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Padres Marketing Plan: First pitch honorees

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Don't get me wrong. I'm actually looking forward to this season. Everybody is tightening their belts and getting ready to play poker the way I like to play poker. Back to the wall, short stacked and hungry blinds. Our team is playing some shark dressed like a rock but pretending to be a fish poker. Win a pot here. Bluff a pot there. Don't chase the bad money. Attack the donkeys. Stay clear of the big dogs.

Nevertheless, I'm especially interested in the Padres marketing efforts. Obviously, it's going to be a lean year and they're slowly, but surely, scaling back on the extras to save some chips for the big moves to win this thing. But what exactly can they do? Here... Let us help through a series of potentially ill informed, but hopefully helpful posts.

Post number one. First thing's first. First pitch honorees.

I know what you're saying. First pitch honorees? Who cares about first pitch honorees?

Look at it this way. Do you think that there was a segment of the Padres fan base who showed up a few years back specifically to watch Anna Kournikova throw out the first pitch?

The answer is yes, because jbox and I belonged to that particular fan segment.

Therefore, here's my short list of ceremonial first pitch honorees who I'd like to see at Petco.

#1 Darren Sproles

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via brian-oliver.com

I love me some Chargers and I love me some height challenged people and therefore, I love me some Darren Sproles. Sure. We were all disappointed by the playoff exit, but we're still a town that's down with the Chargers. The Padres need to have a series of Chargers throwing out the first pitch at Petco Park and they should start with Darren Sproles. Announce it well ahead of time and use it as an opportunity to get people out to Petco Park to thank the team for another AFC West Championship and to hail our conquering pint sized hero.

#2 Miss California / Pad Squad Carrie Prejean

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More Pad Squad Carrie

[Note from Dex 4/21] Hello! I know that you're here to see this bikini photo of Miss California and not for the Padres. That's OK. Could you do me a favor though? Follow us on Twitter before you go. We're trying to win a race and everybody who follows us will be entered in a drawing to win a to-be-determined prize. Thanks! Don't forget to follow us.

This is a no-brainer. The reigning Miss California is on the Pad Squad. She's already there. She's likely wearing underwears. We've seen first hand that she has an excellent arm (for throwing baseballs). She'll be representing us at Miss USA and potentially Miss Universe. Get her on the mound in her dressing gown and sash and have her throw out a pitch. In fact, make her wear the Miss California sash all the time.

#3 Rickey Henderson
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via www.padresnation.com

There was a period of time when I was going to Padres games just to watch Rickey Henderson play. I could be wrong, but while he was with the Surf Dawgs, it wouldn't have been tough to prove that 90% of the people were there because Rickey Henderson was on the team. Rickey's my favorite baseball player. He's a Hall of Famer. What the Padres should do is talk him out of retirement for whatever game he throws the first pitch out at just to confuse the Hall of Fame.

#4 Alex Spanos

The owner of the Chargers has had his ups and downs among the Charger fan base, but there's no denying that he's helped put together a winner for us and also been very active in community giving. Recently diagnosed with dementia, I'm sure there are lots of Padre/Charger fans who would want to take the time to show up to a game and express their appreciation for some great Charger seasons.

I'd do whatever it took to get those four on the mound. In Pad Squad Carrie's case, I can't imagine it would be too tough. This is my short list, no brainer, get these people on the mound. Who else is out there? We'll gather up a list and pass them along to the Padres. We'll make this team care about their fans yet.