Reds using giveaways to stir up fans

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It’s coming. You can hear it, see it, feel it, even taste it. What is it? What else? Football season.

And with the love affair of football that America embraces regardless of the level — high school, college, NFL — comes the losing interest of baseball.

Oh, fans in the Tri-State area might be more inclined to follow the Cincinnati Reds closely if they had a reason, but right now the Reds are battling hard to stay out of last place more so than the Milwaukee Brewers are working to stay in first place.

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And the Reds are very much aware that this is “The Time of the Season.”

Outfielder Adam Dunn belted home run No. 33 Friday and is within four of struggling Prince Fielder of Milwaukee. Dunn has a legitimate shot at the home run championship.

And then there is pitcher Aaron Harang the still has hopes of leading the National League in strikeouts for the second straight year.

(He would probably win it if he got a chance to pitch to Dunn instead of being his teammate.)

Harang also has a chance to be the best pitcher record-wise in the NL, thus putting him in line for Cy Young consideration.

But with all this going on, fans only have to look at the standings to realize at 53-68 the Reds chances of making the postseason are about as good as Don Imus being hired as the color commentator for Rutgers’ women’s basketball team.

Ah, but don’t sell the Reds short in their attempt to lure fans to the ballpark even in these dismal times.

Monday is the first-ever all-day Pit Stop Festival that brings NASCAR drivers like Kyle Busch, Rusty Wallace, Eric McClure and Terry Labonte to the stadium to sign autographs. They’re will even be a performance by American Idol and country music star Kellie Pickler.

On Tuesday fans can spend $5 and get a chance to win autographed memorabilia.

Wednesday is the Marty and Thom Brennaman dual bobblehead night. The Reds will give away the bobbleheads — free — to the first 40,000 fans in attendance.

Hmm, 40,000 bobbleheads on a Wednesday night with school the next day. I’m guessing there will be a few hundred left over for retail sales.

There will be a giant fireworks display after Friday’s game. I wonder if you’ll be able to see it from an area football stadium?

The Reds will retire Dave Concepcion’s No. 13 jersey at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday the giveaway is a set of Reds baseball cards sponsored by Kahn’s.

Of course, every day is $5 bleacher seats.

Well, are you making plans to make a drive at least one night to the Reds homestand this week?

Or maybe you’re going to do like me and start getting ready for Friday’s game while I’m watching the game on Fox Sports Ohio.