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Picks and Pans Main: Tube

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The good news is that baseball has finally returned to free network television, courtesy of Major League Baseball’s new deal with ABC and NBC (the game had been restricted to cable nationally until after the All-Star break). The bad news is that a potential strike could end the season prematurely. Should that happen, fans desperate for a sports fix might want to turn to talk shows, such as Montel Williams’s or Jenny Jones’s. These programs offer the same thrill as, say, pro wrestling. The host is the ringmaster; the guests are the bizarre combatants, taunting each other with ridiculous statements. The audience decides whom to root for. A league could be formed, with catchy team names such as the Cleveland Husbands Who Slept with Their Mothers-in-Law or the Seattle Hermaphrodites in Love with Convicted Killers or the Larchmont Bimbos Who Give Jenny an Excuse to Say “Threesome” in a Sexual Context.