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USA Network Loves 1990s Baseball

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A few weeks ago, Psych opened off the episode "Shawn Gets The Yips" with psychic-enough Detective Spencer unable to throw from second base to first without having the baseball launch clear over the baseman's head. He alluded to Chuck Knoblauch overthrowing first base and hitting Keith Olbermann's mother in the stands as a parallel. Weeks after the episode aired, the real Knoblauch was arrested for beating up his wife. Are the two events unrelated? Well, everything is interconnected.

I give major points to USA Network for hiring writers who alluded to the Knoblauch-Olbermann connection. It's one of the purest hilarious moments in baseball, right up there with Dusty Baker's child almost getting run over by a baserunner and Jeff Francoeur's defensive range.

Then on Burn Notice, Psych's sister show on USA, the buddy drama's main buddy, Sam Axe, routinely goes undercover with the alias Charles Finley, or "Chuck" for short. If this doesn't remind you of former Angels and Indians lefty Chuck Finley, then you're probably not the target demographic for this article.

Let's continue on with Monk. This is where we begin to stretch our imagination and pretend spelling is irrelevant. The grizzled police captain, Leland Stottlemeyer, spells his name different than former Blue Jays pitcher Todd Stottlemyre. But the titanium tie that binds them is their penchant to get equally annoyed at nosy reporters and anal retentive investigative consultants.

Stottlemyre. Knoblauch. Finley. We all know what's going on here. USA Network is subliminally trying to honor the best players from the American League in the 1990s and keep them relevant.

Maybe on the second season of Royal Pains, HankMed will try to save Kevin Appier's career. Will he become a Cy Young pitcher again? Or will the doctor suggest he stop eating the hot dogs at Kauffman Stadium?

Then tune into an all-new In Plain Sight, where embattled Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens tries to escape his dejected fanbase and relocates to a brand new country with a different identity: "David Wells." So as not to arouse suspicion, the real David Wells will pose as Roger Clemens. (Spoiler!)

Ands where does Law & Order: Criminal Intent fit into all this, you begrudgingly ask? They don't, because they're only interested in honoring the careers of actors from the '90s. Those rebels. And I haven't seen where Albert Belle fits into all of this, but sounds like a fine nickname for a WWE Raw wrestler.

It's a work-in-progress theory, but the folks at USA Network have made it their mission to sneak a little Jay Buhner into everyone's lives. But it's only the American League. The TNT people, on the other side of the Turner family, appear to be true-blue National Leaguers. Hence Saving Grace, the story of a beloved Cubs first baseman. But that's for another time.

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About Suss

  • I CANNOT figure out for the life of me why TNT hasn’t canceled The Closer with Brad Lidge.

  • Because they know drama. And what better drama than murder-suicide?

  • Tony

    Wouldn’t that show star Mitch Williams?