Tuesday, October 30, 2007

World Series Disappointment - Part II

As promised, today I will finish (well, possibly just continue, but most likely finish) what I began in Part I yesterday. The World Series, in my opinion, didn't live up to my expectations on the field or in coverage. In Part I, I talked about the announcing duo of Joe Buck and the moronic Tim McCarver as well as the lack of parity between the American and National Leagues. Today, I will wrap this up by covering Fox's advertising and Manny Ramirez and why they made the World Series nearly unwatchable.

3) Advertisements are (mostly) annoying in general, hence the reason I have a satellite receiver with DVR. I find that commercials can be clever... if viewed only a handful of times, but once you've seen a spot 8,000 times, it gets a tad on the annoying side. I think that some advertisers have realized this and make two different versions of the same ad and have them played randomly so that the viewer isn't watching the exact same ad during every break. This allows the viewer to see an ad, maybe, 9,000 times before it gets annoying. However, there are certain ads that become annoying on the first viewing, these include advertisements that are poorly made or contain vital flaws. The best example of this is the Farmer's Helppoint advertisement (click here to view the ad on YouTube) explaining how their insurance company will help you get to work after you've had an accident. I find many problems with this ad - a) she is living in what appears to be a nice house, surely she can book a rental car without having to go to this extreme measure to get to work, b) if you are standing on top of a moving garbage truck, why in God's name would you jump to another moving vehicle going the same direction, let alone a cement truck, especially one that is spinning at the time, c/d) Farmer's appears to be advocating car theft when she tries to steal the convertible, but since it's out of gas, a mounted police officer decides to help her (the criminal for attempted grand theft auto) and take her the rest of the way to work, and finally e) she is no longer in possession of her briefcase that she had in the first shot of the ad, wouldn't she have to go back to get it? If they decided to wrap the commercial in a humorous way, like she realizes that she forgot it and has to do the same thing to get back - the ad might have recovered (somewhat), but the ad company wasn't that clever. My point is, the ad is absolutely ridiculous with more holes than an entire John Woo movie - and that's just in a 30 second spot. Fox decides to play ads like this one during every break in the action, and when the games last up to four hours with the extended times between innings for post season games, the viewers end up seeing the same ads 100+ times during a four game stretch. Some ads get played once per break, like the two brothers Taco Bell ad - always, always get chili on your Nachos Belgrande - uh, no thanks, that looks disgusting, sorry. Seriously, Fox, mix it up a little, there have to be more than six companies willing to hock their crap during your baseball game.

4) The time has finally come for me to gripe about the man(child) that represents all that is wrong with professional athletes in the United States - Manny Ramirez. If you pay attention to baseball, or ever catch SportsCenter on ESPN, you have inevitably heard the popular phrase - "that's just Manny being Manny". For those that haven't heard that phrase, I will be kind enough to translate for you - "that's just Manny being a *expletive* dumbass". As a professional athlete and major league baseball player, who makes more than $17 million per year (over $140 million+ in his career already, and he's probably not retiring anytime soon) on a consistently competitive and World Series winning franchise, you should be expected to be somewhat of a role model. Here is a simple description of Manny - he's probably 25 pounds overweight from his previous playing days, he hasn't cut his hair in 2+ years, he's slow, he doesn't even attempt run hard on plays, his defense is sloppy and inconsistent, he constantly showboats and when he talks to the media he is "misinterpreted" - meaning, his team has to have a press conference to correct what he said or come up with alternate explanations for what he might have meant. Basically, he is everything you would want your children in little league to not be. Look to him as an example, and do the opposite. On the playing field, here are two examples of "Manny being Manny". Manny hits amazing walk-off game winning home run in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs. Manny flips his bat and poses and watches his ball fly all the way out of the stadium before he even starts heading to first. It was an impressive feat, an impressive home run, but if this was a first year player standing at the plate, the opposing team would be beaning him with 95+ mph pitches the entire next game in retaliation for showboating. Now go to Game 4 of the ALCS, Red Sox are down 7-2, bases are empty - Manny hits another long home run followed by the same standing and celebrating at the plate as if he just hit a 6-run home run to win the game. Congrats dipshit, you just made the game 7-3, you're still down by 4, why are you celebrating? Where's the team mentality? Yes it's impressive that you can hit long home runs, but in that situation, there was no reason to show off, the team comes first. The second example comes from the World Series. For some completely unknown reason, Manny decides that it is cool to flip his helmet off while he's running the bases. He consciously, while running "full" speed, has to lift his hand to his helmet and push it off his head. It's just another example of being "showy" and trying to be "different" or "cute" or "stupid", and, more accurately, not putting the team first. The helmet flip wasn't a one time occurrence, this was every time he was on the base paths. Luckily, it did end up costing him (and Boston) in Game 3. As he is rounding third, he flips is helmet and as it falls, it catches him on the leg and breaks his stride slightly and ends up getting thrown out at the plate on a close play by Matt Holliday in left. Had he not done his ridiculous helmet flip, the play likely would have gone his way. Manny looked like a jackass, but it was just "Manny being Manny". Enough Manny, quit screwing around, it's not cute and it's not funny - be a professional ball player and not a professional douchebag.

