The popular Mariners television commercials are currently being filmed at the team’s Spring Training Complex, marking the 16th year that five, 30-second spots have been produced under the creative mind of Jim Copacino.
“We always try to bring fans into the bullpen, the workouts, conversations and things like that,” said Kevin Martinez, the Mariners vice president of marketing. “And they’re always fun to do.”
The first one was filmed at the Wigwam Golf Course on Wednesday and featured general manager Jack Zduriencik, manager Don Wakamatsu and center fielder Franklin Gutierrez.
“It starts out golf-related,” Martinez said “and basically is a way to showcase Franklin’s ability to cover a lot of ground and make spectacular catches routine.”
The spot filmed after Thursday’s workout involved the bullpen and pitching coaches Rick Adair and John Wettleand.
“One of the themes we heard last year was how cohesive the bullpen was,” Martinez said. “They did everything together. They walked out to the bullpen together, and they came in as a group together. So in this spot, David Aardsma is working on an offseason project that illustrates the bullpen being one cohesive unit. His teammates seem to really enjoy it, but Rick and John aren’t so sure.”
Another one features left-handed starter Ryan Rowland-Smith and involves his last name, the only player in MLB history to have a hypen in his name.
March 16 is the target date for having them ready for viewing in the Mariners clubhouse – and the public.
Martinez said the spots would first be aired during the NCAA basketball tournament, during the televised Cactus League games and into the regular season.
Meanwhile at camp on Thursday, the media was given a tour of the new weight room at the Complex and one thing noticeably missing was weights.
In layman’s terms, most of the dumbbells have been replaced by high-tech equipment introduced to the organization by Dr. Marcus Elliott, founder of Peak Performance Project out of Santa Barbara, Calif.
The program apparently strengthens a player’s lower body, especially the legs, producing more power and fewer leg injuries – such as hamstring pulls.
The Mariners are the first Major League team to use the P-3 program, signing an exclusive three-year agreement earlier in the week.
“We have an excellent strength and conditioning staff and we are very fortunate to now have Dr. Elliott working with the Mariners organization on our program,” Zduriencik said. “He is breaking new ground in the world of sports performance and has started to implement his programs, starting with our Minor League camp and upwards as the program unfolds.”
“We are going to develop many great athletes out of your system,” Elliott said. “I absolutely guarantee it.”
–Right-handed pitcher Yusmeiro Petit, a waiver claim from the Diamondbacks last Nov. 4, arrived in camp on Thursday and took his physical off-site.
He will join in the workouts on Friday.
“We have to wait and see about his throwing program,” Wakamatsu said of the Venezuela product.
–Jose Lopez had limited defensive work on Thursday because of slight tendinitis in his knee. There is no structural damage and Wakamatsu said the second baseman who has been working out at third this week, “Looked better today. (Mike) Brumley talked to him about some mechanical things he picked up that we think will help.”
–Wakamatsu said he was pleased with the way all of the infielders went about their work during the fundamental drills. “There was a lot more energy,” he said. They did a nice job.”
–A report out of Glendale said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has entered the Twitter world, but that is something not on Wakamatsu’s future agenda. “No, I am not tweeting, or blogging,” he said. “I don’t know where Ozzie gets the time.”
Former manager Lou Pineilla also will be a non-Twitter.” “First of all, I don’t know how to Twitter. Second of all, I’m not going to learn how to Twitter.”
— Jim Street