The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Angels Promotions + More Spring Training Thoughts

Watching Angels spring training games, it would be extremely difficult not to notice the promotions schedule planned for the regular season. There is a large billboard just to the visitor’s side of home plate with a rolling display that prominently advertises the April and May promotions and the broadcast team is doing a great job of hyping all of the others. As with most baseball teams, the Angels promotions are a mixed bag. Some of them are exciting indeed. Others make you wonder what the marketing department was thinking. But some of the bad ones actually fall into a third, so bad they’re actually awesome category – the name-your-favorite-Kurt-Russell-bad-***-B-movie-here or They Live of stadium giveaways, if you will. Allow me to present a few examples:

Great Promotions

  • We get an Angels post game concert series this season! So far no bands have been named, but there will be four concerts, one each month in June through September. Is this copying the Rays? Yes. Will it be amazing fun anyway? Yes, oh yes.
  • Hat nights: the Angels marketing department usually offers a series of great ball caps throughout the season. For the anniversary, a lot of the caps are retro or outright replicas of players’ uniform caps through the years. As long as none of them are the cap from the Disney years, we’re good.
  • The Rally Monkey Sock Monkey in July: I like the Rally Monkey concept – a random, spur of the moment whim of the video board operators takes on a life of its own – but I have never felt the need to own one. A Rally Monkey Sock Monkey, however, sounds awfully cute. He could sit on the book shelves in my living room and taunt visiting Dodgers and Red Sox fans. Too bad this one’s just for the kids and I have no prop children to take with me so I can snag one.

So Bad They’re Actually Kind of Awesome Promotions

  • The Angels Luchador Mask in May: one the one hand, it’s kind of a WTF idea. On the other hand, it’s an Angels luchador mask. I think this is the giveaway my husband is most excited about. Why do I see his entire sales team sporting these things when the Rangers fan head of Marketing comes for a visit?
  • The Angels Ski Beanie in April: okay, so it’s a really silly looking brightly colored knit hat with ear flaps and a pom pom on top. But I think that the marketing department has failed to capitalize on the obvious Firefly tie-in potential with this one. The Outfielder of Canton, anyone? Hey, the Dodgers get their Star Wars night. Fair’s fair.
  • The Angels Gnome Bobblehead in August: usually all of the bobbleheads are in the great promotions category (I just didn’t mention them because every team does this now) but this bobblehead is not a player bobblehead, it’s literally a bobblehead of the Angels gnome statue giveaway last season. This would just be bad, but Angels fans turned out in droves to collect those darned gnomes last season and the broadcast team caught gnome fever, keeping one in the booth that would “show up” in odd places throughout the game so the gnome bobblehead gets style points for the humor factor.

What Were They Thinking Promotions

  • The Rally Monkey Chia Pet in August: sadly, I may wind up with one of these. This is one of the games we were thinking of attending.
  • The Angels Troll Doll in May: fortunately just for children!
  • Angels Newsboy Hat: this is the one exception to the Angels hat nights are great rule. Do hipsters even go to baseball games? I know. I know. If they do, it would be in Anaheim or Los Angeles.

It’s baseball. It’s wonderful. I love my Angels. And I would quite happily still go to as many games as possible even if there were no promotions at all. But I think it’s fun to take a look at the promotions and oh and ah or mock where appropriate.

* * * * *

A few notes after the Angels most recent spring training games: This is the first time I’ve seen Scott Downs pitch in Angels red and so far I really like what I see. Eight pitches, three outs. Whooo. Hooo. Mark Trumbo keeps right on hitting and it looks like he’s starting to place himself better for each play at first. Howie Kendrick makes me happy, specifically his increasingly reliable bat! Peter Bourjos makes me happy too, specifically his speed, range and glove in center! And hell-o Tyson Auer. Wow, that kid is fast! It looks like the Angels will not lack for speedy outfield prospects in the years to come.

I’m still on the fence about Scott Kazmir. In his second outing, it took him about three or four batters to warm up, which is customary even when he’s having a good season, but he threw more balls in proportion to the strikes. However, he didn’t get hit nearly as much as he did in his first outing and he settled down such that the last 15 or so of his 35 pitches were fantastic. The Angels lost to the Brewers but Joel Pinero’s three innings were scoreless, continuing his streak. Pinero has not lost a spring training decision in the last 25 appearances.

