[2019 UPDATE: Teams should be updating these holiday cards soon. Soon-ish. Maybe your team is busy signing free agents and doing big trades. These things take time … and maybe they haven’t gotten around to updating their holiday card yet. Which is to say … my 2019 update will be up sometime around Christmas … and in the meantime, the 2018 links below probably work … they might even be updated already!]
Many of you will be surrounded this week by family and friends, celebrating the holidays.
I’ve got Editor/Husband here and three cats. The sun is out. It’s pretty low key with the Baseball Bloggess.
I’ve got time on my hands. (And, I haven’t had my breakfast.)
So, as my gift to you, I have binge-watched all 30 Season’s Greeting videos from all 30 major league baseball teams.
I watched them all. For you. So you don’t have to.
(And, I’ve got links to every single one.)
Spoiler Alert: The Dodgers may have lost the World Series, but they definitely won the Holidays.
When In Doubt, Have Your Mascot Do It
T.C. from the Minnesota Twins does some last-minute decorating in what was probably a last-minute “oh my god, I thought you were going to do the video this year” melt down from someone’s cubicle on Friday at 5. But, kudos for knowing that a mascot will always cover up for your mistakes.
The Pittsburgh Pirates put their Racing Piergois to work …
The Phanatic gets the win over Orbit this year, with the help of some players, as he works to get himself off Santa’s Naughty list.
Apparently, the best the Texas Rangers could do was ask someone else’s mascot – the Chick-Fil-A cow – to do a lame card for them. (Do they even have interns?)
Smile When You Thank Your Fans And Wish Them Happy Holidays.
Asking players to wish fans a happy holiday is always fraught with peril. The San Francisco Giants had Buster Posey and manager Bruce Bochey do it in an amazingly uninspired, sad, and sort of blurry animation thing. It’s the perfect we-just-don’t-care-anymore video.
Buster Posey smiled.
Hey, look! It’s the Cincinnati Reds.
They all smiled!
And, they wished us Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa, too.
And, then there are the New York Yankees. Their video is so generic it makes winning look miserable. And, no one’s more miserable than the Yankees who are here to wish you Happy Holidays in the saddest, most hang-dog way possible.
I believe the Yankees are the saddest people in the world.
Here Come The Highlight Reels
If all you can come up with is stringing together a handful of 2018 highlights, do it properly.
The Colorado Rockies do it right …
Superimposing their highlights over Denver area landmarks all decked out for the holidays.
And, how about that …
The Miami Marlins make baseball in Miami look fun (and that’s no mean feat).
(Speaking of the Marlins, here’s a link to Derek Jeter’s NY house which is still available and could be a nice last-minute $14-million stocking stuffer for someone special in your life.)
I’m giving credit to the Detroit Tigers … it’s a generic highlight reel, but it makes them look a whole lot better than they actually were. And, that’s the magic of the holidays! Plus, “Bringing You Summer Since 1901,” may be one of the best taglines ever.
The Tampa Bay Rays dialed down the highlights by just sharing some photos of players up on the wall of a poorly animated home and tossing some garland around.
And, Speaking Of Phoning It In
This is from the Chicago Cubs.
Don’t bother clicking on it. That’s all it is. Just a picture of a sad little gingerbread house. (This is the equivalent of your aunt giving you a pair of weird socks in the wrong size for Christmas.)
(If you look closely, you’ll see they didn’t even bother to put the border around the photo correctly – because part of the photo bleeds outside of it.)
You Are Dead To Me, Milwaukee
The best the Milwaukee Brewers could do was come up with a bunch of highlights of their players celebrating their wins by swigging champagne and smoking cigars.
Smokin’ and drinkin’ with the Milwaukee Brewers
They also ruined the Orioles Jonathan Schoop in their ill-conceived deadline trade – and then, not having a plan for how to use him, just sat him on the bench and expected him to hit a home run every once in awhile on demand.
Your video gets an F and so do you.
Some Odds & Ends (Mostly Odds)
The Chicago White Sox video was delightful – “A Tim Anderson Holiday” where he and his family put on a holiday party for the local Boys & Girls Club.
Santa stops by to decorate the California Angels stadium. Santa seems a little thin, in a “Let’s get the intern to do it” sort of way.
Here is my complete review of the Oakland A’s video: “What is this weird ass cartoon?”
Oh no! Is he about to smash the snow globe with his bat??
The Cleveland Indians did fine … a lot of colored holiday lights and a shout out to the 2019 All Star Game.
Be honest, Santa, we’re not getting anything this year, are we?
The San Diego Padres (and I think this is actually last year’s card) remind fans that believing is “having faith that good things are yet to come.” The truth can be so sad. (But, credit for a little girl getting a baseball glove as a gift!)
The Saint Louis Cardinals admit that their players are the team’s reindeer. There’s a really long rant in me here about treating players like chattel. Maybe you can hear me stamp my foot as I write this.
Which Brings Us To … The Best And The Worst
Dear World Champion Boston Red Sox, thanks for the generic highlight reel. It’s nothing special, includes precious little of AL MVP Mookie Betts, and I’m only mentioning it because Steve Pearce is included, and I love Steve Pearce. But, seriously, dudes, you could have done better.
(In 2017, the Red Sox did this awesome video of players surprising fans through the holidays. If a little girl saying, “I’ve never had a tree before” doesn’t make you cry, you are a Scrooge.)
The New York Mets did a nice video thing … a scrap book of lovely animations.
But, that’s not what makes it special.
THIS is what makes it special.
Look where the Washington Nationals greeting card link takes you!
As of 12:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, they still hadn’t fixed their screw-up. I’m sure it’s just a simple mistake. But, be honest, didn’t you just think, “Well, that sort of sums up Washington, DC these days.”? You did, didn’t you?
Which brings us to the three very best …
Two teams did take-offs on the movie Home Alone … and both were brilliant.
The Atlanta Braves gave former Oriole Kevin Gausman the starring role.
And, the Arizona Diamondbacks made team President Derrick Hall the star.
(Stick around for the wonderfully strange cameo from Randy Johnson.)
But, the very best … the better than all the rest … the most wonderful greeting of all …
… If you watch just one, watch this from the Los Angeles Dodgers, who, led by Justin Turner, read some of the letters a local elementary school sent the Dodgers after their World Series loss.
It is heartwarming and sweet. It is perfect.
December 28 Update! Dear Nationals Fans … The Nats still haven’t fixed their website, but I did some snooping around and you haven’t been forgotten after all! Look!