Philles Bullpen: Real World or Survivor? You Decide.

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Unbeknownst to one another, Kris and I both wrote about the MLB Network's upcoming Phillies bullpen reality series last night. He chose to associate it with a nouveau Real World featuring pro ballplayers while I thought to re-imagine it as a different Survivor. Both of us have terrible taste in TV. Which one is terribler?


Ever wanted to get inside a major league bullpen? Mom, put your hand down. Anyone else? Hmm... well anyone ever want a deeper understanding the dynamics of a close knit group of pro athletes with divergent personalities? Well, whatever. You're getting it anyway. It may sound kind of lousy at first but the MLB Network is about to take their first stab at original programming with "The Pen," a reality show chronicling the day to day operations of the Phillies bullpen. But you know what, the MLB network has been pretty awesome so far so I'm gonna choose to get excited. The details from

MLB Productions has been in Phillies camp the past week shooting footage for the debut episode of "The Pen," an inside look at the Phillies' bullpen, which is scheduled to debut June 1 on MLB Network. It will be MLB Network's first original programming.

MLB Productions chose the Phils' bullpen for a couple of reasons: First, it had tremendous success in 2008. And second, it has diverse personalities.

Who's gonna catch Ryan Madson with his fingers in the peanut butter jar? Who's gonna get wasted and call Chan Ho Park a no good Chinaman? Who's gonna be the first guy to implode and bring what was an absolutely stellar 2008 Phillies relief corps tumbling back to earth? The suspense is endless. I heard that show about football teams on HBO was pretty good. I never saw it but I imagine these things lend themselves to high drama. I mean sports are the original reality TV and that's why we love em. I can see "Pen Parties" popping up all over America like when my roommate Sara used to have friends over to watch The Bachelor. But instead of Prosecco and loathing there'll be dudes eating Cakies and drinking Steel Reserve.

For the record my all time favorite Real World character was Dominic.


Hey, Phillies bullpen! You just completed a fantastic season full of solid lead-protecting and unmatched save-getting, helping your team compile an 87-0 record when leading after eight innings and culminating in a World F'in Championship. The good people at the MLB Network would like to reward your good work with the channel's first ever bit of original programming: a reality series, set to debut in June:

Six weekly episodes are scheduled to run through the All-Star break. The series is expected to show how a bullpen works, as well as how individual pitchers work together and rely upon each other throughout the course of the season. The show also will visit with the pitchers off the field to give viewers a sense of their personalities and interests.

Well that sounds like a nice setup for a completely boring tee-vee show but it's probably just a red herring. I fully expect this reality series to take a turn for the visceral, as manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee will split the bullpen candidates into two teams, and start forcing them to compete in reward challenges and immunity challenges. Each week, the losing team will go to Bullpen Council and vote out one pitcher who will be sent to Triple-A Allentown.

The two teams will be the Homegrowns and the Imports, with the Homegrowns made up of J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick, Ryan Madson and Mike Zagurski while the Imports will consist of Brad Lidge, Chad Durbin, Chan Ho Park, and J.C. Romero. In the first episode, the Imports will prevail when Kyle Kendrick cannot devour a live jellyfish in a wacky eating challenge. Chan Ho Park downs it in 4 seconds flat and the Homegrowns, behind a strong Happ/Madson alliance, are forced to vote out Zagurski.

MLB Productions originally wanted to make this a baseball version of the MTV show The Hills but Kyle Kendrick was completely incapable of memorizing his script.

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So this would be like Baseball and the human condition if Lidge was actually a human and not some perfect superhero, Closerman or whatever Joe Buck called him.

Who's the gay guy in the Phils' pen? The Real World always had a gay guy on it.

Kyle Kendrick got sent to exile island

If it's a show about the Phillies' relievers, why is there a photo of the visitors' bullpen here? [/pedant]

Seriously, though, I think this show is going to be great, and I'm sure it's eating up Brett Myers, that big ham, that he's not the closer anymore and therefore cannot be on the show.

As we supposed to be shocked with Chan Ho Park comes out to everyone as an Asian?

As if we couldn't tell already.

What's the over/under on number of Ed Hardy type shirts we see each episode? 5?

I'm thinking more Rock of Love Bus.

I'm totally calling J.A. Happ as the phils "non-gay Chet"

Also, last time I checked the phils didn't have a needlessly hot vapid girl in their bullpen so this show is going to flop harder then Thats Amore

Personally, I'm waiting for the MLB Network's knock-off of Mythbusters where they just blow up a big ol' plastic trash can full of baseball bats and call something "busted".

Oh yeah, I've seen that episode. I'm waiting for the rip-off of it to show up on MLB Network starring Milton Bradley and Adam Dunn.

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