We beat the White Sox this time out, but it wasn’t easy and it isn’t going to be easy in the regular season. I’m glad to see Jake Peavy seems fully recovered from last season’s injury. I watched the game he was injured during, and it didn’t look like he would be able to make it back this quickly. Former Angels Bench Coach Ron Roenicke looked comfortable as the Brewers Manager. I’m sure he’ll do well and wish him all the best!


  1. Michael David

    Promotions are a great part of the live game. I would love to see a few concerts over the summer-especially some ’80’s hair bands. The luchador mask would be cool, but if the ‘Masked Angel’ becomes a WWE Diva or TNA Knockout, I’ll be raising an eyebrow. We should be getting our own ski hats at the Whitecaps home opening on April 10th (if it’s not still snowing). The troll dolls have always creeped me right out…so you can keep that one…

  2. Catherine

    Thank you for the multiple comments on my blog 🙂 I’ve been crazy busy with play rehearsals lately, but the last show was last night, so I’ll be back to blogging.
    A Rally Monkey Chia pet…interesting. I once saw a commerical advertising Chia pets in the likenesses of Obama, Washington, and Lincoln. Maybe the Rally Monkey can be placed alongside them?

  3. Hot Tub Baseball Machine

    I never like the crazy, trite promos. I remember in Atlanta back in the earl 90’s, they had a promo that you could get pictured in a baseball card. I liked that one, but keep in mind this was waaaaay before photoshop so the quality was choppy. I still have that card someplace…

  4. mattpeas

    Should be a nice mix of music for the concerts. In pittsbugh we get bands like Styx Steve Miller and Huey Lewis. I may be young but they are always rocking after the games. Kid love to get my hands on a famed Angels yard gnome.

  5. blithescribe

    Mike – I’m hoping the’’ll get a nice mix with the concerts and an 80’s hair band could be a lot of fun, though most of the ones I liked ither don’t tour together anymore or, like Def Leopard, aren’t very good live anymore. I think many eyebrows would be raised if the “Masked Angel” takes the turn you caution against, especially when I think about the guys I know who want one of those masks. They just don’t have the legs to pull off being a WWE Diva or a TNA Knockout, LOL.
    Ron – I was wondering about sod issues with post-game concerts. It will be interesting to see how they handle it.
    Catherine – That sounds like a Chia Pet Mount Rushmore which is wrong on so many levels that it actually swings back to awesome, LOL.
    Russel – I can’t wait to hear the line-up. I’ve heard rumors of Social D, which would be amazing. Seeing Jimmy Buffet must have been fun. I’ve been to lot of concerts but haven’t seen one of his yet.
    Jeff – So then, among your reasons are? …yeah, K-Rod. Now he’s just punching it. Very sad to see the turn his life has taken.
    HTBM – I’m glad to see your blog’s back online. Those baseball cards sound like they were a cool promo in the 90’s.
    Matt – Sounds like you’re young but know good music across generations. Yeah, all the cool kids want the gnomes. Sadly, I wasn’t cool enough to buy a ticket to that game. 😉
    This is a very simple game…

    • This is a very simple game...

      As it turns out JulieBee, I am not going to the game this Tuesday afterall, otherwise I would totally see if you had any cool baseball giveaways, Angels or otherwise, to trade. Thanks for dropping by the blog though. 🙂

      — Kristen

  6. JulieBee

    Thanks, Kristen. How rude of me to not offer to trade….I was looking for a gift for someone, but realize now I may have been perceived as rude. Thanks for not being harsh. =) And I’m sorry you will not be going to the game.

    • This is a very simple game...

      Nonsense JulieBee, you weren’t rude at all. It was sweet of you to offer cash and I probably would have taken you up on that or a baseball item trade if I were still going to the game. We just got back from a trip I hadn’t planned on when I originally posted this, so I’m going to wait to go back to the ballpark until the next homestand. If you still want one of the Chia Pets, I’d check ebay on Thursday or Friday. I bet some of the folks who go will put theirs up for sale. Good luck!

      — Kristen

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