Marketing is quite a big deal nowadays. I'd say about a third of our T.V. watching experience is marred by commercials and advertising. I can't even imagine the statistics on how often we are bombarded by slogans and commercials away from our couches, but I'd imagine that brands follow us everywhere. It seems that the Miami Marlins are following in the footsteps of other brands in trying to make a name for themselves. Clearly, the theme of the Miami offseason was "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!" The owners of the team went [and I am choking a little as I type this] all in this season, bringing the flash to Miami. Brand new stadium, brand new uniforms, even brand new name, and the Media Monster known as Ozzie Guillen. Ozzie brought his antics and his staff, plus the pitching equivalents of yin and yang, Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano.
For a long time I feared that Ozzie's soft spot for Zambrano would bring Big Z to the South Side, but this is going to be even better! The circus will be in full swings, just in a different town. Zambrano, who was indefinitely suspended last season, beat up on a Gatorade machine, threatened to retire, and threw tantrum after tantrum in recent years is moving to Miami, where Ozzie thinks he can handle him. On the other hand, you have mellow-jello Mark Buehrle who I have never seen without a smile on his face. That alone will bring fans to the stadium. For about a month. I'm sure when Opening Day comes around and the Marlins will have all the actual playing capacity of a team full of Mark Teahens, the fans will trickle off, but hopefully by then, enough Miamians will have bought season tickets to pay for Joey Cora's salary. In the meantime, the promotional appearances continue! Ozzie Guillen, coach extraordinaire managed to get himself tossed from a Spring Training game. "Oh Ozzie!" Cue laugh track, trombone. Maybe this year he can have a spin-off of "The Club,"
but this time, make it a sitcom.
On the other hand, we have the White Sox marketing team. Whose winning slogan this year is "Appreciate the game." If that's not the most defeatist slogan of all time, I don't know what it. All I hear out of "appreciate the game" is "Pay attention to all the subtleties of losing because we didn't feel like spending the same amount of money as we did last year so that we could get a team that could actually win. We have great hot dogs. Have a beer?" I understand a more humble approach to a publicity campaign after last year's "All In" became the most loathed phrase in Chicago History and we lost the whole pot. But have they cut the salary of the marketing people and asked Hawk to come up with a slogan? Heck, I'm surprised the new campaign isn't "I love cotton candy!" At least that would have made me chuckle.
In all seriousness, I did see a poorly-written commercial celebrating the return of Robin Ventura. Good idea, poor execution. The idea behind the marketing campaign is not falling on deaf ears. This year, let's step away from the media circus and focus on winning day by day, not on putting on a big, pressure-filled show. There is a chance for a good offensive showing this year (I honestly cannot fathom Adam Dunn doing any worse. It can only go up from here!), the pitching can be mediocre enough, and at the end of the day, I think we have the potential to stay away from last place. This year, I am voting for my own marketing slogan: "To the true fans, we're really trying to give you something worth watching."