MLB 2011: It's “SHOWTIME” For The Giants

Mark ProbstCorrespondent IMarch 23, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 03:  Pitcher Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants walks down the street to the start of the San Francisco Giants victory parade on November 3, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

“You heard it, mark it down, (Giants) repeat.”  Those were the famous (or infamous) words of Brian Wilson in the last seconds of Showtime’s three-minute trailer promoting the upcoming reality series about the World Champs and their quest to defend the title, scheduled to air on April 13th. 

When I first heard about Showtime’s plan to showcase the San Francisco Giants in a behind-the-scenes circus that would accentuate the characters and stories that led the ball club to their first title on the West Coast, I have to admit I was skeptical. 

First of all, the focus in the clubhouse should absolutely be about repeating.  Even with the offseason additions the Phillies made, which bolstered an already daunting pitching staff including four legitimate aces, the Giants' pitching rotation sits backseat to no one, in either league.  Barring any major injury within the rotation, the Giants are the odds on favorite to win the West—no team wants to face the combination of Lincecum and Cain in a playoff series.

Secondly, one of the great things about last year’s team was that they were a bunch of unknowns who continued to battle, building amazing confidence and chemistry through each torturous game.  As soon as I heard about the plans to market the players and their journey, I was certain the real bonding that took place between the guys, in overcoming a season of adversity to win it all, would be wiped away by producers drumming up storylines, and cameras focusing on sensational shallow behavior.

Well, after watching the Showtime trailer about nine times back to back, forget everything you just read because I am in.  I don’t even have Showtime, but I will be adding it before the show starts.  I’m not sure if it was the unmarked police car that Brian Wilson has been driving around Scottsdale over the past month, or Andres Torres working out in jeans with no shirt, no shoes, and throwing cinder blocks over his head (seriously, cinder blocks over his head), but I am already hooked. 

The trailer starts with Lincecum in his car, sporting his hoodie and shades, stating “here we go, just another day leaving paradise.”  Then the music starts in and the goose bumps follow.  After a quick SHOWTIME PRESENTS graphic, they start to unveil the cast of this new unscripted drama and you begin to realize how crazy this series is going to be. 

Wilson (BW) stars as the quirky closer who comes off as the real life Rick Vaughn, from the movie Major League, but even funnier and full of antics.  Sandoval (Kung Fu Panda) plays the fan favorite who spent the entire off season working out, getting back in shape to regain his status as one of the best hitters on the team.  Burrell, the local boy who came home and made good, plays the cool veteran who commands respect in the clubhouse.   Tejada is cast as the new guy, with GM Brian Sabean questioning how he will fit in with the team.  Oh, the drama. 

With Cody Ross, Sergio Romo, Barry Zito, and Madison Bumgarner, the stories go on and on—and I didn’t even showcase Aubrey Huff or Buster Posey, the best producers for the Giants last year.  I was surprised that manager Bruce Bochy played a major part of the trailer.  He provided a lot of the background buildup, with the shot of him deep sea fishing on his boat in Florida, and even the Tony Soprano shot of him lighting his cigar. 

I can’t wait for this show.  My only hope is that by mid-June, I don’t become more interested in the series than watching the actual games because the team got off to a bad start, is 8 games back, and on a five-game losing streak as a result of horrible chemistry and constant drama in the clubhouse.