Off The Bat, Episodes 14 and 15: Let's Stop This, Please

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Last time, Off the Bat was whatever. This time, Off the Bat is whatever.

#14

David Ortiz is, by title, the executive producer of Off the Bat. I don’t know what that actually means -- thus far, Ortiz’s only tangible contribution to the show has been some sporadic minute-long segments, clearly all recorded during spring training, where he “writes” an open letter to a celebrity using a giant quill. Since the show is filmed in New York and given that Ortiz is quite busy in, you know, Boston, it’s easy to imagine that Papi’s involvement doesn’t go too far beyond that.

This week, though, Ortiz doubled as the in-studio guest, where he laughed his big, booming laugh at every almost-joke within sight. Sway and Chris, with their boss (?) laughing alongside them, tried their best to laugh along, which came off about as awkwardly as you’d expect. Papi highlights new and old were gratuitously shown throughout every segment.

This episode was also the first since Dancing Marlins Kid stormed the Internet. Off the Bat is at the ready to beat this horse well into the afterlife. This is what it does. This:

ChrisMarlinsKid.png

15

Actual exchange that was allowed to make the final cut:

Chris: “Not that I have a vote or anything, but -- wait, do you have a vote for the All-Star game?”

Sway: “Yeah, I voted already.”

Chris: “You serious? This guy gets everything.”

Let’s just pretend, for a moment, that Chris was saying this in jest -- that he actually knew that the All-Star Game voting was open to public vote but then, for this moment, was pretending that he did not know this common and over-advertised bit of information. His reasons for simply feigning ignorance on this subject could include... um, well. Hm.

I have nothing on this, honestly. I do not even know why it was allowed to become one of the show’s semi-sorta not-jokes. It is most likely that Chris simply does not know how the All-Star Game works -- even though he was slated to participate in the Taco Bell Legends and Celebrities Softball Game at All-Star Weekend. This would be surprising, maybe, to those unfamiliar with how Off the Bat works, and how it broadly is. It is not surprising to someone who has watched every episode. It was almost inspiring that everyone seems to know that the All-Star Game is a real thing.

This is different from our heroes being involved with it, though. Which they were: the “celebrities” of our Off the Bat crew mixed it up with no-quote celebrities like Adrian Peterson, January Jones, and Ozzie Smith.

From the mouth of Sway, “The All-Star Game is so close, you can smell the hot dogs.” Put it like that, and the urge is less to go to the ballpark than to battle back a push of barf-bile. This is a very Off the Bat feeling, actually, but it’s maybe more so given how much the TBLaCSG has meant to Off the Bat all along.

For what seems like months now Off the Bat has been building up the hosts’ participation in the Celebrity Game. Usually they have Chris run around and “train” at some elementary school’s field:

ChrisTraining.png

Where Off the Bat can surprise you is that they actually have muscle by virtue of their association with the MLB. Just when you’ve successfully zoned out, the show brings out none other than Joe Buck as a special guest to give Chris some advice on how to succeed. Joe is clearly thrilled to be here:

JoeBuckNotPleased.png

If I had placed an over/under bet on how many episodes of Off the Bat would air before the plug was mercilessly/mercifully pulled, I definitely would have lost by now. My working theory is that MLB and MTV2 had a contractual agreement that the hosts would appear in this shindig on All-Star Weekend, and thus the show most absolutely had to be aired until then, lack of quality, audience, or content be damned. Dovetailing nicely with my theory: even though there were many baseball-hungry fans theoretically itchin’ for a baseball fix during the All-Star break, the show did not air that week, snapping its Ripken-esque broadcast streak.

Meantime, Off the Bat took a review of the first half in baseball. If you think this meant reviewing preseason expectations of divisional races and then looking forward in anticipation of Trade Deadline moves and likely September playoff-seed races, you are a total fool and one that has significantly overestimated this program. In Off the Bat Land, this means that they assembled a minutes-long montage of fans either #winning or #failing while catching foul balls in the stands. (Along with, duh, some replays of Dancing Marlins Kid.)

Alluding to his own (quite hilarious) first pitch, Fat Joe says -- and I really can’t tell if he’s kidding or not -- “Throwing out the first pitch at a ball game is instant legendary status.” I can’t tell if he’s kidding because he said this in full knowledge of the tape that would roll mere seconds later:

TRexFirstPitch.png

 

RoboCopFirstPitch.png

Ah yes: legends, all. Legends of this golden age.

Did you miss Off the Bat on TV because you were busy clipping your toenails or organizing the items in your pantry by color? You can watch highlights of these episodes here and here.

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