Coming This Fall

Yesterday, my friend and fellow NotGraphs content-vomiter David Temple wrote about his utter and complete failure to finish a work of children’s fiction, The Kid Who Only Hit Homers. Finish reading it, I mean. It goes without saying that all of us at NotGraphs are frustrated failed novelists of some stripe or another, with at least one unfinished semi-autobiographical manuscript floating around on our hard drives, but Temple’s aborted attempt to read 130 pages of shockingly simplistic prose will go down as one of the more embarrassing literary admissions to grace these digital pages (the most embarrassing of which is still, by quite a large margin, the cover of Cistulli’s book).

But maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on David. With his weak will, he’ll never make it as a Green Lantern, but at least he was attempting to read a book that wasn’t about angsty sparkly vampires who ruin the game of baseball, an increasingly rare effort in what is passing for our culture in 2013. He could have, instead, simply waited around until this Fall, when he could have watched the television equivalent on ABC:

Let us dissect:

0:02—Wait, is that James Caan?

0:04—“I’m going to take you so deep, you’re going to be making me breakfast, baby.”  I have no idea what this means. Is this a saying? Do people say this? What do they mean when they say it? Surely no pitcher in history has made a batter breakfast after being taken deep. Is that a sex thing? Oh, it’s probably a sex thing.

0:10—What was she, like, 20 feet from home plate? Oh well, I’m sure rec-league Jordanny Valdespin had it coming.

0:15—“Terry Gannon is one tough mother.” Ha-HAH! Because she’s a girl. I like wordplay.

0:17—“See you on the field, Dick.” A girl with an attitude! And more wordplay!

0:19—“But life is about to throw her a curve.” I feel like somebody got this narration from a fake Funny or Die trailer. Possible?

0:29—“Messy divorce. Living with my father, who crippled me emotionally.” Thank god they’re getting that exposition in there. Better to tell it, not show it, I always say. It’s faster that way; less ambiguity.

0:30—I really think that’s James Caan.

0:35—“And now the family that stays together will have to learn how to play nice together.” How easy is it to get a job writing the scripts for these voice-overs? I want to give it a shot. “In a world where girls play baseball [ed. note—like that could ever happen!] and old guys look like James Caan, one woman is going to find a man to cook breakfast for for the rest of her life, if she has to bean every guy on the diamond [ed. note—Innuendo!] to do it. Because Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. This fall on ABC.”

0:39—But, I mean, what would Sonny Corleone be doing in a crappy, baseball-related sitcom on ABC? He’s gotta have something more important to do.

0:46—James Caan look-alike yelling at his grandson for missing a fly ball! This is disturbingly like my Little League career.

0:55—Pre-teen girls make the worst Baseball Annies.

0:58—Cobra-Kai wannabe.

1:00—He’s not going to make the team? Then how is pre-pubescent Sylvester Coddmyer III, or whatever the fuck his name is, ever going to impress Annie…I mean Vanessa. Vanessa? Really? What is this, 1986?

1:06—Joke!

1:07—James Caan should really sit down with this guy and tell him to knock it off. I mean, imitation is flattery, I guess, but it really seems out of place in this.

1:12—“This isn’t soccer. We don’t give every kid a trophy.” Burn.

1:24—“I’ll coach my kid, and all the other kids.” /record scratch Wait a minute…the coach is going to be a GIRL?!?

1:28—“Fire is the only thing that loves me.” I did not give you permission to use my likeness, ABC!

1:33—Executive producer 1: “How gay should we make this 11 year old?” Executive producer 2: “Nathan Lane?” Executive producer 1: “Great, find me a parent who doesn’t mind subjecting their child to ridicule for the rest of their adolescence.”

1:38—Bad baseball montage! An important part of any Bad News Bears/Major League rip-off.

1:50—“What the hell are you doin’ coachin’?” Ok, that’s such a bad James Caan impersonation that it’s offensive to anybody who’s even been to the Bronx.

1:56—“I am coaching because nobody wanted these kids. [Ouch, hey coach, we’re sitting right here!] And I [as an attractive blond woman] know how that feels. People are going to call you weird, unathletic, and ga—feminine. [Nodding approvingly, go on coach.]

2:03—“And fat, that kid is fat.” Oh, fake James Caan trying to channel George Carlin’s act, you just tell it like it is. God bless you.

2:05—Holy shit, that’s actually James Caan. What happened to you?

2:11—“A new comedy that proves you’re always safe at home.” Have you seen any James Caan movies? That home is going to be really violent.

2:20—Back in the Game. It’s a play on words, you see. Wordplay!

2:22—See! He’s really violent! And really confused. This isn’t going to end well for anybody in that house.

This I vow to you now: I will watch this shitty-looking Bad News Bears wannabe that thinks it’s 1993, when a woman coaching a baseball team would be a quintessential fish out of water scenario, every single time that it airs this Fall, which should be good for about 3-6 posts. I won’t quit 15 minutes into the pilot like that weak-willed David Temple would. Oh, I’m so glad we have that to look forward to. My prediction: They don’t win any games, but they are winners in their hearts because they tried their best. And the coach’s son totally gets to second base with Vanessa.




