Sloganeering

I'm not a marketing person, so I'm not going to get too snarky with the Giants' new slogan for the year. I'll appeal to authority on this one and assume that it's been tested and run by a focus group, and that it's supposed to appeal to people who wouldn't rummage through their significant other's abdomen and pull out a kidney if that's what it took to watch baseball. But here it is:

Let's Get Back Together

I get it. Let's all get back to the postseason, that dizzying ride from over a year ago, and let's do it together. Fans, players, you, me. The only quibble I'd have is that it sounds like a lost Al Green album, or a phrase that's probably uttered every day by a guy with desperate eyes who hasn't showered in six days. Whatever. We'll get used to it.

But the slogan revelation reminds me of the two most amazing slogans in Giants history. Nay, baseball history. Heck, the history of capitalism and profits.

All out, all season

That was the slogan for the 2008 Giants, one of the worst offensive teams in team history. They put the word "out" right there in the slogan.

Say, a Giants commercial! Haven't been to a game in a while. Maybe I should grab the kids and … huh. They mentioned something about making outs all season. That's right. I think there was a picture of Jose Castillo. Huh. Maybe there's a new Fast and the Furious movie or something.

Okay, that one's not especially amazing, but it's certainly amusing. It was ironic and whatnot. The word "out" shouldn't have been anywhere near the slogan. It was like if Tylenol came back from their PR disaster in the '80s with an ad campaign of "Tylenol: Now With Nine New Stringent Manufacturing Guidelines. Come read more about what we call 'The Strict Nine!'' The heart would have been in the right place! The execution … not so much.

But I promised amazing, and it's time for your yearly reminder that a professional sports team once had this as their marketing slogan:

Hang in there!

Baseball is about hope. That slogan didn't have any. It was a slogan explicitly telling you that the baseball was going to be awful. You needed to endure, not enjoy. Just hang in there. We're trying a few things, and … dammit, HANG IN THERE. YOU SIT DOWN, YOU HORRIBLE, UNGRATEFUL PERSON.

Imagine the scene. A bunch of marketing folks sitting around a table, looking at pictures of Al Oliver, Manny Trillo, and Johnny LeMaster. It's Friday afternoon. Chet's Oyster Shack has $1 shooters for the next hour. Someone mutters "Hang in there?" under their breath, and everyone else pretends it's a good idea so they can get the hell out of there.

The worst part: the Giants were just under .500 in 1983, the previous season. They weren't the 100-loss team they'd turn into. They could have been okay. I mean, they really couldn't have, but in theory there might have been reason for hope. And the All-Star Game was in San Francisco that year. They couldn't riff on that? There wasn't anything they could have figured out other than "Hang in there!" Amazing. It's like that urban legend about The Little Mermaid poster. "You're fired. But please finish that slogan before you clean out your desk."

So let's get back together? I'm sure after the first 600 commercials, it'll just melt into our consciousness. But never forget that the Giants once had a slogan that translated into "So, we're terrible, but we want you to watch regardless." Yet here we are, complaining about Melky Cabrera. Someone from 1984 is going to leap forward into time just to punch us in the neck. We have it pretty danged good, relatively speaking.

Comment starter: Your favorite slogan? "There's Magic Inside" proved to be prescient, but I'm always going to be partial to "You Gotta Like These Kids." Turns out we really did.

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