Friday, March 11, 2011

A-Rod's new commercial eases spring training doldrums

Does it make me a bad Yankees blogger that I'm already completely over spring training?

Wait, don't answer that question.

It's March 11 now, with means real baseball is less than three weeks away. When the Rangers eradicated the Yankees last October, all I could think about was pitchers and catchers reporting in February. Now, I think about March 31 and CC Sabathia on the mound in games that matter.

The spring still has its advantages. A-Rod stars in a so-bad-it's-good CGI-fest of a new commercial for Direct TV (watch here) in which he homers off Jonathan Papelbon then circles the bases, each stop serving as a different destination of our great country. If you haven't seen it, it's as cheesy as it sounds.

I personally enjoy him rounding second in front of a farming silo as two young Red Sox fans look on in despair. I know Boston fans travel well, but Kevin Costner's farm from Field of Dreams? That's impressive, Rem Dawg Nation.

A-Rod's acting performance in the commercial is tremendous, as he flashes the Matt Nokes Face throughout. What's the Matt Nokes Face, you ask? Way back when, my cousins and I used to play wiffleball every day during the summer. Nokes was a pretty awful catcher for the Yankees at that time, but he did have some pop (136 lifetime homers).

We began noticing that when Nokes rounded the bases after a homer, it appeared as though he was doing everything in his power to keep from bursting into joyful celebration. He kept a straight face, but you could a huge self-satisfied smile trying to break through the steely veneer.

Anyway, we still get together for wiffleball when we can, and when one of us homers, somebody will inevitably hiss, "Nice Matt Nokes Face, dude" as the home-run hitter rounds the bases.

A-Rod has a sick Matt Nokes Face. Hopefully you'll get about 40 chances to check it out this season.

Dan Hanzus writes three columns a week on his New York Yankees site, River & Sunset. He can be reached at Follow Dan on Twitter @danhanzus.

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