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Mike Bates used to have a stupid pseudonym. Now he doesn't because people want to pay him to write about baseball on the Internet and he's really a sell out that way. He is also a Designated Columnist at SBNation, co-founder of The Platoon Advantage, and is an American Carpetbagger on Getting Blanked, the finest in Canadian baseball-type sites. His favorite word is paradigm. Follow him on Twitter here: http://www.twitter.com/commnman


18 Responses to “Coming This Fall”

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  1. Jaack says:

    I foresee this experiment of sitcom coming to an end in the same way that Sonny Corleone did. About an hour and a half in and with lots of bullets

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  2. pickle cars says:

    I get Maggie Lawson taking this. She needs to establish herself as an approachably hot mom…the standard ABC Family bona fides. But James Caan? Dude did Brian’s Song. Wtf!?

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    • harpago17 says:

      Dude also did Mickey Blue Eyes and the dad in Elf. I think it’s time we quit pretending that James Caan is above an easy paycheck.

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      • pickle cars says:

        Elf is a goddamn classic and I won’t hear otherwise. But yeah, Mickey Blue Eyes is indefensible. As is pretty much everything else he’s done in the last 15 years, according to imdb. So yeah, maybe you’re right.

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  3. Lapcat says:

    Second base! More wordplay!

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  4. harpago17 says:

    As I read this (before watching the video), I really thought it was some old clip the author found from a made-for-TV movie in the mid-90’s, which honestly would have been bad enough. To find out that a) it’s planned as an ongoing TV show and b) it’s premiering in 2013 is utterly shocking.

    Also, I am sad that this is the best gig Maggie Lawson could get.

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  5. Keith says:

    Hopefully this doesn’t mean that Psych is ending this season. Although, with their extended breaks she could probably fit in another series.

    Well, a few episodes of another series.

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  6. So glad actual baseball isn’t scripted… yet.

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  7. The Rajah says:

    These kids suck at baseball…kinda like a bunch of math nerds. Which is probably why their team name is “Angles”.
    And Psych takes SUCH long breaks, Maggie Lawson could get in a few series and a movie before she needed to show up for the next Psych season filming.

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    • from the earth to the starbucks says:

      How does it keep getting picked up? It hasn’t been good since season 3, if we’re being honest…

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  8. Alexander Nevermind says:

    James Caan is right, fat kids can’t play baseball. This isn’t soccer!

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    • millionayers says:

      Well, maybe as future corner basemen for particular World Series-ing teams. Way off in some preposterous future. Just maybe.

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  9. jwise224 says:

    You are a brave (or unemployed) soul to be willing to commit to watching this show. At least someone will be watching.

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  10. It’s a more than a little bit shameful that the writers, editors, and assorted staff at Notgraphs aren’t aware of the origins of the phrase “I’m going to take you so deep you’re going to be making me breakfast.” I’d expect this from Temple or Cistulli, but from you Bates? I really thought you’d know your history. For shame.

    Back in the the mid-to-late 19th Century (historians say around 1875, I say why the hell can’t they provide an exact date), whenever a pitcher gave up a long home run, it was the custom to stop the game and award the hitter with a delicious meal of his choice. In the early days of the custom, this meant stopping the game completely while the pitcher took the hitter to a nearby five-star restaurant. Of course, this led to a lot of milling around by the other players, umpires, and fans while the hitter engorged himself at a favorite local steakhouse, rubbing in his accomplishment by getting two rib eyes slathered with gravy and served with all the fixins. While this was a splendid, gentlemanly custom, it detracted from the already slow pace of the game and cut into ticket sales dramatically. To combat this, teams started providing food for these meals at the ballpark. The offending pitcher had to take a “walk of shame” (where this phrase comes from) from the pitcher’s mound to behind the center field fence and whip up a meal of the hitter’s choice. Often in the early days of the game, this meant slaughtering the animal on the premises. While this did speed up the game somewhat, it still led to number of significant delays and threatened the fabric of the game as we know it. Owners wanted to abolish this expensive, barbaric practice but players refused to give up one of their precious, unwritten rules so easily. Finally, a healthy compromise was reached. Pitchers still had to purchase a meal for batters but it would be breakfast the next morning, off the premises and after the game had ended. This satisfied the custom of the day but eliminated the delays that threatened to make baseball slower than a snail dipped in the molasses that is surely at the end of this ridiculous cliche. So you see the phrase “I’m going to take you so deep you’re going to be making me breakfast.” isn’t a “sex thing”, as Mike Bates’ filthy, disgusting, sex addled mind might have you believe, but rather part of the game’s unwritten “rules” that weave the fabric of America in very much the same way James Earl Jones described it in Field of Dreams and all of those CNN voice over spots that he used to do before the network went into the toilet.

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