So it seems that the LA Dodgers are going to be getting their very own TV network. Well, isn't that special?
Oh, wait, I'm sorry, that came off as sarcastic, didn't it? That is special. I'm actually quite jealous of the Dodgers, which is something I seldom find myself feeling. But, for me at least, my jealousy is not steeped in the fact that the Dodgers are going to be pulling in an insane amount of money or elevating their national profile even higher. No, what I am envious of is that the channel belongs to them. It is all Dodgers, all the time. Or at least it could be. I'm sure they'll screw it up somehow and fill programming slots by televising LA Sparks games or something.
Needless to say, this development has sent my mind off on a flight of fancy. What would a TV network look like if the Angels had their own network? Alas, we will probably never see that happen what with Fox Sports owning the Angels' TV rights for what should be just long enough for this whole regional sports network bubble to burst. That won't kill my dream though, so I have taken the liberty of crafting a programming lineup for this fictional Angels channel that will never see the light of day. I assure you, when I am done, you will want to petition Arte Moreno to tear up that $3 billion contract in favor of my plan… either that or we will collectively realize why software engineers seldom make for good TV executives. It could go either way at this point. Enough dillydallying, on to the daily programming!
6 AM to 9 AM – Wake the Halo Up! with Hartman and The Wonder Dog
Light talk is a staple of morning programming, so let's not reinvent the wheel here. In fact, let's be total sheep and follow the trend of televising a radio show! Why on earth people want to watch a radio host sit and yak into a microphone all by himself is beyond me, but it seems to work for guys like Dan Patrick and Mike Francesa, so who am I to argue? The problem is that the best KLAA has to offer is Roger Lodge. This I simply cannot abide. That means we need to create a new simulcast radio/TV show out of whole cloth. Fortunately, I know just the men for the job. Yes, one of them is Rex Hudler. Yes, I am on record as not liking Rex, but I know there are many that do and this isn't just about me. I do have other reasons though. Hud might not be so great with the analysis but he is basically a Five Hour Energy Drink incarnate and isn't that what morning programming is all about? Someone to get you pepped up in the morning? Of course, he isn't for everyone, which is why I paired him with Steve Hartman. Maybe I am in the minority here, but I grew up listening to the Loose Cannons when it was Hartman and Chet Forte and always thought Hartman was great. The Loose Cannons show has gone down the tubes in recent years, but I still like Hartman and I think he would do well across from Rex seeing how he has been co-existing with the lunatic moron that is Vic "the Brick" Jacobs for so many years.
9 AM to 11 AM – The Chase
We're going to tell them that The Chase is shorthand for "the pennant chase," but really this is all about cleat chasers! Yes, that's right, we're giving the Angels' WAGs their own roundtable talk show a la The View, The Chew, The Talk and all the other super creatively named daytime talk shows targeting the housewife demographic. Having these lovely ladies talk about baseball and what it is like to be married to a pro baseball player sure as hell would be a lot more interesting than whatever nonsense Joy Behar and that Hasselbeck chick yammer on about on The View. Plus, I bet it would help recruit free agents, although I'm not sure players with wives that are desperate to be on TV are really the kind of players the Angels want. I'm actually kind of glad this show doesn't exist though because it would only make me even more upset that the Angels signed Joe Blanton instead of Brandon McCarthy and his awesomely entertaining wife.
11 AM to 2 PM – Minor League Game of the Day
Fans love prospects, however, fans seldom ever actually get to watch prospects play. Well, here is your chance. Each day, we will show a game from the night before from one of the Angels' minor league affiliates. Sure, the game will be on tape delay, but nobody really cares who wins a game between the Inland Empire 66ers and Lancaster Jethawks, do they? No, they don't. We just want to scout prospects via TV. You're telling me you wouldn't come home on your lunch break to watch Kaleb Cowart and C.J. Cron mash dingers?
2 PM to 3 PM – The Kids Are Alright
We're not going to let this prospect thing go just yet. Now that the MILB Game of the Day has whet your appetite, we are going to throw it to a studio show featuring some of the top Angels prospect experts to come in and chat about the latest goings on in the Angels farm system. The show will feature interviews with the prospects as well as members of the Angels scouting and player development staff.
