PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners annually produce some of the best promotional commercials in Major League Baseball, and this year's batch hit a home run -- literally with a spot featuring Nelson Cruz's windshield-shattering power, and figuratively with the return of Edgar Martinez's light bat.Longtime Mariners fans will certainly get
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners annually produce some of the best promotional commercials in Major League Baseball, and this year's batch hit a home run -- literally with a spot featuring Nelson Cruz's windshield-shattering power, and figuratively with the return of Edgar Martinez's light bat.
Longtime Mariners fans will certainly get a chuckle from the reappearance of Martinez, now in his first full season as the club's hitting coach, complete with a throwback reference to his famous "light bat" commercials that were actually part of a local Seattle advertising series in the 1990s.
Four Mariners commercials were released Wednesday, as well as an outtakes cut from the filming that was done early in Spring Training.
Martinez appears in a reflective piece on Robinson Cano, who finds himself facing a mirror image in Martinez with every move he makes and ends with Edgar reintroducing his light bat, to the puzzlement of new general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais.
Cruz's piece figures to be a hit with fans as well, as the big slugger uses his home run power -- he finished second in the Majors with 44 last year -- to help promote his "Nellie's Auto Glass" business that offers to replace shattered windshields for fans who mistakenly parked beyond the left-field fence.
"I was kind of shocked at first, because I didn't know what was going to come of it," Cruz said of his new acting career. "But at the end, I enjoyed it, had a whole lot of fun, and it was unique. You know, hit homers, break windows, it makes sense."
Is there a career for him in auto glass repair?
"I don't know. Probably in the future," he said, cracking his trademark wide grin. "I'm thinking baseball right now."
No set of Mariners commercials would be complete without a Felix Hernandez spot, and the ace delivers a King-ly performance when new teammates Norichika Aoki, Wade Miley and Steve Cishek pepper him with questions about his castles and kingdom.
Mariners insiders will appreciate the end to that commercial, which has Pete Fortune -- now in his 27th season as a Mariners clubhouse assistant -- bidding goodnight to Hernandez as he departs in royal fashion.
The fourth commercial spoofs the low-key nature of Kyle Seager, with a fictional marketing team brainstorming a new image for the Mariners third baseman and ultimately settling on a "K-Swag" version that turns out to be a better fit for fun-loving Charlie Furbush.
"Don't forget about C-Fresh," Furbush said with a laugh. "That was fun. I didn't really know what I was going to get into, but I was just glad to see K-Swag out there, and I actually just liked it so much, I wanted to join his crew."
Seager admitted to having reservations when presented with the script, which he says Furbush didn't follow much as he freelanced his way through many of the takes.
"I was a little nervous about how it would come out, but it turned out pretty funny," Seager said. "You do anything with Charlie, he's going to make it pretty fun. And it was nice seeing Edgar again with the light bat again. That was awesome."
The commercials will air on Mariners broadcasts throughout the season, and fans can watch and vote on their favorites on mariners.com.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast.