One of the best parts of this job is figuring out what topics will generate interest and discussion from the fans. You spend a couple of weeks working on a feature story about Yovani Gallardo’s progression from high school slugger to Major League pitcher, and hear very little. Then a couple of years later, you throw together a blog about 2011 bobblehead giveaways and Gallardo isn’t on the list, and you’re slammed with e-mails and Tweets.
So, I asked around a bit and here are some thoughts and best guesses about the bobblehead lineup:
— First off, I would bet all of my Marriott points that Gallardo is on the list for 2012.
— I hear that Gallardo was on the list for 2011, but then the Brewers picked up Zack Greinke and started using him as the poster boy for their marketing efforts. You have to capitalize on the excitement surrounding his arrival.
— Why didn’t they just bump somebody else to make room for Greinke? The Racing Hot Dog giveaway is sponsored by Klement’s so he’s safe. Craig Counsell is a hometown favorite and he’s also 40 and signed for one year, so you’d better feature him while you can. John Axford and Casey McGehee are coming off career years, so why not give them a little love while they’re hot? Randy Wolf is entering the second season of a three-year deal and is pretty popular after finishing last season so strong. It probably makes sense to get him out of the way now since Gallardo is in a long-term contract and it looks like he’s going to be pretty darn good for the next couple of years.
— You don’t want to do all of your stars at once. So, Greinke is probably the 2011 headliner and you save Gallardo to headline 2012. Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart (so I’m told — I don’t remember a Hart bobble) have all been done since the bobblehead craze began. If you do Greinke and Gallardo this year, who’s your star for 2012? No offense, Jonathan Lucroy.
— Most importantly… I grew up in Wisconsin, so just like you I am genetically engineered to be drawn to free stuff, even if it’s an “I closed Wolski’s” sticker that goes straight into a desk drawer, but why is this something we’re even talking about? I’d rather go to a game and watch Gallardo pitch than go home with a doll that sort of looks like him.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, Wolski’s has free popcorn.