3 PM to 5 PM – Halo Effect
OK, I get it. I've kind of been catering to the masses thus far, which typically means going for the lowest common denominator. Fret not, I've got a show for the "thinking man" Angels fan. In other words, I am going to blatantly rip off Clubhouse Confidential. Hosted by, honestly I couldn't figure out a good host, the program will take an in-depth look using advanced metrics to breakdown the issues of the day for the Angels. It will heavily rely on guest contributors from around the blogosphere like the inimitable Sam Miller, Matthew Berry and so on. This will easily be my favorite show, which almost certainly means it will get canceled within two weeks.
5 PM to 6 PM – Around the Halo
What would a sports network be without a debate show? (Thanks for that, ESPN.) This Around the Horn/PTI hybrid would feature some of the top and/or controversial Angel reporters, bloggers and former players debating the hot Angel topics of the day. Just imagine a full hour of guys like Lyle Spencer, Mark Whicker, T.J. Simers, Garret Anderson and well, just about any other Angels-related personality that you don't really like yelling at each other over the genius/stupidity of all of Mike Scioscia's sacrifice bunts and so on. I kind of hate this show already, which almost certainly means it will do huge ratings.
6 PM to 7 PM – The Angels Pre-Game Game Show
Pre-game shows might be the most worthless thing on TV aside from Buckwild. Once they post the lineups for the game and any last minute news that might have happened, the show is all just filler. So screw that whole "keys to the game" BS, let's just have some fun! The show will be hosted by Roger Lodge (I'll finally give him some love here due to his Blind Date history), who will intertwine game-related topics into various over-the-top Japanese game show-style contests that real fans take part in. For example, "Guess the Scioscia Face" in which contestants must guess what just transpired in a game to cause Scioscia to mug in his infamous way. There's also, "Pin the Bad Trade Acquisiton on Tony Reagins," which features contestants running an obstacle course of horrible excuses Reagins used to justify the moves. Of course, there is also the time honored tradition of "Guess the Line-up," a nearly impossible game to win since Scioscia's line-ups are so unpredictable. The possibilities are endless!
7 PM to 10 PM – Angels Baseball
Because that's the whole freaking point of the network. I'm not even going to mess with the announcing team. Rojas and Gubi aren't the best, but they are plenty good enough, so let's not mess with something that ain't broken.
10 PM to 11 PM – Angels Post-Game
No sense trying to reinvent the wheel here. This is just your standard highlights and instant analysis studio show for the game that just finished. My only caveat is that the studio crew include Darin Erstad and Tim Salmon for no other reason than they are two of my favorite Angels ever and I demand that they be involved in some capacity, even if there is a very good chance that Ersty is horrible on TV.
11 PM to 12 AM – Angels After Dark
Let's get interactive! Enough with the guys in nice suits sitting behind desks. Let's get a hip, young host, a likeable former player and match them up with some eye candy. Money of PMS Show fame would have to be poached from Fox, but he hosts a great radio program, has a good sense of humor but also knows how to run a professional show. Scott Spiezio could give the show a flavor of non-mainstream personality and something of an unpredictable element (to say the least) fit for late night TV. Add in veteran reporter/radio guy/straight shooter Joe McDonnell to keep everyone in check. Then top it off with some eye candy in the form of Leann Tweeden. I don't know if Tweeden is a "real" Angel fan, but she's been doing TV work for the team for a few years and she's really hot, so that's good enough for me. Don't worry, I'm not going to focus this show on the hosts, this show is about the fans. If anything, I'm throwing them to the wolves and making this a viewer call-in show. It will be an hour of taking phone calls, taking questions over Twitter and Facebook and any other social media platform. Hopefully some of the discussion will be intelligent, but I imagine this will mostly be an hour of unintentional comedy provided by the lunatics that would actually call in to a late night cable baseball talk show. I really can't wait for three months into the show when Money has a nervous breakdown after the umpteenth viewer calls in to suggest trading Andrew Romine for Evan Longoria straight up.
