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Between the Innings: Commercials During Rays Telecasts

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Until April 11th's Boston Massacre (too soon?) the Rays offense was last in the league at just about everything.  Games were painful as we watched 1-2-3 inning after 1-2-3 inning.  Sure, there was some downside in the resulting losses produced by those anemic offensive showings, but I believe there was something far worse resulting from those speedy innings:

Commercial Delirium. 

If you've never heard of Commercial Delirium before, it's OK, I just made it up.  Basically, it's when you experience the same commercials over and over, until you're screaming through your TV set at Johnny Damon to just get a hit or at least take a few pitches so as to stave off another round of these carnivorous advertisements.  This season, the commercials on FSFlorida and SUNSports have been like Zombies: Just when you think you've beaten them down by throwing a pickaxe through their forehead, they rise again and invade your braaaaaains.  Like Jamie Moyer, these damned things just won't die.

I have identified five commercials this season that pop up seemingly between every half-inning. If you've been watching the Rays on FSFlorida or SUNSports then you will most likely know these spots word for word.  If you haven't been able to catch the games on the tube, then let me be the first to welcome you to the agony that lies betwixt every half-inning and pitching change of the Rays season thus far.

1. Inside Israeli Basketball

Video and more after the jump.

Given today's date, I feel that we should lead off with this commercial and not Passover it in favor of another.  This commercial is a quite the enigma and even if you've seen only one Rays game this year, you no-doubt remember this inside look into the "intense action of the Israeli Super League." 

Where to begin?  A quick Google search reveals that, yes, this is an actual show and not some rehashed SNL skit.  I've played on a Jewish Community Center basketball team and we had as much passion as Mr. Dewey from Saved By the Bell and as much coordination as Ozzy Osborne with an Ear Infection. 

Some Key Quotes:

In a land where passion fills the streets, a game connects them all.

You have to give these ad-guys a bit of credit here.  That line is the nicest way of saying that there is some serious hatred in that nape of the wood, er, neck of the wape, and that by "connecting" players they mean that no one is being blown up... while they're playing basketball.

They play to win the game.

Gee ain't that something, badly-dubbed-coach-guy?  Were we expecting this passion-filled street game to not have a winner, maybe just a hand-holding-circle-smile-session?  What a novel idea it is for a team to win.  You want to peak my interest?  Show me a team that wants to lose, I mean that really wants to lose.  Show me the 2011 Boston Red Sox... Zing!

Would you like something to read?
Do you have anything light?
How about this leaflet, "Famous Jewish Sports Legends?"

OK, so that's not from this commercial, but rather from Airplane!  Every time this commercial comes on this is all I can think of.  This and, of course, The #LegendofSamFuld.

2. Ellismania

At least I get the placement of this ad.  It's a high-paced, mentally-challenged, freak show designed to pull away a few viewers who by eight to ten games into the season are starting to tire of the 'slowness' of baseball.  They need something that speaks to them and their fast-paced, adreniline-pumping, attention span.  Things like BLINDFOLDS, GIRL FIGHTS, and SHOCK COLLARS!  Personally, I think the only people who should be given blindfolds are the viewers.

Key Quotes:

It's a train wreck!

If one commercial could characterize the start of the Rays season, it might be this one.  As the commercial states, this show is a "train wreck" much like the first nine games of this season.  Many of us watched  night after losing night as offense stunk it up in horrific fashion.  We wanted to look away from the carnage, but we couldn't.  Our eyes remained fixed on the O-Fers, the K's, and the GIDPs.  And, of course, the biggest problem was when the inning ended and we were spared another cringe-worthy moment, this shlock of a commercial came on. 

Also, Fuel TV sounds like Tool TV.

It's full contact stupidity.

If only Manny Ramirez were still here (and hitting).  This would have been the perfect tagline for the offense. 

3. David Price "10th Man" Ad:

Note: I couldn't find this ad anywhere online, so i recorded it on the phone and uploaded it.  If you have one of better quality, please feel free to shoot me a link.

Like most things, it's Evan Longoria's fault. 

With Longo out of the lineup, we are prone to get upset at the lack of production at the heart of the order and especially about the 'subpar' defense at third base.  We can't blame Sean Rodriguez or Felipe Lopez because their play isn't actually that bad, Longo is just that good.  You see, he's spoiled for years now with his keen eye, strong stick, and slick glove.  He's also spoiled us with his easygoing, must-have-been-Shakespearian-trained acting prowess. 

Sure, I was too old to get that kids account at GTE Federal Credit Union, but I wanted one.  Senior Prom for Senior Citizens?  Johnny Damon may not have been swayed, but, oh, how I longed to be 63.  And, gosh-darnit, if I didn't continue the search far and wide when Evan lost his capIt's still real to me, dammit!

So it's not that David Price's acting is that horrible, it's just that he's no Evan Longoria.  Once again, Evan, you've spoiled us, and until you grace our screen with your return, there's nothing we can do.

