The first two episodes of White Sox reality show "The Club" are sitting patiently on my DVR. The trailer for this show promised Ozzie pledging to kill himself for his employer, Kenny Williams acting like Patrick Bateman, and a lot of very serious poses of the two of them with Jerry Reinsdorf, embracing each other and staring intensely into the camera, as if to say "Yyyyyeaaahh......baseball is SERIOUS."
Aaaahhh! Jump-cuts! Do I need to drink some Amp before I watch this?
The crazy quotes from Ozzie come fast and furious:
"I love Jerry Reinsdorf more than I love my dad"
"If you want to say something about your teammates, say it to his F@#$%&^ face"
That's actually a pretty good policy, just worded harshly, and it seems more sudden if it's thrown into a barrage of jump-cuts.
I really can't quantify how much all the shots of Williams, Guillen, and Reinsdorf posing together staring stoically at the camera makes this show seem friggin ridiculous. So does the overwrought narration from Michael Clarke Duncan. The two of them together......it's like OD'ing on cough syrup.
Who the hell is Kenny cutting off the team in the opening sequence? And why is it not Scott Linebrink? The show covers the fact that Kenny Williams used to play for the White Sox; they cover up the fact that he was pretty mediocre, (.608 career OPS).
How many cuts to the group super-serious shot in the first ten minutes? I'd say 27.
The discussion of the decision of whether to keep Jim Thome is displayed
as if it were a decision of roster space; between Thome an extra relievers. Beyond the thought that that means Thome was penciled below
Jayson Nix, Andruw Jones, and Mark Kotsay, it means that Thome was
bypassed in favor of Randy Williams.....good lord...that's scary.
When the White Sox players get lectured by three different guys about
commitment to winning, honesty, focus, etc., is it as boring for them as
employee orientation meetings were for me?
It's really pretty dull to sit though forced drama about the team being
worried about Ozzie's twitter account, knowing that he rarely tweets
anything besides what his youngest son ordered for dinner at Benihana,
or things in Spanish, or things in gibberish.
There's just something about Michael Clarke Duncan saying "Mark Kotsay"
in a booming bass voice that gives me a severe case of the giggles.
The first really revealing quote from Reinsdorf, "I like to get guys who were good, had bad years, and now have something to prove." Uhh...yeah, that can work, but a lot of the times guys who have bad years have moved past their primes, and aren't any good anymore...as in never again. So as many times as you catch some guy having a rejuvenation years, you probably will find about two Andruw Joneses.
Apparently during casual conversations with his son in his house, Kenny Williams puffs from a cigar and drinks from a red solo cup. I always wondered what it would be like if Archie Bunker was black and ran the Chicago White Sox.
This discussion of determining two roster spots between Randy Williams, Daniel Hudson, and Sergio Santos is like watching a slow-moving car accident. Not that they should have turned Hudson into a reliever, but any situation that ends in Randy Williams being chosen is heart-breaking. As they reeled off facts from Williams; that's he's 34, hasn't pitched in the big leagues in 4 years before last season, bounced around to four different teams, I feel like a 'RED FLAG' graphic should appear in the corner of the screen.
I like the setup of the room where the brass tells the players if they made the team or not. Ozzie behind the desk sipping on a vodka-like substance, Kenny sitting in a chair across from the player, and Don Cooper on the couch to touch the players on the small of their backs as they weep.
Man! I thought that Sergio Santos was messed with when they told him he was on the team, Kenny goes so far as to flat-out lie to Randy Williams and tell him he's not going to make it, then tells him he's been punked, and that he's made the team. Unfortunately, being a 34 year-old journeyman who has never made a team out of spring training, Randy is far too beaten down to punch Kenny in the face. For shame, we could have really had a TV moment right there.
Steve Stone comments that Opening Day is the most exciting day of the season; I would rank clinching the division, first game of the playoffs, etc., as more exciting. By a lot.
Why the hell does Ozzie wear those reading glasses. He looks like a hairy Lisa Loeb.