12 AM to 3 AM – Angels Mystery Baseball Theater 3000
Now that it is starting to get late, that means its time to get weird! Yes, we are going to show the game again because that is what RSNs do. However, why just show the same telecast all over again when your DVR can just do that for you? This version of the game is for you kids (and by kids, I mean stoned college kids staying up way too late). We're going to drop Victor and Gubi's commentary and replace it with the hilarious antics and wit of Riley and Ian from Productive Outs. If they can't mock anything and everything in the game, I don't know who can.
3 AM to 6 AM – PMA in AM
Most networks would save this graveyard of a time slot for infomercials, but not Angels TV! Well, sort of. A staple of early morning programming is the infomercial for self-help/motivational gurus. If we are really going to go that route, why not target the Angel fan demographic a little better with a C.J. Wilson-sponsored program centered around his "Positive Mental Attitude" mantra. Considering that C.J. recently slapped his name on a "zombie-proof" SUV, I don't imagine there will be much resistance on his part to endorsing this program and maybe filming a few pre-taped segments per week.
Angels Talking to Angels – Join Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton for some good old fashioned weekly Bible study every Sunday morning!
Mickey Hatcher's Baseball Fundamentals – Move over Tom Emanski, there is a new coaching guru in town. Tune in every Saturday to watch Mickey craft the development of youngsters by wearing his hat backwards and yelling at them to "Swing! Swing at everything! Making adjustments and taking walks is for the weak!!!!" for hours on end.
Do Bikram Yoga Good Enough Until Last Position Until Also Something Good Happens For You with Jose Mota – Jose Mota is most well known for being a butcher of the English language. He is almost as well known for his passion for bikram yoga. So why not combine the two and have him lead the most incomprehensible TV yoga workout ever? "Now it is currently time… to change your position of your body to your face to be facing down like some… sort of canine type of dog… animal… position."
This Week in Trout – This is nothing but a clip show of all the amazing things Mike Trout does each week. I think we should be able to fill a good eight hours worth of programming per week. At least.
The Adventures of the Rally Monkey! – We need some Saturday morning cartoons in order to properly indoctrinate youngsters into Angels fandom. Since the Angels are pretty married to this whole Rally Monkey thing, they might as well leverage him as best they can by giving him his own animated series in which he roams the country defeating caricatures of all the other MLB teams' mascots. He could fight a giant in San Francisco in one episode, then get into an Old West shootout with a Texas Ranger the next. I have no idea what a Dodger is, so we are going to have to hire some pretty creative writers. We'd also have to allow for cameos by Angel players, kind of like the 90's cartoon Pro Stars, if only to hear what an awful actor most of these guys are.
The Answer is Dean Chance – Another game show. This time it is a strict trivia show hosted by Mark Gubicza. But there's a catch! The catch, of course, being that the answer to every single question is Gubi's default answer to every in-game trivia question, "Dean Chance."
Scioscia's Italian Kitchen – Each week, Scioscia takes of his ballcap and dons an apron to share with you his favorite Italian recipes like chicken piccata (not PECOTA).
King Conger – I almost got through this whole network construction without a reality show. What was I thinking?!?! My initial temptation was to send cameras to follow around C.J. Wilson as he engages in his myriad of hobbies, but I have the feeling it would get contrived pretty quickly. No, instead, back-up catcher and meme follower extraordinaire Hank Conger gets tabbed for the honor. He seems genuinely funny and unafraid of making a fool of himself, which is a central tenet of reality TV. I suspect this will end up having a bit of Jackass mixed into it as Hank and some of the other young Halo players like Mark Trumbo get into hijinx. Wait, no, hijinx AND shenanigans!
Thunder and Lightning! – A very special made-for-TV movie starring Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout. The plot is… who cares what the plot is? Just know that it will be a horribly cheesy and contrived action film with horrible acting. In other words, Roger Corman is going to direct.
— At all times, there will be a small countdown clock in the bottom right corner of the screen informing viewers how much time is left until Vernon Well's contract expires.
— Under no circumstances will the channel be allowed to air the Angels in the Outfield movies.
— During the off-season, the 7-10 PM slot will be replaced by replays of the 2002 World Series. The series conveniently went seven games, so we'll show one game each night from Monday through Sunday. It is set up that way so that Game 7 runs on Sunday night thus giving every Angels fan a jolt of happiness to offset that gross Sunday night feeling of knowing that you need to get up and go back to work the next day.