“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): A treasury of Seattle Mariners commercials

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. Today, I waste time on YouTube watching old Mariners ads.

It is one of those generally known facts that the Mariners have some of the best commercials in baseball. I’m not sure where and when this piece of wisdom first came into being, but it exists. So, let’s go back and look at some past Mariners ads, shall we?

2003: Bret Boone Bat Flip

It is unusual to think in this world where some people spent most of the last few seasons complaining about bat-flips that as early as 2003 there was an ad based upon the fact that Bret Boone had a bat flip.

2003: Ichiro Shift

What’s scary is that this isn’t so much a commercial so much as it is a documentary. I wonder how they got all the Athletics stuff, though. I mean, they even have the mascot there. That’s not exactly something you buy from a prop store. Maybe the conversation went like this:

“Hey, we need like 25 uniforms and the elephant suit.”

“Why?”

“We’re making a commercial that implies that even if every member of your roster was on the field, we’d still be able to get a hit off of you.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, that is absurd.”

“It’s Ichiro.”

“Okay, that makes sense. We’ll get them to you next Tuesday.”

2004: Ichiro Autograph

The fact we never got a sitcom about Ichiro living in a small anytown Seattle suburb is greatly disappointing. Also, the idea that Ichiro could throw a ball to Spokane from Seattle (a distance of about 230 miles) is only slightly less realistic than his previous commercial.

2005: Ichiro and Raul Ibanez sell the Batter’s Box in a Telethon

“Dude.”

“Dude.”

2006: Jamie Moyer Tribute

What’s great about this one is that Jamie Moyer played parts of five more seasons after 2006.

2006: The Missing Ks

I like the devotion to the gag here, but it’s a bit “meh” compared to some of the other ads.

2006: Epidemic

I feel like “Ichiro’ing” with lawn equipment would be dangerous. But, hey, who am I to argue?

2006: Big Richie

Wait, is that Nick Punto as a catcher at the end?  He never played catcher!

2008: Fullness and Sheen

Somewhere, Mr. Burns trembles.

2008: L-Screen

Worth it if only for the question of what happened to the original L-screen.

2010: Two First Names

A) I totally forgot somehow that Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez were on the same team. B) How did this conversation about two first names get started? I want to know.

2012: Impressions

Worth it if only for Ichiro quoting Indiana Jones.

2012: Nobody’s Perfect

I wonder if they had a giveaway of the ventriloquist doll?

2013: Wise ‘Ol Buffalo

Okay, that’s just weird.

2014: Chadwick

I applaud the Mariners for doing the history lesson.

2014: Crowned

It’s the Elvis that does it for me.

2015: Bat Control

This would be a better commercial if Robinson Cano didn’t have a (for him) down year in 2015.

2015: Where does it go?

I just saw an invisible arrow deflate the bouncy-castle of an Athletics’ fan. Man, why is it always the Athletics?

 

I can’t find any 2016 Mariners ads yet, but I’m sure they will continue to be… uhhm… unique. b

Breaking OOTP, Episode 4: The Seattle MARIOners vs. Pablo Sanchez and the Backyard Kids

BreakingOOTPlogo

In BREAKING OOTP, I push Out Of The Park Baseball to it’s limits in various scenarios. Some will answer questions, some will settle scores, and some will push Out Of The Park Baseball to it’s very limits, to see if I can literally cause the game engine to beg for mercy.

Last time, we made the Seattle Mariners be full of Mario and Donkey Kong characters. This week, though, we have a exhibition series between the MARIOners (minus any Mariners) and… the Backyard Baseball kids (shown here to be on the Dodgers, because reasons)! Yes, Mario vs. Pablo Sanchez. At stake: The title of GREATEST VIDEO GAME BASEBALL TEAM OF ALL TIME.

Or something like that. Go below the jump, and be sure to check the previous post to see how I created the Mario characters- I used an almost-identical process for the Backyard Kids:

Continue reading

Breaking OOTP, Episode 3: The Seattle MARIOners

BreakingOOTPlogo

In BREAKING OOTP, I push Out Of The Park Baseball to its limits in various scenarios. Some will answer questions, some will settle scores, and some will push Out Of The Park Baseball to its very limits, to see if I can literally cause the game engine to beg for mercy.

The Seattle Mariners are owned by Nintendo. This is well known. The Seattle Mariners are also coming off a very disappointing season. This is also well known.

But what if the Mariners had had Nintendo’s own playing for them?

MarinersMarioWONDER NO MORE!

(AND GO BELOW THE JUMP TO SEE THE ARTICLE, AND CLICK PICTURES TO MAKE THEM BIGGER)

Continue reading

SATURDAY: BREAKING OOTP brings MARIO to the MARINERS

Aside

On Saturday at 1:30 PM Eastern, a new BREAKING OOTP will go up.

What is it about this week?

Well, put simply, it is a simulation of a world where the Nintendo-owned Seattle Mariners were able to use Nintendo characters in their lineup, each given attributes derived from the Mario baseball games.

While it doesn’t break OOTP, it certainly is fun. So make sure to read it when it goes up!

30 Teams, 30 Posts (2015): The Seattle Mariners could save the baseball fan experience

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. This is the fourth post of the series- look here for the rest. Today, I look at how the Mariners may be the team to introduce a new generation of the American baseball fan experience.