Well, this concludes my World Series rant. I'll talk more about baseball as events unfold during the off-season, but for now, I'll have to settle for the NFL. (Sigh) Go Chiefs! On a completely different note, I think I'm going to have some big news coming up that isn't work related, but I'll hold off on that for now until things are finalized.


Gina (Mannyed) said...

Regarding the Farmer's Ad..the only thing I took away from it was..."hmm, I like her suit - seems comfy, wonder where she got it..hmmm". I didn't even know what that ad was for, so thanks for clearing that one up. :o)

I use the "Manny Being Manny" line for my cat, the cooler of the two Mannys. I feel like your Manny rant describes the entire Red Sox Nation. I despise their rag tag; Sand Lot esg style of baseball. And when I say Sand Lot, I don't mean they play with heart, I mean they look like garbage all the time. Dammit, clean your uniforms!!! Get a hair cut! Johnny Damon cleaned up nicely.

Mike Wehrman said...

I like that Ramirez is a hitting savant and isn't that great at the rest of his job. He's good enough at hitting that he doesn't need to be...let other losers practice sportsmanship or run out ground balls. I identify (maybe wrongly) with the talented yet unmotivated. I wish the Royals had more good ballplayers and fewer who simply play the game "the right way."

The Yankees' fascist facial hair policy is yet another reason why they're evil. (The Red Sox are only slightly less evil.) Johnny Damon looked much better as Johnny the Baptist than Johnny the Corporate Stooge. Jason Giambi was also much better when he had the biker look going (not to mention the steroids). If I played for the Yankees, I'd keep my beard just to see what would happen...would they bench a talented player like me? Force me to shave? Shave me by force? Shave half my beard and force me to shave the rest to avoid the indignity?

Andrew Skaff said...

gina and mike - I actually like all the transitions Damon went through, I was a big fan of his from the beginning, back in his KC days. I actually spoke with him once at a signing his rookie year - still have the autographed bat.

Mike, you would wear the half-shaved beard just to spite authority, wouldn't you?

Gina said...

Mike, you wouldn't be playing as a Yankee if you refused to shave. I'm sure you would clean up quite nicely if someone handed you a couple of million with the little caveat of having to use a razor everyday.

I kinda like that corporate stooge look on guys.

Mike Wehrman said...

Andrew--I think I would keep half the beard. Maybe I could start a trend. I could be like a less-disfigured version of Two-Face.

Gina--If I could get millions from the Yankees, presumably I could get similar or slightly less money from several other teams. I might, however, shave my beard if I played on a team that didn't have a discriminating facial hair policy.

In general by not shaving, I'd try to foster a dialogue about discrimination against facial hair in the workplace. Also, maybe my "selfish, me-first attitude" could cause Skip Bayless's head to explode.

Andrew Skaff said...

Mike - Sorry man, I'd probably shave my beard to play for the Yankees. I guess I just don't have your conviction to stamp out discrimination, in whatever form or wherever it may be.

But, I definitely think that you should try to make Skip Bayless's head explode. He'd be much less annoying without it.