By Jeff Moore
I attended a minor league baseball game over the weekend because in the non-degenerate part of my life I’m an established baseball writer who covers prospects. While I actually go for the baseball game, I’m in a larger minority than intelligence on The Bachelor.
A minor league baseball game is essentially a carnival with flying objects. If you’re actually going for the baseball, then enjoy. It’s a wonderful way to watch the game. But more than likely, you’re going with a group or taking your kids.
And if that’s the case, you’re going to need some entertainment of your own, unless you plan on dragging your fat-ass on the bouncy castle out in left field.
So to entertain yourself, there are literally thousands of crazy things happening, and possibly about to happen, at a minor league fiasco that you can gamble on. If you’re smart, you’ve come with another couple and their kid so you have another grumpy husband to bet with. If not, maybe your wife is cool and wants in on the action. And if so, good for you dude.
Player/manager gets tossed (-200) versus benches clearing at any point
I know they look like grown-ups out there, but remember that most of these guys out there are just kids. They should be in college. And what do college kids do? They fight, or get pissed off and get kicked out of places. The consequences are pretty stiff on these kids if they fight, so that gets the odds, but don’t rule it out. And if you thought on-field fights at a game were as exciting as they could get, just wait until the day you profit off of one.
Wife makes a comment on how young the players look (+/- one beer)
This will work best if you go with another couple. And it’s so simple. If your wife drops the cliche, buy your buddy a beer. If his says it, enjoy the free refreshment.
Wife makes a comment about how cute a player is/how good their butt looks in baseball pants (double or nothing)
If one of the wives drops the young player cliché too early in the game, hold off on the beer and go double or nothing on the always-obvious cute player comment. If your buddy’s wife is an obnoxious cliché-dropping twit, you’ll be drinking for free all night. Pick your friends wisely.
Mid-inning race winner ($5)
The imitators of the Presidents’ Race in Washington and the Sausage Race in Milwaukee have gotten completely out of control. In the past few minor league games I’ve attended, I saw races that included stalk of celery, a giant eyeball, and a piece of pork roll (I was in New Jersey). At these minor league games, there’s a race of this nature like every other inning. If I have to explain how to bet on one of these, then you’re not even trying. Pick a horse and a wager. It can be $1 or $100, depending on how ballsy you and your buddy are feeling, and how much information you have on the junior high girl in the costume, which for the sake of your own children hopefully isn’t much.
A bat files onto the stands (over/under bottom of the sixth)
I’ve seen a bat enter the stands at three straight minor league games. I doesn’t have to be an entire bat, but typically a giant lung-piercing shard. You see, players have been switching from ash bats to maple over the past 15 years because maple is harder than ash and the ball goes further off of it. The problem is that when it breaks, unlike ash that use to just explode into a million pieces like your hand wrapped around a fire cracker, a maple bat slices down the middle when it breaks, leaving the hitter with a knob in his hand, and a medieval weapon hurtling through the air. This pointed end of the bat often heads towards a player, but it also heads for the stands at times. While I would never encourage you to bet on someone getting hurt, more often than not the bat just hits a sidewalk or empty seat. That’s the baseball gods taking care of us. I set the line later on the game because there’s always the chance that it doesn’t happen at all.
A fan or fans win some kind of food item because of something that happens on the field (+200)
Remember the scene in Bull Durham where the guy hits a home run off the bull and wins a free steak? Well this kind of goofy crap actually happens at minor league games, except it’s usually the fans that cash in. In addition to whatever free food you might win, try to cash in on some of your friends dough. You get 2:1 odds on this one because you’re never quite sure what promotion the team has going, plus then it has to actually happen. But that free Papa John’s pizza is going to taste even better with 10 of your friend’s dollars sitting next to it.
You can also improvise and come up with more bets as the game goes along. Bet on if a kid in the stands will puke from the combination of cotton candy and nachos, or if your wife will make a comment on the price at the concession stands. If you want to get into the game, place some odds on a no-hitter or the over/under on the number of strike outs or home runs in the game.
But let’s face it, only baseball dorks like me are going to the game to really enjoy the action on the field, and the rest of you are just trying to enjoy an all-American night taking your kid to the ballpark. And what’s more American than gambling on it while you’re there?
If you’re interested in finding some great prop bets online, be sure to check out these sites: