Unwelcome Guest

I am pretty sure (actually, I KNOW) that Sox fans wouldn’t like A-Rod being the focus of an All-Star game gimmick at Fenway Park, but in the grand scheme of things is it that big a deal to have David Ortiz take a single swing for a fan at the House that Ruth Built? Bigger question, if the article linked is to be believed, is why did MLB do such a poor job informing the Yankees about their promotional plans? Having David Ortiz “call a shot” for a fan at the Home Run Derby in the Bronx just doesn’t seem like a big deal, and certainly not an event worth an entire organization getting in fits about, but why the stealth imposition of this affair on the hosts? The Yankees would be wise to stay magnanimous, but they never should have been put in this position. How can MLB and the Commisioner’s Office be so stupid?

Wait. Don’t answer that.

97 comments… add one
  • See, a perfectly reasonable post then you go and say something like this:
    “Having David Ortiz “call a shot” for a fan at the Home Run Derby in the Bronx just doesn’t seem like a big deal, and certainly not an event worth an entire organization getting in fits about”
    You said it best:
    “I am pretty sure (actually, I KNOW) that Sox fans wouldn’t like A-Rod being the focus of an All-Star game gimmick at Fenway Park”
    To say the “entire organization” is “in fits”, is like saying the entire Sox organization is a bunch of primates because one sneaks around in a monkey suit. :)
    No doubt there are heated fanboys within the upper hierarchies of both organizations. But more importantly, the Yankees have a duty to entertain THEIR fans in THEIR house. Ortiz mimicking Ruth just ain’t that.
    Worse, Ortiz is a terrible historical comparison for Ruth. And an All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium in its last year is very much about history. Boo on MLB and Statefarm. Indeed, if anything the latter likely chose Ortiz to generate controversy (and thus, free publicity). Great job on their part – pay $20k and get millions in press.
    But it’s not like the Yankees don’t have a homerun hitter or two. Or better – the best historical comp for Ruth in the game today. Now it’s too late for that.
    Best case scenario for Statefarm: The whole thing gets canceled, they get their cash back, and get the publicity. Well done, marketing mavens.

    A YF May 23, 2008, 7:37 am
  • The first comment in a post titled “Unwelcome Guest” is by A YF!?!?!
    Irony.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 7:50 am
  • Lockland, that was a pure and simple jab at A YF. If you wonder why things go down hill around here, comments like you own are the reason. His own comments were on topic and in no way aggressive or out of line. Yours on the other hand were both. If A did similar there would be uproar. Regardless of his own track record there is no reason for your post.
    I agree with him and SF were the tables turned there would be some unpleased people in the Sox org. The Yankees are within their rights to be upset. I imagine they will be the magnanimous hosts that SF asks for when all i said and done. However, IMO there is nothing wrong with them expressing their displeasure at another ill-conceived MLB promotion.

    Sam-YF May 23, 2008, 8:24 am
  • The solution is obviously to add a Yankee to the promotion – what better way to market the rivalry? They probably have insurance on the chance someone actually wins anyhow. It’s no-cost, should appease all involved.

    SF May 23, 2008, 8:28 am
  • I agree SF. Perhaps someone with the name A-Rod. He would have been a better initial choice anyhow considering that he is the one who will be gunning for the all time HR record. (i realize that he is a righty and ortiz is a lefty of course)

    Sam-YF May 23, 2008, 8:42 am
  • I agree, that’s a fine solution. Problem is, after the controversy, I don’t think any one would actually step up. What do they have to gain?
    Agreed on A-Rod – the search should have started and ended there – based on the setting and historical comp. But at this point I can’t see him doing it.
    Maybe Giambi – he needs the good publicity. But both he and Ortiz would point at the same spot. What fun is that?

    A YF May 23, 2008, 8:54 am
  • for the conspiracy theorists: this may just be another example of mlb tweaking the yankees
    otherwise, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    dc May 23, 2008, 8:59 am
  • why wouldn’t Alex step up? I can’t think of any good reasons, if he were asked, not to do it.

    SF May 23, 2008, 9:02 am
  • What does A-Rod have to gain, at this point? He’ll look like second fiddle to a guy he shouldn’t be. I think he’s too self-conscious to bite.
    Giambi works. Matsui too.

    A YF May 23, 2008, 9:05 am
  • Giambi works. Matsui too.
    ARod is slugging .559. The next closest on the Yanks is Posada at .476. ARod is the only one suitable.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 9:09 am
  • Wow, if a Sox fan had posted that “self-conscious” line you would have gone (hairless) apeshit.

    SF May 23, 2008, 9:09 am
  • Ya, this is pretty bad. I mean, maybe a “regular” All-Star game at the Stadium it wouldn’t be so bad, or that the Red Sox were so crappy (maybe like the Royals) that it doesn’t matter. This is probably a sensitive issue, as it is the last season, after all..
    Did no one really think it would bother the Yanks at all?

    Lar May 23, 2008, 9:57 am
  • It is a monumentally stupid decision to not tell the Yankees ahead of time of their plans and if they had an issue, work out a compromise. That’s for sure.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 10:02 am
  • Ortiz is SLGing .464 so by that definition Giambi (.462) and Matsui (.459) are perfect. A-Rod, as usual, is in another league :)
    Actually, as I’ve thought about it, I bet the Yanks just try to torpedo the whole thing. Why should any of THEIR players in THEIR house play second fiddle?
    “Wow, if a Sox fan had posted that “self-conscious” line you would have gone (hairless) apeshit.”
    Who’s making this about me now (besides the troll earlier)? What, I’m not allowed now to be self-critical of the Yankees?
    And with my fourth post in this thread, I’m off to the penalty box…

    A YF May 23, 2008, 10:14 am
  • Again, I disagree with how MLB handled this, but if you read the article, they wanted to go with a player with the most widespread appeal. Frankly, that’s Ortiz and there isn’t anyone in his league in that department.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 10:17 am
  • “Again, I disagree with how MLB handled this, but if you read the article, they wanted to go with a player with the most widespread appeal. Frankly, that’s Ortiz and there isn’t anyone in his league in that department.”
    I dunno how true this is at all Lockland. You are a sox fan clearly you feel his “widespread” appeal. Believe it or not A-Rod and Pujols, to name a few, have appeal across the MLB spectrum too. Friends I know from outside of the Yankees/Sox universe talk alot more about these guys than Ortiz.

    Sam-YF May 23, 2008, 10:43 am
  • From the article…
    The Yankees were upset about the plans involving Ortiz and said they were unaware of the promotion until a reporter contacted them Thursday night.
    Not to take any blame away from MLB, which obviously should have approached the Yankees first, but I’ve been hearing about this contest for at least a week. Do the Yankees not have someone whose job is to read the papers/Web sites for stories about the team and its ballpark? Many organizations do.
    Ortiz superficially is the modern-day Ruth. Big guy. Well loved. Hits lots of homers. Led his team to the first World Series championships of their generation. Obviously, no one is Ruth, and Ortiz falls short with any statistical comparison, but I can see why MLB thought that was a good idea. The problem, of course, is the teams involved. It’s incredibly obtuse not to recognize that beforehand.

    Paul SF May 23, 2008, 10:54 am
  • You guys are funny. Ortiz is well loved by YOU SFs! He has some fans around the league but he isnt the be all and end all in popular players in baseball. I do like the size comparison though
    I personally have no love for Ortiz ;)

    Sam-YF May 23, 2008, 11:11 am
  • It should be a Yankee doing this promotion in the final All-Star game at the old Stadium…plain-old common sense. Of course, the MLB front-offices have none. Home field advantage for the league that wins the game???? hello….McFly????
    So what are your thoughts if the situation were reversed SF and ARod was doing something like this in the last year at Fenway? Would it not be that big a deal? Would the Sox embrace ARod with your open, loving arms and be “magnanimous” towards the situation? I seriously doubt it.

    krueg May 23, 2008, 11:11 am
  • Well no one ever accused MLB management of an hoarding an overabundance of smarts. And it was pretty stoopid of them not to run this by the Yanks first. But if the Yanks are that upset with it, they should just let it play.
    I mean, really the best way to “rain on” this promotion (assumning that is their desire) would be to let Big Papi take the stage and the rain of boos from the pro-Yankee crowd that comes down speak for itself. That will surely be testimony enough to MLB’s general cluelessless (exhibit #7,120-A).

    Mark (YF) May 23, 2008, 11:19 am
  • Believe it or not A-Rod and Pujols to name a few, have appeal across the MLB spectrum too.
    Pujols? Absolutely. ARod? Ehhh… I think the majority of people like Papi a lot more than him.
    But this is still a stupid thing for MLB to do without consulting the Yanks. ARod is a Yankee, and was last year’s homerun champion. He should have been the choice.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 11:44 am
  • Ath- AROD may not be personally loved but there is the utmost respect for him and his baseball ability. Fans all over respect him as among the top hitters in the game. IMO he is the game’s biggest star warts and all.

    Sam-YF May 23, 2008, 11:50 am
  • Good point Mark…but then the stereotype of the “ugly Yankee fans” is perpetuated. It should just not happen.

    krueg May 23, 2008, 11:55 am
  • “AROD may not be personally loved but there is the utmost respect for him and his baseball ability. Fans all over respect him as among the top hitters in the game. IMO he is the game’s biggest star warts and all.”
    Sam, this is what I meant. If we’re talking strictly baseball ability, Arod is obviously the biggest star.
    I’m talking about widespread appeal and marketability. Arod simply doesn’t have the personality, or Pujols for that matter, that Ortiz brings to the “stage” for these types of promotions.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 11:58 am
  • Ath: your opinion bro that “the majority of people Like Papi a lot more than him”. That statement couldn’t possible be backed up and it’s a little more than ridiculous to try and say Pujols AND ARod aren’t in a class by themselves when it comes to ability and resumes, as well as fans… (insert your all-to-predictable rings cuts here)
    I hate to break it to you, but the Sox are the Yankees now. Other teams fans hate you guys just the same now…

    krueg May 23, 2008, 11:59 am
  • Let’s all remember, the ASG has little to do with baseball, I personally take it off much like most of the regular players.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 12:01 pm
  • Lock: I see ARod in a lot more commercials than Papi…(not including local used car lot spots in Boston of course)*
    * :)

    krueg May 23, 2008, 12:01 pm
  • Lock: I completely agree about the ASG…but this one is different. Last one in the Stadium, a national TV “send-off” to the greatest stadium in sports history if you will…(unless something happens in October of course)

    krueg May 23, 2008, 12:02 pm
  • That’s different Krueg, when you see Arod in an ad it’s almost always an aspirational position for athletic performance, this isn’t that, this is a ball park gimmick and they need a big personality for that.
    “Gibson said State Farm considered other players, but Ortiz’s aura, personality and instant interest in the venture clinched the decision.”
    I’m willng to bet that Arod was considered.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 12:07 pm
  • “but this one is different. Last one in the Stadium, a national TV “send-off” to the greatest stadium in sports history if you will”
    If Yankee fans are hanging their hat on the ASG as their send off to the old Yankee Stadium, that makes me sad.
    Of course, I disagree with the last point. ;-)

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 12:09 pm
  • krueg:
    See the main post for how I think Sox fans would respond. Personally, I just don’t care enough to do anything but post about it to start a discussion. If I were 20 years younger I probably would have been exercised, quite a bit!
    As for why players other than Yankees should get any billing at Yankee Stadium, well, it is the All Star Game. I mean, why shouldn’t other players get some billing?
    That’s no excuse for how MLB handled this though.

    SF May 23, 2008, 12:37 pm
  • Well, it’s kind of silly to argue over whose stars are more marketable, but I’m nothign if not silly, and suspected the most marketed MLB athlete was actually Jeter..and well, not to toot my own horn (too loudly, that is), but MSNBC confrms I was right (link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23802973/)
    To summarize, the top 8 (don’t know why it’s a top 8 list) are:
    1. Jeter (I don’t think we want anyone with a .393 SLG making any called shots)
    2. A-Rod (not clutch enough to hit a called shot…obv.)
    3. Ryan Howard (it shocked mne that he was #3…maybe some folks confused him with Ryan Howard from The Office. They do sort of look alike)
    4. Ichiro (thought he would be #2 behind El Capitano)
    5. Big Papi (Big, lovable Papi. How we all love you)
    6. David Wright (Second best NY third baseman!)
    7. Pujols (I couldn’t think of a joke not involving his hilarious name!)
    8. Fukudome (Apparently more popular now than Matsui and Dice…oh, how fickle the Japanese public is!)

    Mark (YF) May 23, 2008, 12:39 pm
  • SF: other players should and will get “billing”…but not “special billing” like this. That is pretty obvious I would think bro…

    krueg May 23, 2008, 12:45 pm
  • Lock: See Mark’s post…

    krueg May 23, 2008, 12:48 pm
  • Krueg, They went for the most marketable, the most appropriate persona for the this particular gimmick, not all promotional endeavors demand the same type of personality.
    If I want to sell a shoe, a line of sports wear, a glove, a bat, a conditioning system or any workout product, I’m going Arod every time.
    If I’m selling any lifestyle product, business service, telcom product, health and beauty product, I’m going Jeter, every time.
    If I have a sideshow gimmick home run hitting promotion at the ASG, it’s Papi, hands down.
    This is the marketer in me speaking, not a Red Sox fan.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 1:13 pm
  • This is interesting actually, because if I’m State Farm and I’m picking a personality for my brand in national ads, to speak at conventions, for the face of the insurance products and the image of dependability, I’m going Jeter. But… I would still have used Papi for this promotion.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 1:17 pm
  • I agree with Lockland. Who else in all of baseball could pull off this commercial?

    attackgerbil May 23, 2008, 1:18 pm
  • Ath: your opinion bro that “the majority of people Like Papi a lot more than him”. That statement couldn’t possible be backed up and it’s a little more than ridiculous to try and say Pujols AND ARod aren’t in a class by themselves when it comes to ability and resumes, as well as fans
    If you take out all the Yankees fans and Red Sox fans, and match David Ortiz up with Alex Rodriguez, I think Ortiz would be more well-liked by fans and players. Rodriguez is well respected because he is, frankly, the best player in the sport right now, but that wasn’t what I was saying. There’s too much negative press (whether undeserved or not) surrounding ARod for that not to be true.
    And it was rather random and off-topic of you to say “I hate to break it to you, but the Sox are the Yankees now. Other teams fans hate you guys just the same now.” I was talking about David Ortiz, not the Red Sox organization.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 1:23 pm
  • Love that ad, Ortiz doesn’t have to wear his hat either though, so it doesn’t make much sense.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 1:24 pm
  • HAHA ag, that’s probably my all-time favorite sportscenter commercial. Except for maybe the office shirt-gun one.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 1:25 pm
  • Bottom line: MLB decided that David Ortiz was the more marketable player for this event, which says more about the Ortiz-vs-ARod marketability debate than a list made by Northwestern University.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 1:29 pm
  • Well, State Farm made the decision, and trust me, clients are very often wrong, but I’m 100% sure they nailed this one.
    There are so many levels this works, if I’m MLB making this pitch to State Farm, my pitch goes like this:
    1. Lovable personality, warm and funny, connects better with the average person/fan than most other MLB stars
    2. Physical resemblance to Ruth, lefty, big home run hitter, etc…
    3. He’s not white, which counter balances the racist Ruth era and demonstrates a commitment to diversity
    4. He might actually hit it out

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 1:34 pm
  • I have 4 close, personal friends who are Yankees fans. They all love Ortiz, no matter how grudgingly. Most YF’s on this site would probably agree. You don’t see that love for ARod anywhere, not even in New York.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 1:40 pm
  • Like I said, I think Ortiz would be somewhat fitting.. if he didn’t play for the Sox. I won’t pretend it’s “rational”, per se, but reasons are obvious.
    At least give the Yanks a reasonable voice. Right now it seems like they just kind of ignored them..

    Lar May 23, 2008, 1:41 pm
  • Also, I’m sure the Sox fans would not like it if Jeter (or ARod, though Jeter is more “liked”, perhaps) trying to say, hit a in a .400 contest in “honour” of Ted Williams.
    And on Ath – do those 4 close personal friends rather see Ortiz in place of ARod in this instance?

    Lar May 23, 2008, 1:43 pm
  • I think Lar nails this one. I don’t think there’s any doubt Ortiz is the best choice for a promotion like this, for the reasons Lockland cites.
    The problem, as I said earlier, is that Ortiz plays for the Yankees’ archrivals. That should have disqualified him automatically, or at least raised red flags that needed to be cleared with the Yankees first. That they didn’t is amazing to me. MLB markets the crap out of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. Did they think fans would just somehow forget about it when it serves MLB’s purposes?

    Paul SF May 23, 2008, 1:44 pm
  • I agree, Lar. I’m very surprised they didn’t talk to the Yankees about it beforehand, and I believe they should have. But Ortiz is beloved across the sport, and choosing him was by no means outrageous.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 1:44 pm
  • I don’t think anyone is defending the way MLB went about this, it’s absurd, they should have given them a say.
    I’m guessing they did because they knew the Yankees would have an issue with it, for good reason, so they hoped it would fly under the radar. Again, MLB is the largest collection of monkeys banging on keyboards trying to write a novel.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 1:46 pm
  • To be clear, I do admit I do have an affinity for Ortiz, except for when he plays against us.. ;)
    I’m nothing against Ortiz, just his uniform! For that reason, if it was Pujols or Ryan Howard or almost anyone else (maybe not the Mets either) it would’ve just been a shrug and move on..

    Lar May 23, 2008, 1:52 pm
  • “if it was Pujols or Ryan Howard”
    State Farm would have said go screw, that’s the issue.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 1:56 pm
  • I dunno Lar, they probably wouldn’t.
    I’m agreeing that it’s somewhat suspect that Ortiz was chosen to do this in Yankees stadium. What I was arguing against was Krueg’s statement:
    “the majority of people like Papi a lot more than him”. That statement couldn’t possible be backed up…
    I hate to break it to you, but the Sox are the Yankees now. Other teams fans hate you guys just the same now…

    MLB should have spoken with the Yankees about the contest before appointing it to Ortiz. I agree 100%. I was merely arguing against Krueg’s assertion that Ortiz is not well liked in the baseball community.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 1:59 pm
  • Probably. I think after a few more days, I’ll probably get over it..
    Though I think Ryan Howard is probably legit, he has the power and is a lefty. Not all that “fat” though..
    But he did win a MVP just two years ago, and hit about 100 HRs the last two seasons..

    Lar May 23, 2008, 1:59 pm
  • state farm would have been perfectly happy with Pujols or howard. They could care less who it is as long as their logo is in front of millions of eyes….

    Sam-YF May 23, 2008, 2:00 pm
  • Yeah, Ryan howard is a lot more “musclar” than “fat”. Ortiz… he’s strong, but he’s undeniably overweight.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 2:03 pm
  • “state farm would have been perfectly happy with Pujols or howard. They could care less who it is as long as their logo is in front of millions of eyes….”
    Absolutely, 100%, not true. Major corporations don’t make decisions like that, sorry, they don’t.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 2:03 pm
  • I honestly didn’t mean for that to be so blunt, but the fact is, these decisions are scrutinized down to the most absurd details, every aspect of the promotional event, especially the personality, is mapped out, discussed, evaluated, and planned for almost to the point that it loses all value.
    There are no random decisions.

    LocklandSF May 23, 2008, 2:15 pm
  • One aspect of it that I think might have played in a bit is MLB attempting to push the appeal of the event up for Red Sox fans. With the game taking place at Yankee Stadium, it’s going to be very Yankee-centric – which is fine, and widely appealing given the size of the Yankee fanbase. However, given the events of the past couple of years and the growing size of Red Sox Nation, putting together a promotion like this – with arguably the biggest and most beloved star of the Red Sox trying to replicate one of the great legends in baseball history – could be seen as a big draw for an equally large fanbase that might otherwise avoid watching a lot of Yankee-centric events and promotions.
    At the same time, I think they’re betting that while it will likely anger Yankee fans (and obviously has), it won’t anger them enough to tune out.

    Micah-SF May 23, 2008, 2:45 pm
  • Sorry, there’s one clear reason Ortiz makes sense to the sponsor (who makes the selection, not MLB):
    To stir controversy and generate free publicity. After all, I can’t say I’ve ever thought twice about Statefarm. It worked! How many mentions have they gotten here alone? Now multiply that across all the other blogs and sports radio stations.
    Otherwise, the right choice was clearly A-Rod. Best historical comp to Ruth in today’s game and most appropriate for the setting and meaning. It isn’t even close, really. Ortiz is this generation’s Mo Vaughn:
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/o/ortizda01.shtml

    A YF May 23, 2008, 2:51 pm
  • Ath: not sure where I said that Ortiz wasn’t “well-liked” in baseball, I was just talking about your statement that “the majority of people like Papi a lot more than him”. You made it sound like, to me, that it was a situation where more people like Papi because of where he plays…that I find laughable. Which consequently led to my assertion that there are just as many Red Sox haters now as there were Yankee haters when we were winning…come with the territory. (i’m obviously talking about fans outside of the “Empire” and “Nation”.

    krueg May 23, 2008, 3:02 pm
  • A YF: WOW…the Ortiz/Vaughn comment should get some nice replies!!!

    krueg May 23, 2008, 3:03 pm
  • Lockland, i think that you are off on what the sponsor would accept. Howard and Pujols are both well liked major stars in the game and would have been perfectly acceptable to any sponsor. Im sure AROD would have been as well. Sure they wouldnt do a deal with a guy like Jason Bay hitting the called shot but any of those names I just mentioned would provide the required hype and exposure for their brand.
    I am not trying to knock Ortiz but I think there is a bit of an over-exaggeration of his starpower here. He is a huge star but he is most certainly more so within the “Red Sox Nation” it can be hard to separate him from that. Casual fans outside of the northeast are alot less familiar with him than you think. (especially NL fans)

    Sam-YF May 23, 2008, 3:08 pm
  • Problem is, krueg – it’s true! The stats say so.
    Furthermore, on how much Statefarm wanted to stoke controversy and thus free pub:
    There are at least *20* active players with more HRs than Ortiz (not counting Bonds, Sosa, Piazza):
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/HR_active.shtml
    Troy Glaus is younger and has more homeruns than Ortiz. Giambi has almost 100 more HRs. Yeah, A-Rod was clearly the right choice…unless you’re trying to stoke controversy.

    A YF May 23, 2008, 3:12 pm
  • Well, Ortiz got a very late start on his career HRs. But looking at his last four years, you have 41, 47, 54 and 35 HRs – clearly one of the best HR hitters in the game in recent memory, as well as the face of last year’s World Series champions.
    This makes sense from the sponsor’s perspective the way I covered in my last post for MLB. It’s a Yankee stadium game, so State Farm is going to be getting their logo out to a lot of Yankee fans, but they want to broaden this appeal as much as they possibly can. So which fanbase better to appeal to than Boston’s, which is the only one that can compete with New York on a national stage, and is also riding the bandwagon wave that comes with two World Series titles in four years?
    I’m sure the controversy thing plays into it as well – I bet State Farm isn’t complaining about it – but they don’t care about who is the ‘best historical comparison’ (which, obviously, A-Rod), they care about the broadest marketing appeal. And putting the most popular slugger from the most recent World Series winner out there in an All-Star game at the stadium of the other team with the biggest national profile (and the first team’s biggest rival) seems like about the best they could do.

    Micah-SF May 23, 2008, 3:24 pm
  • whither Barry?

    SF May 23, 2008, 3:29 pm
  • I was just talking about your statement that “the majority of people like Papi a lot more than him”. You made it sound like, to me, that it was a situation where more people like Papi because of where he plays
    I’m not sure how you infered that, but that was not what I was trying to say. My main point was that Ortiz is more well-liked and beloved across the country than ARod. I think this statement is 100% correct.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 3:29 pm
  • Sorry, Micah – if they wanted to truly broaden appeal, they would have selected someone outside of the Northeast. Pujols works. As does Vlad.

    A YF May 23, 2008, 3:29 pm
  • Just another note about likeability/marketability: A-Rod has made enemies of several fanbases (Seattle, Texas, Boston) in a way that Papi hasn’t (maybe Minnesota, but I don’t know how much they begrudge him being dropped). Even YFs, who have every reason to hate him find him, seem to find him likeable personally.
    So if the idea is to have as many MLB fans rooting for a player to hit one out, Papi satisfies a bit better than A-Rod. IMO.

    Jackie (SF) May 23, 2008, 3:30 pm
  • The problem, A YF, is that you’re looking solely at numbers. If this was a vaccuum where people only cared about sole production, you’d be right. But there are a LOT more factors involved when choosing a candidate, and you’re ignoring all of them.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 3:34 pm
  • To expand on what Jackie just said: most media coverage surrounding ARod is negative. Unfair? Mostly. But it’s still there.
    Ortiz, meanwhile, has nothing but positive press, both in Boston and nationwide.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • Selecting someone from outside of the NE doesn’t strike me as a great idea – the two biggest fanbases in MLB basically lose interest (sad, but I think the majority of casual SFs and YFs couldn’t care less about Pujols or any NL player). Picking Papi might piss off YFs (for good reason) but they’re still gonna watch.

    Jackie (SF) May 23, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • Also A YF, you’re only looking at career numbers. In the last 5 years Ortiz has more homers than anyone but ARod.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 3:40 pm
  • Jackie: Exactly.
    A YF: I think you’re really overstating the geographic appeal of players in other parts of the country. Pujols will get Cardinals fans to tune in, sure, but how is he going to be a huge draw for other Midwest teams? Why would Cubs fans tune in to watch the star on one of their biggest rivals? Regional pride is an astonishingly weak aspect of fandom – people bitch about “East Coast bias” in terms of coverage, but that doesn’t mean they really have any sort of loyalty to other teams in their geographic area besides their own.
    There are VERY few fanbases that are truly national. One of them is New York. One of them is Boston. Sure, the majority of the fans are in the Northeast, but a lot of them are in other parts of the country as well (hell, I live in Los Angeles – moved from MA, but still).
    Right now, there is exactly one team in baseball that can compete with the Red Sox, fanbase-wise – the Yankees. Oh look – the game’s in Yankee Stadium. It’s not rocket science to pick the two biggest fanbases, here.

    Micah-SF May 23, 2008, 3:44 pm
  • “I think this statement is 100% correct.”
    I don’t see how you know that. If anything, look at marketing $$$. A-Rod makes $6 million/year in endorsements. Jeter makes $7 million. I can’t see how Ortiz makes more than either. I’ve never seen him in a national ad blitz.
    So we agree. A-Rod is the better HR hitter – career and last five years. He’s the bigger brand. And he fits the setting and meaning perfectly. I can’t see why Statefarm (another mention from me!) wouldn’t choose him…except to stoke controversy.

    A YF May 23, 2008, 3:49 pm
  • Whoops, four posts in an hour (now five!). Off to self-flagellate!

    A YF May 23, 2008, 3:56 pm
  • How well someone is liked and marketability are completely different things. I hate Kobe Bryant with every fibre of my soul, but if I were Nike I would trust him completely to sell my tennis shoes.
    Also, the amount someone makes per year in endorsments has nothing to do with marketability, but rather how many products they chose to endorse. LeBron James could makes 200mil in endorsments if he chose to endorse every single product pitched to him.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 4:10 pm
  • Why is everything singularly determined? The only thing the sponsor wanted was to cause controversy. Right. That’s too reductive – controversy may have been sought, who knows, but the simplest explanation based on the news stories (does anyone know if A-Rod was asked and turned the option down? Since this was all hush-hush, we really don’t know much of anything but what is in Curry’s article) is that they chose a very popular player – is anyone going to argue that Ortiz isn’t popular beyond just NE? They chose a major slugger, a household name – is anyone going to argue that Ortiz isn’t one of the highest profile sluggers in the game? They chose a player who might be a lightning rod considering the venue – this thread should prove that this is the case. It’s not just one issue, so why is it being reduced to that?
    I say invite A-Rod along for the party, make a real show of it.

    SF May 23, 2008, 4:11 pm
  • “Also, the amount someone makes per year in endorsments has nothing to do with marketability, but rather how many products they chose to endorse. ”
    I dont want to be picky but it certainly means something how much someone makes in endorsements. Those who make the most are the most marketable players. There may be a slight variation in the order depending on if players turn down certain deals but most of them do most of what is offered to them. Chad Moeller can “choose to endorse” whatever he wants and he wont even be in the same stratosphere as any of the other guys.

    Sam-YF May 23, 2008, 4:17 pm
  • Yeah Sam, but when talking about the premiere players in the game (such as ARod, Jeter and Ortiz) the difference is not very large. A YF is saying that ARod is MUCH more marketable than Ortiz, to the point that the only logical conclusion is that they chose Ortiz in order to create controversy.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 4:21 pm
  • I’m not sure how you infered that, but that was not what I was trying to say. My main point was that Ortiz is more well-liked and beloved across the country than ARod. I think this statement is 100% correct.
    Ath: I think I infered it because it seems to be what you are saying. More well liked and beloved across the country? How can you possibly know that? Do you honestly believe that people outside of Boston and the “Nation” really “love” Papi? You are delusional bro, seriously. Which goes back to my original point, the Sox have become the Yankees in so far as outsiders hating them. Do think the casual fan in Idaho or South Dakota or Oklahoma really “loves” Papi but hates ARod? Again, how could you possibly know that? Your view is just a little Sox-centric in my opinion.

    krueg May 23, 2008, 4:53 pm
  • It also seems to me that the players with the highest amount of endorsement deals would pretty much show who is the “most” marketable, right?

    krueg May 23, 2008, 4:54 pm
  • Do you honestly believe that people outside of Boston and the “Nation” really “love” Papi? You are delusional bro, seriously.
    David Ortiz? Absolutely. The Red Sox? No. David Ortiz is extremely well liked around the country though, much like Jeter is. I’m shocked that this is a point that is being argued. I think this is you guys being Yanks-centric to deny this, as opposed to me being sox-centric in saying it.

    Atheose May 23, 2008, 4:58 pm
  • > It also seems to me that the players with the highest amount of endorsement deals would pretty much show who is the “most” marketable, right?
    Endorsement dollars received are an easy number to pull and I suppose can be considered a bellweather, but fundamentally it is not an accurate gauge as to who the “most marketable” player is. The actual results are more complex to determine. A starting point would be to track the total revenue return for each of the pitchman’s clients’ advertising campaigns directly involving the pitchman in relation to total dollars invested in the endorsements, and it is a function that has to be figured over time, not just a one-off statistic such as the dollars received on an annual basis by the pitchman. Then there are many ancillary effects of a business tying their name to an athlete to be considered that aren’t easily quantified. Target demographic, region, product, and product lifetime all factor as well.

    attackgerbil May 23, 2008, 5:16 pm
  • “A YF is saying that ARod is MUCH more marketable than Ortiz, to the point that the only logical conclusion is that they chose Ortiz in order to create controversy.”
    Actually, that’s not what I was saying.
    I WAS saying:
    a) It’s Yankee Stadium – the last year, in fact, so it’s about history.
    b) The promotion is about mimicking a Yankee great in hitting a homerun.
    c) Logic would suggest choosing a Yankee.
    d) Wouldn’t you know the current Yankee squad has the game’s greatest homerun hitter – career and last five years.
    e) That player is also one of the games most marketable stars.
    f) One clear reason NOT to select that Yankee is to generate controversy and free publicity.
    About marketability: When you’re spending millions of dollars, you want someone proven to help sell products. Dollars is correlated with that ability, but sure it isn’t causal.
    Now there IS a metric often that advertisers use. It’s called a “Q score” or “Q rating”. The number is based on a random sampling of how well known a given celebrity is. I can’t find the numbers for 2007, but I’m very certain that A-Rod has a higher Q than Papi. Feel free to prove me wrong.

