Monday, May 12, 2008

Backman

Bats' Jack Curry tells of what sounds like a fascinating documentary featuring Wally Backman's odyssey through the independent leagues:
Backman was so desperate to work his way back onto a major league team’s radar that he managed the South Georgia Peanuts of the now defunct South Coast League, an independent minor league, last year. Backman is managing the Joliet Jackhammers in the Northern League, another independent league, this season.

John Fitzgerald, an award-winning filmmaker, chronicled the first and only season of the Peanuts. His reality series, which is called “Playing for Peanuts,” will air its first episode on SportsNet New York at 6 p.m. on Sunday and will follow in that time slot for nine more episodes.
I know basically nothing about YES or SNY, but I think it's interesting that YES is famous for running hagiographies of Yankee heroes while SNY shows warts-and-all stories about semi-disgraced former Mets.

Is this common? Call me crazy, but I'd have to think that a documentary about what, say, Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson are doing now would get better ratings than "Paul O'Neil: Fire of a Champion" or whatever.

2 comments:

melodyjbf said...

Hey Craig, good call on the Yanks vs. Mets TV channels... I think it captures something about the identity of each team. There's always been something quirky and fun about the Mets. Fans bond over memories of the "bad old days" and celebrate home runs with a large apparently papier mache apple that slowly rises out of a top hat beyond the outfield fence. Anyone who's caught a glimpse of their mascot would be hard pressed to accuse the Mets of taking themselves too seriously. The Yankees are well known for their corporate approach to winning, and for long discussions about what it means to be a "True Yankee (TM)." No warts here, folks! Let's move on to Monument Park...

Jim D. said...

The YES Network is valued between 3 and 3.5 BILLION dollars. The Yankees themselves are valued at 1.2 billion. I think that the network is serving the purposes of its owners (Steinbrenner family, Goldman Sachs, Providence Private Equity) quite well, despite the "fluff" programming.