BY Steve Rudman 02:00AM 03/18/2011

Top 5 List: 10 Best Mariners TV Commercials

Since 1994, the Mariners have entertained fans with wacky TV spots.

The Mariners this week released their newest spate of amusing commercials, to be aired throughout the season. Over the years, the club has produced more than 100 of them, these ranking as our favorites:

  • 10

    “Tribute”, 2006: Pitcher Jamie Moyer, baseball’s oldest first-time All-Star (40 years old in 2003) sits through a Ken Burns-style documentary about Moyer’s career, which mentions the “fact” that he broke into baseball as a wide-eyed batboy in 1926 and pitched the first night game in Major League history nine years later.
  • 9

    “Carny Randy”, 1994″ Playing “El Rando Grando”, 6-10 left hander Randy Johnson hurls knives at a woman strapped to a spinning wheel. His first throw is outside and low, his second a strike down the middle. “Aren’t you glad he decided to pitch for the Mariners?”, a disembodied voice asks.
  • 8

    “Epidemic”, 2006: This spot features a variety of everyday people going about their ho-hum jobs much in the same way that Ichiro, the Mariners’ star right fielder, goes about his (especially as he gets ready to hit).
  • 7

    “Sorry”, 2009: After striking out a befuddled Colorado Rockies batter, Felix Hernandez sends his luckless victim a nice note of condolence and a basket of flowers.
  • 6

    “Encore, Encore”, 2011: 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez, famous for his competitiveness and for never wanting to exit a game, dons a disguise designed to mask his true identity from new manager Eric Wedge.
  • 5

    “Blinded”, 1999: During a “game” played on a bright, sunny day, Jay Buhner, known for his real-life clubhouse pranks, uses his bald pate to cast a reflection from right field that completely blinds the batter at the plate.
  • 4

    “Edgar and the Rookies”, 1998: Edgar Martinez gathers several non-English speaking teammates and instructs them on how to get along in Seattle. Among other things, Edgar teaches them how to order a latte, and introduces them to a geoduck, or “gooeyduck”, as we like to say.
  • 3

    “Junior’s Bet”, 1996: Inspired by a real-life stunt in which outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. lost a “dinner” bet with Lou Pinellla and paid up by leaving a cow in the manager’s office, Griffey leaves several sheep in Piniella’s office when he loses another bet. “I hope he’s hungry,” says Griffey.
  • 2

    “Lou The Therapist”, 1994: Then-manager Lou Piniella plays “Dr. Lou Pinella”, a shrink who chews on an emotionally-challenged patient in need of moral and emotional support. At one point, Pinella barks, “You are acting like a loser!”
  • 1

    “The Clapper”, 2004: Designated hitter Edgar Martinez, about to embark upon his 18th and final season with the Mariners, demonstrates his new Safeco Field lighting scheme, to the profound astonishment of catcher Dan Wilson and first baseman John Olerud.


  • Old Goat

    The writing was on the wall, indeed although congrats to Humber are in order this “perfect game” was thrown against the equivalent of a AA team. One game does not a season or franchise make unless it’s a continuation of an ongoing trend such as lack of or no offense. And again the players are coached patience. This is reflected by watching a fastball dead center go by to prove your patience, then swinging at pitches in the dirt. Low attendance will be earned by this teams lousy performance and will then be held up as a consideration if and when the team has been sold with an owner hell bent on moving it. Not as though it’s ever happened before….. Sometimes it’s hard to be a fan…………  

    • Artthiel

       Goat, these last three M’s games have been a trial. But fear not — Howard and Chuck are out there, telling the hoop kids to keep off Safeco’s lawn.

  • Jamo57

    Wasn’t Humber an intern in the Clinton Administration?   Oh wait……

    • Artthiel

       Jamo, you’re mixing this up with the large, gas-guzzling vehicle.

  • Phharmening

    What’s the first 2 draft picks for 2012 look like?

    • Jamo57

      Or for that matter 2013.

    • Artthiel

       Gentlemen: One loss. A bad, soul-scraping, mind-numbing, retro-to-Roop-days kind of loss. But one loss. Would you have felt better if Ryan walked?

