. Friday.)


Notes:  Only the Blue
Jays would celebrate Canada Day.  So
that’s unique to the Rogers Centre. 
Otherwise, not a ton of stuff, but they have two really good bobbleheads
to go with those repeat days that will make sure that fans stay involved all
season in ways much cheaper than distributing memorabilia.  And props to the team for being the only one
to list Mother’s Day as an event on their promotional calendar.

Grade: C+



Okay.  So the AL East
overall has a bunch of different situations. 
The Orioles are eh.  The Blue
Jays, who say eh, have scarce items, but with their consistent repeats,
probably end up giving stuff away and keep fan morale up.  The Yankees do the same as the Jays with
having something on most every day, even if not top notch, but instead of
repeats, they just came up with as many crappy designs for items as they
could.  The Rays list would be a LOT
better if a lot of the stuff were for all fans, not just kids.  And the Red Sox… well… they just suck.


The winner of the AL East per their promotional schedule


The Tampa Bay Rays.


Though yes, most of their cool stuff is for kids, they have
free shirts on a whole bunch of Fridays for all fans (first 10,000… aka all
fans).  In the end, the kicker was their
postgame concerts.  A baseball game AND a
concert under one ticket?  I’m in.


Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford are just no match to
Darius Rucker and Miranda Lambert.

Follow me on Twitter: @2131andBeyond

Oriole Park, Team Shop, Season Tickets. Oh my.

The title says it all. 
Oriole Park.  Team Shop.  Season Tickets.  Oh my.


This is a three-part entry. 
First section will be about Oriole Park, 2nd will be about
the team shop at OPACY, 3rd will show some pictures of the new
season tickets.


Last time I reported at Oriole Park, it was at Fanfest and
the place was covered in snow.



Between then and now, I have been back at least 8 times or
so, whether passing through, picking up tickets, or going to specifically visit
it.  I knew the weeks leading up to Opening
Day that there would be changes to see, so I wanted to see them firsthand.  So for now, I am just going to go through
what I have seen at Oriole Park over the last few weeks.  The photos are scattered from four different
visits, so if continuity-wise something does not match up, that would be why.


Part 1: Oriole Park
at Camden Yards


One time at the park, I saw an odd site.  A jeep was randomly driving onto Eutaw
Street.  Not like a work vehicle.  Just a random civilian going the wrong way.




Boog’s BBQ stand is being set up.  Or at least the frame.  So are a few of the other stands, but this is
the most notable one.




Workmen were still tearing up different parts of the yard,
presumably to replace parts and make things better.




The orange seats were FINALLY put back in (if you look at
the photo from Fanfest above, you will see that the orange seat is not




There was some photo shoot happening in the Orioles
dugout.  My zoom made this blurry, but I
couldn’t even figure out what was going on really.




Now when I went to Oriole Park just today, Eutaw Street was
closed (looked like construction):




So I made it a point to walk laps around the park to look
for other changes.


If anybody remembers that the food service provider is
different at Oriole Park this year.  It’s
now Delaware something Foods.  The name
is irrelevant.  Point is, I remember
earlier in the off season that they were looking into new foods and such.


So, here are the new look concession stands.







So those look nice.


In my opinion, I think they really brighten the place up a
bit by giving the signs some color and brightness.  Now, those were the ones I saw.  There was also a Boardwalk Fries, which is
old news, and then a few spots where there are no signs up yet as to what the
places will be, so I should have an update on those next week once they are put
up.  I will also try to get a glimpse at the menus/pricing as soon as it goes up.


Some other sights from my day there today.


I could have taken a fryer with me:




Or even walked into the park, but I didn’t want to start
pissing off the workers:




Though at every fence part of the park, there were NO
TRESPASSING signs.  Damn.



They were testing random clips on the Jumbotron.  You can see here one of the logos of the Red
Sox vs. the O’s, a new middle of the inning promo where you text in to say
which Oriole history video clip you want them to play, and lastly… clouds.




Oh, yes.  And Adam
Jones is now the official Orioles icon. 
He has taken over BOTH sides of the back of the scoreboard.




And a few other random sights:






And to transition us to part two of the entry, I will show
you this:




There is a new feature of the shop.  Seems like a little kiosk on Eutaw Street
right outside of the team shop that will be selling the official team
hats.  I guess.  I don’t know. 
It looks quite odd and space consuming. 
And the picture of the two people on the side is quite awkwardly close.



Part 2:  Orioles Team Shop


Now I could show you a few random shots I took of the Oriole
team shop when it was empty and there were signs up saying that it would
re-open in March, but I much prefer showing a few shots I took today in the
store, it’s first day being open. 




