Baseball Tonight has a new playmate

Today on the Worldwide Leader, much to my delightful surprise; Baseball Tonight presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods was on. This is a very happy time of year, another sign that spring is here and the sports purgatory part of the year that happens annually every February and early March is coming to an end.

Looked like Baseball Tonight’s lineup of characters will feature the steady and strong Karl Ravech, John Kruk as the 2nd in command, Eric Young, and Steve Phillips. In the crowd was the strong presence of Tim Kurkjian; who seemed to be enjoying himself at Disney for ‘ESPN: The Weekend’.

Look, Baseball Tonight has it’s faults, but it’s damn good to see those guys. It’s like those relatives you have that really get on your nerves when you’re an adolescent, but eventually you come to accept them for what they are and the older you get; you realize they’re all that’s left and you love them for their weird quirks and faults. If it’s been long enough and you haven’t seen them, then you really are excited for a visit.

Baseball Tonight also has a new sponsor, Dick’s Sporting Goods. This is interesting, because I think that Baseball Tonight (being the premiere baseball show on television) could find a better sponsor than a second rate chain of sporting good stores. I know, I been within the company confines of Dick’s.

When I graduated college, I worked for an NFL Football team. It was a paid internship. A cool gig by any stretch. After that, I moved back to Columbus to pursue a full-time job and be close to my fiance. I had to do something to pay the bills. For about 6 weeks, I was a pizza boy. It fucking sucked; but only because I had to admit that I was that with a college degree. I had to do something to make some money while interviewing for jobs. After my 6 weeks when things were really starting to get rolling, I was fired. I was told that I didn’t know the routes well enough. I was hurting the productivity of the workplace. Can’t blame them, I was lousy with directions. It was a bummer, getting fired from a pizza place.

Thats when I was taken in by the friendly folks at Dick’s. I had some sales experience (from the NFL team), and they really liked that. They said they had a good idea of what role they could fit me into at the company. They were going to put me on the sales floor. It was around Christmas time, and I was brought on as holiday help to work in the baseball department (since I played college baseball) on the sales floor. What would ensue was a couple very, very mundane and brutal months.

I feel bad about the way things ended at Dick’s. No-call, no-show, and no two weeks notice as I’d left immediately for greener pastures. But during my time there, no amount of boredome could compare to a simple 6 hour shift standing around the baseball department at Dick’s. I tried everything. I even eventually found a warehouse-room hiding place in which I could go up in on my lunch breaks, put in a big fat dipper and sit and reflect on what it was I was doing with my life: sitting in a Dick’s warehouse room dipping and hiding out.

It wasn’t that the company was second rate. It was the product. The wood bats weren’t good wood. The gloves weren’t of good quality. The metal bat selection was shit. Many of the equipment pieces sold there were lame. The one good thing was batting gloves. As far as baseball equipment goes, please don’t take your kid to Dick’s to buy it. He won’t turn into any type of player if you do that. I figure some of the smart parents know that, because often I was ‘selling’ to little league moms who didn’t know what the fuck they were looking for. That, and I was the leading ping-pong table salesman in my 3 months there (try putting that on a resume, please). I feel that the wise parents who knew something about baseball knew that Dick’s product was crap, so they prefer to order equipment from a quality selection operation like Baseball Express or other mom and pop sporting goods outfits. Dick’s just falls short in quality.

That place could turn any 4 hours of a perfectly fine sunday into feeling like you were there for 12. It was amazing and tying on my soul. That coupled with the $7.75 an hour, it’s just not worth it. I haven’t been in a Dick’s since, not for anything. Please, stay away from Dick’s.