  • Bayviewherb

    On some nights it appears that the opposing batting pracice pitcher could no-no the Mariners. They have two infielders that hit better than Ryan, plus a spare ccatcher that has never caught a game for the M’s, but seems to get hits.The little ball of fire from Japan should be inserted into the lineup for if nothing else, an injectin of enthusiasm 

  • Matt712

    I think a huge key to the game and an X factor for the Hawks is one my very favorite (and IMO most under-appreciated) players, Michael Robinson – one of the toughest, and probably the smartest player on the team. (Graduated from Penn State in three years with two degrees where he played tailback, split end and QUARTERBACK!, was the Big Ten offensive player in ’05, leads the Seahawks this year in coverage tackles (as well as a forced fumble) as a special teams captain, and… oh yeah, he’s a Pro Bowl fullback.)

    The X-factor he represents won’t just be his run blocking against a (so far) poor run defense; it will be his role in helping contain Clay Matthews on passing plays, because Green Bay’s game plan will be to stack the line and make this game ‘Aaron Rogers vs Russell Wilson.’

    • art thiel

      Good point, Matt. Robinson is underrated, as was Mack Strong in the same position until 2005. Matthews is the defensive game-breaker.

  • OffTheLows

    I believe in regards to the booth review that simultaneous possession isn’t reviewable, similar to a fumble and who gets first possession, and the guys upstairs could only review if the ball touched the ground and the official on the field had the final say, albeit the wrong say.

    • art thiel

      Off, we just posted on SPNW the league’s official explainer.

  • Hammtime

    Love the clown analogy Art! As a Hawks fan, i’ll take the win but feel embarrassed to do so. Green Bay got robbed at the end.
    Goodell is quickly challenging David Stern as the most hated commissioner in pro sports!

  • JimC

    Mr. Tate: Drinks are on me.

  • Obi-jonKenobi

    As a long-suffering Seattle Seahawks fan/sportswriter, I think Art is suffering a little winners guilt here.

    First, on the final play, both players initially touched the ball at the same time. Jennings had better body position and had both hands on the ball while Tate didn’t have as good a grip but he did have a grip and he maintained that hold the entire play. Yeah, close call for sure but I can see why the REGULAR replay officials made the call they did.

    Second, what about the bad calls that gave Green Bay their touchdown? As Art does admit, it would take a Google algorithm to recover all the bad calls and the non-calls which affected both teams and the outcome. Take away the phantom first down inside the Seattle two yard line and the Seahawks could have won the game with a field goal.

  • Matt712

    Any Seahawks fan who wants to see this team get more national respect cannot possibly like the way this game ended (whether you agree with the call or not). Personally, I would rather have sent the Packers home with the win, battered and bloodied, and knowing that it was the Seahawks who got robbed on several calls.

  • Sloppy Joe

    The 1972 Russian Olympic Basketball team couldn’t believe the final score of this game. Aleksandr Belov said the final call was bogus.

    • art thiel

      At least the Russians had the decency to buy off the officials. No need for renegade incompetency.

  • LeonRussel

    Typical pro-union column by union sympathizer Art Thiel, who helped put the P.I. out of business by supporting striking union employees. How’s your new gig working out for you, Art? Making lots of money on this little website? Are you paying Steve Rudman union wages for his work? I’m sure you are. I notice many of the writers who originally contributed to this webiste no longer do so. Couldn’t be because you weren’t paying them a living wage, could it?

    The final call of last night’s game was a judgment call which could have gone either way. The play-by-play guy called it a “simultaneous catch” during the live play, so he agreed with the referee. Jugdment calls are always going to be controversial. It appeared to me that both players each had both hands on the ball. How can Art Thiel state categorically that this was not a simultaneous catch?

    But, the main point is that even Thiel called it a great game, even with replacement referees. Certainly was exciting enough.
    Thiel’s unwarranted criticism of the referees is just Thiel taking the union’s side in a labor dispute, just like Thiel took the union’s side in the labor dispute begtween unions and two local papers several years ago, which contributed to the P.I. going out of business. Nice work, Thiel.

    All officials in every sport blow calls in every game. This is a given. When you watch major league baseball games, about one out of every 4 or 5 pitches is incorrectly called a ball or strike by the umpire. Close plays at first base are routinely called wrong, including one obvious missed call this year that cost a pitcher a no-hitter. That’s the way it goes.

