The Milwaukee Brewers have put together a video campaign that takes some shots — tongue in cheek — at the Cardinals.
The video is part of the club's effort to inspire votes for catcher Jonathan Lucroy and outfielder Carlos Gomez in the National League balloting for the All-Star Game. One of the marketing videos features and promotes catcher Lucroy by comparing him with Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
At one point, the narrator points out, "Jonathan Lucroy is not only the best catcher in the National League but, most importantly, he's not a St. Louis Cardinal."
Later, the narrator says "Cardinals fans need to know enough is enough."
At the end of the video, Lucroy makes an appearance, saying "I'm Jonathan Lucroy and I approve this message."
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who will manage the National League side in the All-Star Game on July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis, was asked about the video.
"I saw it and, you know, it caught me a little by surprise," Matheny said. "I get that a lot of it was trying to be maybe tongue in cheek a little bit, but ... it caught me by surprise.
"But I think every organization is going to do what they think is best for their players and I understand the end-game is to try to get him acknowledged."
Lucroy, who is second in the NL with a .341 batting average, is third in the fan balloting with 1.13 million votes. He trails Molina by almost 900,000 votes and second-place Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants by almost 300,000.
Matheny added he admires Lucroy as a player and understands the video is targeted toward Brewers fans.
"I think you have to take it in the nature that it was meant, and it was ... obviously geared toward their fan base," he added. "It's just amazing that it was that much directed at our organization. I think that caught me off guard the most."
However, Matheny essentially added he was not surprised to be surprised by the flavor of the content.
"Not saying it's surprising ... with what we've been through this last couple of years, especially last year with this 'Cardinal Way' stuff getting blown way out of proportion," Matheny said. "That put a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths."
Matheny pointed out that players earn All-Star Game selections, a fact that should not be discounted.
"In defense of some of the recognition some of our guys have had ... that stuff isn't just handed out," Matheny added. "Those guys worked hard for that. They deserved and they earned it and I don't think that's anything we have to apologize for."
Matheny, in theory, has the upper hand when it comes to Lucroy's All-Star participation. He will be the NL manager for the game and if Lucroy isn’t voted in by the fans or by the players as one of the top two catchers, he would have to be selected by the manager.
• VOTE: ALL-STAR GAME BALLOT