Three episodes into The Franchise, shit is already getting all kinds of depressing. After two episodes of ups and downs and HEY LOOK AT OUR NEW STADIUM! wackiness, the Marlins are in a tail spin, out of the playoff hunt, reverting to a closer by committee to cover up Heath Bell's dookie-filled-pants struggles, trading away players willy-nilly, and just not a fun team to root for.
And we're all re-living it with this show. Even the sultry sweet sounds of Jon Hamm's narration isn't enough to spare us the pain of the clustercrap that has become our ballclub. Still, it remains compelling television! Here's your recap:
This week's episode seemed to want to focus on family. But the Marlins top-to-bottom ineptitude hijacked that idea. So episode three was a jumbled mess of heart warming intimate family moments, and players being traded away and being sent down to the minors. Good times.
The good news, however, is that Episode 3 featured a lot more Ozzie than last week. And that's always the tits. The crazy began with Ozzie yelling at Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper and calling him a piece of shit ("Ju piece o chit!") for showing the manager up after he had complained about pine tar on the player's bat. Next up, we saw David Samson notifying Ozzie that he was going on vacation and that the manager would have to handle things without him for a while. "I been handle chit without chu for forty years!" Ozzie responds.
As the Marlins headed to play the Cubs, the episode focused on Guillen's time with the White Sox as a player, and World Series winning manager. We also got a glimpse into his family life, with shots of Ozzie cooking a barbeque for his family in their Chicago residence. There was a nice interview with Ozzie and Ibis, his wife of thirty years. There was also a part where he said to her, "Ju are my beetch!" It was a lot more endearing than it reads.
The episode also focused on the bromance of relief pitchers Ryan Webb and Edwin Mujica, showing them riding a rickshaw bike on South Beach and pretending to be on a blind date (no, really!). However, with Mujica returning to the bullpen from a toe injury, the Marlins are forced to send Webb down to the minors. As it has been with every episode thus far, the most compelling moments of The Franchise has been during player-manager meetings, particularly when things are grim. We see Webb clenching his jaw, shaking his head, and staring blankly as he's told that he has the best stuff among the relievers but that he "has to execute his pitches." The access into this world is fascinating and painful at the same time, watching a man have his career take a downturn in such dramatic fashion. It's raw, and honest. And the fact that Webb -- who is engaged to be married -- lost his job to his best bud -- who is a new father -- is riveting stuff.
Things wound down with inside access to the world of baseball GMs making deals. In this case, we saw Larry Beinfest getting permission from Jeffery Loria to trade away top flight pitcher Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante to the Tigers for prospects. We then heard ex-Marlins GM Dave Dombrowski on speakerphone finalizing the deal with Beinfest. This was fantasy baseball porn.
When Infante is told by Beinfest that he's been traded to the Tigers, Omar blurts out, "Thank you!" (wouldn't you?)
Ozzie responded with a playful, "Fock ju!"
Infante and Sanchez seem genuinely happy to be getting the hell out of Dodge and joining a first place ball club with realistic World Series ambitions.
As for the Marlins, they return from a road stretch that saw them finish 1-6, as Larry and Mike and the other Schmoes dismantle the team.
By the time The Franchise rolls out its final episode of the season, all that we'll have left is Ozzie yelling at a bunch of Triple-A ballplayers to "stick their dicks in deh dirt."
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It's gonna be great! *Heath Bell huffy breathless fist pump*
NEXT WEEK: We get to re-live Hanley being traded to the Dodgers.
The Franchise airs every Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Showtime