The best day of spring training is here: The Mariners' annual commercials. Ben Gamel flips his hair, Nelson Cruz causes a workplace injury and Mike Zunino takes framing literally.
Have you dreamt of Ben Gamel’s flowing hair flipping in slow motion to the tune of a smooth bass guitar riff? You’re in luck: It’s going to be making constant appearances on your TV all baseball season.
It was one of the many highlights from the Mariners’ legendary yearly commercials, released Wednesday morning.
The hair comes naturally; the acting, not as much, his less follically fortunate counterpart, third baseman Kyle Seager, said after Gamel’s first on-screen appearance for the M’s.
“I think he was actually pretty nervous,” Seager said. “It was his first time. … The hardest part was getting Gamel to figure out how to flip his hair.
“He did a lot of flips. He was actually flipping it too well. They were having a hard time getting it on camera. He had too much hair. He’s too good at it. He had to tone it down a few times.”
Seager has shown off all kinds of caricatures of himself in the canon of Mariners commercials. He’s been a mainstay since debuting on screen in silk pajamas in 2013’s “Focused & Relaxed,” turning it up to 11 for 2014’s “Hawt Corner.”
He says he didn’t learn of this self-deprecating role until 20 minutes before the shoot — but the writers have begun to write to his strengths.
“It probably worked out best that way,” he said. “… I wouldn’t say comfortable is the right word. But I can make fun of myself a little bit.”
Check them all out below, and vote on your favorite.
Featuring: Ben Gamel and Kyle Seager
Mariners description: Outfielder Ben Gamel is known for making some spectacular catches, which he often punctuates with a stylish flip of his long hair. When Ben finds Kyle Seager, not known for lustrous locks, practicing his own version of the hair flip, the master shows him how it’s done.
Featuring: Robinson Cano
Mariners description: Visits to the mound are a hot topic in Major League Baseball this season. A struggling opposing battery gets creative as they look for a way to retire Robinson Canó. But it turns out inviting the Mariners slugger to join the pitcher and catcher during their mound conversation isn’t such a good idea.
Featuring: Nelson Cruz
Mariners description: A patient, seeking treatment for a sore neck, is asked by a doctor whether the injury was work-related. In a flashback, it’s revealed that the patient is actually an opposing pitcher and we learn that Nelson Cruz, holder of the Mariners team record for home runs by a designated hitter, is responsible for the patient’s whiplash.
Art of the Frame
Featuring: Mike Zunino, Félix Hernández, Dee Gordon, Jean Segura, and Mitch Haniger
Mariners description: Catcher Mike Zunino is one of the game’s best when it comes to “framing a pitch” that might have been just a bit outside the strike zone. Félix Hernández, who is known to “paint the corners” with his pitches, occasionally benefits from Zunino’s talent. In this spot, Dee Gordon, Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger transform the baseball diamond into an art gallery as they admire the latest masterpiece created by the two artists.
Featuring: Ryon Healy, Nick Vincent and James Paxton
Mariners description: Newcomer Ryon Healy is curious about why pitcher James Paxton is called “Big Maple.” Relief pitcher Nick Vincent explains the reasons for James’s nickname, and shares a little-known secret about the hard-throwing, Canadian-born left-hander.