Brockmire throws his Knuckleball


Do you have principals and hate silly Fallon effect gimmicks?

Do you have a distaste for people who want to always portrays a happy branding? Do the crass vulgarities of the worst fraternity trends prove more helpful to getting through the day than embarrassing? Then “Knuckleball” is the episode of Brockmire for you.

Whitney, the upper management exec in charge of marketing and broadcasting is again in town to meet with Brockmire and Raj, and the competitive tension is building. With Charles at his side, Brockmire suffers through a presentation mostly involving the ways Raj connects with people. It is called the Fallon effect, so Whitney says. With Raj leading in “Knuckleball”, the broadcast is filled mostly with crazy gimmicks. Raj did not even catch the final out or announce the score.

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Those numbers aren’t important. Demographics ratings are, and Raj is having fun. That is the metric that matters; information on baseball does not. Brockmire’s biggest edge has been deemed irrelevant. While the ball is not bouncing his way, the ping-pong balls gimmick is cute. Still, like watered down garbage whiskey, Brockmire cannot stand that the worst broadcast from a baseball standpoint was the best testing broadcast of the season.

Wayward as his principles are, and with the haphazard way Brockmire’s actions show his priorities, Brockmire refuses to budge. Thankfully, Charles has been at the table all along, and Miss Broadcast now knows who to run the business dealings through. This is not the age for principles, and for the first 7 innings, no one likes someone abrasive, even Brockmire.

In the later innings though, America loves a loaded gun, even the kids. Charles negotiates that Jim will be more than happy to be more amenable to being cheerful. Brockmire is going to at least fake friendly to do a two-man booth with the brown Joe Buck.

Brockmire is already uncomfortable accepting a new friend in the booth. To make life even more lonely, Pedro is moving back to the Dominican Republic. He will miss plenty of things about New Orleans. Men like Pedro enjoy New Orleans more than most tourists. Brockmire cannot leave, for he has lived here all along. It just took moving to the Big Easy to realize he had made it home. Every carnal pleasure that could entice the devil to have a good time, was invented in NOLA, and Brockmire does not mind waiting his turn.

Pedro will be missed but what Pedro will miss most is his new love, a Tulane professor. He loves to dance to her back clapping rhythm, and really loves her translation of the classics. Many things in life can distract a man in his youth, but once a man has traveled several of live’s crazier roads, his vision is clear. The voice of his heart is heard more loudly.

Well, most days. On the last blow out the weekend before leaving the country, Brockmire and Pedro have taken 3 Viagra and 2 twitter women back to their place. The resulting orgy was enough to make a man pass out and imagine going back into the womb. The realization that orgies and baseball are games best played by young men always hurts an old man’s soul. Especially as this realization can only happen at the moment. It does help that the woman may not even notice Brockmire and Pedro are gone.

So with their best years behind them, where do they go? Who can accept when it over? What is a man to do when he is passed being the man he has always been? As Charles once said, Brockmire will be Brockmire until the day he dies. So of course, there must be an angle back into the game. Once more Brockmire and Pedro can experience the glory of the major leagues. Just need some finesse and a gimmick. They needed a knuckleball.

Maybe Charles wants to occupy the women? No? Charles just works in rooms with sex going on because apparently, that is the only way to produce a podcast.

As Pedro explains, the knuckleball is about finesse on the fingertips to the mitt. Pedro seems to have the touch. His knuckleball is dropping several feet. He might have a chance. Brockmire, however, is struggling to find his rhythm on his proverbial mound.

He could figure that out tomorrow, Pedro is wanting to leave. Brockmire can get him a tryout, though it would take a small amount of blackmail. These Viagra boners needed taken care of as well. Though Brockmire wants to play opposites sides of the outfield, Pedro challenges Brockmire, not to chump out. Back to back on the mound, in what should now be known as the two-man booth.

Once finished on the mound, Brockmire goes to New Orleans head coach Leyland. Leyland Lucy’d Lucy back in Kansas, and Brockmire held it over him. It was not so much blackmail as Brockmire mentioning that Leyland’s wife Doreen might not like hearing about certain Lucy escapades. Besides, she always did like those figurines. Hope she is doing well.

