Former JML Gabe Kapler is more than just a pretty face (and a brawny body). If there’s anyone who looks like he might have benefited from pharmaceutical assistance, well:
But Kapler, who spent 12 years playing for six teams (not all at the same time, but perhaps he could have), has always denied. He contributed this piece on “Giving Up the PED Guessing Game” to the Baseball Prospectus website a few weeks ago. Since then, he’s been a guest on Keith Law’s Behind the Dish podcast on ESPN (you can hear it here) and been the subject of numerous blog posts, including this one by Rob Neyer on Baseball Nation. Neyer noted that the erudite Kapler might be wasting his talent by signing on to new Fox Sports 1 network. From Slate:
Launching a 24-hour network in sports’ sleepiest season and being perfectly passable is no small accomplishment, but still, everything on FS1 is acceptable without being remarkable. Fox Sports Live is nearly indistinguishable from SportsCenter, except that its scroll of superflous information—this day in sports history!—runs down the right side of the screen and not the left. Onrait and O’Toole do a solid Olbermann and Patrick impersonation, but the most interesting part of their shtick is their Canadian pronunciation of the word “Out,” which, for a limited time only, turns every baseball segment into a nationality crisis. Will Americans accept their baseball news if it’s delivered by a Canadian?? Onrait and O’Toole are doing what they can to squash their native vowel sounds, so in a week or two, no viewer will be prompted to ponder this question.
Fox Sports Live, like FS1 more generally, shows an interest in Ultimate Fighting that ESPN does not. For now, UFC makes up the bulk of FS1’s programming, and this weekend’s bouts were the lead segment on Live. (I admit to disliking UFC for the very reason many people, presumably, like it—the fighting—but I’m impressed by any sport that lets its players wear light-pink boxer briefs.) Onrait and O’Toole also regularly throw to Charissa Thompson, who oversees a panel of retired professional athletes, including Donovan McNabb, Andy Roddick, Ephraim Salaam, and, sometimes, Gary Payton and Gabe Kapler, opining on the sports news of the day. The retired journeyman Kapler had apparently not gotten the memo about jockularity, citing some statistics from Baseball Prospectus about the Dodgers’ and Tigers’ respective chances of making the World Series. I imagine he was forced to sit in front of the studio’s massive scoreboard in a dunce cap repeating to himself, “I will be more jockular.” [My emphasis]
On this week’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell me, Fox’s newest enterprise was the subject of this entry on the “Who’s Carl this time?” segment:
PETER SAGAL: For your last quote, Stephen, we have an anchor on a new TV network responding to criticism he was trying too hard.
CARL KASELL: I’d like to correct you. We do not try hard. We put zero effort into the show.
SAGAL: That anchor was – Carl, you’re not supposed to be confessing. You’re supposed to be reading from the script.
SAGAL: Never mind. No, that anchor was on a new sports channel taking on ESPN. It’s brought to you by what name in entertainment?
[CONTESTANT] DEISHER: NBC?
SAGAL: No, get ready for the new show “Bill O’Reilly Yells At Sports.”
SAGAL: Fox, yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Fox News, or rather Fox, having already become one of the big entertainment networks dominating cable news, they’re going after ESPN’s audience, with the debut of Fox Sports One, a national all-sports channel. And what’s the secret weapon they’re using to defeat ESPN? Regis Philbin.
ADAM FELBER: Oh, wow.
KYRIE O’CONNOR: Wow.
SAGAL: The 82-year-old host, who began his entertainment career shouting the news from the market square in medieval London…
SAGAL: Will host a…
FELBER: Hear ye, hear ye.
SAGAL: Will host a daily talk show called “Crowd Goes Wild.” We assume Fox’s traditional, male, older-audience viewers will tune in, hoping of course they’ll see, you know, crowd goes wild. They’re hoping to see various athlete lift their shirts. Big surprise for them: It’s going to be Regis.
SAGAL: Hey, look at my appendectomy scar.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: They’re changing the name to “Crowd Goes Ew.”