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.
We didn't even get three episodes into The Pen and already people are claiming curse. Last week, the Philadelphia Daily News implied the three Phils relievers on the DL could be the result of a curse. I'm not quite sure how going on a reality show could curse a team; maybe reality shows can only be broadcast on television if producers desecrate an Indian burial ground first.
But there's more exciting Phillies bullpen news, and I'll cover this one here since I think there's a 0% chance a show on a network owned by Major League Baseball will: A fan at a Tampa Rays game says J.C. Romero attacked him for making a steroids comment; Romero could face battery charges in St. Petersburg.
It is a minor incident, of course. St. Petersburg police spokesman George Kajtsa: "Remember, this is a simple battery. No weapon was used. There were no injuries to the victim whatsoever, except as he says in the report he was embarrassed because it happened in front of other fans and his family." Perhaps the DA will charge Romero with intentional infliction of embarrassment.
All of this brings us to Episode No. 3 of The Pen, which basically follows the bullpen during the Phillies horrid 1-9 homestand earlier this month, as well as Brad Lidge's rehab assignment in Reading, Pa.
So: Yes, it's another ridiculously boring episode of The Pen. That makes three straight! It's weird: The only people likely to watch this show are Phillies fans and hardcore baseball fans, who probably already know (or at least have a general idea of) how the Phillies are doing this season. Yet the show is full of baseball highlights, which those people would have already seen.
The best parts of the show are the interactions between bullpen members, and the little things you learn about the players. For example, Scott Eyre is apparently an undercover FBI agent, probably going not-so-deep cover on J.C. Romero:
Or maybe it means Full Blooded Italian. I'd suggest it's best to not leave your FBI hat around when you're an undercover agent, but -- as both Eyre and I can attest -- it's hard to concentrate with ADD. I'm always leaving my towel on the bed and getting yelled at by my girlfriend.