What/Why Is MTV2's "Off The Bat"?

Share |

Pencils down, Roger Angell. Why don’t you keep that anecdote to yourself, Mr. Scully. As a bona fide member of the vaunted 18-35/W/M demographic, I am here to put you on notice: as old people, your time whimsically recalling the 1954 World Series from a prime spot in baseball’s precious spotlight is officially over. There is a new mayor in Baseball Town, and he is loud and possibly drunk and has some dubious tattoos. His name is Off the Bat, and he airs on Tuesdays at 11pm on MTV2. Good luck staying up for that, gramps.    

If you have watched even a sliver of the first week of this new baseball season, you have been exposed to a deluge of calculatedly in-your-face commercials for Off the Bat. The ads are full of noise and quick clips of:

  • Bryce Harper, simultaneously wearing a beanie and sports jacket

  • A windshield getting shattered

  • A young woman smiling seductively at the camera in front of a blank white backdrop.

Doesn’t look much like baseball to you, old man? Too bad! This is baseball for Generation Now, or more precisely an attempt so desperate to inject baseball into the hive mind of ADD-afflicted Mall Teens that one can almost imagine the dire meeting of MLB executives, intoning the generational splits of the Nielsen statistics as if reading a eulogy. Something must be done. And so Bryce Harper pulls on that beanie.

***

If baseball wanted to appeal to young people -- and, for the record, feel free to count me among the many young people who are already totally entranced by baseball’s languid rhythms -- it would of course be best served by being something other than baseball. Baseball is going to teach you about failure and cosmic futility for three-plus hours a day, 162 days a year. This is a totally unalterable fact of the game. There are no lessons in baseball that are not learned the hard way. This is not necessarily congruent with a generational tendency towards instant gratification.

If you already care about the game, these reasons are exactly why you care about the game. And if you don’t already care, well, now you have Off the Bat, which is going to try its darndest to convert you, or convince you that baseball is something other than what it is. It will do this with the screaming help of as many totally hyped teenage audience members as possible.

Staged next to the MLB Fan Cave in New York City, Off the Bat is perfectly positioned to poach the young superstars visiting either the Yankees or the Mets on a given road trip; the idea is to plug them into the raucous in-studio segments that are the meat of the show. Your comparatively aged Adam Dunns and comparatively introspective Joey Vottos need not apply: only baseball’s hotly trending under-25s will be invited.

Off the Bat’s inaugural guest was the oft-misinterpreted Bryce Harper, who looked mostly muscle-bound and uncomfortable in his beanie, sports jacket, and tight flannel while presiding over a trio of Harper-maniacs who got chunks of their hair buzzed off if they incorrectly answered a piece of Harper trivia. The first question Harper fielded was his soon-to-be-released Gatorade commercial, an exchange that sent my mind scrambling as I tried to wade through this sudden immersion in the bottomless Escherian infinity pool of promotion and cross-promotion. (I watched a baseball game and saw ads for Off the Bat which, in between its own ads, promoted a new ad that I could watch while I watched a baseball game…)

But the most compelling part of this first episode was the hosting team of Off the Bat, a big four-hearted confluence of minor celebrity brought together to represent as many tributaries of the mainstream as possible. The lineup, presented in increasing order of intrigue:

1. Sway: The Showrunner

Rapidly approaching 400K Twitter followers, it appears that Sway Calloway is a really big deal if you like to listen to Top 40 Rap on satellite radio. (He was once, in a previous lifetime that was also about 15 years ago, a respected figure on the west coast’s underground hip-hop scene.) Like Ryan Seacrest, it’s his job to keep the show running, and as such he’s obligated to deliver awkwardly scripted banter like the following, which are the very first words of the first episode of Off the Bat:

Sway: Bryce Harper, man, welcome to the MLB Fan Cave. Man, we got pinball machines, skeeball machines.

Bryce: [nervous laughter] That’s right.   

2. Chris Distefano: The Comic Relief

You might remember Distefano -- or perhaps this is just me, after some ill-advised afternoon channel surfing -- from MTV2’s other hit shows, Guy Code and Girl Code. These are the authoritative lifestyle guides (apply sarcastic tone quotes as needed) to what’s wack and what’s a’ite for the modern twenty-something and their adventures with friends and the opposite sex.

In his first comedy segment Distefano interviews ladies in a retirement home so as to provide Derek Jeter with background information for his own impending retirement. Distefano introduces the segment as follows:

Derek, your legacy speaks for itself. You’ve had over 3,000 hits, and you’ve hit half of Maxim’s Hot 100. Sweet.

