“The Pen”

Because the universe and my cable company hate me, I don’t get the MLB Network. I’m not sure, though, whether not having it is a good thing or a bad thing in this instance:

The Pen, debuting Sunday on MLB Network, might be something like the 11,000th TV reality series. But David Gavant of MLB Productions, which is producing the series, suggests it’s unique: “It’s the first reality series where a baseball team has allowed anybody to follow them through a season” . . . Like the NFL Films-produced Hard Knocks, which takes viewers into meetings and practices at NFL training camps, The Pen is getting unprecedented access.

Says the producer of the show: “We’re making a reality show. We made it clear to the Phillies we have to have some conflict.”

I know next to nothing about what makes a good reality show — I don’t hate the genre as much as I simply don’t understand it — but doesn’t this run the risk of being a really boring show? The NFL is all high-pressure emotion. When guys talk about the baseball season, they talk about the long stretches of boredom and the daily grind. I myself have long harbored a fantasy of being the 11th or 12th arm in a bullpen, not because it would be interesting, but because there would be an awful lot of sitting around and shooting the bull. Great for the rhythms of life and everything, but an entertainment? Color me dubious. Maybe I’m wrong about that. It certainly won’t be the first time.

(thanks to Pete Toms for the Ottawa Lynx)

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  1. Pete Toms said...

    Anybody else recall a story about David Cone “pleasuring” himself in a bullpen, (don’t recall which one) IIRC a bit too conspicuously (or not, guess it depends on your intent)?  Or was I just WAY too stoned and drunk during the 80s and am completely deluded about this (amongst numerous other subjects).

    Again, IIRC it was reported as part of a story about him being a sort of serial public masturbator.

    Honest, maybe I’ll Google it.

  2. Melody said...

    I can’t wait to see what kinds of efforts they make to manufacture “conflict” over a 162-game season.

    “Who ate my sunflower seeds??  They were clearly marked with my name!”

  3. Michael said...

    It’s baseball; I’d watch it.  Eyre should be entertaining enough on his own, I always liked him.

  4. Alex said...

    Pete Toms – IIRC, the Cone story had him exposing himself to ladies in the Shea bleachers while with the Mets. Never substantiated, of course, but Cone was something of a party boy back in the day. The infamous Spring Training rape accusation (against Gooden and someone else on the Mets) started because Cone had been carrying on with numerous Baseball Annies.

  5. Grammar Constable said...

    The great thing about this show is that you’ve got 162 games distilled into a 20-episode season. Sure, the grind is there, but we just get the few jokes that make the highlight reel.

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