Did the Giants salvage their season by posting a winning record in August? I think so. It kept them competitive in the standings and served as a reminder to them and to us that, hey, they're not a rotting corpse of a team. In terms of home run totals, it was actually one of their most productive Augusts in recent years, too.
Do dingers equal wins? Yes. Yes, of course they do.
So the Giants managed to return to their early season strength and it netted them more wins. For this month's feature, I thought it'd be wise if I played to my strength as well. But Bryan, you don't have any discernible strengths. I know, I know, but just go with it. Pretend that I *do*.
Over the Labor Day weekend I attended a wedding for a friend who happens to be a television writer - FOR HOLLYWOOD. During the weekend festivities I heard many tales of the backroom politics and head-scratching decision-making that went into the creation, development, production, and distribution of filmed entertainment and let me tell you, it is not for the faint of heart or the rational-minded. Literally, want to do anything else with your life besides work in film and television.
But if you insist (and I wouldn't entirely blame you for wanting to stay the course), then you must keep in mind that the industry has moved strictly to mining existing properties created by and vouched for by other people and entities. What this means is that if you have an original idea you should go somewhere else, produce that idea in some other form, then come back to Hollywood and try to sell it so it can be made into a movie. Or, if you make a movie elsewhere, can be remade by Hollywood. Sounds like a colossal hassle, right? It is! But it's also quite profitable.
And since baseball, despite being our favorite form of entertainment (that's why you're reading this, after all... right?), is a business, it must also be profitable. As the Giants managed to combine their strength - dingers - with another skill - solid pitching - in August, so have I decided to lean into the only kind of thinking I'm good at - come up with bad ideas for television projects - and combine it with this home run names feature.
Let's change it up and drop the proper names aspect of this feature. Instead, let's take all the Giants who homered in August -- Buster Posey (6 -- or, nearly a third of his HR output so far this season), Hunter Pence (5), Pablo Sandoval (3), Gregor Blanco (3), Andrew Susac (2), Brandon Belt (1), Joe Panik (1), Michael Morse (1), Travis Ishikawa (1) -- and name their dingers after a piece of entertainment, whether it be a TV show or a movie, book or graphic novel. I think it will be more fun. But maybe it will not be any more fun than last month's stinker. I don't know. Let's see...
Buster Posey's home runs: a six-episode BBC series, "Posey Place". The pitch:
The show is about what happens to a stuffy British family when a total badass American named Buster (Buster Posey) shows up and disrupts their crusty, upper-class lifestyle. Think "Downton Abbey" meets Die Hard.
Episode 1: "Right of Center" (Pilot) (August 3, 2014; 403 feet off of Carlos Torres)
The Smith family doesn't know what to make of their distant cousin Buster upon his arrival in England. He's well-mannered, hard-working, and clean-shaven: the antithesis of their long-held American stereotype. And yet, despite appearing to be a proper British gentleman, his liberal views (he speaks to women about banking!) get the Smiths in hot water with their neighbors. In the pilot, Buster must prove he's not after the neighbor Warmbley's daughter Elivia in order to get Mr. Smith back on the guest list for the London Grand Ball.
Episode 2: "Tiebreaker" (August 21, 2014; 392 feet off of Travis Wood)
Buster resists the urge to help young Jansum Smith learn how to use a firearm, but Mrs. Smith insists. Now it's up to Mr. Smith to break the tie by overcoming his fear of guns if he's to teach his own son how to shoot and become a proper British gentleman.
Episode 3: "The Man's Got Pull, That Much I'll Give Him" (August 22, 2014; 397 feet off of Doug Fister)
Buster finds himself in hot water with the local authorities when he rescues Lady Shammbottom's feline from a tree but admonishes her publicly for her poor treatment of her own animal. Buster comes to appreciate his distant British relatives when Mr. Smith is able to bail him out of jail, but will Smith be able to keep Buster out of there forever? Not if Lady Shammbottom has her say...
Episode 4: "Quite the Pair" (August 26, 2014; 413 feet off of Jorge De La Rosa)
Even the Smiths can see that Buster and Anneberlin Shammbottom make quite a match. Unfortunately, he's a blue collar American and she's a blue blood. And yet...
Episode 5: "Second Time's the Charm" (August 26, 2014; 401 feet off of Brooks Brown)
Buster respects Lady Shammbottom's decree that he stay away from her daughter, but after Anneberlin's second declaration of love for him, he has no choice but to disobey. Complications ensue.
Episode 6: "The Height of His Powers" (August 27, 2014; 376 feet off of Juan Nicasio)
Buster's work in the village catches the attention of an American oil man (special guest star Vince Vaughn) who offers him the chance to return to America and become a wealthy man.
Hunter Pence's home runs: a five-part SyFy channel miniseries, "The Gorlax Corridor". The pitch:
President Zypil'zipix (Hunter Pence) must navigate and negotiate his way through the powerful halls of galactic sector AG-760's government with the help of his trusted senior staff. It's "The West Wing" meets Star Wars.
Part 1: "Play Nice" (August 3, 2014; 384 feet off of Bartolo Colon)
As an energy crisis begins to hamper peace efforts in sector AG-760, newly elected President Zypil'zipix (Hunter Pence) must call upon his disgraced Vice President, Admiral Jorlock, to keep the warmongers at bay while his senior staff, led by communications director Tevish Raiko (Richard Schiff), try to get the sector's energy companies to "play nice" with each other.
