Preview of The Franchise a big hit
Showtime hit a home run with its preview episode of “The Franchise,” the reality TV series featuring the Miami Marlins.
A glimpse at what to expect aired on Saturday night, and nothing was held back. We saw and heard it all — the good and the bad. The for print words and the bad words. Doors normally shut to the public were swung wide open.
If you want a truly inside look, this series is for you. If you want high drama, again, this episode knocked the ball out of the park.
The most gripping TV centered on manager Ozzie Guillen’s five-game suspension, and how the organization handled it before, during and afterwards.
“Here’s the universe of things that you do when you have an issue with your employee.” Marlins president David Samson said on camera. “Nothing. Termination. … This is about as bad as it can get, without getting to termination.”
We saw a distraught Guillen admit: “This is one of the biggest mistake so far in my life.”
Once the suspension ended, Samson had another meeting with Guillen. The message the team president made was clear.
“I’m going to tell you where we are as an organization,” Samson said. “It’s been the worst week we’ve ever had. Just on the phone all day, every day, dealing with it.”
In moving forward, Samson encouraged his manager to be himself.
“Just manage your game. Do everything you do. I hope you’re not changed,” Samson told Guillen. “I hope that we’ve all learned from this. But I hope that you’re still going to be Ozzie.”
Other highlights included:
* Hanley Ramirez playing video games with Jose Reyes.
“A lot of people think that after he signed here, it was going to be any issue between me and him,” Ramirez said. “Nope. We’re still the best friends.”
Added Reyes: “I don’t where the people had that coming from. We’ve always had a very good relationship.”
* At a team meeting, Guillen stressed the team to focus on the goal of winning.
“Don’t get caught up in the new ballpark,” the manager said. “How pretty we’re going to look in this uniform. Just one thing in mind, just to win a championship. That’s it. When you win, everything is beautiful. Even your wife likes you a little bit better.”
* On his car ride to the ballpark one day, Samson spoke about the potential reward for all the years of fighting to get the new, retractable-roof building.
“The payoff is seeing people enjoy the ballpark and winning games,” Samson said. “If we don’t get that payoff, then I’m not sure that being bloodied was all that it was cracked up to be.”
* The message to win was driven home by Guillen at his team meeting before Opening Night.
“We want people to hate this [expletive] ballclub,” Guillen said. “Because the manager has a [expletive] big mouth. He’s arrogant, he is cocky, whatever he is. I want people to [expletive] hate Ozzie. Because when people hate somebody, it’s because they’re good. Good teams win a lot of games. [Expletive] teams, they have a lot of meetings.
“Hopefully, the next meeting we have with you guys is going to be at the All-Star Break and in the first game of the playoffs. Good luck, and stay healthy. And everybody is in this together.”
More to come in July.
— Joe Frisaro