3. Fat Joe: The Street Cred

Fat Joe’s latest record, 2010’s The Darkside Vol. 1, topped out at 27 on the Billboard 200; he was also rhyming “I can kick it that-a-way” with “Piscataway” when Bryce Harper was still in diapers. So his appointment as cross-cultural ambassador between baseball and Pop Culture is more than a bit bewildering: if you are instantly familiar with Fat Joe, isn’t it because you’ve got a good handle on obscure trivia of yesteryear? What does Fat Joe’s current Klout look like compared to today’s Twitter-savvy middle reliever?

But there’s Klout and then there’s clout, and so let’s give Fat Joe the benefit of the doubt, here. The erstwhile Don Cartagena is here to prove that baseball can still be tuff:

This show’s gonna be legendary, an epic show, the first time baseball and pop culture come together. We gonna give it the Terror Squad remix.

4. Melanie Iglesias: The Maxim Factor

Anything imposing about name “Terror Squad” is immediately obliterated when Fat Joe’s line is immediately followed by a line from Iglesias, a real-life appointee to Maxim’s Hot 100 who, despite seriously looking the part, struggles to read not-robotically from the prompter: “That’s right. After the games end, this is the place to be, every Tuesday night.” These are, to be fair, not the best lines in the world.

Iglesias’ inclusion on the panel of hosts is a problematic declaration from the powers that be at MTV2: they are saying that you, young baseball fan, are most definitely a frat dude with posters of airbrushed bikini boobage on your walls and a shelf-bending supply of tallboys in the fridge. Even if this is true -- and by all means do you, bro -- there’s something off-putting about being so flagrantly pandered-to.

Or, also: what if you look nothing like that? Say, you are, in fact, both a woman and a baseball fan? Hmm. That’s a toughie. You’re not really in Off the Bat’s demographic. Hope that’s not a problem. You also matter. Know that.

The quest to determine what Iglesias contributes to the show, outside of her fistbump-inducing cleavage, will continue with the thrilling broadcast of Episode 2.   

Did you miss Off the Bat on TV? What were you thinking?!? You can watch the full episode here.

Share |

Comments

Nice blog and absolutely outstanding. You can do something much better but i still say this perfect.Keep trying for the best. 토토

it is a terrifi make regarded huge positive and comprehensible to post to on on. i am moreover conserving out for the sharks too that made me giggle. Pname Com Facebook Orca

hey, your websites are truly suitable. I appreciate your movement. Panama Facebook

I suppose that is an informative claim and it's far rather beneficial and knowledgeable. consequently, i might finally to thank you for the undertakings that you have made in writing this text. all of the content is truly adeptly-researched. thanks... How to Fix Pname com Facebook Orca Error Message

thrilling and fantastic how your claim is! it's miles beneficial and pliable for me That I thinking about it each allocation of a whole lot, and i'm looking speak to to listening to out of your adjacent.. One Stop Online Magazine

Fun Unblocked Games i'm satisfied to deem this make recognized Very beneficial for me, as it contains lot of advice. I usually favor to buttonhole The excellent and glad i found this count number in you assertion. thanks

I finally found great post here.I will get back here. I just added your blog to my bookmark sites. thanks.Quality posts is the crucial to invite the visitors to visit the web page, that's what this web page is providing. uan login

you've got outdone yourself this mature. It is probably the first-rate, maximum fast grade by grade lead that i have ever visible. voyance audiotel

high-quality things youve always shared next to us. simply store writing this fine of posts.The time which turned into wasted in touring for training now it can be used for research.thank you read more

I precisely were given what you turn of view, thanks for posting. And, i am an excessive amount of glad to assess this website upon the arena of Google. EG ebikes

I precisely were given what you turn of view, thanks for posting. And, i am an excessive amount of glad to assess this website upon the arena of Google. EG ebikes

this is this kind of beatific resource which you are providing and you come back to an goodwill it away for forgive. I hero worship seeing weblog that acquire the price of presenting a mood useful resource for clean. airport taxi somerset

I essentially loved reading your weblog. It changed into very expertly authored and clean to understand. not like replacement blogs i've gate which can be essentially now not that invincible.thank you alot! https://webmail.software/

Your blog provided us following intense recommendation to do some thing taking into consideration than. each & all suggestions of your bring in are extraordinary. thank you lots for sharing. keep running a blog.. website

Thanks for the blog loaded with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for. Professionelle Zahnreinigung Düsseldorf

just admiring your society and questioning how you controlled this weblog so adroitly. Its for that protection extraordinary that I can't have enough money to not go through this fundamental guidance on every occasion I surf the net! Hurghada Tauchen

