MLB's 15 Worst Player Commercials of the Season
In advertising, using celebrities to pitch a product can generate millions of dollars in sales. Putting a famous face on television tied to a particular product or service is a concept that has been used ever since the creation of the small screen.
Major League Baseball has seen many of its celebrities over the years pitch a wide variety of products. New York Yankees slugger Joe DiMaggio famously pitched Mr. Coffee. It was a marriage made in marketing heaven—DiMaggio was a noted java drinker for years.
In today's world of marketing, many players on various teams are now being used in commercials by their team's own network, inviting viewers to tune in to their network for games.
Here are some commercials made for this season that caught our eye—and not necessarily for a good reason. While some of the ad spots may be funny, we're thinking that most of the players in the commercials should stick to their day jobs.
Seattle Mariners: Brendan Ryan and Ichiro Suzuki
In this particular promo, Seattle Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan actually does a pretty decent facial impersonation of famed actor Robert DeNiro.
But that's pretty much where the good acting stops.
Los Angeles Angels: Albert Pujols
This particular commercial featuring free-agent first baseman Albert Pujols promoting the Los Angeles Angels must have really been eye-popping for St. Louis Cardinals.
Obviously, Pujols didn't have to say much, but I'll guarantee that Cards' fans were punching their televisions regardless.
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some Cards' fans actually cancelled their MLB Extra Innings package upon seeing this promo.
St. Louis Cardinals: David Freese Bobblehead Commercial
The cardinals.com advertising people saw an opportunity to promote an event at Busch Stadium—one of those famed bobblehead doll nights that have become increasingly popular in every MLB stadium.
In this case, third baseman David Freese was the giveaway on May 13, and the real-life player demonstrated what his doll could do.
Can't really call this spot terrible, but Freese definitely looks a bit frozen.
Atlanta Braves: Huddy’s Got Game
The Atlanta Braves launched a TV ad campaign called "This is Why We Chop," featuring several different players that promote the Braves' network.
In this particular spot, starting pitcher Tim Hudson shows off his beanbag toss delivery in epic fashion.
It's the dance at the end that made me throw up a little in my mouth.
Atlanta Braves: Fredi Gonzalez and Brian McCann
Here is another in the series of "This is Why We Chop" promos for the Atlanta Braves television network.
In this particular spot, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez shows the world that acting is clearly not in his genes.
MLB 2K12: Justin Verlander and C.J. Wilson
Throughout the first several months of this year, the MLB 2K12 video game was highly promoted by its owner, 2K Sports.
Most of the advertising was centered around the $1 million prize offered for throwing a perfect game, and in particular, the spots that featured model Kate Upton and Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander generated tremendous revenue for the company.
This particular promo starred Verlander and new Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson.
At times, I would describe Verlander as a ninja on the mound. In television, not so much.
Seattle Mariners: Eric Wedge and Felix Hernandez
The Seattle Mariners were featured earlier in this presentation performing impressions of famous actors.
In this promo, starting pitcher Felix Hernandez is doing his best to pull himself as the next Edgar Bergen.
Manager Eric Wedge was clearly not convinced.
Texas Rangers: Ian Kinsler
The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels are starting to build a big-time rivalry in the American League West division, and the two are certainly primed to take it to the next level in the second half of the season.
In this promo, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler spends time talking to a fan about mascots of other teams.
He could have been just a little bit more animated when the youngster brought up the hated Angels.
Minnesota Twins: Joe Mauer and Ron Gardenhire
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, former President Harry Truman became famous for his fireside chats, during which he would speak to the public over the radio about events concerning the nation.
In recent promos for the Minnesota Twins, catcher Joe Mauer and manager Ron Gardenhire tried doing the same thing for their loyal fans.
Not quite sure if they got the results they were looking for.
The Oakland Athletics used a trio of switch hitters to promote season-ticket sales for the 2012 season—Coco Crisp, Cliff Pennington and Jemile Weeks.
Considering that they are hitting a combined .218, they might want to revisit that strategy for next season.
St. Louis Cardinals: Adam Wainwright
In the St. Louis Cardinals' promos for ticket sales, we featured David Freese earlier in our presentation.
In this promo, starting pitcher Adam Wainwright talks about his social-media skills. Rather, employing a "Twitterer" to post rather important tweets for him.
Sadly, that probably happens more often than not in real life as well.
Milwaukee Brewers: Doug Melvin, Ron Roenicke, Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has become famous for using a three-step drop in his repertoire of skills during his NFL career.
He demonstrates that skill on the pitchers' mound in a mock audition for the Milwaukee Brewers under the watchful eyes of general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke.
Too bad Rodgers can't play first base.
Hunter Pence: Liscio’s Bakery
When outfielder Hunter Pence was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies last season, he instantly made an impact, hitting .324 down the stretch with 11 HR and 35 RBI in just 54 games.
Apparently, Liscio's Bakery thought enough of Pence to pitch their bread products.
Getting curls in with Liscio's bread? If the bread is that heavy, I'm not eating it.
Kansas City Royals: Eric Hosmer
Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer put together an excellent first year in the majors last season, hitting .293 with 19 HR and 78 RBI. Hosmer's efforts earned him a third-place finish in AL Rookie of the Year balloting.
The Royals decided to feature Hosmer in a commercial during the preseason to promote the young Royals' lineup as they vie for contention in the AL Central Division in 2012.
Unfortunately, Hosmer has suffered through the dreaded sophomore slump, hitting just .225 with nine homers and 40 RBI thus far.
"This is Our Time," was the slogan used in the Royals' promo. Um, our time for what?
San Francisco Giants: Sergio Romo
Figured I'd end the presentation on a good note.
San Francisco Giants reliever Sergio Romo has always presented himself as a multidimensional man, and the attached promo takes advantage of that particular character trait.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.
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