So who’s the star of this Super Bowl commercial for Planters — Alex Rodriguez or Mr. Peanut?
“Oh, it’s Mr. Peanut, for sure,” A-Rod tells USA TODAY Sports. “He was awesome.”
Appearing in a Super Bowl commercial is a first for both.
“I’d never been in one and never thought I would be,” Rodriguez says. “But when I was asked, I was flattered and happy.”
He was also happy last week when his friends Edgar Martinez, Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina were all elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame along with the late Roy Halladay. A-Rod says Halladay was “as good as it gets” and took great pleasure with the election of the other three because they were his teammates.
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“I thought it was a great day for baseball,” Rodriguez says. “All three are such great examples of the game. It was a really fun day for me to have such close people have such a special day in their life.”
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens would be sure-fire Hall of Famers if not for their suspected use of performance-enhancing drugs. What did A-Rod make of each of them getting under 60% of the vote?
“You know, I was really just focusing on — it was a really emotional day for me because of” the election of his friends, he says. “I don’t know if you know this, but I’m the only guy, I believe, that has played with each one of those guys for more than six years. It’s such a weird thing that all three are such great friends and all three get in at the same time. I just thought it was a great day for baseball. So that’s what I was focused on.”
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But might his Hall chances be damaged someday by the voting patterns that bedevil Bonds and Clemens?
“Honestly, I’m again so thrilled for (friends) I have not thought about that for two seconds,” Rodriguez says. “So, yeah. Anything else about the commercial?”
The funny 30-second ad runs in the second quarter. Mr. Peanut drives the Nutmobile as if in an over-the-top Hollywood chase scene, all to the soundtrack of “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crue.
There’s a cameo from Charlie Sheen, who looks up from his perch on a bench and says: “And people think I’m nuts.” Turns out Mr. Peanut’s wild ride is to get to A-Rod’s house just in time to swap out kale chips for mixed nuts. A-Rod offers thumb’s up.
Rodriguez got a 10-year, $275 million free-agent deal from the New York Yankees in 2007, which isn’t peanuts. The record still stands (Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million was an extension) even as superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain unsigned this offseason.
“The game is in great shape, is growing at a great velocity,” Rodriguez says. “And I’m confident that Harper and Machado will be compensated very well.”
The teaser for the Planters Super Bowl ad shows Mr. Peanut tossing nuts across the room, where A-Rod catches them in his mouth just as naturally as pop flies in his glove.
“They work their magic with whatever virtual reality thing they end up doing,” A-Rod says. “They made me look a lot more athletic than I really am.”