You have to feel for the plight of the marketing department of each MLB team. Each year they are tasked to come up with dozens of promotional giveaways to lure fans to come out to the ballpark. Some of these ideas are great, but some of them... not so much. We could spend time admiring the good ideas, but where is the fun in that? Instead, let's reward these marketing department staffers for all their hard work by ridiculing their most ill-conceived ideas.
The following is a list of the worst giveaway for each team, and yes, these are all real promotional giveaways and events (though the descriptions might include some "artistic license).
Baltimore Orioles - Drawstring bags. The perfect accessory for the fan of a terrible team that needs something to put over their head so that nobody can identify them.
Boston Red Sox - No promotional giveaways announced, presumably because all they had planned were beer and fried chicken-related giveaways. Thanks a lot, Bobby V.
New York Yankees - Keep America Beautiful Night. Just pretend you didn't step over a drugged out bum lying in a urine-filled gutter on your way into the stadium.
Tampa Bay Rays - The "Zim-bear." Prepare to have your nightmares haunted.
Toronto Blue Jays - Canada Day. Ummm, hello, baseball is America's pastime.
Chicago White Sox - Robin Venture bobblehead. I will fly to Chicago for this game if someone can promise me that it comes with a Nolan Ryan bobble head that puts Ventura in a headlock and pummels it.
Cleveland Indians - Weather Education Day. The weather in Cleveland sucks. End of promotion.
Detroit Tigers - Breast Health Awareness Day. This promotion takes on a special level of importance in the Motor City since they just spent $214 million on the best pair of man-boobs in baseball.
Kansas City Royals - Camouflage hats. Now we won't be able to tell if the seats in KC are actually empty or just a fan wearing his camo hat.
Minnesota Twins - Energy efficient light bulbs. Just imagine the look on your child's face when the usher hands them their brand spanking new... light bulb.
Los Angeles Angels - Cowboy hats. This might be the worst one of all and not just because Southern California fans aren't exactly clamoring for cowboy hats. The problem is that the Angels are playing the Rangers in this game. The Texas Rangers, from the state of Texas, where they actually wear cowboy hats. Brilliant move Angels marketing department, way to make your division rival feel at home when playing in your stadium.
Oakland Athletics - Mathletics Day. No fan will be able to enter the stadium unless they can calculate Brandon McCarthy's xFIP without the use of a calculator. I think they might be taking the "Moneyball" craze a little far.
Seattle Mariners - Smoakamotive Train Night. Much like Justin Smoak, this toy will not live up to your expectations and break every six weeks.
Texas Rangers - Wildlife Education Day. This is actually a good idea because it will help avoid any of the Ranger players being mistaken by a hunter for a real deer when they do their trademark "antlers" hand signal. Don't be surprised if former owner President George W. Bush brings his old pal and avid hunter Dick Cheney to the game for this one. You know, just to be safe.
Atlanta Braves - Foam tomahawks. I bet you think I dislike this giveaway because it is racially insensitive. Nope, my objection is that the Florida State Seminoles came up with the Tomahawk Chop first. If there is one thing I hate more than racism, it's trademark infringement.
Miami Marlins - Omar Infante t-shirt. No offense to Infante, but considering all the free agent money the Marlins spent this off-season, fans were hoping for something a little more high profile.
New York Mets - Texting gloves. OMG these gloves are so lame LOL. Still cant believe I paid to see the Mets WTF!!!
Philadelphia Phillies - Teva Respiratory Asthma Awareness Night. Considering that these are Philly fans, I think we can all safely assume that an opposing player is going to get pelted by albuterol inhalers before the game is over.
Washington Nationals - Screech's Birthday. What? Why would they be honoring a character from Saved by the Bell? I just hope they don't honor Screech by showing Dustin Diamond's sex tape on the Jumbotron.
Chicago Cubs - Jersey Off Our Back Night. If this is what it sounds like, then this is just another reason why Cub fans are glad Carlos Zambrano got traded.
Cincinnati Reds - Reds Beer Stein. Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure that a franchise that once had its owner suspended for saying positive things about Hitler should probably avoid giving away any German-related paraphernalia.
Houston Astros - Replica Colt .45s jersey. Gun not included in the logo therefore FAIL.
Milwaukee Brewers - Stitch 'n' Pitch. What a great idea, invite people to bring sharp metal weapons to the ballpark and then consume copious amounts of beer. I'm sure this will end well.
Pittsburgh Pirates - Scratch 'n' Win. This isn't actually a promotional giveaway, it is the Pirates' actual strategy this season.
St. Louis Cardinals - Christian Day. Lord, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Except those #%^@! traitor Pujols!!!!
Arizona Diamondbacks - Ryan Roberts tattoo sleeves.
Colorado Rockies - We Want Tacos T-shirts. This is a terrible idea. I've spent a lot of time in Colorado and the Mexican food there is terrrrrrrible.
Los Angeles Dodgers - Dodger Stadium replica. This could be a collector's item since Frank McCourt is going to sell the team, but keep the parking lots and build ton of condos on them, thus ruining this gem of a ballpark.
San Diego Padres - POW/MIA Appreciation Day. This isn't about the military actually. It's about owner John Moores being held captive by the league refusing to let him sell the team to Jeff Moorad even though Moores is being crippled financially.
San Francisco Giants - Giants Food Drive. A food drive for Giants? Finally, I have a place to donate that 700-pound can of lima beans that has been cluttering up my cupboard.
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@awfulannouncing True story: Xcel Energy handed out 40k bulbs after the Twins game. 2 lit up red. I got 1 & won season tickets rest of yr.
@awfulannouncing In a city founded by German immigrants... a beer stein in Cincy makes almost as much sense as it would in Milwaukee. C'mon
@awfulannouncing It's actually a good idea because it's an easy sell for a field trip, and makes them money, thus it's a good promotion
@awfulannouncing Weather education day is done so that the Indians can pitch it as a school outing in april when attedence sucks
@awfulannouncing In defense of CLE, weather day has been a huge draw for kids in Milwaukee the last few seasons.
@awfulannouncing FYI Screech is the Nat's mascot. Whether that makes celebrating his birthday better or worse is up for debate.