Part 2: "For the World is Hollow and I Have PTSD" (August 3, 2014; 426 feet off of Dana Eveland)
Admiral Jorlock's PTSD threatens to undermine his efforts to hold back the warmongers. Meanwhile, Zypil'zipix discovers that First Lady Xania is pregnant, but due to their species' long gestation periods, the press will soon discover that conception precedes their marriage by some time; Tevish and Landon Starborn (Rob Lowe) clash over the composition of an important speech; and, press secretary XX LaRoche (CCH Pounder) undergoes her annual metamorphosis into a jackal in the middle of a press conference.
Part 3: "Attack of a Phantom Menace" (August 16, 2014; 411 feet off of Kyle Kendrick)
As the march towards war hastens, Zypil'zipix finds himself trying to put out the fires at home and abroad, as Xania's ex-boyfriend enters the picture to claim paternity of her spawn. Deputy Chief of Staff Bor'moch (Bradley Whitford) is mugged aboard a starcab and evidence suggests a member of the Galactic House had a hand in it for reasons that aren't immediately clear; and, Chief of Staff Go Burnly (Joel Grey) suffers a massive smheart attack during an important meeting with one of the warring factions.
Part 4: "The Right Xzxch'kch'er'zeViziker for the Job" (August 20, 2014; 385 feet off of Carlos Villanueva)
As both Burnly and Bor'moch's conditions worsen, Zypil'zipix must negotiate with the warring factions directly, despite protestations from the rest of his staff that he's unprepared.
Part 5: "Two Starships" (August 23, 2014; 405 feet off of Jordan ZImmermann)
Zypil'zipix puts his presidency, galactic peace, and marital bond on the line to resolve the energy shortage dispute. Meanwhile, Bor'moch recovers just in time to discover that Burnly is not long for this plane of existence; and, following the resignations of several Galactic House members due to the mugging scandal, the rest of the senior staff contemplate their next moves... that is, if sector AG-760 stays in one piece.
Pablo Sandoval's home runs: an epic film needlessly stretched into a trilogy, THE PANDA. It's The Hobbit meets... Pablo Sandoval?
THE PANDA: THE POWER BREWS (August 5, 2014; 404 feet off of Jimmy Nelson)
THE PANDA: RIGHT FROM DIRT TO HEAVEN (August 6, 2014; 383 feet off of Tom Gorzelanny)
THE PANDA: A BAPTISM OF BALLS (August 31, 2014; 372 feet off of Kyle Lohse)
Gregor Blanco's home runs: three more Resident Evil films. The pitch?
Because we're all incredulous like, "Really?! Another one?!"
Resident Evil: Blastoff (August 24, 2014; 399 feet off of Stephen Strasburg)
Resident Evil: Arcade (August 28, 2014; 359 feet off of Jordan Lyles)
Resident Evil: Echo (August 29, 2014; 350 feet off of Marco Estrada)
Andrew Susac's home runs: a sitcom canceled after two episodes, "The Slice of Life".
"The Slice of Life" is about a disgraced former investment banker (Michael Ian Black) who opens a pizzeria to make ends meet only to discover that what makes the dough rise isn't yeast but friendship. "Friends" meets "Taxi" (if "Taxi" took place in a pizzeria).
Episode 1: "My First Home Run" (August 20, 2014; 378 feet off of Edwin Jackson)
Episode 2: "The One With Half Pepperoni, Half Jalapeño" (August 25, 2014; 420 feet off of Tyler Matzek)
Michael Morse's home run: An off-Broadway play, The Sound off the Bat. (August 15, 2014; 410 feet off of Cole Hamels)
A tense, single location drama wherein a young couple (Tobey Maguire and Anne Hathaway) deal with the aftermath of a key party, an intentionally hipster throwback party their friends threw with some *very* unintended consequences.
Joe Panik's home run: Zach Braff's next indie film, No Reason to Panic. (August 22, 2014; 404 feet off of Doug Fister)
A disillusioned writer (Zach Braff) sleepwalks through life self-medicating to keep the anxiety of his next success at bay. But his entire world is turned upside down when he meets a quirky young woman (Jennifer Lawrence, who speaks in a Russian accent the entire film despite her character not being Russian) who just wants him to write because his words make her whole... as a woman. She... his words arouse her, okay? It's a quirky sex comedy.
Travis Ishikawa's home run: a one-off graphic novel, Radioactive Minor Leaguers From Space. (August 24, 2014; 412 feet off of Stephen Strasburg)
What happens when you cut a player who's run out of talent but won't go away? For minor league general manager Durb Scurbson, he's about to find out after the entire roster of washed-up has-beens he cuts come roaring back for vengeance. They took the team bus to Jupiter and were gifted with radioactive baseball skills and now they want to prove to Durb and the world that they're anything but washed up. But will their presence mean doom for players on the major league roster or thermonuclear war for the planet?
Brandon Belt's home run: The new Nicholas Sparks' novel, The Belted One. (August 3, 2014; 337 feet off of Bartolo Colon)
It's about a soldier returning from Afghanistan only to discover that the woman he loves has left him for another... or did she even exist in the first place? He's aided by his cancer-stricken best friend, his best friend since childhood, Lucy, and they go on a quest that takes them all across America. But will Belt's quest end with locating his love and getting answers or has his destination been with him all along?