Key Quotes:

It hasn't been scientifically proven, but I'm pretty sure the tenth man adds three miles-per-hour to my fast ball.  HUH Maybe four.

The problem with this line is that it's categorically false.  And, since we're required to include a spreadsheet in every post, here you go:

Price's Pitch f/x 2009 - 4/12/2011


h/t Jason Hanselman for the nifty spreadsheet figures.  It should be noted that pitch f/x can sometimes mislabel pitches and no park is the same, but I'm confident that these numbers are accurate enough for my noble commercial breakdown purposes.  The two we're looking at: FF= four-seam fastball, FT= two-seam fastball.

Three, maybe four MPH?  HUH  David, please.  If that were true, Price would be consistently pumping between 98 and 99 at home with his four-seam.  By these numbers Price is actually throwing .3 HUH maybe even .4 MPH faster on the road. 

And did you see that throwing motion in the commercial?  I realize he's not really throwing a pitch, but if you're going to try and sell such a big bump in speed at the Trop you need to make the pitch look legit.  I doubt Price throws batting practice with such little effort.  How are supposed to believe that pitch is 99?  Come on, David, you're better than that.

There is a scenario that I have not yet explored, in that maybe Price really could throw 3-4 MPH faster because of the "10th Man," but, with the lack of attendance, there have never been enough fans to qualify for "10th Man" status. 

No matter what you take from this commercial, you just have to love that grunt.  HUH.  Price-less.

4. Rio Anne Hathaway Trailer:

While this trailer for Rio might appeal to a significant portion of the MLB audience, it does not appeal to me.  In the scope of the family film crowd, I always figured the MLB audience was comprised mostly of fathers and sons, but this trailer seems to appeal directly to the mother-daughter crowd.  Now, according to this very flimsy site, MLB viewership breaks down to 57% Male to 43% Female.  So this ad for an animated movie about colorful dancing birds might have an audience, but again, it's not me. 

(Obviously these commercials did something as Rio won at the box office this weekend taking in $40m.  Score one for results based analysis!)

Key Quotes:

Ay ya, ay ya, ay ya, ay yaaa.

Note: Couldn't find the exact version of this trailer, but you can see where she's singing, you just can't hear the sounds here.

Yeah, I'll admit the first time I saw Anne Hathaway with her eyes closed, cherry ice cream smile, singing quasi-moaning sounds, I was interested.  But, by the 11th time the commercial played the sound was more like the maniacal laughter of a homicidal clown than the sweet voice of an animated bird.  Maybe she's a Siren.  If that's the case then we'll have to talk to Matt Joyce about how to avoid her.


Yes, it's been said that the one way you can tell that you're still alive... is pain.

5. AT&T Ski Lift Ad:

To be fair, I actually chuckled the first few times I saw this commercial, but, like Jagermeister, when taken in excess it becomes revolting. 

Key Quotes:

Steven: Would you mind if I asked Sheila out?

Yeti: Of course not, we broke up six months ago.

OK, so let's start by saying that the ex-boyfriend starts out being a very mature individual.  He's also nowhere near as stupid as his friend. 

They've only been broken up for six months.  Six Months!  Why do I have problem with this?  Because that's too soon to date your firend's ex?  No, that's fine, whatever.  The problem is: do you see how hairy that guy is?  I mean, all we can see is his head and already he looks like a hairier Vincent Gallo.  Since college, I've owned one of my parents hand-me-down couches.  I've had it for about eight years now.  My parents have dogs, I do not.  There have been no dogs on this couch for eight years (who's gonna be the clever guy in the comments?).  And still, I find a strand of dog hair between the cushions once in a while.  One more time: do you see how hairy that guy is?  Six months?  Wait six years and make sure your first gift is a case of industrial strength soap.

She's been wanting me to ask her out for over a year now.

Yeah, we get that she's only been broken up with that Old Navy Fleece for six months and she's been pining for Steven for over a year now.   Kind of a cold-hearted thing to say to the guy who was probably dating her at the time.  If she was, in fact, dating Zach Galifianakis for longer than six months, Steven might need to engineer a plot for her to get arrested and deloused before any relationship is consummated (yes, I'm still on about the hair) and if the relationship was less than six months then that means Sheila liked Steven, but for whatever reason decided to date Dave Martinez in the interim.  Maybe as a ploy to get close to Steven?  Maybe because Steven was dating Carla and Sheila couldn't hold her horses for two seconds.  Either way, my point is: rapper-Joaquin Phoenix should not be getting laid by such a classy, internet-phone-savvy chick as Shiela.

Maybe I'll finally just change the channel... But of course, this commercial is on every frickin' channel.

Honorable mentions: 

Sweetbay home invasion, Pepsi Snoop Dogg "I'm up to mah knees in zero cal-o-ries" Ad, Simon Cowell's X-Factor Promo, and The Great Ride.

So, for those of you who haven't been able to watch the games on TV, this is what you've been missing.  My question for the rest of you is: are there any other commercials driving y'all up the wall?