A couple of TV Production company names have baseball connections

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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?

WVYuck

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.

 

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

Justin Verlander
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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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