When the Hunter Pence trade went down, many people said, "Not until I get my bobblehead first!" The Phillies responded by declaring that the Hunter Pence bobblehead night is still on as planned. My first thought is that I would have liked to have one still to add to my bobblehead collection, that is missing none of the popular giveaways since 2005. As the dust has settled, the more I think about it, I am annoyed.
When the promotional schedule came out, I did what many fans do; I checked out the giveaways and made sure I bought tickets. I split a full-season plan with someone, but to be sure that both of us got to go, I bought extra tickets to both bobblehead games at a price much higher than my seats because they were the only ones I could get. So $72.00 later I have two tickets to a Tuesday night game against the Cincinnati Reds that means nothing.
The 2012 Phillies are all but elimnated from playoff contention and they're doing plenty of experimenting with the young guys rather than playing to win. I paid $7.00 to see Kevin Frandsen, Domonic Brown, and Erik Kratz just a month ago AND I got a John Mayberry bobblehead that means more to Phillies fans right now than a Hunter Pence bobblehead means.
I suppose I'll take the bobblehead. But long-term this will mean little more than the Adam Dunn Nationals bobblehead I have in a drawer somewhere. Think about it: Hunter Pence spent exactly 366 days as a Philadelphia Phillie. I already wasted a bunch of money on Pence t-shirts and many bought $200.00 authentic Pence jerseys for someone who spent less time as a Phillie than Ron Gant did.
Sell the bobblehead on eBay? What market is there for that? Someone already listed the Hunter Pence bobblehead they will get, in the hopes that it will sell before the fact. $24.95 is probably too much. Right now nobody is bidding on a Placido Polanco/Roy Oswalt combo even though the bidding starts at $9.99. My guess is that 1/3 end up on eBay, 1/3 end up in people's drawers or closets before being sold for $2 next time they have a garage sale, and 1/3 will litter the stands and parking lots after the game.
So what's fair? Still give away the bobbleheads. After all, Liberty Mutual paid good money to sponsor the giveaway. But give away something else, too. 44,000 tickets have been sold to this July 21st game against the Reds, and booing Scott Rolen is not enough to satisfy us fans. Throw in a Nate Schierholtz garden gnome, an Erik Kratz snuggie, or some cheap Vance Worley replica glasses.
Worst of all, for Phillies fans, Hunter Pence was the epitome of failure. Of all the trades of the winning era, the Phillies probably gave away the most for Pence. They did so because he was supposed to be the final piece that led the Phillies to a World Series. The 2011 Phillies were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. 2012 is an excruciating bust. In some ways, Hunter Pence will be the reminder of two high-paid teams that could not get it done and we will think of Hunter Pence for a long, long, time if Jonathan Singleton is mashing home runs and if Jarred Cosart is winning 20 games.
Someone will sponsor something else and give us both. Please don't have us spend $72 to see the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and give us a reminder of the failure that was the 2011 and 2012 Phillies.