A-Rod co-stars with Mr. Peanut

Ex-Yan­kee talks about ad, Hall of Fame

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS - Erik Brady

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. “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 Roy Hal­la­day. A-Rod says Hal­la­day, who died in a 2017 plane crash, was “as good as it gets” and took great plea­sure with the elec­tion of the other three be­cause they were his team­mates.

“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 sure­fire Hall of Famers if not for their sus­pected use of per­for­manceen­hanc­ing drugs. What did A-Rod make of each of them get­ting un­der 60 per­cent 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.”

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.” It 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 a thumbs up.

Ro­driguez got a 10-year, $275 mil­lion free agent deal from the 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.”


Mr. Peanut is in a rush to get to Alex Ro­driguez’s house in this Su­per Bowl ad.

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