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The Franchise, Episode 4: Please Don't Grow Out Your Eyebrows

Carlos Beltran: DIFFERENCE MAKER.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Carlos Beltran: DIFFERENCE MAKER. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
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The episode opens with a clip of Brian Wilson during the All-Star Break, doing a random shot in a hallway somewhere. Carlos Beltran walks behind him, they briefly shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and then move on. Wilson asks the camera "Are we getting him?" If the Giants do get him, he says that they have to use this clip. And they are! Television sure is magical.


The Giants are visiting the White House! Zzzzzzzzz…  Of course, President Obama has to use Bochy’s "We’re misfits and castoffs!" line from last year. Of the President, Brian Wilson says "You know, he closes deals, and so do I. I think we’re one and the same, I’m just saying." I hate you, Brian Wilson. So much.

Emmanuel Burriss, Giants infielder, is getting his moment in the sun during this episode. Burriss grew up in ASIDFAI DC, and takes the camera back with him during a road trip. He talks about the difficulty of playing baseball in the inner city, and also talks about his closest childhood friend, a teammate on a local team named Deloren. Deloren died when they were both in college, in a drive by shooting. I’m starting to think that they want me to cry in every episode. 

Oh, Lord, now they’re featuring the Giants series with the Phillies just a few weeks ago in Philly. Let’s watch clips of the 2010 NLCS! Watching that makes me want to poke my eyes out with a spork.

Cody Ross knows that he’s an unwelcome visitor in Philadelphia. He expects the boos, but he thinks some of it is "a bit much." He particularly doesn’t like the "I Hate Cody Ross" facebook page. Awh, is someone hurt? He calls it "the ultimate respect" but it’s obvious that he wouldn’t have brought it up if it didn’t bother him. I just want them to show more footage of the Phanatic pretending to strangle Cody Ross.

Aubrey Huff still thinks he can smell the champagne on the floor of the visitor’s clubhouse. It smells like his apartment in college. I think he’s imagining things, because I have no doubt that room has been scrubbed from top to bottom. Shut up, Aubrey Huff.

The "highly scrutinized" Barry Zito is the game one spot starter for Tim Lincecum, who is ill. The first thing they show of Zito (who I most certainly DO NOT think is cute and NEVER, EVER HAVE, so SHUT UP) is Raul Ibanez’s three-run home run in the first inning. Hi, RAUUUUUULLL! After his start at the Phillies, Zito’s ERA in his last two starts are 11.81, which is very, very bad. 

They take a break from the Philly series to discuss Beltran. He’s really the only player they’re looking at. A radio broadcaster wonders if it’s worth it to give up a prospect like Zack Wheeler for a three-month rental. Aaron Rowand puts in his two cents about trades in general: "Unless it’s going to be a blockbuster type move, I don’t see too many things being changed on this team." I’m assuming he thinks everything is A-OK the way it is. Aaron Rowand, everybody!

The bullpen, though, needs no upgrades. According to the narrator, "it’s among the league leaders in saves, ERA, and laughs." Yes, the Giants bullpen leads the league in laughs! Excuse me, I’ll be over here, sliding hot bamboo under my fingernails. Bullpen guys Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez apparently "epitomize the quirky brotherhood found in the Giants’ ‘pen." I’m using quotes because otherwise, I don’t think you’d believe anyone was actually saying these words. Affeldt and Lopez say that bullpen dudes have their own personalities. That is so unlike most baseball players! They also made Sergio Romo, the youngest member of the bullpen, carry a bright pink kids backpack. "We want everybody to see that he’s carrying it…it’s like a bullseye on your back. It says ‘look, I’m the youngest guy here’ and you need to know your place." They make Romo carry candy and gum for the other members of the bullpen, which he does not mind doing. I’m intriguezzzzzzzzzz…

And we’re back at the Phillies series. Apparently, the intensity of the series matches the intrigue off the field. "Tradewinds continue to swirl." Gag. Brian Wilson thinks that Beltran would "instantly become our greatest player." Will you excuse me for just one moment?


Sorry, I’m back. And just in time to see Aaron Rowand doing some damage against the Phillies, knocking in Rowand against Cole Hamels. They follow that up with Cain and Whiteside colliding to catch a pop up, and it falls to the ground. Bochy wants the team to "get our heads out of our asses." I think that’s a more complicated request than he realizes. 

Javier Lopez, a lefty specialist, is called upon to face just one batter – Chase Utley. We only see him from the back, but that’s ok. That’s more than ok. Since Lopez is most of the time only facing one batter, he "lives and dies with that at bat." Lopez gets Chase to fly out. I do my best to care.

Back in San Francisco, Brian Sabean is putting the finishing touches on "one of the biggest trades in franchise history." They show members of the Giants’ clubhouse team putting Beltran labels on things, and getting his new jerseys ready. SLAM CUT back to Philadelphia, bottom of the ninth of a 2-1 game. Brian Wilson is pitching, and he’s facing Ryan Howard. Howard flies out. Victorino grounds out to second. Raul also grounds out to second, and the game is over.

In time for the next game, new acquisition Carlos Beltran is riding to Citizens Bank Park. Beltran is happy with the decision, and he thinks it worked out well for the Mets. He’s also excited to have a chance to get to the playoffs once again. Beltran isn’t reading excited, though. He looks more constipated. "We really thought he was the best player available to meet our needs." A ringing endorsement from Brian Sabean!

The guy behind the camera asks Beltran if he wants to touch Brian Wilson’s beard. Beltran laughs, but in that "please don’t ever ask me that question ever again" kind of way. "You’re with the misfits now" camera guy says. "Yeah, I gotta come up with something." Beltran responds.  He indicates that he may let his eyebrows grow out. I think I may need to vomit. 

"Yeah, we’re a defending World Championship team, we’re in first place – without him.  With him, who knows what could happen." Well, let’s see. Before Beltran, the Giants were in first place in the NL West, four games ahead of the Diamondbacks. Since the acquisition of Carlos Beltran, the Giants have played 10 games and lost eight of them. They are now just a half a game ahead of the Diamondbacks in the standings. Results! 

Beltran is being welcomed by his new teammates in CBP’s visitor’s clubhouse. Beltran is wearing a cartoonishly large watch, and I’m not sure OH GOD BRIAN WILSON IS NOT WEARING A SHIRT. PLEASE PUT A SHIRT ON. MY EYES, OH GOD MY EYES.

When Beltran is introduced during his first game as a Giant, it is, of course, in Philadelphia. He’s booed, and loudly. SHOCKING. During his first at-bat, he grounds out. He goes 0-4 in his first game. 

Next time on The Franchise: The Giants trade for Orlando Cabrera (HAHA) and Beltran sucks, but I don’t care! I’m not doing this anymore!