The second episode of The Franchise (which is blessedly only 30 minutes, unlike the 60 minute premiere) takes us to All-Star Game, and the star that the show would like us to focus on is Brian Wilson, and also sort of Ryan Vogelsong. Oh wait, there’s Roy and Cliff standing with Vogelsong!
There is no question that Brain Wilson loves the spotlight. He revels in it. Wilson himself says that he wants to have fun with his career, and to be honest, I admire him for that. If he can play well and have a good time, then Godspeed. I just wish he wasn’t such an annoying ass about it. I also wish he wasn’t everywhere – the man is overexposed, and as we careen toward the playoffs, it’s only going to get worse. Lincecum was his roommate in AAA, and he says that the Brian Wilson we all see is the real deal. After games, he would play his guitar in his "man thong." At the same exact time he says this, they show footage on the screen on Wilson with his dog, and The Machine shows up in the background. Excuse me, I think I need to vomit.
I could use some feel good Vogelsong action, that’s for sure. They show him talking to Cliff Lee before the All-Star Game, but they take Cliff away as soon as they give him to me. Though it’s to interview Nicole Vogelsong, who is delightful, and the VogelChild is too adorable for words.
Barry Zito is not in Arizona during the ASG. He’s in the kitchen making eggs (seriously, they show that). While he’s at the stove, Zito admits that he thinks about opening his own restaurant and being the chef. It’s like he knows already that he may not be long for the world of baseball. Incidentally, Zito also supplied original music for the entire series, and played guitar on Nick Swisher’s album of kids’ songs. Yes, you read that correctly. Look it up. Or, you know what? Don’t. For the good of your ears.
Pablo Sandoval made it to the All-Star Game, and they don’t really focus on the fact that his manager, Bruce Bochy, chose him to fill a last minute roster spot. I can’t complain, because it’s something that Charlie Manuel did with Ryan Howard last year. I will say this: Sandoval was on a hot streak coming into the ASG. Sandoval is also extremely entertaining. When he’s on screen, he’s either mashing a baseball or laughing very loudly. (I may be confusing entertainment with loudness.)
Bruce Bochy’s extremely boring and uninspiring pre-ASG locker room speech ("Go get ‘em") is a great opportunity to show current Phillies! There’s Cliff and Cole, sitting together and looking bored. And look, it’s future Phillie Hunter Pence, looking bright eyed and bushy tailed, his head perked up like a squirrel who just remembered where he buried an acorn.
The VogelWife cries when her husband is introduced at the ASG, and even I can’t help but tear up. I have a lot of complaints about this series, but the Vogelsong storyline isn’t among them. Then they launch into a heartbreaking story about their horrible 2010, during which Vogelsong was released (by the Phillies) and Nicole’s father had a massive heart attack and passed away. Oh, God, they’re playing old voicemails that her dad left them while they were in Japan. Stay…strong…must…not…cry…
Just when I don’t think I can take it anymore, they finally get to the actual playing of the ASG. You know what that means: ROY HALLADAY! There’s Roy walking to the mound! There’s Roy pitching! There’s Roy being praised by Bruce Bochy!
Unfortunately, this is not a show about the Phillies. (Though if they do one, you better believe I’ll write about it.) This show is about the Giants, and the player they want to focus on to close out the episode is Brian Wilson. After he pitched in the ASG, they show him at the ESPYs. At the ESPYs, he wore a black and white spandex "tuxedo", an orange bowtie, bright red socks, black and silver sneakers, sunglasses, and he carried a cane with a cougar handle. Regarding the cane: "I feel awkward not holding it. I just, like, then I’m a mime. With the cane I’m somewhat like Mr. Peanut with a beard. But not a cartoon…ish character that’s a salty and flavorful snack at bars." He is trying so, so hard. He looks like an idiot, which I’m sure was the intention. Now everyone is talking to him about his weird spandex mime costume!
But of course, Wilson has a sense of humor about himself. I’m guessing he likes Seth Myers making jokes about him at the ESPYs, especially since Myers ends his series of one-liners with "By the way, you’re my favorite baseball player for the rest of my life, you know that, right?" The show, through narrator Andre Braugher, at least recognizes that Wilson runs the risk of becoming overexposed. Though it seems to ignore the fact that he is already overexposed, and their television program is, in fact, ADDING TO THE DIN. Good Lord.
Next time on PLEASE DON’T STOP PAYING ATTENTION TO US: Aubrey Huff gets his moment in the sun, and also gets his credit card stolen (OR DOES HE?!). The Giants talk about how much they enjoy torturing their fans. Freddy Sanchez falls down. 100% less Phillies. Wait! Don’t go!