The workers were new. 
None of them had heard of Guerrero or Reynolds when I asked.  They had to ask a manager when I asked if
they had either jersey.  The answer was
no, and neither did the Sports Legends Museum shop.  You would think they would want to have all
of the new highly hyped guys supplied in the newly renovated shop.  Guess not.


The only other major change I saw was that the back sales
counter was completely removed, and a second was added in the front.  The bottom left picture shows where the old counter
was in the back of the store, and in the bottom right (cick to make larger),
you can see a more expanded check out area in the front.  Otherwise, the kids stuff is still in that
awkward separate room on the side.  As
for the stuff there.  They definitely
expanded the line of shirts/hats and other apparel, and cut down on the random
trinket and memorabilia around.  I guess,
as of now, they feel like the clothing stuffs sell more.


When I stopped into Sports Legends to see if they had a Vlad
shirt (not that I’m looking to buy, was just curious), I saw these two
hilarious shirts:




In case it’s too dark to see, the left one says “Buck the
past!” and the right one is an Alex Ovechkin jersey shirt that says


Part 3: Season


Season tickets came in last week.  Last year I was a 13 game holder, but after
two straight years of 40+ games, I figured it was worth it to upgrade to the 29
game plan.  Not only are there a few
added benefits like auto day and such, but the tickets come in an epic package.


So the big envelope came, and inside was an EPIC box, which contained everything:




I know I am going to cherish the box.  My account rep said that the boxes have been
a huge hit, which is a good sign.  They
are really awesome.


So in there were some ads:




The Orange Carpet Member card, which gives season ticket
holder a LOT of power for ticket sales and more:




Then the pages of tickets. 
On top was a welcome page with the huge Opening Day ticket, then 7 subsequent
pages of tickets.





And I have a 13 game plan in the mail coming to me, so it should be interesting seeing the differences in the two packages.

So that’s that. 
Opening Day at Oriole Park is two weeks from today.  And I can’t wait.


And as for my random photos of the post.


We have Charlie Sheen’s bracket, which is mainly awesome
because he picked Akron to win it all (though they lost in the first round):



And here we have facepalm madness from the Louisville game when they lost to Morehead State (thank you to


Lacrosse Classic and Ronnie Deck Sightings

This past weekend brought me to watch every type of sporting
event BESIDES baseball.  Yes, I either
attended or watched on TV: Lacrosse, football, hockey, and soccer.


Up first was lacrosse. 
The Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic was held on Saturday for the 5th
straight year in Baltimore.  It is a
collection of three games, always with two high seeded matchups and a local
game.  Instead of naming the teams, I’ll
show the matchups based on the posters they gave out for each team (yes, I took
one of each):


Thumbnail image for Game2.jpgGame3.jpg


So I took the bus down to Federal Hill and met up with Zevi
at M&T Bank Stadium, where we got our tickets and ran inside just in time
for the national anthem (click to see larger):



After that, Syracuse and Georgetown took the field:



And the first game began:



Then we met up with my friend Joel (who goes to Cuse, but happened to be home for his spring break):

During one of the breaks of the game (3 periods, so there
are two breaks of I think 15 minutes), we found a stand set up by the
Chesapeake Bayhawks of MLL (Major League Lacrosse) and got our picture with the
MLL trophy they brought (I’m on the left, Zevi on the right):



In the 3rd period, with Syracuse leading 8-7,
Georgetown scored on a breakaway goal with 5 seconds left, sending the game
into overtime:


Syracuse scored first in the sudden death extra time, which was cause for



And it was onto the next game: Cornell and Virginia.


Virginia won 11-9.  I
cheered for Cornell purely because I did not want to cheer for an ACC team not
named Maryland:



At one point during the game, Cornell shot the ball so hard
(shot? Is that the word they use in lacrosse?) that it ripped through the
net.  I figured now would be a good time
to show the epic green nets:



They had a reason for using them.  I just forget it.


The best part of this entire day, hands down, was the free
snack’n waffles, sponsored by Smuckers:



So that was our lunch. 
Lots and lots of waffles.



So then the local game was next.  Johns Hopkins and UMBC came out to warm up:



And 5 seconds into the game, Hopkins had won the face-off,
charged down the field, and scored:



I figured that this game was already in the books (it was;
Hopkins won 16-5), so I headed home to watch basketball.  Akron was playing Kent State in the MAC Championship.


My Zips won.


They play Notre Dame on Friday in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament.

