While watching TV, almost everybody I know skips through the commercials. I’ve never understood the mentality of watching 60-90 seconds of one program just to avoid advertisements before getting back to the main event. The process of creating a story within a 30- or 60-second window seems beyond fascinating to me, and though I’m not a big fan of ESPN, they pioneered short form video excellence in creating ads to promote their flagship news program, SportsCenter.
When it come to promoting itself or its sponsors, baseball has done a banner job as well. And though social media has become the premier marketing utility for most organizations, a time existed when a 30-second spot could make or break a team’s connection with it’s fans.
The spot produced by MLB for Opening Day 2019 is chock full of all the emotions one feels for the sport. And though it is so much more than a commercial for Budweiser, you can’t help but get choked up watching this two-minute 2016 tear-jerker.
In that light, I’d like to offer my favorite baseball commercials.
- The Cubs Win the World Series commercial for MLB 12 The Show.
- Bryzzo Souvenir Co. – The Intern, with Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, and, of course, David Ross.
- Playstation MLB ’09 The Show featuring Dustin Pedroia.
- The Killer Changeup starring Jamie Moyer.
- Stealin’ Second with Harvey Keitel and featuring Derek Jeter.
- Let the Kids Play 2.0 which includes baseball’s best young stars led by Mike Trout.
- Javier Báez in They Call Me El Mago (subtitled).
- I Must Be in the Front Row which made Bob Uecker a national household name.
- Chicks Dig the Long Ball with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.
- The MLB 2K9 spot with Tim Lincecum providing guidance to his own avatar, with a cameo by Randy Johnson.
All-Time Favorite – Someday by Nike. This kid celebrating the ’16 Cubs championship and imitating his favorite players is the most perfect baseball commercial of all time, because we’ve all been that kid.
Cubs News & Notes
- The Cubs are one of three MLB teams that did not participate in the initial phase of a large coronavirus study.
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took a lighthearted jab at Cubs fans who are getting impatient with a lack of baseball at the Friendly Confines.
- The Cubs are hosting a special “Glamping at Wrigley Field” event to support their entry into the ALL IN Challenge, that “aims to be the world’s largest digital fundraiser in history by raising tens of millions of dollars to feed those in need.” If you don’t know what glamping is, it is basically a portmanteau of glamour and camping.
- Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, and Sammy Sosa make the Cubs all-time team, and are joined by a few members of the 2016 championship team. including Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. Who would you keep or replace?
- The sim-Cubs came up short in Washington DC yesterday, losing 7-6 to the Nationals on a walk-off single by Eric Thames. Bryant and Jason Kipnis had home runs for the Cubs.
- The Strat-O-Matic Cubs improved to 13-6 on the season thanks to a dominant performance by José Quintana, who pitched a complete game two-hit shutout against the Nats. Bryant, Baez, and Ian Happ homered for the Cubs in the 6-0 victory.
Odds & Sods
Get ready for the millionaires vs. billionaires fight over prorated 2020 baseball salaries if and when baseball resumes and games are played in empty stadiums with no revenues.
MLB and its players have divergent views regarding whether player salaries — beyond being prorated for number of games — might be slashed further if the 2020 season gets played without fans https://t.co/0pObHz5Fk8
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) April 17, 2020
MLB News & Notes
What are the little things you miss most about baseball?
Which known or presumed steroid users belong in the Hall of Fame? My list includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and David Ortiz. Sosa is on the cusp for me, but realistically on the outside looking in. Álex Rodríguez is a hard no, not just because of multiple infractions, but for the flippant way he flaunted his use of PEDs before eventually turning into a seemingly decent guy as a broadcaster.
Minor League Baseball could be facing a doomsday scenario this summer, something that will likely aid Rob Manfred and MLB team owners’ desires to reduce the number of minor league affiliates.
As I said yesterday, let’s just wait until it’s safe for everybody to enjoy baseball before start putting people at risk.
Doug Glanville: As a former player, it would be a shame for baseball to return without fans https://t.co/kE2qvtlSmc
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) April 17, 2020
They Said It
- “MLB was fully aware of all the factors 45 days ago [when the deal was negotiated]. In their deal with players, what concessions they wanted, why didn’t they seek them when making this deal? They got what they requested. Why are they saying now they need to reopen the deal? What kind of negotiation is that? If a player hits 15 homers in April, he doesn’t ask for a new contract — and in that case conditions have changed. In this case, there are no different conditions. They knew there was a probability of not having fans in the ballpark. There is nothing new here. They are trying to make the player the enemy, the evil. The players negotiated in good faith.” – Scott Boras
Friday Walk Up Song
Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam – This live version from Madison Square Garden really showcases guitarist Mike McCready. Steve Huey of Allmusic said that McCready’s “airy [Jimi] Hendrix imitations provide the essential meat of the song.” He added, “Eddie Vedder’s vocal is alternately intense and achingly wistful, with the latter particularly suiting the song’s mood.” He proclaimed Yellow Ledbetter as “the sound of a band overflowing with prime material.”