March Madness and TV shows not about Baseball

I am suffering from March madness.

This differs from the enjoyment of March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament which I love. This madness is the anxious anticipation of the start of the baseball season after a long offseason. Perhaps if I were in Florida or Arizona, actually at Spring Training, my boredom with the games would dissipate, but I’m not and it hasn’t. Beat reporters who are there are now are trying to make stories out of the battle for the 25th spot on a team, or the crusade for the last bullpen spot. I really can’t read about it anymore, I almost pity there struggle in writing the pieces.

Then there are the fantasy baseball experts. By the way, if you write about who to pick in fantasy baseball, you automatically become an expert, there is no middle ground. Idiots read, experts write. Everybody seems to know who will rebound, who was over-rated last season, who will be the breakout star this season. It’s nice to know the future. Tell me some stocks that are sure winners.

I’ve watched a lot of television this offseason. A LOT. It’s fun, its mindless, and good for naps.

I’ve driven to a lot of soccer practices this offseason. A LOT. It’s fun, its mindless, and good for naps.

I prefer television, the honking from other cars disturbs my naps.

The off-season may seem short in retrospect, but in reality it is a long time from the World Series to Opening Day and for baseball fans like myself, highlight reels and replays of old games are really not that compelling.

So, as I said, I turned to one of my other loves, television, to fill the yawning gap. The problem is when you are jonesing for baseball, there are shows that sound like they will meet your need, but it turns out you can be very disappointed. So here are nine shows that fooled me.

BTW: the term “hot stove” has an entirely different meaning on the Food Network.

Nine to Know:

TV shows that I thought were about baseball, but aren’t


  1. The Amazing Race: it turns out that this reality show has nothing to do with the AL East.
  2. 24Willie Mays is never mentioned and the Bauer on the show is “Jack,” not “Hank.”
  3. Two and a Half Men – This is not about Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Young, and David Eckstein.
  4. American Idol – No Derek Jeter, no Joe Mauer, no Albert Pujols. Huh?
  5. Mad Men – Are you telling me that Bobby Cox, Ron Gardenhire and Earl Weaver are not on this show? I mean really, how many times do they have to be ejected to get on their own show?
  6. Numb3rs – No Bill James; although then it would be named “Sabr3m3trics.”
  7. The Office – Starring Theo Epstein, Brian Cashman hosted by Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden? Wrong.
  8. King of the Hill – C’mon, give me a break. The show takes place in Texas, why isn’t this about Nolan Ryan?!?
  9. Mercy – This show has nothing to do with the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Kansas City Royals. Also, “The Biggest Loser” is not about them either.

Also: “The Cleveland Show” is not about the Indians and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” has nothing to do with two straight World Series appearances by the Phils.

One more thing: the show “Chuck” is not about me. But this was written by me for the NY Times “Bats” blog:

It’s a different way of looking at home run leaders. Instead of looking at them by sheer individual totals, they are presented here by their total contribution to one team, and in that view, some interesting and unpredictable patterns emerge.

All-Time Team Career Home Run Leaders