Brockmire’s Big League Problem

IFC’s Brockmire is a blue and irreverent comedy that follows the odyssey of a wayward play-by-play man. The titular character, Jim Brockmire, is a washed-up broadcaster who is stuck calling games in the minor leagues. He desperately wants to return to broadcasting in the Major Leagues. The problem for Brockmire: he can’t actually return to the big leagues.

To quote GLOW’s Sam Silva, “The money’s in the chase.”

Silva used that statement to justify why an underdog snatched a last-minute win from his wrestling show’s heroine, Liberty Belle. His rationale was that viewers would be more likely to return if his show remained unpredictable. The pursuit of glory creates its own drama.

The same philosophy applies to Brockmire. The veteran broadcaster was fired after an epic on-air meltdown in Kansas City. After a booze-soaked journey that included a cockfighting gig in the Philippines, he returned to the United States to work for the independent Morristown Frackers.

Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet in Brockmire
(L-R Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet in Brockmire)

Brockmire (played by Hank Azaria) spent most of Season One hysterically regaining his play-by-play mojo. He also had a fling with the team’s owner (played by Amanda Peet) and set things straight with his archrival (Joe Buck).

Season Two of Brockmire is following the broadcaster as he calls games for the Minor League New Orleans Crawdaddy’s. The fictional team is in the Atlanta Braves organization. Brockmire is waiting for the franchise’s own legendary broadcaster to retire. He is in a competition with Raj, a younger play-by-play guy who is also vying for the Atlanta gig.

IFC has already renewed Brockmire for two more seasons. Where its hero spends his time behind the mic is critical to the show’s dynamic.

Keep Brockmire In The Minors

The outcome of the contest threatens the comedy of the series. There is inherent comic value in Brockmire pursuing his dream. If he actually returns to calling games in stadiums with a third deck, the premise of the series will change drastically.

As entertaining as baseball can be under any circumstance, there is a lot more comedy available in Minor League Baseball than the bigs.

The stadiums are smaller. The towns have quirkier trappings. The ability to write in a journeyman character like knuckleballer Pedro Uribe is gone. As Brockmire has shown in season two, even the mascots are weirder.

Brockmire's Crawdaddy Mascot
Brockmire’s Crawdaddy Mascot

Major League built a movie around castoffs, but Brockmire has to respect the allure of the big leagues. If getting a job with the Atlanta Braves is something to aspire to, they cannot water down the dream with the same type of cast. Leave the hangers on-in Morristown.

In Bull Durham, Kevin Costner’s Crash Davis once revealed to a bus filled with wide-eyed minor leaguers,

“I was in The Show for 21 days once. The twenty-one greatest days of my life. You know, you never handle your luggage in The Show? Somebody else carries your bags, it’s great. You hit white balls for batting practice. Ballparks are like cathedrals. The hotels all have room service. The women all have long legs and brains.”

Jim Brockmire has been able to wallow in just about any gutter. Putting the foul-mouthed and erratic broadcaster in the “cathedral” that is Major League Baseball would result in Brockmire losing its comedic edge. Even a brief return to Morristown should create more stories than a trip to Atlanta ever will. is a Philadelphia pop-culture blog that covers television, music, podcasts, and movies. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, or subscribe by e-mail to catch all posts. 


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