I figure since this is an MLBlog, I should include something
baseball related in the entry.  Here’s a
screenshot I took of some Pirates prospect taking a lead during the Orioles
game.  I swear; he’s an oompa loompa:


Screen shot 2011-03-10 at 9.22.18 PM.png

Oh, and here’s a Ronnie Deck sighting:



And you can see Ronnie as well in this video.  From 0:11-0:15, you can see him standing
behind Mark Reynolds.


Final note:


Current All-Jewish MLB Team

Here it is.  After
compiling lots of information, I have come up with the MLB All-Jewish
team.  As opposed to many lists that I
have seen in the past that include classic names like Sandy Koufax, Hank
Greenberg, and Shawn Green, this roster lists only current/active baseball players with at least some major league
experience in their careers (Even one game experience counts.  If a guy has spent his career in the minors
but has at least appeared in one ML outing, he counts).


The 3 points under each name are (in respective order):
their current team/organization, career stats overall (hitters: AVG, OBP, SLG;
starting pitchers: W-L%, ERA, WHIP; relief pitchers: ERA, WHIP), and


Starting lineup (by



C – Brad Ausmus

            Los Angeles


All-Star, 3x Gold Glove

1B – Kevin Youkilis

            Boston Red


All-Star, 1x Gold Glove

2B – Ian Kinsler


           kinsler.jpg .281/.356/.466

            2x All-Star

SS – Ryan Braun



            NL Rookie
of the Year, 3x All-Star,

                          3x Silver Slugger

3B – Danny Valencia




LF – Sam Fuld

            Tampa Bay


CF – Ryan Kalish

            Boston Red


RF – Gabe Kapler

            Los Angeles





Ike Davis 1B

            New York


ikedavis.jpgAdam Greenberg OF

            Free Agent

            1 Major
League plate appearance,

                             was hit-by-pitch

Brian Horwitz OF

            Free Agent


Josh Whitesell 1B



Adam Stern OF

            Free Agent


            Was the
PTBNL in the trade that sent Javy Lopez from the Orioles to the 

                          Red Sox



Starting rotation:


SP – Scott Feldman


            .492, 4.80,

SP – Jason Marquis


            .511, 4.56,

All-Star, 1x Silver Slugger

SP – Jason Hirsh RHP

            Free Agent

            .421, 5.32,




RP – Scott
Schoeneweis LHP

            Boston Red

            5.01, 1.474

RP – John Grabow LHP


            4.24, 1.464

RP – Aaron Poreda LHP

            San Diego

            2.70, 1.725

RP – Craig Breslow
LHP (Closer)


1.175, 5 saves last season


And for added Jewishness:

President – Mark Shapiro
(Cleveland Indians)

General Manager – Rubén Amaro, Jr. (Philadephia Phillies)




-Yes, I know Brad Ausmus retired last year.  But since he could technically still come
back, and the 2011 regular season hasn’t begun yet, I am including him.  Main reason being that no other current
Jewish player has ever caught a game in either a MLB or MiLB game.


-3 man rotation. 
Why?  There are only 3 active
Jewish pitchers with starting experience (in the last 8 years).  What’s even more odd about the pitching staff
is that the 3 starters are righties, while all 4 relievers are lefties.


-Ryan Braun at SS? 
Yes sir/maam!  As with Ausmus, no
current Jewish player has ever played SS in a game at the MLB/MiLB level.  But, since this composition is not official
in any way, shape, or form, there had to be some out of the box thinking
here.  And no, it did not include putting
Amar’e Stoudemire at short.  As a follower pointed
out to me on Twitter, Ryan Braun played SS in high school and college.  So, I did some research, and found out a
lot.  Braun, who played shortstop for all
of high school and part of college at University of Miami (FL), was once rated
the 6th best SS prospect in baseball.  Here is more info about his high school and
college career.



-And as an Oriole note, I have to bring up Steve Stone.  Stone, a pitcher for the Baltimore
Orioles from 1979-1981, was Jewish.  From pitching for the Orioles in
their 1979 World Series season to winning the Cy Young Award in 1980, Stone is
considered to be one of the top three Jewish pitchers all-time.  Stone
currently gives color commentary for the Chicago White Sox, but will always be
remembered for his accomplishments as a Jewish baseball player and his career
that met its end in Baltimore.

And that’s it.  Though you will never find more than 2 or 3 Jewish players on a single team at most times in baseball, it’s nice to know that as a collaboration, there are some strong bright spots on an overall roster.



Follow me on Twitter! @2131andBeyond


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