We are currently 15th in home attendance in 2011 despite having the one of the best records in baseball. The Braves are on pace for their lowest average nightly attendance in over a decade. This years 28,000 fans per night, is about 2,000 fans a night behind last year’s pace. As the playoff races continue to heat up I expect the attendance to get a boost but just in case here is a list of potential Game Day Promotions for the second half.
Jordan Schafer Bobblehead Night - Everyone loves a good bobblehead and the more realistic the better. Schafer’s tiny head won’t be lost on this give-away, it will be more like a bobble-helmet. I’m picturing a G.I. Joe sized figurine with one of those batting helmets you used to get ice cream in. What ever happened to the ice cream helmets?
Eric Hinske Tattoo Night – Free Temporary Braves Tattoos to the first 10,000 fans. Also, as a side promotion, buy 1 get 1 free tickets to any fans with Braves tattoos. The team tattoo is a the sign of a dedicated fan.
Free Bro-Hawk Night sponsored by Great Clips - If you’re looking for the main reason why the Braves have played so well in 2011 it has to be the starting pitching. If you need more than one reason than let me point you in the direction of the Bro-Hawk. Freddie and Uggla have it. Schafer was talked into it. Now everyone in the Ted will have a chance to be broskis!
Tim Hudson Soul Patch Night - I can’t really grow a beard but I’ve always felt the soul patch would be do-able. Nobody, however, pulls off the soul patch as well as Huddy. Free Soul patches would also help me avoid the sideburns from growing in all Joe – Dirt like. One other hair related promotion that I considered was Tommy Hanson Red Beard Night.
Dan Uggla Shake Weight Night – Say what you will about Uggla’s performance at the plate but damn does he have some rock solid forearms. The Shake Weights will be a nice way to get those arms ready for Tomahawk Chops going deep into October.
Brandon Beachy Ball Night - When scanning down the roster looking for players to pair together with a game day promotion, Beachy Ball Night seemed like a no-brainer. Then some common sense set in. 10,000 beach balls could surpass the White Sox Disco Demolition Night and the Indians 10 cent Beer Night as the worst game day promotion ever.
1. Freddie Freeman – Really impressive week from Freeman. 7 for 14 with 4 HR against the Rockies, is a great sign going forward. I feel the play of Freeman in the second half could be one of the biggest stories to follow.
2. Craig Kimbrel - Picked up his franchise rookie record 27th save of the season Thursday. He seems to be getting stronger as the season goes on. In his last 10 appearances dating back to June 19, 0 BB to 16 SO and 9 saves.
3. Tyler Pastornicky – The Mississippi Brave hit for the cycle Tuesday night and currently his average is up to .297 on the year. The bat continues to improve but the challenge to Pastornicky’s path to the Majors is in the field. He is currently leading the M-Braves with 18 errors in 80 games.
1. Vogelsong over Hanson - I can understand where Bochy is coming from, he has to do what’s best for his team but Hanson led a group of about 50 players more deserving of the spot than Ryan Vogelsong.
2. Mark Reynolds - The guy has serious power and will punish mistakes. Still its tough to get beat by a guy that has averaged 200 K’s a year the last three seasons.
3. News Surrounding Chipper’s Knee - The All-Star break would have given a little time for Chipper to get the surgery but now that he will be in Arizona for the game a procedure seems unlikely. With Prado coming back and Lugo offering defensive flexibility the window to be proactive with this injury is now.