The surprise success stories of the early portion of this baseball season have been Eric Thames, a slugger for the Milwaukee Brewers, and Jim Brockmire, an in-stadium play-by-play announcer for the Morristown (Pa.) Frackers.
Thames last played in the major leagues in 2012. He was in the minors in 2013, and then spent three seasons smashing home runs in Korea.
Brockmire was a play-by-play legend in Kansas City until 2007, when he came home unexpectedly and found his beloved wife, Lucy, in a comprising situation with neighbor Bob Greenwald and other individuals.
Brockmire’s rant about Lucy’s unfaithfulness on the ensuing broadcast led to his firing. He spent much of the next decade in the Philippines, where he gained fame starring in a bootleg version of the TV series “Hart vs. Hart.”
Major League Baseball seemed suspicious about what exotic potion Thames might have discovered in Korea and, according to the player, administered extra drug tests early in the season.
There is no such mystery with Brockmire: He loves his drugs, washed down with alcohol.
Brockmire is a character that comes from the imagination of Hank Azaria. The actor worked on a story line for several years with Joel Church-Cooper, a writer and improv comedian.
Church-Cooper wrote a “Brockmire” movie script that almost found backing, then it was developed and sold to IFC as a TV series. The first season winds up with Episode 8 on Wednesday night.
Azaria and his co-star, the wonderful Amanda Peet, and the rest of the cast are hilarious, as long as you’re not one to be offended by extra-bawdy material.
It was recently announced “Brockmire” will be back for Season 2, although Church-Cooper said IFC wanted the series back after seeing the pilot months ago.
That first episode opened with the graphic Azaria tirade about Lucy (who does appear later). I said to Church-Cooper last week: “You let the audience know quickly this was adult entertainment.”
The series creator said: “We wanted to let people decide right away — are you in or out?”
I’m in. As for you, find the first episode on demand, and you soon either will be laughing or clicking elsewhere.
PATRICK'S PLUS THREE
Recent Vikings happenings:
• Receiver Michael Floyd signs cheap. Good idea, if he’s taking sobriety seriously
• Vikings to bid for NFL draft in 2022 (or 2023). Good idea, if the Purple tightwads pay for the NFL freebies themselves rather than wringing many millions from a “host committee."
• Vikings hire Tina Holmes as strategic adviser. Good idea, because every outfit needs someone to act as “an executive liaison surfacing issues and facilitating solutions.”
Read Patrick Reusse’s blog at startribune.com/patrick. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.