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.
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.