After becoming a huge fan of the HBO series First and Ten, I had been waiting a long time for a TV show to air that was based on a professional baseball team. Alas, Fox decided to air a new series called Hardball, a sitcom about a struggling major league baseball team named the Pioneers, that had hired a new manager (his name was Happy)to try to shape things up in the clubhouse and on the field. They had a stupid looking mascot named Hardball, who never left his uniform (it was a copy of Mr. Met, one of the worst mascots in sports history). Basically, this was a premise that I really looked forward to seeing on TV.
Unfortunately, the show was terrible. It turned out to be a typical videotaped, low budget Fox sitcom with terrible low budget acting and terrible low budget writing. I wondered if the writers had ever seen a major league baseball game. They had no idea how to write a show about baseball.
There was one episode where the Pioneers' manager had a rivalry with a manager from another team. In the game, the rival manager switched a Pioneer bat with an illegal bat. A Pioneer player used the illegal bat to hit a game winning home run. The rival manager told the umpires that the bat was illegal, and the umpires ruled the batter out, and the Pioneers lost. The players just calmly accepted the loss and mopped into the clubhouse. Now if that really happened in Major League Baseball, there would be all kinds of fights and protests (remember George Brett pinetar incident). The players would never just accept a loss like that.
This was the best example I could come up with to show just how stupid an unfunny this show was. I totally understand why it didn't last very long.
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