An Unassisted Gag

In a surefire bid to drive away all two dozen regular readers of this blog, I’ll be indulging in the occasional post about Chicago Cubs baseball over the course of the upcoming season. And with pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training in a matter of hours, this feels like the right time to test the waters.

1) In an otherwise interesting NYT piece assessing the outcome of the Hollywood writers’ strike, reporter David Carr makes this somewhat unfair analogy by way of explaining the major studios’ threat to hire fewer writers going forward: “Perhaps there’s an instructive comparison with another business run by big egos in search of talent, Major League Baseball. Every few years, the baseball owners announce that there’s a new austerity in the air and that they won’t overspend on players. But just before spring training starts, they get nervous and suddenly a pitcher like Ted Lilly — the baseball equivalent of an assistant gag writer on ‘Two and a Half Men’ — gets something like $10 million.

OK, no doubt Lilly is overpaid. But I’ve seen an episode of “Two and a Half Men” (on an airplane), and I insist that Lilly had a much better ’07 season than any writer attached to that awful, awful show. Plus, under the terms of the analogy, doesn’t this make Lilly’s team the baseball equivalent of a Charlie Sheen sitcom? Come on — the Cubs made the playoffs last year! I’d say the more apt analogy would be to call Ted Lilly the lead writer on a few episodes of a middling hourlong drama. The Chicago Cubs are, at worst, “Gossip Girl”: enticing on the surface with more than a bit of pop, but very weak up the middle and perhaps only good due to lack of well-made rivals.

2) My real-life friends have been making pseudonyms for themselves over at my favorite Cub-related blog. Here’s the man some of you will know as my college roommate with a video of a rising Cubs star playing in the Dominican this winter (second video on the page), and the winner of my 2007 fantasy baseball league with some useless stat-head antics.

Now, back to non-sports topics…..

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4 responses to “An Unassisted Gag

  1. The east coast media smugly piles on a midwest team. What a shock. Where’s the next cover profile piece on the Sox or the Yankees, anyway?

    (And yes, I’m still a Sox fan).

  2. I stand by my counter-analogy, which was based on my idea of television quality. Someone pointed out to me last night, however, that “Two and a Half Men” is insanely popular and successful — the paramount sit-com of the day, it seems. Maybe Carr’s analogy was actually intended as high praise!

    Still, I think Jim Belushi has some sort of contractual claim on being the mediocre sit-com star associated with the Cubs, so Charlie Sheen better back off.

  3. In this analogy, the Yankees would have to be Lost –
    huge budget, tons of people with weird back stories and confusing, intersecting lives, and as much as you watch, there’s that eerie feeling you just don’t know what the $@! is going on.

    and the mets are (no, don’t say King of Queens, don’t you dare!) probably more like Friends. Good. Fun. Nice. Safe. But not something your life (or world series plans) revolve around.

  4. Whoever you are, fan of ar, that Lost=Yankees analogy just blew my mind. To keep this going, Jeter is obviously Jack, Giambi is Charlie (drug problem), Jaba is Baby Aaron, Matsui is Jin. And, of course, Steinbrenner is Jacob.

    Well done, mystery commenter.

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