Marlins on deck for Showtime series “The Franchise”

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UPDATE: Confirming what Variety reported last month, MLB officially announced today that the Marlins will be Showtime’s subject for this season of “The Franchise.” New episodes are expected to begin around the All-Star break.

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Last year Showtime featured the reigning World Series champion Giants on their documentary series “The Franchise” and they’re close to naming the Marlins as the subject for the show’s second season.

Jon Weisman of Variety reports that “Showtime and Major League Baseball are believed to be close to a deal” that would allow the cameras to follow the Marlins around for the season, which could be pretty amazing television considering the presence of Ozzie Guillen and Carlos Zambrano, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez, and Logan Morrison and his Twitter account, not to mention the new ballpark and new uniforms.

According to Weisman the series drew an average of 651,000 viewers per show last year, with eight total episodes chronicling the Giants’ unsuccessful attempt to repeat as champs.

I’m hoping following the Marlins around goes so well that Ozzie gets his own spin-off show and maybe even does some crossover guest appearances on “Shameless.” I think he’d have great chemistry with Emmy Rossum.

Justin Masterson is retired and doing missionary work

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Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that pitcher Justin Masterson is retired from baseball and currently doing missionary work, according to his agent Randy Rowley.

Masterson, 33, hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2015, though he had been trying to find work going into the past season but never latched on with a team. He spent 2016 in the Pirates’ minor league system and 2017 at the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate.

Masterson spent parts of eight seasons in the majors with the Red Sox, Indians, and Cardinals. Across 258 appearances, 184 of which were starts, the right-hander compiled a 4.31 ERA with 1,004 strikeouts and 498 walks in 1,201 innings of work.