I’m not sure what it says about Vanderbilt University as a steppingstone to stage and screen, but A’s starter Sonny Gray, who took drama there for three years when not playing baseball, lost out in the early Best Actor Oscar nominations in the batch of A’s TV commercials to be released Thursday via social media.
Gray was fine, it should be pointed out, in doing his parts the five (of an eventual total of eight) commercials screened for the media Saturday (Raw footage of some of the other three bits also were shown). But first baseman Brandon Moss was flat-out hilarious in his spots, although some of the best bits, seen in outtakes and bloopers, may be left on the cutting room floor.
Put together by Hub Media and shot over the course of three days, the ads follow the path of “Green Collar Baseball’’ that the A’s have used as a general backdrop to their promotions the last few seasons, winning major awards in the sports advertising world the last three years.
Moss was seen in two bits, one where he chatters to runners at first base to distract them during pickoff throws and the other in which he crashes a group of his teammates doing “I’ve got a Secret’’ and veers the conversation from baseball secrets to improvised personal ones like “I’ve got three nipples.’’
If the bits survive the editing process, a star will be born.
Also getting good camera time was manager Bob Melvin, who has been mostly a straight man in the past. This time around, as part of a group taking social media classes from Twitter maven Sean Doolittle, he offers the best blooper, changing “Can I blog from my Blackberry?’’ to “Can I blog from by Blueberry?’’
The first one is in the script, but it’s the second, loaded with laughs, that should make the final cut.
Other bits: Josh Donaldson and the tarp the third baseman vaulted over to make a highlight-reel catch last year enter therapy; Coaches Curt Young and Mike Gallego, both members of the 1989 World Series champs, go back a quarter century to a different time, including doing a selfie with a Polaroid camera; and the A’s Home Run Tunnel is perverted to new uses, including getting Derek Norris into his catching gear, getting Jarrod Parker mustard and catsup on his hotdog and blow-drying Doolittle’s beard.