The best and worst of 2013 MLB giveaways
April, 1, 2013
By DJ Gallo | ESPN.com
Woooo! Free stuff at baseball games.
As connoisseurs of free things, we went through every major league baseball team’s 2013 promotions and giveaways calendar to find you the best and worst of this season’s loot and events.
May your 2013 baseball season be one of getting the finest free crap.
WORST 2013 MLB GIVEAWAYS AND PROMOTIONS
Ryan Howard Whiffle Ball Set -- April 7
When the entire fan base is concerned that Howard has lost the power of his prime, maybe giving away a bat with his name on it and a ball that can’t be hit farther than 150 feet isn’t the best idea.
Mets Drawstring Bag – April 7
Drawstring bags have long pieces of rope. Long pieces of rope should never be made available to Mets fans. If a fan harms himself or herself, the Mets are liable.
Miguel Cabrera Bobblehead -- April 10
The head looks right, but the body is Cabrera circa Marlins 2003.
A.J. Burnett T-Shirt -- April 12
Last season the Pirates had a postgame Daughtry concert. This is the Daughtry of T-shirts.
Rockies “Win Lose Rain Shine” T-Shirt -- April 15
Seems like the Rockies are shooting for .500 this year. Or not. Whatever. Win, lose, rain, shine. Que sera.
White Sox Puzzle Cube -- April 20
As though being a baseball fan in Chicago isn’t maddening enough, now we have to torment 10,000 kids with a White Sox-themed Rubik’s Cube?
Mets Dog Bandana -- April 20
We pull our dogs around with leashes, feed them table scraps and make them go to the bathroom outside. But putting Mets paraphernalia on them is going too far. It’s simply not humane. We can treat animals better than this. We must.
Joe Maddon Gnome -- April 24
It turns out a bespectacled gnome is even creepier than a regular gnome. Good to know.
Giants Announcers Bottle Stoppers -- May 11
Who wants these guys’ butts in your wine? Not me. Probably not you.
Giancarlo Stanton Arm Sleeve -- June 2
The 17 fans at Marlins Park will find it pretty awkward when they’re handed a Giancarlo Stanton arm sleeve six weeks after he’s been traded for cash.
Cleveland Indians Fireworks Night: Bon Jovi Theme -- June 22
Bon Jovi-themed fireworks at a Phillies, Yankees or Mets game is one thing, but at an Indians game? Come on, Cleveland. You can do better. We hope.
Cardinals Replica 2011 World Series Game 7 Ticket -- June 23
Bad idea. Now everyone at this game will get to pretend they were at Game 7 of the 2011 World Series. “Really! I was there! Don’t believe me? I even have my ticket! David Freese gave me a high-five!”
Joe Mauer/Justin Morneau Double Bobblehead -- July 19
Don’t take this out of the box. It will break immediately.
Cubs Toiletry Bag -- August 16
Always bring your Cubs Toiletry Bag to Wrigley Field, as Wrigley Field is like a big toilet.
BEST 2013 MLB GIVEAWAYS AND PROMOTIONS
Cubs Texting Gloves -- April 11
“Cubs lost. Don’t care. Drunk.”
Yankees Flower Seed Packet Night -- April 18
Watch as these beautiful flowers come to life, grow and bloom. It will be a great distraction from the rotting, death and misery that will be 2013 New York Yankees baseball.
Twins Rain Gauge -- April 22
First they lose the dome, now they’re giving away rain gauges. They Twins organization has really embraced precipitation.
Justin Verlander Bobblehead -- April 24
You can’t go wrong with a bobblehead giveaway of a big star. Although people would probably much prefer if this came with a Kate Upton figurine.
Mariners Beards Hat Night -- April 26
The picture is better than any words that could go here.
Ryan Braun Bobblehead Presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board -- May 26
See, guys. The only performance enhancer Ryan Braun has ever gotten near is delicious and nutritious Wisconsin milk! Nothing to see here!
Minnesota Twins Wine, Women and Baseball -- May 30, June 28, Aug. 12
This is a women’s night featuring a pregame wine tasting at a nearby hotel. But the single men of the Twin Cities should circle these games on their calendars, too. The stadium will be full of female wine drinkers who like sports. No dating site has ever pre-selected the perfect woman this well.
Coco Crisp Cereal Bowl -- June 2
The fact that it took until the 12th year of Coco Crisp’s career for a team to have Coco Crisp cereal bowl giveaway is evidence that America is in decline. Credit to Billy Beane’s A’s for doing this, though. He’s not known as a top GM for nothing. He noticed a cereal bowl market inefficiency and exploited it.
Carlos Ruiz Bobblehead -- June 4
Good job by the Phillies giving out a Carlos Ruiz bobblehead after his PED suspension ends. That’s Baseball Promotions 101.
Don Sutton Bobblehead -- June 6
The Dodgers unfortunately have not yet provided a picture of the Sutton bobblehead, but this is what he looked like during his playing career. So if you are a bobblehead collector and have yet to own one featuring a man with permed hair, get to Dodger Stadium on June 6.
Mike Trout Fish Hat -- June 18
It’s a baseball hat with a fish sticking out of it. You know, because of his name? He’s a baseball player and his name is Trout? Like the kind of fish? Ah, never mind. Subtlety is lost on some people.
Cardinals 1926 Championship Beer Stein -- June 21
In many cities, it would be unwise to arm 40,000 fans with a hunk of glass. But Cardinals fans are good people. They have never tried to kill anyone with a beer stein, as far as we know.
Yankees Old-Timers' Day -- June 23
Sometimes the jokes just write themselves. And then when those jokes get old, Brian Cashman signs them.
Yankees Car Air Freshener -- July 11
Fans could hang them in their car. But it might be smarter to hang them around Yankee Stadium to get the stink out.
Chicago Bulls Night -- Aug. 6
A baseball game on Aug. 6 is probably the day Derrick Rose finally returns. A little late for the Bulls perhaps, but it might sell a few extra White Sox tickets.
John Kruk Action Figure -- Aug. 23
Kruk once said: “I’m not an athlete, I’m a professional baseball player.” Now he has an action figure. The Phillies haven’t released a photo of it yet. Probably because they’re trying to figure out how to sculpt an oxymoron.
Houston Astros Batting Practice Replica Jersey -- Aug. 31
This is your big chance. Just slip one of these on, sneak onto the field, take batting practice, wow the coaches with your ability to hit the ball out of the infield, become a real member of the Houston Astros and bat cleanup in that day’s game!
Willie McGee Replica Jersey -- Sept. 7
Remember, to properly wear your Willie McGee jersey, you have to constantly make a face like this.
Cubs Zubazpalooza -- Sept. 23
What’s the only way to get people to attend a late-September Cubs-Pirates game? Zubaz, obviously. This is how the Cubs keep getting fans losing season after losing season. They’re marketing geniuses.