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Did we jynx Maddux?

Ramp

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credit:sunsentinel.com
Javy Lopez sat there in disbelief, his jaw practically resting on his chest as he tried to process the words he was reading for the first time.

"Oh ... my ... God," the Atlanta Braves catcher said, slowly shaking his head. "Has he seen this?"

If Greg Maddux tosses a two-hit shutout at the Marlins this afternoon, if he's able to reverse the worst start of his magnificent career, he might have the Marlins' marketing department to thank.

"Come see batting practice with Greg Maddux and the Braves."

That was the headline in a Marlins-approved advertisement that ran in South Florida newspapers Friday and Saturday. Not surprisingly, the Braves took offense with the ad, which seemingly poked fun at the pitcher's 0-3 record and 11.05 ERA.

"That's crazy," Braves center fielder Andruw Jones said. "That's just stupid."

"I don't know what they're doing," Braves closer John Smoltz said.

"Oh, lovely," Maddux said quietly as he viewed the ad. "They can do whatever they want."

Even one Marlin, who wished to remain anonymous, was embarrassed by the attempt at humor.

"Pretty stupid," he said. "Is that some funny thing? I don't get it."

The Marlins have been pushing the envelope with their new $2.5 million marketing campaign. One of their TV spots -- pretty funny, actually -- shows A.J. Burnett firing fastballs at bobblehead dolls representing various National League rivals.

But with this latest effort, they have crossed the line of good taste. Maddux, after all, is a four-time Cy Young winner and one of the greatest pitchers of this or any generation.

Isn't tweaking him now, when he's at his career nadir, poor form?

"Somebody who would do something like that probably couldn't catch a ball if you tossed it to him underhand," Braves General Manager John Schuerholz said. "I'm sure no one with any responsibility for Marlins baseball was aware of that. Knowing those people, they would be more chagrined by it than anybody."

Actually, according to Sean Flynn, Marlins vice president of marketing, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and President David Samson signed off on the ad some time ago. The key, Flynn said, is the Marlins committed to the text well before Maddux's struggles began.

"The ad was done before the season," Flynn said. "It has nothing to do with [Maddux's]current situation at all. The last thing I want to do is offend any Major League Baseball players, especially great guys like Greg Maddux."

Coincidentally or not, Maddux wasn't supposed to pitch this weekend but moved his start up two days upon his arrival in South Florida. Could it be he suddenly had a hankering to face the disrespectful Fish?

A simmering Schuerholz said the Braves' baseball-operations staff has never "vetoed anything like that because our [marketing] people know the appropriate way to represent the organization. They just do it the right way."

Flynn is in his first season with the Marlins after four years in the same position with the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning. He is well aware of the inherent dangers when sports marketing people try to get too cute, overstep their bounds and impact the on-field product.

Earlier this month, the Toronto Blue Jays fired their marketing chief after an ad campaign that showed a New York Yankees cap covered in bird dung and urged fans to boo Japanese rookie Hideki Matsui. That was tasteless.

The Maddux ad doesn't stoop that low but it was a mistake and should have been pulled, if for no other reason than avoiding that two-hit shutout.
 

Ramp

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i like the ad too....

but let's hope we didnt awaken a sleeping giant
 

Maxx

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I can't believe how personally they are taking the ad, it's not like they are lying. I don't think anyone is saying that Maddux sucks, but the truth is he is in a slump, what's wrong with telling the truth?
 

Rune

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I'll admit it is funny but...

When Arizona State fans screamed PLO at Steve Kerr when he played for Arizona(Kerr's dad was killed by terrorists in Lebanon). That's the truth but does it still hurt. Yes. The Truth still does hurt and I'm sure everyone here has had an experiance where the truth hurts.

I'm not a fan of these joke ads, My Opinion is put a good product on the field to get the crowds not make fun of another.
 

Maxx

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Yeah well that's very different considering it's a deceased family member in a completely different situation, i'm strictly speaking of what is happening on the field. I'm sure this joke is no worst then the press has been on Maddux.
 

Guest

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Braves are taking this a little too seriously. It's a joke, but it's also a great motivator.
 

CHRISTYTOD

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I think it's as stupid as the guy in Toronto who had the Jays fans boo the Yankees - our guy should be fired just as that guy was. You never want to wake a sleeping giant and I fear that's what may have happened here.

Not necessary.
 

AJBurnett34

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The commercials were funny and good. The braves shouldnt take it so hard on that...
 

Rune

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I got one for The Philly papers

Come see Todd Hollandsworth hand out towels :mischief

or

Come See Lee choke, and then show a chewed hot dog on the ad

and

Come see how long The Marlins Bench will stay in the same place! Maybe the whole 4 days?

:p
 

DurableTear

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I think Maddux is taking this a little too seriously.. it's a friggin commercial. He should think about lowering his ERA instead of worrying about his image..


I got one for The Philly papers

Come see Todd Hollandsworth hand out towels :mischief

or

Come See Lee choke, and then show a chewed hot dog on the ad

and

Come see how long The Marlins Bench will stay in the same place! Maybe the whole 4 days?

:p

Come see Bobby Abreu hit .205
-------------------------------------------------------------
Come see the weak bullpen blow one ( :lol )
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Come see Admin Bowa get thrown out of a game ( :lol )


Personally, players should forget about the ads and the commercial and should worry about helping their team out..
 

Rune

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Come see Bobby Abreu hit .205
-------------------------------------------------------------
Come see the weak bullpen blow one ( :lol )
-------------------------------------------------------------
Come see Admin Bowa get thrown out of a game ( :lol )
His .205 really hurt when they lit up Dempster

They didn't blow enough games to be behind The Marlins, Huh?

Is Torborg sedated?

:mischief :p
 

RossInfoMan

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It wasnt even a commercial! It was one little line in an ad in the newspaper that was about the size of an index card. I guess sometimes people just need something to talk about.
 

DurableTear

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You never want to wake a sleeping giant and I fear that's what may have happened here.
I don't think we've awaking a sleeping giant.. the next 7 games the Braves play will set the tone. I see the Braves finish in 4th and Mets last as usual...
 

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