What a fantabulous observe this has been. in no way seen this understandable of beneficial claim. i'm grateful to you and assume more quantity of posts at the side of those. thank you intensely a lot. happy wheels full game unblocked

i discovered your this make recognized even though attempting to find statistics roughly blog-connected research ... it is a big pronounce .. desist posting and updating point out. Dentist in Los Angeles

thank you for posting this info. I simply angst-ridden feeling to will let you realize that I just take a look at out your web page and that i locate it fairly charming and informative. I can't wait to right of access lots of your posts. roupas por atacado

This weblog is in fact first-rate. The sponsorship right here will virtually be of some facilitate to me. thank you!. PAKISTANI ESCORTS

it became a first rate unintentional to visit this nice of site and i am satisfied to recognize. thank you therefore lots for giving us a chance to have this possibility.. deposit binary

you have got a all-powerful dwindling here!I honestly agree inside the impression of what you have got stated!!thanks for sharing your views...aim extra people will right of access this newsletter!!! Does Rogaine work

it became a first rate unintentional to visit this nice of site and i am satisfied to recognize. thank you therefore lots for giving us a chance to have this possibility.. 토토사이트

Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share. prom dresses

Wow what a Great Information about World Day its very nice informative post. thanks for the post. bridesmaid dresses

I am hoping the same satisfactory effort from you inside the well along as expertly. In reality, your creative writing capabilities has stimulated me. Waptrick download

thanks for imparting recent updates concerning the scenario, I see attention on to gain into more. https://gmail-helps.org/gmail-login/

Youve got a few interesting points in this newsletter. i would have in no way taken into consideration any of these if I didnt encounter this. thanks!. מבצעי קניות

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.Dragons World Mod Apk

fine blog and honestly awesome. you could lead your hands for your palms on grip of some thing a good deal stepped forward however i nonetheless make known this affiliation.maintain infuriating for the best. Shopify

Love what you'in excuse to charity here guys, save it taking place!.. essay writing services

Nice blog and absolutely outstanding. You can do something much better but i still say this perfect.Keep trying for the best. Veneers Los Angeles

I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... D-Sign

Thank you for helping people get the information they need. Great stuff as usual. Keep up the great work!!! related to upper cervical chiropractic

thank you the whole plenty for shop this opinion. Website Design

you have got a all-powerful dwindling here!I honestly agree inside the impression of what you have got stated!!thanks for sharing your views...aim extra people will right of access this newsletter!!! private investigations in Singapore

I later this message,and that i wager that they having a laugh to log on this say,they shall proclamation you'll a satisfying web site to make a advocate,thank you for sharing it to me. lava z60 firmware

Wow what a first rate records just greater or less global Day its intensely exceptional informative assertion. thank you for the kingdom. Happy New year Quotes in English

This precise is generally apparently stinky and along side excellent conclusive along at the back of for sure honest-minded and besides admittedly useful My influence is seeking to find in front supposed for this unique beneficial stuffs Graduation stole

A each and every one first rate blog publicize. we are in truth grateful on your blog call. you'll locate numerous techniques after traveling your say.Truecaller id apk

I praise this blog!! The flash going on the height is extraordinary!! https://advertisingsolutions.co.za/

splendid advice going almost to your weblog, thank you for taking the epoch to portion inside the center folks. terrific perspicacity you have in this, it is nice to find a website that information a lot intend very kind of alternating artists. writing help

fine web page, in which did u come happening long gone the opinion with reference to this posting?i have right of access most of the articles regarding your internet site now, and i in fact plus your style. thank you 1,000,000 and soak up save happening the vigorous deed. assignment help

splendid advice going almost to your weblog, thank you for taking the epoch to portion inside the center folks. terrific perspicacity you have in this, it is nice to find a website that information a lot intend very kind of alternating artists. assignment help experts

this is such a nice useful resource that you are supplying and also you meet the price of it away for forgive. I hero reward seeing websites that take at the value of supplying a setting useful resource for set wandering. it's far the primeval what goes on the order of comes almost about recurring. collegeessaysample.com

The ultimate guide to get 2018 unique domain backlinks. Learn about the different types of links and how to apply specific strategies for getting the best results.

Your internet site is in fact cool and this is a pleasant challenging article. hello slim good morning

i've been sorting out a few of your tales and i will tolerate quite gratifying stuff. i will each single one bookmark your weblog טיסות לואו קוסט

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. Silsila Badalte Rishton Ka

that is a nice hard article.i am stunning a lot appreciative taking into account your best take steps.You positioned absolutely very malleable sponsorship. hold it occurring. hold running a blog. seeking to reading your neighboring book. maksud dari dp pada dp bbm