Is it bad that when Ozzie's son anti-White Sox tweets were shown, where he comments that 9 of the players on the team last season aren't on big leagues rosters now, that my reaction was "Oh crap, really?!?! That's not a great sign!" I'm sure my blogger reaction should have been "Every team carries a number of fringe guys who are rotating in and out of the major league, and that kinda of turnover really isn't indicative of the quality of the White Sox core roster."
Wait....how long has it been since Michael Clarke Duncan was in a movie?!?!? Is this his first job in a year? This is all suddenly became a lot more lame.
Guh, this recap of the early season struggles is just needlessly depressing. It's too late on a Sunday night to fix a drink, isn't it? Ozzie says something confusing about showering with the players. Bradley Whitford once said that showering together is what it means to be an ensemble....so there's that.
What can I say about that first episode of The Club? It was initially amazing in its noveltly, then I slowly got bored as it ran out of interesting things to show me, and recapped a season that I already know like the back of my hand. What's on for the next episode??!!
Yay! We're recapping the first episode! Great! Oohh...I'm getting testy, maybe I need a cookie.
Arrgghhh!!!! I'm out of cookies! This is not going to be a good episode
We open the show with the team last in the league in batting average, 28th in ERA for the starters, and a hilarious montage of Ozzie cursing in different ways. Kenny's shock and horror at the prospect of entering into a fire sale is almost adorable in its exaggeration. I don't think he'd have a much different face if he came home and found a bear chasing his children through the house.
"If you're hearing your name out there [referring to Jenks and Pierzynski] it's because other teams are asking about you, we're not putting your name out there. I mean, we're the Chicago White Sox!" As excited as I was that Kenny actually said this, I am sad that he stopped short of adding, "WE NEVER REBUILD!"
Personally, I'm glad that the White Sox Director of Amatuer Scouting looks like a guy who's spent a lot of days baking in the sun in a Hawaiian shirt and sipping on an umbrella drink. It seems old school. Hmm, what a long segment of the White Sox brass discussing players that they completely threw out the window once Chris Sale fell to them.
Kenny apparently legitimately wanted to draft a player who was both a pitcher and a positional player, with the intention that he would be a major-league quality contributor at both. This seems dubious. As the Director of Amateur Scouting shares "Kenny would rather take a guy who has the potential to be a star than someone who could be seen as a safe pick." Ahh, I see, so that's how Josh Fields and Joe Borchard happen. We swing for the fences, and in turn, get players who swing for the fences.
'09 1st-round draft pick Jared Mitchell is at the draft in a suit....because he's not doing anything else!!!
Director of Amateur Scouting is wearing a short-sleeve dress shirt for the draft. Function over form wins today.
Kenny Williams calls Chris Sale to welcome him to the White Sox organization, Chris Sale's initial reaction is to giggle. I'm writing off the next 10 years of White Sox baseball.
Apparently whenever the White Sox are losing, Kenny Williams watches from the gym inside U.S. Cellular and works out like a madman. At least that means that whenever the White Sox truly bottom out, Kenny will finally be able to pry Prince Fielder from the Brewers when he physically overpowers the entire Milwaukee front office.
A fun sequence of scene switching. During the first game at Wrigley Field, Kenny eats at his restaurant far away from the game and discusses managing stress by staying a little detached, as the shot repeatedly cuts back to Ozzie flipping out in the dugout, often muttering gibberish to himself with a towel over his head. Yeah, I can see these guys fighting.
The show managed to completely gloss over the allegations of a physical confrontation between Guillen and Williams despite being a show about Guillen and Williams. Nor is there really much exploration of relationships with the players, nor is the question "Does Kenny Williams follow the press and think Phil Rogers is crazy too?" Ideally the show will get more entertaining as the season wears on, more topics get explored, and the team turns it around, but I'm pretty sure this wouldn't be that entertaining if I wasn't a White Sox fan.
But I am. Whoo! Can't wait till next week!