While the Mariners commercials have recently struggled to recapture the glory days of Edgar’s light bat or Lenny Randle singing about plastic jackets to the tune of Mack the Knife, usually there’s at least one standout in the bunch. Good news: this year is a vast improvement on last year’s lackluster set (Beyond the Bat Flip excepted, although that one is tarnished by painful memories of Leonys). Using a bunch of our Intro to Film credits combined, the LL staff assesses this year’s crop below:
Kate: Nelson Cruz + injury in the same sequence? Feels risky, guys, feels real risky.
Isabelle: Yeah, unless it’s a commercial featuring the entire starting lineup on the field wrapped in bubble wrap, trying to pull off a double play, an injury commercial seems questionable.
Eric: I do not appreciate the lack of hubris as a Mariners fan, but I love Nelson Cruz. And as Kate and Isabelle noted, any commercial even hinting at the word injury seems like a bad idea. Would put that firmly in the “Worst Practices” box when it comes to baseball advertising. Dingers? Yes, that goes in “Best Practices.” Just swap this one out for the Nellie’s Auto Glass ad and pretend this didn’t happen.
Tim: This is weird because it really features no Mariners until the last five seconds. As usual, Nelson is his delightful self and his “sup buddy, how ya feelin’?” makes the whole thing worth it to me.
Art of the Frame:
Isabelle: Dee and Jean stole the show. More of that duo in the future, please. You can’t teach star power like that.
Eric: While Mike Zunino and Felix Hernandez do share the spotlight in this one, I can’t help but point out that the ad team cannot make a good Felix commercial to save their lives. The funny parts of this one rely on everyone else. I can definitely see LL and myself getting some mileage out of Mitch Haniger’s, “As a hitter, I find this offensive” line. That’s actually clever writing right there because it works on its own, but it also has subtext. Make the whole commercial out of that.
Kate: A moment to appreciate that pitch framing is now mainstream enough to warrant a commercial. [Willfully ignores fact that StatCorner has Zunino rated as a bottom-third framer for 2017.]
Zach: Does this commercial mean Zunino’s going to be an above-average pitch framer again this year? Seems awkward to have a commercial about something he was last really good at in 2015. Then again, this commercial does also have Felix pitching. Sorry…
Eric: Damn, Zach. Damn.
Isabelle: A+ on the cinematic reveal of the bird’s nest. It actually made me huff out one of those surprise guffaws - kudos to Nick Vincent on the stellar deadpan delivery.
Kate: Agreed, Vincent was showing off some acting chops—the little sigh before “and then there’s this one other thing” was perfect. This commercial was the most adorable of the bunch. There’s something ineffably affecting about Pax anxiously craning his big mug over the little nest and listening for the eggs to hatch, and the expression of actual delight on his face when they do.
Tim: Kate, don’t forget that thanks to Paxton’s giddy egg hatching face we now have a pitch perfect replacement for the Ron Paul It’s Happening gif.
Eric: 100% agree that Vincent KILLED the first part of this commercial. Absolutely perfect. But, the bird eggs gag falls totally flat for me. Is Paxton a bird? Or a tree? If he’s a tree, aren’t there better ways of showing that than bird eggs? I can think of several that even work in his Canadian heritage. Is this a backdoor Michael Saunders commercial? Or, was this all basically an excuse to get a (weak) dig in on the Blue Jays? I was so excited for a moment that Paxton got his own ad, only to have that excitement turn to stale TimBits in my mouth.
John: I love the new, happier tone to this video cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sparrow” and I will hear no slander towards it.
Isabelle: I think this was my favorite, perhaps because of the possibilities it presented for Robinson Canó-as-Sam-from-Holes memes/gifs/photoshops (“I can fix that”) . Also because I think that this commercial is a genuine reflection of what goes through Canó’s head any time he’s up to bat.
Eric: Whoa, Isabelle with the “Holes” reference. This is probably the best of the bunch because it features Robinson Cano’s easy-going, natural charisma and chutzpah and it also pokes fun at the new finite mound visit rules. Canó is as safe a bet as anyone on the roster to not struggle at the plate, he says as he burns his Trident hats, throws a bucket of salt over his shoulder, and knocks on every piece of wood in 1 mile radius.
Zach: There’s something hilariously bad about this one to me. I think it’s Canó’s complete lack of constructive advice, or really even creativity in his trash talking. “I would crush that pitch. I would also crush that pitch. Your curveball? Crushed.” Then again, Robbie is so casual and smooth that maybe he never feels the need to be truly witty.
Eric: Good point, Zach. It’s like the Terminator talking trash to someone. No jokes, just being literal in what he will do to you.
Zach: Except I would have very different reactions between the Terminator saying “Give me your clothes” and Robbie saying it. Very different.
Isabelle: This was the most lackluster in my mind and, after watching that poor Royals pitcher’s neck injury, I’m concerned about Kyle’s increased risk of whiplash in pursuit of #content. Also, this sends a negative body image to all the bald, potato-headed white men of the world - please remember that you, too, are beautiful, and you don’t need luscious, flowing locks to have value.
Kate: I, too, am concerned about the negative karma of beating up on the Royals and Rangers in the commercials, even ersatz ones. I am also concerned about Ben Gamel’s come-hither stare post hair flip, although in a different, more unsettling way.
Isabelle: YES. And in all the blooper takes of this he’s making some pretty suggestive side eyes. Come hither? A plea for help? Or more leave-in conditioner? Who knows
Tim: you guys just need to open your hearts to what moves inside you with that stare. I know I did, and now Ben and I a—[CENSORED].
But seriously, those eyes are going to haunt my dreams.
Zach: I was happy with this one just because it gave us Kyle Seager content. We don’t have enough Kyle Seager content, considering the man has literally zero social media presence! Come hang out on the World Wide Web, Kyle. It’ll probably only take a decade off of your life.
Eric: I agree, Seager content is always appreciated. I’ve always given Seager props for leaning into his receding hairline and just shaving it all off. Sets a good example. However, I do support the image/body/hair shaming of white men everywhere. They need to be taken down a peg or six.
Isabelle: “I can’t wait for you to meet Uncle Félix.” Dead. Also I could watch Dee and Jean giggle with each other for hours.
Zach: Dee Gordon making fun of Mike Zunino for being weak is exactly what I needed to get through my Wednesday.
Kate: Was he? I thought he was appreciating Z’s beefy forearms, which, welcome to the club, Dee.
Eric: I love Canó’s lil’ head tilt after he says, “I will crush YOUR curve.” Like, “oh wait, no, that’s coming to come off wrong, dammit Robi, FOCUS.”
Kate: I enjoy the idea of Cano driving around Peoria practicing his lines (*I* will crush your cuve. I WILL crush your curve. I will CRUSH your curve. I will crush your CURVE). There are probably a bunch of confused Dutch Brothers drive-thru workers down there wondering when they got a drink called the Curve. It’s too bad the overall commercial fell kind of flat for me; John said the Canó and Cruz ones feel generic, and I agree. Where is my Kyle Seager/Nelson Cruz hug commercial. WHERE, I ASK YOU.
What’s your favorite 2018 Mariners commercial?
This poll is closed
Art of the Frame
I like the bloopers best