Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why 4th is 5th

Ivan Nova

It doesn't mean much, but sportswriters keep calling Ivan Nova the fourth starter and Freddy Garcia the fifth starter. But when the season opens, I think you'll see a rotation with Garcia followed by Nova.

This doesn't mean I think Garcia is better than Nova. I'm just remembering something that the sportswriters have apparently forgotten -- the Yankees in recent years have been very careful with young arms. The 24-year-old Nova pitched 187 innings last year, but just 42 of those came in the big leagues. By making Nova the #5, they can skip him periodically throughout the year, saving some innings for September.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The strange progression of 'Lights Out'

I really like Lights Out. I better enjoy it now, because the ratings don't make a second season likely.

The conventional wisdom surrounding the late and lamented Terriers was that FX's marketing department didn't do it any favors with a minimalist, avant-garde ad campaign that usually just featured a little snarling dog. That, and the title, convinced a lot of people it was a show about dogs, not private investigators.

Lights Out went the other way, with an ad campaign that made clear it was all about boxing... lots and lots of boxing.

But if you watched the first few episodes, there was hardly any boxing. It was mostly about a family man with financial problems, struggling to find a way to keep up his million-dollar lifestyle even though he can no longer do the only thing he was ever good at -- being a boxer.

So, once again, a problem for FX's marketing department. If you're a fan of boxing, you saw those commercials and tuned in -- only to see a compelling family drama with just a dash of boxing mixed in. If you don't like boxing, you didn't give the show a try -- and likely missed out.

So who is watching it? I guess weirdos like me who like shows about boxing but also like shows about family dramas.

But the last few episodes, Lights Out has turned into a series mostly about boxing, with the family stuff there but increasingly playing a smaller role. It's as if it's finally caught up to the initial ad campaign. Hopefully some of the boxing fans will come back.

Assuming there are enough boxing fans left in the world to make a difference, anyway.