Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fitzgerald pulls Playing for Peanuts

If it seems impossible for find John Fitzgerald’s Playing for Peanuts, there’s a good reason: it is. Fitzgerald pulled the show off the air because of a dispute with SportsNet New York (SNY).

When Fitzgerald agreed to have SNY carry Peanuts, he said he did so with the stipulation that the network promote the show in the New York area. That was a natural, he figured, because of the Wally Backman factor. Backman, the manager of the South Georgia Peanuts, was a former infielder for the Mets.

Fitzgerald said SNY agreed initially, but then started hitting the pause button on the promos. After five episodes aired, Fitzgerald decided he could wait no longer. He basically told the network to promote it or lose it.

SNY said it doesn’t promote shows that aren’t its creation, so Fitzgerald pulled the show.

He hopes to find another network to air Peanuts, but that might be difficult this late in the summer. Still, The Dugout has to agree with Fitzgerald’s decision. Without SNY’s promotion, Fitzgerald was essentially giving away his product. And while there are artistic aspects to the creation of such a work, there are also financial obligations. Fitzgerald needs to – and deserves to – make money off his show. At the rate things were progressing, he wasn’t even going to be able to break even.

With teams folding, Backman’s turmoil and the league’s general financial troubles, the second half of the South Coast League’s lone season certainly promised plenty of oddball entertainment. It would be a loss to baseball fans and television enthusiasts everywhere if the final five episodes never reach the airwaves.

Oh, Canada: To all of you north of the border, happy Canada Day. Like American teams on the Fourth of July, most Canadian teams make a big deal out of July 1. The folks in Ottawa couldn’t wait. The Can-Am League’s Rapidz celebrated Canada Day Eve on Monday night.

The game featured jugglers, face-painters, and balloon animals. In front of a crowd clad in red and white – Canada’s national colors - the Rapidz gave away free mini Canadian flags and asked Canadian trivia between innings.

Another northern view: The Dugout received a whole slew of photos from St. Paul that show some of their more interesting promotions from the last few weeks. Toledo also sent some photos this way. Both sets will be on this blog in the next few days.

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