Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

A couple of TV Production company names have baseball connections


I’ve been fascinated with TV production company names and logos for a long time. I don’t mean big companies like NBC or Castle Rock Entertainment or whatever. I mean the little personal companies of the creative side of a TV production that air at the end of shows. The first ones I remember were “Sit Ubu, sit. Good Dog” and the Stephen J. Cannell thing where he rips the page out of the typewriter. There are a million of those. You know what I’m talking about.

Over at The Hollywood Reporter, Lesley Goldberg writes about the backstories for over 40 of these little production company names and, not surprisingly, almost all of them are based on personal anecdotes, personal inspirations and inside jokes of the creative folks. A couple of them even have to do with baseball.

Brian Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame has a company called “Moonshot Productions.” It’s not based on the Apollo program. Rather, it’s based on a somewhat forgotten Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder:

“Before Dodger Stadium, the team played at the Memorial Coliseum. The left field fence was only 220 feet from home plate. So a 42-foot-tall fence was erected. Outfielder Wally Moon discovered that if he uppercut the ball he could “chip” it over for a home run. The feat became known as a moonshot. To me it represents overcoming obstacles. Moonshot Entertainment was born.”

And then there’s Michael Schur of “Parks and Recreation” and “Brooklyn 99.” His company is “Fremulon” (with its name voiced in the post-credits clip by Nick Offerman). Many of you will remember, however, that as Schur was building up his TV empire, he was also snarkily blogging about baseball:

Fremulon was the fake name for the fake insurance company that my fake blogger, Ken Tremendous, worked at when I was writing the blog Fire Joe Morgan. My current backstory is that it’s a very shady company that’s mixed up in a lot of financial shenanigans — and possibly international weapons deals — and is using its entertainment wing as a tax shelter.”

At the risk of embarrassing myself and showing how long I’ve had delusions of grandeur, I’ll reveal what my personal production company was/will be one day. When I was a teenager in West Virginia, my brother and I used to go to the drug store and get sheets of those “Mr. Yuk” stickers. Remember those?


As you can see, the ones in West Virginia used to say “West Virginia Poison Center” on the top. We’d take a black Sharpie marker and mark out letters and the phone number so it said “Virgin Son.” It was perfect. Perfect spacing, perfect image, perfect encapsulation of my social life, sadly. Anyway, we’d put the stickers on everything. Notebooks, skateboards, you name it. If I ever have a reason to have a production company or personal branding of any kind, I’m definitely using “Virgin Son” productions with some version of the Yuk face.

That is, if I don’t get sued by Richard Branson and the people who own the trademark to the Yuk face. But that’s what lawyers are for. I’ll be too busy creating.


The Marlins sign Joe Beimel

6 Comments’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins have signed lefty reliever Joe Beimel.

Beimel is 39 and hasn’t been with anyone this year. He had a tryout for the Cubs last week but that went nowhere. Now he’ll report to extended spring training for Miami before heading, presumably, to New Orleans to wait for a chance.

Beimel posted a 3.99 ERA across 47 and a third innings last season for Seattle. He missed the entire 2012 season and only pitched in the miners in 2013 before landing with the Mariners in 2014. But he throws with his left arm so age, shoulder problems, time off, eh, doesn’t matter. Guys like him are The Winter Soldier.

Shelby Miller is malfunctioning

Getty Images

Bob Nightengale of USA Today has a story about the guy who is probably the biggest bust of all of the players who were involved in prominent offseason transactions: Shelby Miller.

Miller, who was traded from Atlanta to Arizona for a VERY big package of players over the winter, has been stinkin’ it up for the Diamondbacks, posting a 1-3 record and a 7.36 ERA in seven starts. He leads the league in walks issued with 21. And he’s only struck out 20 batters. Any way you slice it, it’s a mess.

The article is framed via Miller’s return to Atlanta last weekend, where he faced the Braves. In it some of his former Braves teammates talk about how perplexed they are that Miller hasn’t been doing well. Dave Stewart and the Diamondbacks, however, continue to say that Miller will come around. Stewart says that if he had to do the trade over again right now he would. Which, well, of course he’d say that.

I did get a chuckle from it all, however, given that Miller’s best start of the season came on Saturday against the Braves. As a result I pictured the whole situation like the sale of a bad appliance or something with the Braves being the salesmen.

Diamondbacks: “Hey, this thing you sold me? It doesn’t work.”

Braves: “That’s crazy, it’s top notch! You got a bargain!”

Diamondbacks: “I’m tellin’ ya, it’s defective.”

Braves: “Bring it here.”

[Miller pitches fantastically against the Braves, gets the win]

Braves: “See? Like I told ya, top notch. Workin’ just fine as far as I can tell. No refunds.”

Diamondbacks: [grumbling]