Cinema Varitek: The Pen, Episode 4

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The.Pen.Logo.jpg Each week (or not), Dan McQuade reviews a baseball movie. He's also reviewing MLB Network's six-episode reality show The Pen, featuring the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen, airing Sundays at 8 p.m. on MLB Network. Previous installments: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3.

Hey, The Pen is back! After a break last week to show Bob Costas' interview with Cal Ripken Jr. (the only MLB Network programming less exciting than The Pen), the Phillies' bullpen gets its time in the spotlight again. And what do we get?

Hot hot Brad Lidge texting action!


Okay, maybe that's not so exciting. We also get a shot of Chase Utley doing his best Richard Nixon impression, which is a little more exciting.


Surprised at this development? Don't be. Utley has been a Nixon fan for years, as seen in this photo.


Anyway, episode four of The Pen has come and gone, and there were a few notable events in this week's episode. For example, Brad Lidge went to Florida to pitch against the Tampa Yankees in a rehab start. As you can see, the Clearwater Threshers' uniforms are much better than the Reading Phillies.


And, as you can also see, the Tampa Yankees draw crowds slightly bigger than the Washington Nationals.


I can't wait to see Pedro Martinez pitching down there next week. Maybe some fans will show up!

Hmm, what else happened? Clay Condrey went on the DL and walked around Tropicana Field to stay loose. We also learned more about Sergio Escalona, whose nickname is I-76 because of all the trips he's made to Lehigh Valley and back this season. (I would have gone with the nickname "Northeast Extension," for a more correct version, but I-76 will do.) We also got a look at MLB's hilarious warnings on the locker rooms.


We also got one of the funnier moments in the series, as J.C. Romero showed off his clothing line. These are pajamas, I think.


Later, he made fun of Brad Lidge for wearing a mismatched shoes and belt.


Romero seems like a pretty funny guy based on this show, actually.

As you might have guessed by the blizzard of screenshots with little to no exposition, I'm pretty lazy. But -- and this is just as key -- nothing really happened on The Pen this week. Just like every other week, I guess.

Oh, wait! This week Jack Taschner was designated for assignment, leading to what I can only assume is the largest crowd of reporters to ever stand around him and ask questions.


But it wasn't all good news. The Pen also finally resorted to the lame tactic of showing -- what else? -- the two tourist cheesesteak places in East Passyunk/Bella Vista. Yes, that's right, we get our first (I think) sighting of Pat's and Geno's.


And that's really about it. Really, this post was all downhill past the Utley/Nixon Photoshop. But I'll leave you with this bonus screenshot:


One day, we can all dream of living in Cargo City.

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I thought Milwaukee was Cargo City? Everybody there is carrying an extra 20 pounds. HIYOOOOOOOOO

♫ Take me down to the cargo city
Where the grass is in boxes
And the girls are boxy ♫

And meet me tonight in Cargo City...

Newark is totally Cargo City

No, Newark is CarJACK City.

I'm goin' to Cargo City
Cargo City, here I come...

20 pounds???? Obviously you have never actually been to Milwaukee

I've only driven through. Perhaps I couldn't get an accurate estimate of the people hiding behind Bob's Big Boys.

They weren't hiding. They were standing in front of the restaurant.

Also, poor Jack Taschner. The only time people gather around his locker, he either gets sent down or wishes he did.

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