H.R. & HRs: We Can Do Better

stop hand.jpgWhen Joe Torre, one of the untouchable paragons of class, is getting slammed for allegedly revealing all the Evil Empire‘s dirty secrets in a book that no one has had the chance to even read yet, I think it’s a pretty clear sign that we’ve run out of things to talk about this off-season.  Manny being Manny being unsigned is now as interesting a story as Bea Arthur is sexy.  The Varitek saga in Boston is teetering on the pathetic.  And when the Rangers look to be the best bet for unreliable dark horse Ben Sheets, does anyone really care anymore?


How about a new MLB Network drinking game?  It may not be that ramshackle of japery that we created back during the post-season/presidential debate, but it sure will sauce your inhibitions quicker than Rush Limbaugh will make you want to commit suicide.

It’s simple.  Tune in to the Hot Stove Show and anytime Harold Reynolds leads the panel in a symphony of phrases uncomfortably coated by the word “guy”, take a drink.  You’ll be hammered ten minutes in to the program. 

Believe me. 

harold reynolds.jpgLook, I have nothing personal against Harold Reynolds and his self-serving ramblings.  He seems like a genuinely nice man and most of the time I actually get something out of his demonstrations on the diamond; but I sometimes feel dumb listening to his emphatic, annoyingly frequent use of the word “guy”.  Let me paraphrase a sample, dear reader — a hypothetical spew based on several weeks of actually listening to the man:

A guy like Manny… Manny Ramirez is a guy who just doesn’t change a team, he changes a division.  Guys see a guy like Manny in the clubhouse and then guys are suddenly seeing changes.  He’s a guy who has the ability to go out there and be that guy that all the other guys are honing in on — a guy who can beat you every time he takes the field.  And guys on the other side, guys on your side, those guys see that too.  Makes them want to go out there and be more competitive guys, guys that get things done.  You see guys change, not just guys on the team, but guys throughout the division.

I wish I were exaggerating.

H.R.’s inability to find a synonym for “guy” probably wouldn’t bother me so much if he didn’t subliminally infect the rest of the cast with his lecherous verbal disease.  Broadcasting newbies Barry Larkin and Al Leiter have picked up on it, and the ensuing cacophony is near deafening.

But, I keep watching… ‘cuz I love the MLB Network.  I can’t stop watching it.  So I might have a problem.

As much as I love it, there is one block of MLB Network programing that baffles me like a Spaceman eephus pitch.

ryan howard homerun derby trophy.jpgWhoever thought it would be a good idea to rerun old homerun derbies during a prime-time slot deserves to have John Kruk sit on his face during the two hours they’re being aired.  The homerun derby?  Really?  I’m supposed to get excited about watching a bunch of superstars hit lollygaggin’ Jamie Moyer fastballs from two, three, four years ago while Chris Berman entertains himself ad nauseum with his cutesy cleverness?  I didn’t care about the homerun derby the first time; why would I care now?

And even if you do enjoy the homerun derby (when it actually happens each July), do you really get excited about watching it again?  Save Josh Hamilton’s gargantuan effort of 2008 — a contest which he ultimately lost — is there really anything titillating in any homerun derby that makes you say: “Yeah!  Can’t wait to put aside two hours to watch that again!”

MLB Productions has done a fine job of producing edgy, dramatic, quality programs that explore the deep history and colorful characters of the game.  I haven’t been disappointed with one of their productions yet.  So I am both baffled and bored by the network’s decision to rerun past derbies instead of wowing us with original content.  Seems like they’re missing a big opportunity there.

The good news is: if I play the H.R. drinking game, I won’t be conscious enough to watch the derby reruns anyway.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.





  1. kmcleod

    The “Guy” thing never bothered me, but now that you’ve said it, I can hear him saying it in my head. I hope this doesn’t ruin the Hot Stove Show for me, I usually enjoy Reynolds!

  2. Jane Heller

    Well, it’s either “guy” or “dude,” and both make me nuts when they’re used over and over. At least their wardrobe has changed from the opening night. They were all wearing black suits like undertakers and now they’re mixing things up. Progress!


  3. redstatebluestate

    Yeah, dude, I feel ya. I’ll take the undertaker outfits over the NFL ex-players-turned-analysts wearing their “flare” inspired suits that hurt the eyes and disrupt the color scheme on my television set 😉

  4. Elizabeth D.

    You are so right about Harold! He begins every sentence with that exact phrase “here’s a guy”. It’s insane!! And I agree with you on the home run derby. I don’t care for it much the first time it’s on, and I only watch the 2008 one because of frikin Josh Hamilton. Other than that, it’s not that great. You’re expecting them to hit home runs on balls lobbed to them. Not too entertaining. They can broadcast an old game if they want, or Ken Burns’ baseball.

  5. iliveforthis

    Jeff- You had me at… well… “drinking game.” I never really took note about how much Harold Reynolds says “Here’s a guy…” It’ll drive me crazy now. Thanks so much for that. I will confess that I enjoy watching the 2008 Home Run Derby where Josh Hamilton goes crazy, but that’s about the only part of it.

  6. phillies_phollowers

    I was actually at the Home Run Derby in NYC this year…have to say, seeing it in person was really something. On TV, not so much. Since Bush has left office, the media is running out of things to air. Thus, HR Derby repeats, among other boring time-fillers. Pretty soon, they’ll be airing Smurf’s On Acid – a new twist to an old fav. You know I’ll be watching…


  7. redbirdchatter

    Reynolds bugs me, too. They had Lincecum on one day demonstrating his mechanics. Reynolds was catching him and said more than once “Go easy on me.” Are you kidding me? Maybe, I’m crazy, but if I had the chance to catch a Cy Young pitcher, I’d put on a face mask and say, “Fire it in here!”


  8. katie22

    Now here’s a guy who know how to write a blog. Totally agree, especially about the Home Run Derby thing. Eye Closing Excitement. I think I’ve learned to drown out the “guy” thing since between all the sports shows I watch, I hear it about 52,000 times a day.

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