Paying to Bring Us the Playoffs

This is what it has come to. I don’t have anything all that interesting to post about so tonight, you get “Jim Crikket Reviews the NLCS… Commercials”.

That’s right, I don’t even have enough material about the Cardinals/Brewers game itself to fill a post… so I’ll sprinkle a comment about the game here and there, but for the most part, you get my impressions about the sponsors who are allowing us to see this game without having to pay for it.

And here we go…

I’ve been drinking Southern Comfort for over 35 years (no… not CONSTANTLY) and I like the relatively new SoCo Lime. But Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper (SoCo and Tobasco)? Um. I think not.

Seeing Brian Wilson eating at Taco Bell does not make me more inclined to eat there. I also have to concur with someone (Posnanski maybe?) who tweeted recently something to the effect that Brian Wilson might be the least likely ballplayer to fit the “Black Ops” mold.

I’ve been inside the Transamerica Pyramid building in San Francisco a few times. Trust me, it looks nothing like the new “Tomorrow Makers” commercials inside. I like the ads, though.

Holliday hit a home run… I thought he was hurt.

I don’t think the gal being driven by her boyfriend frantically around a city in his Chevy Cruze Eco is ever going to see the airplane with her boyfriend’s proposal… and if she does, she’s going to turn him down. Now… if he had just done something original, like proposing on a JumboTron at a baseball game…

James Beresford. Australian for "ballplayer"

I saw that Twins prospect James Beresford, who is from Australia, tweeted that he was glad to get home and not have to see the Foster’s “Australian for beer” commercials… but some of them still make me laugh out loud. I’ve been told I have an odd sense of humor. The “free agent” commercial where the Aussie footballer changes teams for the beer reminds me a bit of my 16″ slow pitch softball days.

Home run by Allen Craig (who the hell is Allen Craig?).

The Pepsi commercials in the middle of the cornfield aren’t great, but wouldn’t it have been a blast sitting around with all those former players in between takes on the set? I’d want a digital recorder just to capture the stories.

I’ve never watched “Big Bang Theory”, but after all the saturation advertising TBS has made us endure, if there ever was a chance I would watch it, that has disappeared. Enough, already! It’s almost enough to make me look forward to FOX broadcasts. (I said “almost”.)

Helluva head first slide by Hairston to score the Brewers’ first run.

All of the people in the “what am I going to do about retirement?” commercials seem to be younger than I am. It’s making me wonder if perhaps I should have started planning for that by now. Good thing I have this blogging thing to fall back on.

Conan O’Brien commercials: See “Big Bang Theory” paragraph above. Yes, the only thing worse than BBT and Conan commercials is BBT and Conan commercials running back-to-back.

The State Farm commercial where the wife “catches” her husband talking to “Jake from State Farm” in the middle of the night is hilarious. “She sounds hideous!” “Well, she’s a guy, so…”

Kyle Lohse leaves in the 5th inning with a 2-2 tie game and a man on 3rd.  LaRussa would never cut it as Gardy’s pitching coach. Doesn’t he know you don’t pull your starter until he’s coughed up the lead and fallen behind by 4 runs?

Over the years, Budweiser has come up with some memorable and imaginative ad campaigns. The one they’re using during the LCS is not one of them. I’m betting most of you reading this right now can’t even picture the commercial I’m talking about.

Another excuse to post this picture (Photo: Craig Lassig/AP)

The new Captain Morgan ads are fun, but the womenfolk in the ads have a ways to go to measure up to the ladies that accompanied the Captain to Target Field last year. But I love the new commercials. In fact, if I ever get drunk enough to get a tattoo, “To Life, Love and Loot” might find itself forever captured on some part of my body.

Speaking of rowing, the GEICO commercial with the gerbils rowing doesn’t do as much for me.

Did I mention the Conan commercials are just plain stupid? My first thought was, “he has to be flat out embarrassed to have to do those commercials.” Then I remembered. It’s Conan.

Ouch. That shot on the bicep taken by plate umpire Mike Everett had to hurt.

The “pay it forward” themed commercials by Liberty Mutual are kinda cool.

Arthur Rhodes is still pitching in the Major Leagues… and in the playoffs. Mothers and fathers, for God’s sake, if you have left handed children, teach them to PITCH!

The Allstate commercials with the guy from HBO’s “Oz” prison show (and narrated by Pedro Cerrano of “Major League” fame) are great. I’m starting to notice a trend. I really like a lot of insurance company ad campaigns. Wonder why that is.