Not too long ago, I lamented the state of baseball fans over at Hall of Very Good (which is somewhat recycled in this post). To make a long story short: American baseball fans are horrible when it comes to cheering at ballgames. With a few exceptions, the only cheers that happen are those prompted by the scoreboard or during or after plays. It’s a far cry from the days when Boston fans taunted Honus Wagner with rewritten songs, Brooklyn fans had a small amateur band of musicians and Wild Bill Hagy led the “Roar from 34” in Baltimore, and it is far more sedate than the madhouse atmospheres in Japan or the Caribbean.

However, there is a place where I believe American baseball fandom could make a return to the raucous years of old: Seattle.

Why Seattle?

A few reasons:

1) It’s known to be very loud and supportive of it’s other sports teams.

Seattle is famous for how much it supports it’s teams. The “12th Man” of the Seahawks is famous for how loud it can get, at times even registering on the Richter scale. Their soccer team, the Sounders, were featured on Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel due to how they have been able to replicate the European soccer crowd environment. The loss of the Sonics is a open wound that more was the result of corporate greed than any lack of support. Therefore, the residents of the Pacific Northwest know how to get loud and organized in support of their teams and can be ridiculously devoted to them.

2) It has deep Japanese connections

The Mariners are one of the most popular MLB teams in Japan, a result of the many Japanese imports who have come to Seattle, as well as Seattle’s large Asian-American population. Nintendo, a Japanese company, owns the Mariners. Is it really that hard to imagine that perhaps the Mariners would have the inspiration and the means to form some Japan-style cheering sections, perhaps throw in some ouendan?

3) The King’s Court provides a template/Jumping Point

A king reigns in Seattle. He is King Felix of the House Fernandez, First of His Name. And when he’s on the mound, the Mariners have a section devoted entirely to them, and it looks like this:

Look at that and tell me that wouldn’t make an excellent jumping-off point for forming Japan or Europe-style fan sections with chants and waving flags and all of that! You can’t, because it’d make a perfect jumping-off point for forming a Japanese or European-style fan section!

4) The Mariners are going to return to the postseason sooner rather than later.

It feels like, during the postseason, the fans who had to survive long droughts are wilder. In 2012, Baltimore was raucous while the Bronx was a morgue. Pittsburgh waited years to return to the playoffs and turned PNC Park into a madhouse. Atlanta was in the postseason for so many years that they ended up having trouble selling tickets to NLDS games.

The Mariners haven’t made the postseason since 2001. Guess what type of crowd they’ll bring when they make the playoffs next? The answer: a lot closer to the Baltimore or Pittsburgh experience. It’ll be loud. Very loud. And it is then, perhaps, that it will happen: Seattle will bring a new evolution of the baseball fan experience. And then, the Baseball Gods willing, nothing will be the same again.

 

 

The last time Jeremy Bonderman pitched…

Jeremy Bonderman pitched for the Mariners today. The last time he pitched in the big leagues (when he was with the Tigers), it was October 1, 2010.

How long ago was that? Well…

  • 975 days have passed.
  • Five of the nine Tigers who were in the lineup that game are no longer with the team in 2013.
  • Seven of the nine Orioles who were in the lineup that game facing Bonderman are no longer with the Orioles (only Nick Markakis and Adam Jones remain).
  • The number one movie that weekend was The Social Network. The number one movie this weekend was Fast & Furious 6. The Social Network was nominated for best picture, Fast & Furious 6… won’t be.
  • The number one song that weekend was Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are. Wait, that song is that old? Wow, I guess it’s true what they say about time starting to move faster the older you get.
  • Bryce Harper had not yet made his professional debut. Neither had Matt Harvey. Manny Machado had played only nine total professional games. Kevin Gausman, who started for the Orioles today, had yet to start his first game at LSU.
  • LeBron James had yet to play his first game with the Miami Heat.
  • Edwin Rodriguez was manager of the Marlins. Since then, there have been four other managers, interim managers, or acting managers of the Marlins (Brandon Hyde, Jack McKeon, Ozzie Guillen, and Mike Redmond).

In short: It’s been awhile.

The Yankees are just trying to play their role now

The Yankees have traded for Ichiro. A few years ago, this would have been earth-shattering news that would have caused large amounts of hair to be pulled out, rioting would have engulfed the Northwest (it still might- they still are justifiably angry about losing the Sonics) and every person with a keyboard would have declared this another sign of the inequity of baseball’s markets.

Now though, it seems almost as if the Yankees are doing this just to remind everyone that, yes, they are the Yankees, and, yes, they are willing to get well-known players who are past their prime in order to aid in the yearly quest for a world title.

This isn’t to say this is a bad deal: Ichiro still definitely has his moments, and has enough talent that he could easily go on a tear for the rest of the season. In addition, the two pitchers they gave up (D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar) don’t seem to be anything special- it’s not like they are trading Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps. It’s just that I don’t this is the big deal that some may make it out to be. Ichiro is a legend, a future HOFer, and still one of the best quotes and most exciting players in baseball on his best day, but this is hardly the deal that will win the Yankees the pennant.