Logan's Run and Baseball

Brian WolffCorrespondent IJune 28, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 17: Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Chicago Cubs hits an RBI double in the 5th inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 17, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Cardinals 8-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Years ago when I like 12 or something I was devastated to learn that Logan's Run had been canceled. I could not understand why the networks would cancel such an interesting show. It was years later that I learned somewhere that a certain number of TV shows have to be canceled in order to make room for the new shows that are in the pipeline.

When I first heard this I wondered, why kill off a successful show that people really like to introduce something completely new. I mean, isn't the show still scoring in the ratings? Well, apparently, to ensure that the networks always have good programs in development, they are always pumping money into new projects to produce pilots.

This way, when they need a new show to air, they already have something in development and they can just plug it into the prime-time lineup. Sometimes they have something really good in development that they have to bring along or they risk losing it to a competing network.

There are only so many days in the week. There are only so many time slots. Each network might be able to hand onto 40 or so shows, but the core 25 shows take up the bulk of the budget and all the choice time slots.

So what to they do when a new show has to come out of development or be lost? In these situations, they kill aWest Wing, saying the show had gotten too expensive anyhow, or that freeing up the money for this show allows the network to start filming on three pilots, and perhaps on a pilot to be named later.

Now some TV markets have more money than others, and some networks have more money than others. They all have those 25 core time slots, but not all of the can afford the most expensive programming to fill those slots. This is why there is always a certain amount of stupid stuff on TV.

Sometimes networks just decide that the entire lineup needs to be scratched because they have finished last in the rating for the sixteenth season in a row and they want to try something different.

So Logan's Run would not be the last time evil television networks and their advertising cohorts would frustrate my television viewing pleasures. In the ensuing years I would be robbed of Sports Night, News Radio, Ed, Firefly, West Wing, Life on Mars, The Unusuals, The Unit, The Agency, and Star Trek Enterprise, to name just a few.

Just when you think you really love a show, they yank it away from you. However, once in a while you can still see it in reruns on TBS or WGN, though it is never really the same.

Now, granted, some of these shows you might think about and say, 'hey, they could have gotten rid of that show a long time ago.'

I would live to have all my favorite shows on one after the other, all during prime-time, from Monday to Friday, but it is just not in the cards.

This is an ugly truth of the way the game works.  We can get upset about it all we want and blame this network owner or that program director, but very seldom does any complaining every matter.  If we ever want to see the next Lost, then we have to accept that something we already love is going to be lost.

Now, let's talk baseball...

Take This Hypothetical Scenario

You are 75 games into the season. You have an aging team with largely mediocre numbers, except for a couple of quality performers.

Your three outfielders have 31 homers on the season, and a fourth outfielder, a regular starter, has been out most of the year on the DL.

Your left fielder is hitting .279 with an OBP of .404. He is leading the outfield with 19 homers.

You center fielder his hitting .259 with 12 homers and 45 RBI, but you just had to sit him due to a sore hamstring.

Your right fielder is is hitting .191 with 2 homers and paltry OBP of .279.

At third is one of your offensive stars who is near the end of his career, hitting

.364 with four homers and and OBP of .417. He is solid. However, he had been out most of the season. he has only played 18 games and he is still two weeks away from seeing any play time.

You have your utility man filling in, though not so ably. He is hitting .250 with 1 homer and .387 OBP.

You second baseman is a former batting champion and his hitting .315 with five homers and 25 RBI on the season and his OBP is .357.

Your short stop has been arond the block and is one of the top at his position. He is no offensive juggernaut. He is hitting .285 with three homers on the year.

Your first baseman is streaky at times. He is just starting to come on, but is hitting .264 with 11 homers.

You catcher is experienced but is also aging. He is as solid as they come on defense and an veteran of many years who helps your young pitching staff immeasurably. His numbers are down over the last couple of years and he is hitting just .227

Now ask your self if this starting lineup, not even talking about the pitching staff, is worth $68 Million?

Let's see...

The hypothetical lineup consists of player already traded in past years, or rumored to be on the trading block.  It is an expensive team, that is not at all bad, but given their numbers, they might not even be a contender which is bad when you consider the price tag.

So let's saya final fairwell to the Pirates of old. Let's not send Sanchez and Wilson packing until it is time.   I longingly wonder what it might have been like to have you all on the field together.

Would it have made much of a difference in the standings over the past decade and a half? Who knows.

For today, I would like to suggest that we collectively stop all the caterwauling. TV shows come and go. Is it always the right decision? Probably half the time it is and the other half not.

But, what's done is done. Belly-aching about this seven-year-old TV show being canceled, or this three-year old show, or even the most recent show, won't bring them back. What is even worse, is griping about the show being canceled that has not even been canceled yet.

I miss Logan's Run to. Who wouldn't. But it is gone. If I want to see it again I have to turn over to the Sci-fi Network and try to catch it in reruns.


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