    I hope the NFL comes out with a statement after next week’s games that these officials will work the remainder of the season, and the they are not going to change referees after 1/4 of the season has been played. Then there will be nothing to be gained by pro-union writers and commentators to continually make officiating the focus of their stories, and can get back to writing about the play on the field.

    The Green Bay defensive back could have batted the ball out of the endzone, which is what he should have done, instead of going for the glory of an interception. Tate made a good play by getting both his hands on the ball, and the referee gave Tate the call. Not a blown call. Not the wrong call. Just a judgment call that had to be made in real time whithout benefit of slow-motion replay.

    You know that if the call had gone the other way, Tate and Pete Carroll would have been screaming bloody murder that they were robbed. Referees can’t win in that situation. When a call could go either way — as many calls can — whoever comes out on the losing end is going to be screaming that it was a bad call.
    Watch the replay here:–nfl.html;_ylt=Al7rjqKl4QL38aBPE9QwB9g5nYcB;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0YWEyNzBpBG1pdANGRUFUVVJFRCBNZWdhdHJvbiBTUE9SVFMgRlAEcGtnA2E5NTU4ZjMxLTA3MjQtMTFlMi1iZGNkLTk4OWJmODM5MjRlNwRwb3MDMQRzZWMDbWVnYXRyb24EdmVyA2FjMzY2ODAzLTA3MjQtMTFlMi1iZWZmLWVjNDBlOTM1NzQ3Yw–;_ylg=X3oDMTFpNzk0NjhtBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3

    You will hear the play-by-play guy call it a “simultaneous catch” during the live play. So, the play-by-play guy agreed with the referee.
    But, Art Thiel knows better. Would you feel the same way, Art, if the “regular” referees had made exactly the same call?

    • art thiel

      So as long as excitement is your only criterion, Leon, how about we put a topless Kim Kardashian as a replacement ref?

  • LeonRussel–upholds-result/57840636/1?csp=34sports
    Here is the official reaction from the league to that last play:
    “When the players hit the ground in the end zone, the officials determined that both Tate and Jennings had possession of the ball. Under the rule for simultaneous catch, the ball belongs to Tate, the offensive player. The result of the play was a touchdown.
    “Replay Official Howard Slavin stopped the game for an instant replay review. The aspects of the play that were reviewable included if the ball hit the ground and who had possession of the ball. In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable. That is not the case in the field of play, only in the end zone.
    “Referee Wayne Elliott determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the call on the field, and as a result, the on-field ruling of touchdown stood. The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review.
    “The result of the game is final.”
    But, of course, Art Thiel knows more than all the officials who reviewed the call. But, mainly, Thiel is just trying to pressure the NFL to cave in to the referees’ union’s demands in the labor dispute.

  • LeonRussel
    Here is an article from this past January regarding “regular” referees in playoff games:
    NFL Admits Referees Blew Call In Lions/Saints Game
    By Sean Yuille on Jan 9, 8:03a
    Just how bad were the officials in Saturday’s game between the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints? On one of the biggest plays of the game, they managed to screw over both teams by completely blowing the call. The errors were so egregious that the NFL came out on Sunday and admitted that mistakes were made.
    To be specific since there were several questionable calls, I’m referring to the fumble that was forced by Willie Young in the second quarter. Drew Brees lost the ball after being hit by Young, and Justin Durant picked it up for the Lions. He would have easily scored a touchdown, except one official blew his whistle. Another ruled the play a fumble, which was the correct call. Because of the inadvertent whistle, however, the play was stopped and no return was allowed.
    As it turns out, the referees not only botched the call by blowing the whistle and preventing a return, but they also applied the rule incorrectly after the initial mistake was made. Here’s the explanation from the NFL (via Pro Football Talk):
    “Referee Tony Corrente ruled the play was a fumble and a recovery by Detroit,” the league said in a statement emailed Sunday night to PFT. “However, during the play and before Detroit recovered the fumble, another official blew the whistle believing it was an incomplete pass. Because the ruling on the field was a fumble, and the whistle came before the recovery, the play is dead because of the inadvertent whistle and the Saints should have retained possession of the ball. New Orleans would then have had the choice to put the ball in play at the spot where possession was lost or to replay the down. Inadvertent whistles are not reviewable.”
    This rule was correctly applied in Sunday’s Steelers/Broncos game after the referees made yet another mistake, and Denver got screwed as a result. The rule itself is pretty dumb, and it’s a good thing for the Lions that the referees botched the handling of it on Saturday. Had their incompetence prevented the Lions from even getting the ball, I would have blown a gasket.
    Of course, it shouldn’t have come to that in the first place. If not for the inadvertent whistle, the Lions likely would have had a touchdown return to go up 21-7. There’s no telling how the rest of the game would have played out, but the Lions’ chances of winning would have gone drastically up.
    The worst part of it all is that it’s not just the Lions drawing the short end of the stick with the refs. I know seemingly every week the Lions get screwed, but there were some horrendous calls in every game this past weekend. If this is the best the NFL has to offer, then there is a serious problem with the state of the referees, because they are downright awful. Until the NFL actually does something to improve the officiating, chances are there will continue to be more bad calls in key moments, and the game of football is going to suffer as a result.
    Read that last paragraph, Arthur. Sounds sort of like your whine in today’s column, doesn’t it? Except that was about the “regular” referees in playoff games!
    People always, always, always complain about officiating in every sport. Doesn’t matter who the officials are, they are constantly criticized. That author called the regular referrees in playoff games last year “downright awful.” But, Arthur says the NFL needs them back.