At the tryout, the mascot teasing Pedro by imitating an old man using a walker. Brockmire gives him a pep talk and the mascot exits the game. In FLY blackout leather Nike beaters, Pedro dazzles while looking like a bum drifter from the ankles up. The team has a roster spot after all.

Now Brockmire must find his knuckleball. He has an encyclopedic memory of the game, but everyone prefers Brockmire once becomes drunker and less concerned with the game’s narrative. That requires liquor. Being discreet has never been Brockmire’s forte, but once again Charles has a plan.

Brockmire is having a blast. Sipping whiskey out of binoculars and false-bottomed books brings a new thrill. The dance cam is on him, everything he does is a hit and all of it is in fair territory. Results are great and Brockmire gives Charles the credit in the worst most underhanded way possible. It is a way of showing love.

Since Brockmire has proven flexible and is obviously more knowledgeable, upper management has decided to keep him around for one final test. A two-man booth. Too many eyeballs to really sneak a drink, desperate measures are required.

Raj and Brockmire come to terms with ground rules. Charles provides the documents. They will alternate innings, and nothing else is really decided except Raj is a possible sociopath or the next challenger to the social media empire throne.

The problem with a knuckleball is it can break any which -a-ways. The pitcher does the work but has no idea where the ball will land. Pedro’s shaky start brought out the manager for a mound meeting. This is Raj’s inning to call, but that is Brockmire’s friend down there.

Having stepped back to get a few butts clenched shots of rye up to the microphone hole, Brockmire makes amends with Raj quickly. They can both call Pedro’s appearance. Everyone except Charles and Jules loves Brockmire when he is drunk. It is the one attribute for which every alcoholic aspires towards, and for Brockmire’s desired audience this has been affirmed.

Brockmire shines in defending his friend, but more he defended the importance that the knowledge of baseball serves in setting the narrative is a slow-moving game. Pedro throws a strike to recover some confidence, as does the tandem of Raj and Brockmire in their newly formed dialogue.

Once calmed, Pedro Uribe delivers one of the best relief performances in an 8 run home loss in a minor league baseball game. The standing ovation was touching in “Knuckleball”, and within those Pedro pitched innings, it appears Brockmire and Raj mended some fences.

Brockmire has high hopes for Pedro’s chances to make the major leagues. Perhaps they could be there together. But Pedro Uribe is growing older and wiser. His thinking is clearing. His choice is clear. He must leave baseball on top, having already tasted the big league.

Forget the majors, forget going home to the Dominican Republic. Pedro Uribe is following the love of his life to Cornell. Tulane women with class and understanding of open relationships are more than one man’s dream. It takes a real man to love a smart strong woman. Pedro can leave the game having played his best. As a great drunk once said, when it comes to Love and War, it is no choice at all.

Besides, being lonely is terrible. No man has ever felt more a fool than the moment he realized what he had. At the moment he grasps at a hope long gone, but that moment felt so real. To hold it once more is life’s one true treasure. But most of those mythical treasures that is more in man’s imagination than reality disappears in an instant. That memory makes years feel like minutes. We always long for a few more.

And if we just take a second to back up and think, we might have the baseballs to swing for the fences. If the door gets slammed in our faces, at least we gave it our best shot. Brockmire heard what Pedro was saying, and he followed his heart straight to Jules front door.

Jules followed her instincts and slammed the door shut. Brockmire left back for his lonely life through that fence gate, but he left the gift basket. If one leaves it all out on the field, he can feel satisfied moving on.

Pedro felt complete. Brockmire has felt alone for so long. Jules made him feel complete. Now that Jules (Amanda Pete) is making appearances, so does this season of Brockmire. The meeting between Jules and Brockmire has been waiting on the on-deck circle. Amanda Peat is not expected to be in this season often, but her appearance was a home run.

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Brockmire shows up at Jules door with the more precious gift basket of all, his heartfelt and eloquent words. But a heartfelt apology was long overdue, and the gift basket was well past its issue date. Unlike Brockmire on the mound with Uribe, Brockmire has a welcoming grip on fans’ attention, and every episode has been a hit.

Brockmire airs Wednesday’s at 9 PM EST on IFC.