The Brian Roberts bobblehead promotion has been botched. There will be no bobbleheads on Saturday, but everyone in attendance will receive a voucher for the bobblehead that can be redeemed in September. The Orioles Web site says it's due to a "manufacturing error." To make up for it, ALL fans in attendance will receive the voucher, not just the first 20,000 fans 21 and over as the promotion was originally slated.
A couple quick plugs for things that I actually get no benefit from promoting all over my highly reputable and well-read site:
I was over at my new timewasting spot, Orioles Hangout, where a bunch of know-it-all O's fans dump on other know-it-all O's fans for overrating Brandon Fahey's .280 batting average by not recognizing that his VORP isn't very good or for overly praising Kris Benson when, in fact (duh!), the O's would have won half-a-game more with a "league average" pitcher instead of Benson based on his RSAA.
That's right. The O's could be a half-game better with a merely average pitcher. That's the difference between fourth place and ... fourth place but leading the Devil Rays by another half-game. Nevermind how you get "half a win."
But that's all beside the point. And it's part of the fun.
I don't know if someone at Orioles Hangout came up with it or if they're just pimping it hard, but a couple of dedicated O's fans have created Section336.com, which has set out to fill section 336 (upper deck directly behind homeplate) with a big orange and black cursive O, to prove to the doubters that the O's do have dedicated and die-hard supporters.
The Java section map on the home page is pretty sweet, and you can see who has already committed. They're asking people to buy tickets for the section, contact them with where they're sitting, then come to this Saturday's game in their designated white, orange or black regalia to create the O. Also, they're bringing colored posterboard to bring out the full effect in case some people can't sport the right colors for whatever reason.
I thought it was a pretty sweet idea, so if you have Saturday afternoon free you should definitely get in on it. Also, if just "being awesome" isn't enough incentive for you to go, if you're one of the first 20,000 fans in the gates, you get the Brian Roberts half of the "Roberts/Mora Celebration Bobbleheads," which is pretty much the most incredible giveaway the Orioles have ever done, unless you count the Curt Schilling, Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch for Glenn Davis trade in 1991.
The Nats new owners are doing some promoting of their own. Sure, they've committed to retaining Jim Bowden, the worst GM in the Majors, and they've already said they're not going to raise payroll, but hey, the hot dogs should get better (and before you ask, no, I'm never letting that go).
When the Cubs come to town for a weekend series July 21-23, the Nats will host a "Grand Re-Opening" of RFK stadium. The festivities will include giveaways, pre-game entertainment, some appearance changes to the beat up old football stadium and, yes, improved concessions (PRIORITY NUMBER 1!).
If you've been in any D.C. Metro stations recently, you've seen the banners that say stupid things like "GET YOUR RED ON" and "PAINT THE TOWN RED," to try and get you to come to the ballpark that weekend, but the real draw will be permanently lowered ticket prices for the cheap seats. Similar to the Capitals' "Eagle's Nest" seats, 1,000 of the $11 seats in RFK will become $5 seats, and 1,000 of the $5 seats will now be just $3, which means now parking at the Metro Station costs 50 cents more than the game tickets. Sweet.
In case you were wondering, your $3 ticket on Friday will also get you a red Washington Nationals baseball cap, on Saturday it will get you a red Nats T-shirt, and on Sunday it will get you a red rally towel. (Sensing a theme? Yeah... But there's not going to be a scattered quarter of sweet Curly W in the stands is there!?)
So now your next two weekends are booked. Just don't tell your girlfriend she's going to baseball games to hold up colored posterboard. Oh, and if your the jealous type, watch out for longing stares at the Brian Roberts bobblehead...
That's YOUR bobblehead and you loved Brian Roberts before she even knew he existed!