  • Roadspike

    Eric Davis (former DB) breaks it down. Should have been Offensive Pass Interference (pretty obviously), but the ruling on the catch vs. interception was correct.

  • Epacific

    I really thought that three hands caught the ball simultaneously: Tate’s left hand and both of Jenning’s hands. Is there a percentage to simultaneous possession? If so, GB got an interception by 66.66%. But I don’t think the rule states that and, if so, this perhaps-not-so-objective-Seahawks-fan still thinks it was simultaneous possession being rightfully awarded to the Hawks.

    Art, you put it well: “The Seahawks need not be ashamed to claim it, but the NFL needs to be ashamed to own it.” If, indeed, this was a Packer’s interception, then the legion of Green Bay fans as well as the NFL at large can take the advice we received in 2006 when, even by referee Bill Leavy’s admission, the blown officiating handed the outcome of Superbowl XL to the Steelers: you lost, stop whining, get over it.

  • actually Tate only had one hand on the ball when they hit the ground. it is good to be a homer but dont be an ignorant homer. btw- the realtiy is the hawks offense is inept. and this win might get them over 500 at the end of the year. but I’m not going to get emotionally invested in a team that will finish 3rd in the conference. Player coaches never win title in the NFL.Fire PC.

  • Joe Fan

    Both teams got hosed during the game with terrible calls. Green Bay shouldn’t even have been in a position to score their TD, and/or at the very least should have come away with only a field goal, so the last play wouldn’t have been necessary if the continuum of calls would have been made correctly.

  • Obi-jonKenobi

    Ok, disclaimer, I’m a Seahawk fan so I must be prejudiced.

    I agree the replacement refs called a bad game overall causing both teams to suffer unjust penalties BUT the last call seems to be right to me. After watching it numerous times I’m convinced they refs got that one right (leaving aside the pushing non-call on Tate).

    Yet, even the Seattle Times put up a banner headline SEAHAWKS STEAL ONE. WTF??? And, look at the tweets from even NFL players ranting about that final call, all supporting Green Bay. Am I missing something? Ironically, after calling a terrible game, the replacement refs get beat up for one of the calls they made right.

    It seems to me that there may be a pro-Packers or, conversely, a anti-SeaHawk bias coming through here.

  • Soggyblogger

    Enjoyed the article, but disagree with many points you make. Plus, the game was much more than this one play, but is being largely ignored. This is giving those who called Irvin a reach a way to avoid eating their crow.

    In a perfect world this game would have been officiated by the best of the best, and then it still might have been a travesty. But “integrity of the game”? Hogwash. We won, and we were the better team. Drink the Kool Aid. Ah! Delicious.

    • art thiel

      Disagreed with many points? You could at least name one. And obviously the game was much more than one play. But when the last one, a game-decider, is the wrong call, that should infuriate fans even more, because there was a lot going on in that game lost because of NFL misdeed.