    A YF May 23, 2008, 5:52 pm
  • last year when the AS game was in san francisco, no giant fans got in an uproar that Ortiz put on that home run hitting expo (sponsored by Century 21) outside the new ballpark. no one was pleading the notion that it should have been barry.
    sorry guy’s, the AS game is still about the fans of baseball, not the legacy of yankee stadium. the fans that attend this game will not be solely yankee fans (hell, most of them will be corporate big wigs cashing in on freebees). i am interested to see how many yanks make the AS team.
    one thing that ortiz does have over jeter and a-rod is that he’s never been booed by his home fans. that has to count for something.

    sf rod May 23, 2008, 5:54 pm
  • And at this point, I just don’t see A-Rod playing second fiddle. Maybe Matsui or Giambi though.
    Rod – Last year wasn’t about mimicking a Giant great, nor were they shutting down the ballpark after the season. And Papi hasn’t been booed – yet.
    Surely I’ve reached my post limit today, but I don’t have to time to wait around for an official ruling.

    A YF May 23, 2008, 6:03 pm
  • Q is a multi-faceted metric. It measures recognition but also factors things such as positive and negative reaction to that recognition, and has many more refined target evaluations in addition to the aforementioned name-recognition. I do not say that Rodriguez is more or less marketable than Ortiz in this particular case. I say that marketability calculations regarding celebrity endorsement of a product are non-trivial.
    I think SF was right; invite them both to the party. Now there’s a draw.

    attackgerbil May 23, 2008, 6:31 pm
  • heehee
    what an odd and pointless debate…they picked ys for the as game for the exact reason that the event IS supposed to be about the stadium’s last year…get used to it sox fans, it is a yankee-centric moment…fenway’s next for the wrecking ball once your ownership realizes that they also need a new stadium, so you’ll have the same opportunity in the spotlight…the the concept of re-creating an event that may never have happened [some historians suggest ruth was pointing at the pitcher, who was pitching inside, and not the spot over the fence where the ball wound up]…it’s odd that a non-yankee would be asked to do the honors, but i suppose that’s because ortiz most resembles ruth in, uh, stature…i heard that fielder jr. and ponson turned it down, and david wells is, well, retired, for now…what’s even sillier, but true to form for the out of touch gang at mlb [or we can blame the sponsor] is that the incident never even took place at yankee stadium…it was wrigley field…so, the relevance is lost on me…it’s probably hard to separate marketability and likability, but the argument that $ earned is not a real indicator, even on it’s own, feels a bit tortured…many of us outside of boston do like ortiz, so relax…the event is silly for the other reasons i mentioned…

    dc May 23, 2008, 10:29 pm
  • I saw this comment at NYT:
    Joe Baseball offered a compromise: “Ortiz should be permitted to hit the homer as long as he wears a Yankee uniform while he’s doing it.”
    I don’t know how I feel about it per se, but that would definitely be.. at least vaguely amusing as opposed to directly insulting. Though maybe that part is just from a relative stancepoint..

    Lar May 23, 2008, 10:33 pm
  • this whole thing is silly. ortiz already gave the new yankee stadium the greatest promotion a construction worker from the bronx could think up.
    maybe have former yankee great roger clemens show up drunk, inappropriately handle suzyn waldman, and then ride the subway home……naked.
    the similarities are glaring. both pitched for the yankees. both relied on banned substances (booze vs. rocket fuel). both stepped outside the bounds of marriage. how did state farm miss out on this promotional gem? i’m faxing my resume to their marketing department monday morning.

    sf rod May 23, 2008, 11:40 pm
  • You know what we’re all missing? It’s Yankee Stadium. Home runs don’t count there anymore anyway.

    QuoSF May 24, 2008, 4:23 am
  • fenway’s next for the wrecking ball once your ownership realizes that they also need a new stadium, so you’ll have the same opportunity in the spotlight
    What is the point of this comment, dc, other than to antagonize? It shows a pretty thin understanding of what the Sox have done to the park since JWH et al took over and how the team values the park as an asset and not a liability. As for future ownership groups (of which there will certainly be one or several) and their plans for Fenway I have no clue, but to imply that this current ownership will suddenly decide to demolish the park for cash is simply uninformed.

    Anonymous May 24, 2008, 9:24 am
  • a) It’s Yankee Stadium – the last year, in fact, so it’s about history.
    b) The promotion is about mimicking a Yankee great in hitting a homerun.
    c) Logic would suggest choosing a Yankee.
    d) Wouldn’t you know the current Yankee squad has the game’s greatest homerun hitter – career and last five years.
    e) That player is also one of the games most marketable stars.
    f) But he can’t even get the fans at the park where the game is to be played to cheer him consistently.

    Fixed.
    I agree with the dual called shots notion. Why not make it a contest? Have a kid call BOTH their shots and see if either or both can do it? Make it a contest. That would be of extremely high interest to everyone.

    Paul SF May 24, 2008, 11:40 am
  • at least this aint happening anymore. the curse lives! [i kid]

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