Before I get into the subject of this post – I wanted to note that I haven’t been able to post on many blogs lately. Apparently, there’s some issue with open ID verifying WordPress users where it says you typed the word verification wrong no matter what. So, I’ve been reading blogs, but mostly unable to comment. Kind of sucks.
That said, there’s 2 new shows that have caught my eye. One is Baseball IQ on MLB Network. The other is Discovery Channel’s “All-Star Dealers”.
I’d like to point out how awesome the MLB Network is. When it started up 3 years ago, no one was as excited as me, and shows like this never disappoint! The show pits one employee from each team (plus a Hall of Fame employee and an MLB network participant) in head-to-head matchups in a tournament that will air over 31 shows. The contestants are playing for charities; the winner of each of the first round matchups wins $5,000 for his team’s charitable foundation. The players pick from one of 8 categories – the trivia questions are always questions where you can name multiple (between 8 and 20) players. It’s like hot potato – whoever gets stuck on their turn without an answer loses and the other player gets 1-4 runs for the inning, depending on how far they got. That’s the first 8 innings.
In the 9th inning, the player who is ahead can either bid himself or defer to the other player. They bid on the question, and basically the winner of the whole round is determined by whether or not the player who bids the most can reach his number. I don’t really like this format – because you could be winning 13-1 after and there is only a slight advantage.
The show started last Tuesday and is airing two shows a night Tuesday through Thursday. I’m kind of behind (on both shows actually), so I’ve been DVR-ing it. (DVR – something even better than MLB Network) Tonight I watched the second show from last Thursday, which was the 6th show overall. Here’s my scientific recap of the more interesting categories with me playing along.
This matchup featured the Brewers vs. the Nationals. The opening question was who was the most recent pitcher to reach his 300th win – and I would have beat these guys to the punch knowing it’s the Big Unit!
Category #1 – Closing Time. Name the other 8 pitchers other than K-Rod to have posted 50+ saves in a season. I knew Thigpen, Eckersley, Myers, Gagne, Rivera and would have correctly guessed Trevor Hoffman. They actually outdid me here – they got John Smoltz but the Brewer guy missed Rod Beck.
Category #3 – Oakland Aces. Name the 8 Oakland 20-game winners since Vida Blue. I’d go (in order of how sure) Dave Stewart, Bob Welch, Barry Zito, Catfish Hunter, Mark Mulder and then I’m just guessing between Rich Harden, Dan Haren and Tim Hudson as “maybes”. Hudson would have been right. They got Steward, Mulder and Zito but not Welch or Catfish.
Category #4 – Tom’s Terrific Teammates. Name the 8 Tom Seaver teammates in the HOF. This one was a bit of a softball for me – from the seasonal summaries I’ve been doing, I knew quite a few of these. First, Nolan Ryan from the Mets days is the easiest. Then, you’ve got to know Willie Mays finished his career there. After that, with the Reds he had Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan (but Perez was gone before he got to Cincy). Carlton Fisk caught his 300th win in Chicago, and finally he pitched for Boston, so that would have to include Jim Rice. They got 4 – missing Rice and Bench. The other 2 were Wade Boggs (which I should have had) and Steve Cartlon (tough).
Category #7 – Tapping the Rockies. Other than Dante Bichette, name the other 10 Rockies with 30+ HR in a season. I went with Helton, Larry Walker, the Big Cat, Tulo, Castilla, Ellis Burks and Car Go. My bigger miss here was Matt Holliday, and I also neglected Preston Wilson and Jeromy Burnitz. They missed them and Castilla.
The guy from the Nationals had a 10-1 lead going into the 9th, and it could have been worse, but he narrowly missed a big inning that would have made it end 14-1. But, there’s still hope; the 9th inning category was game 7 World Series losers in the last 50 years (since 1961).
I knew for sure of the ’68 Cardinals, the ’75 Red Sox, the ’85 and ’87 Cardinals, the ’86 Red Sox, the ’91 Braves, the ’97 Tribe, the ’01 Yankees, the ’02 Giants, and the ’11 Rangers. The ’73 Mets, ’62 Giants and ’79 Orioles were guesses I’d have made. Others were the ’65 Twins, the ’67 Sox, the ’71 Orioles, and the ’72 Reds. The Brewers guy didn’t make 9 correct answers, but he certainly had a decent shot, so the guy from DC moved on.
Again – this is a great show, I just don’t love the way they do the ending.
This is a show about a guy who used to be a bookie then went into the sports memorabilia business as an auction house – Grey Flannel. He’s got his 2 kids involved as well. They do it in the style of lots of other reality shows – the cameras follow them around, then they head back to an “interview setting” where one of the 3 family members discusses what they’re doing – “We can’t afford to lose another jersey”, “we need to get him to agree to consign this with us”.
They start off with a shipment of stuff they got in, which included a Ronnie Lott 49ers jersey and a Marino jersey. They get a call from Dennis Rodman’s agent about a warehouse in California with a bunch of his memorabilia he’s thinking about selling. The guy goes out there and then meets with Rodman to discuss some of the items. The big thing he’s searching for, though – the infamous wedding dress – isn’t there. But he does sell Rodman’s defensive Player of the Year award, which is his big seller.
Meanwhile, the Lott jersey fails inspection with an expert as it’s from a year Lott was with the Raiders and it was clearly altered. The Marino jersey does pass game-used inspection, and the autograph on there passed James Spence’s authentication look at it.
The thing I’d heard about the show was that the guys do seem overly hell-bent on how much money they can get for the items. I guess this puts the sports memorabilia in a somewhat negative light, but, to be honest, these guys don’t seem as bad as some of the shade-balls I’ve seen at autograph shows. Overall, it’s a somewhat interesting show.