PEORIA, Ariz. -- Every spring, one of the highlights of Mariners camp is the shooting of the creative promotional television commercials that will run throughout the season. Which is how shortstop Brendan Ryan found himself staring down a rather large buffalo Tuesday afternoon on the infield at Peoria Stadium.
The premise of the commercial remains secret, pending the release of all the ads later this spring, but anything with Ryan and a buffalo figures to be entertaining.
"I wasn't even intimidated, to be honest," Ryan said with a laugh. "He had friendly eyes, you know? So we had a connection. There was an understanding. He didn't cross me and I didn't grab onto his horns or anything. No quick moves."
At one point, Ryan was asked to field ground balls near the buffalo, named Harvey.
"The guy threw me a backhand and I had to get around Harvey," Ryan said. "I was kind of, 'Uh, why don't you move in a little bit and roll it underhand, because you're going to get me in trouble.'"
The piece will also feature closer Tom Wilhelmsen and catcher Jesus Montero. How funny will the final product be?
"Well, I guess we'll let the fans and everyone else be the judge of that," Ryan said. "I will say it didn't make the most sense, but maybe that's the joke of it, I don't know. It was pretty obscure, which is about right for the guys they chose.
"I'm waiting for everybody to see it first and then see what kind of crazy feedback we'll get. It's everything you'd think it would and wouldn't be. It's as random as you'd think."
Ryan said he spent nearly two hours doing the shoot with his new big friend.
"He was behaving well," Ryan said. "Then they finally said, 'It's a wrap for Harvey.' And I'm thinking, 'Yeah, I'm on a set!' Then he walked off and [went to the bathroom] at shortstop. There's still some fertilizer out there on that one. I'm not diving any time soon."