Minor league promotions people, listen up: this is how you do a promotion. On Saturday, the Daytona Tortugas are hosting “Bob Ross Night.” The first 1,000 fans will get a Ross bobblehead. The Tortugas are the Single-A affiliate of the Reds.
Fans can purchase a $35 ticket package that not only includes a ticket and a bobblehead, but a pass to a pregame painting class taught by certified instructors wearing Bob Ross wigs. There will also be a “Bob Ross happy Little 5K” held that morning. Runners can stop and paint at the various canvases that will be scattered throughout the route.
Ross, who died in 1995, was born in Daytona Beach. You can read more about the promotion at MiLB.com.
Last month, we heard about “Hourglass Appreciation Night,” a promotion idea the Ogden Raptors — the Single-A affiliate of the Dodgers — had but eventually retracted after receiving heavy public backlash. It’s a good learning experience to compare and contrast the two promotions. The Ross promotion celebrates someone’s influence and accomplishments; the Raptors’ promotion objectified people, obviously women in this case. It’s really not that hard to come up with fun, unoffensive theme nights at minor league ballparks, but kudos just the same to the Tortugas.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.