I like Tommy Lee Jones, but I don’t recall seeing his eyes move to read cue cards in MIB the way they do in his Ameriprise commercials.

Yes, lady, your mother was probably right. You should have married John Clark instead of the hubby who paid AT&T for unlimited messaging just so your family could get unlimited calling.

Hey, did you hear “Big Bang Theory” is coming to TBS?

Little Nicky Punto did not look much like a Tiny Superhero with that pinch hit K in the 7th.

Will you just throw Conan out the window of the damn blimp, already?

The ETrade commercials with the babies talking investments (and wildebeasts propagating the heard) are still funny, but those kids must be about ready to graduate from college by now, aren’t they?

The girl in the pink dress doing the T-Mobile commercials looks strikingly like an old girlfriend of mine. Of course it’s not her. Daughter maybe? Hell, probably a granddaughter. Crap, I’m getting old.

Carlos Gomez looks weird, but better, with short hair.

Those guys are right. That thing really does not like Dwayne. But if the only reason I need State Farm insurance is in the unlikely event a giant robot terrorizes my neighborhood, I think I’ll take my chances going uninsured. Turns out I don’t like all the insurance commercials, after all.

Now that I think about it, I don’t think I like any of the GEICO commercials at all. Rowing gerbils, dunking 5 year old… nope. Bring back the little green thing that talks funny.

Note to Nissan: If you have to create fake stunts for your four-wheel drive pickups in your commercials, what does that say about your four-wheel drive pickups?

If the Cardinals don’t go to the World Series, it won’t be because David Freese (did I spell that right?) didn’t do his part.

OK, the last two innings brought no notable commercials that I hadn’t already commented on, so I guess that’s a wrap. If you feel inclined to share your thoughts on these or any of the other commercials we are getting to know very, very well during the postseason, please leave a comment.

Oh yeah… the Brewers beat the Cardinals 4-2. I’m sure my mother is not happy.

- JC

3 thoughts on “Paying to Bring Us the Playoffs

  1. This is the funniest post I have ever read on this site. I think you have a future as a reviewer.

    You also wrote- “Ouch. That shot on the bicep taken by plate umpire Mike Everett had to hurt.”

    I like umpires I really do. But I really enjoy seeing an umpire take a foul ball to their arm. That would never happen if they still used the external chest protector. As an old time traditionalist I think the game changed when umpires went to the internal protector. My all-time favorite is when its 98 degrees and the umpire has sweat dripping and then he takes a solid foul ball to the arm.
    Hey JC. Why did they switch to the internal protector? I have never heard a good answer.

  2. Now I have a future as a reviewer? I wish at some point I’d have a future as something that actually makes some money! I just don’t think being a reviewer is going to allow me to retire with the standard of living I’d like. Ah well, I do appreciate the kind words, mark.

    I used to umpire a bit at the JuCo / high school / middle school age levels. I actually started doing that right out of HS myself and therefore used the external protector. Eventually, we all moved to internal protectors.

    From my experience, there were two big advantages to the internal protectors.

    First, you are a lot more mobile. As the plate umpire, you don’t just stand behind home plate for 3 hours. Depending on what’s going on in the field, you may need to run out some where to cover another base (this is particularly true at levels that just use two umpires) or get in to position to make sure you can see if a runner is tagging up, etc. Running around with an external protector was awkward, at best.

    More importantly, however, is that you can get a much better look at the strike zone. “Back in the day,” umpires were taught to set eye level at the top of the hitter’s strike zone. With an outside protector, that’s about as low as you could get anyway. But with an inside protector, an umpire can get right down over the catcher’s inside shoulder. By the way, the inside protector is also probably the biggest reason that the strike zone eventually became “knee to belt buckle” instead of extending up to the letters.

    The downside of the internal protector, as we saw, is that occasionally you catch a foul ball off the arm/wrist/hand.

  3. Very good points JC. I never thought of the strike zone and the mobility issues. I think your logic is correct, but a part of me still misses seeing the external protector if only because of the historic value. Traditions change. I still miss that bullpen car that was shaped like a baseball that used to deliver the relief pitcher to the pitcher’s mound at old Met Stadium. I’m sure I could think of 20 other traditions that have gone by the way side.
    Thanks alot JC for your input. Umpiring is not an easy job. When I’m at Spring Training games I watch the umpires as much as I watch the players.