For the 20% of our readers who have Showtime and more specifically, the 5% of you who have Showtime and really like baseball, I have some good news for you.
Showtime will be jumping into a second season of The Franchise and has selected an interesting team to feature this year in the Miami Marlins. Yeah, they're not the Florida Marlins anymore. Feel free to make a post-it note if needed here.
Here at AA, we're pretty fond of any all access documentary type program like 24/7, Hard Knocks, The Journey, Game of Honor, and The Franchise, so we're pleased to see Showtime doubling down on the series and finding a rather interesting team for us to follow.
The Marlins win big here as they're certainly on the upswing with a new manager, new talent, a new logo, and a new stadium. They'll get to essentially make overtures to local fans in hopes of ending the putrid reputation of Miami sports fans that includes not selling out an NFL playoff game, having fans arrive late for Heat games, and some almost completely empty Marlins games as recent as last year.
Showtime certainly will have some interesting storylines and characters to feature, but this will be a bit of a challenge as a good chunk of the ratings from last season came from the local Bay Area media market. Fresh off winning the World Series, the Giants fan-base was not only in a fever pitch for all things Giants, but a lot of casual fans and new fans found themselves drawn into the 2012 quest for a repeat. Miami certainly has a lot of good things going for them but I'd estimate their hardcore fans to be a pretty small fraction of the Giants, hence Showtime is going to have a tough time finding similar success ratings wise.
With that said, here's 5 things to watch for in the newest season of The Franchise...
Will Ozzie Guillen Use More Profanity Than Rex Ryan?
There are dozens of reasons why watching Guillen without the benefit of PR handlers will be great. Seeing how loose lipped he is in regards to profanity leads the pack although I'm curious to see if he takes the liberty of throwing his former employers in Chicago under the bus at some point.
Just How Mentally Unstable Is Carlos Zambrano?
Are we talking some Prozac and therapy sessions or something more comprehensive similar to what Jerry Seinfeld prescribed for George.
"You know you really need some help. A regular psychiatrist couldn't even help you. You need to go to like Vienna or something. You know what I mean? You need to get involved at the University level. Like where Freud studied and have all those people looking at you and checking up on you. That's the kind of help you need. Not the once a week for eighty bucks. No. You need a team. A team of psychiatrists working round the clock thinking about you, having conferences, observing you, like the way they did with the Elephant Man. That's what I'm talking about because that's the only way you're going to get better."
Will The Players Poke Fun At The New Look Of The Marlins' Brand?
The creative direction of both the uniforms and the attractions at the new stadium have taken quite a beating upon being unveiled over the last year. With a lot of outspoken personalities on the team, will anyone chime in about the very unfortunate re-branding in Miami?
The Man Behind The Twitter Account
Logan Morrison has a bright future ahead of him. With nearly 100,000 Twitter followers, Morrison has been a popular figure in social media as he's exhibited a flair for not filtering his thoughts and generally just keeping things real. While an entertaining personality to follow, many wonder if the Marlins' demotion of him back to the minors last season was actually due to his Twitter antics and not his level of play. Certainly, seeing what Morrison is like in real life and how he deals with all the changes going on in Miami in addition to his Twitter usage will be of some interest to social media enthusiasts.
Getting To Know Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez
They may be stars on your fantasy baseball team but for whatever reason, the general public really doesn't know too much about these two stars. Frankly, I feel a lot of Latin baseball players never really get much off-field attention from the media and the marketing powers to be. Here are two bonafide stars in their twenties playing on what should be a very good team. I'm interested to see both as they adjust to having elevated expectations, playing together, and the interest in their team and personal lives.
Will you be watching? What are you looking forward to seeing? Will The Franchise be a long term entity like Hard Knocks or is this just a short lived series?
Looks like we can go back to hating James for completely non political reasons. Here's a refresher course if you need it :) http://www.ramblingbeachcat.com/2011/12/justified-sports-hatred-craig-james.html