I'm going to use this Major League Baseball All-Star break to complain about something that's been bothering me for a while.
When I was a kid and very much into baseball, I used to love watching This Week In Baseball. Before ESPN, before Baseball Tonight, before "Web Gems," it was kind of a highlight show that showed all the great plays and bloopers of the previous week. Hosted by Mel Allen, it was also a Saturday morning kid's show with youth-focused segments like famous players showing baseball fundamentals (like Ozzie Smith showing you how to stop a ground ball for instance). And best of all it was a show that your mom and dad might like watching with you too. Oh, and it had a classic theme song.
So now that my oldest is rooting for Big Papi right along side me, I figured I could introduce her to TWIB and maybe it could be something that we would enjoy on Saturday mornings. Unfortunately the show isn't even close to what it used to be.
The newest iteration feels like you're watching some kind of lame 30 minute infomercial. They rely heavily on "film look" video and the segments themselves often feel like some third-rate episode of MTV Cribs. A lot of my problem with the show is due to the unbelievably bad voice over work of the current host "Buzz Brainard," who, although he's a fine voice-over guy, has all the narrative excitement of a guy reading a billboard. He even sounds condescending at some points, as if he's talking down to the kids. I'm not saying anyone could replace Mel Allen, but can't MLB Productions find someone with some baseball credibility who can also convey some of the excitement of the game?
You be the judge. Check out the latest TWIB segments at MLB.com (and be sure to click on the "Classic TWIB Theme" link at the top of the page).
I got the November 1st Sports Illustrated for the Red Soxchampionship coverage (Google cache), and in it there were two great pieces about dads and
baseball. One was about Joe and Jack Buck (father/son announcers for the St.
Louis Cardinals) and the other was about a father and son who were lifelong Red
Sox fans. The links require subscription, but I think are worth it (or check it out if you can find a copy at the doctor's or something).
Congratulations to the 2004 Boston Red Sox. I was unbelievably happy when they beat the Yankees, but this tops it. I’m still dumbstruck.
Here’s a photo gallery from Boston.com of people’s babies in Red Sox gear. (I guess I’m not the only one who thought “Hey, all I had to do was have a baby to get them to win.”) My favorites are the painted face kids, and these twins who are totally into it.
Oh, and my new favorite Red Sox bootleg t-shirt (more than the Johnny Is My Homeboy shirt) is the “Ortiz Has A Posse” shirt I saw for 2 seconds in one of the celebrations on FOX (an homage to the classic Shepard Fairey Andre the Giant stickers). From what I can tell it used to be available at Sully’s Tees.com, but apparently they don't sell it any more. As I no longer live in Boston, I guess I’ll have to make an iron-on myself.
During baseball season I spend the majority of my early evenings watching the Red Sox regular season games, and thanks to their resounding win over the Yankees last night I’m an incredibly happy man. Next is the World Series, and if you haven’t already you’ll want to make sure your kid is outfitted for the occasion. For the best stuff, skip the kids section at shop.mlb.com and go straight to The Souvenir Store on Yawkey Way. I’ve ordered stuff from them online in the past and have been happy with the transactions. Some of my favorites include the pink adjustable cap (or in straight-up navy), the Red Sox diaper set, and the Wally bib. (By the way, it's not for kids and not available at The Souvenir Store, but I think that Johnny is My Homeboy t-shirt is going to happen for me). What they are woefully lacking though is a simple pair of red socks for the baby. Any ideas on where to get some?
As a very committed and (probably too) emotionally invested Boston Red Sox fan, this Yankees / Red Sox American League Championship Series is consuming me. Apparently I’m unable to think about much else, so I decided to blog about it. But unable to find some legitimate dad connection, I settled on a completely convoluted one.
After some very slack internet research, I’ve found that there are more dads on the Red Sox twenty-five man active roster than the Yankees. The breakdown is:
Red Sox - 7 pitchers and 10 batters (17 total dads)
Yankees - 5 pitchers and 6 batters (11 total dads)
Big deal you say? Yeah, you’re right. But if you’re not already a Yankees fan, you might as well give your support to the dads.