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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Franchise Episode 7 Recap: Keeping Up with the Poseys

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 8:05 AM


Of the many Giants that have been felled by injury this season, few have elicited reactions different than Buster Posey and Barry Zito.

The former is a beloved young star the likes of which the franchise hadn't seen in two decades; the latter is commonly regarded as an overpaid sissy who would have been released several seasons ago if not for his monstrous contract. Fans are predisposed to sympathize with one and demonize the other.

This episode of The Franchise focused on the respective rehabs of both. It's a testament to the strength of the storytelling that both come across as likable guys. Surprisingly, both seem to be focusing very little on baseball now, although for very good reasons.

The series finds Posey spending most of his time at home, sitting down in front of the TV and hobbling around on crutches otherwise. His wife Kristin is two weeks away from giving birth to twins and still doing most of the work around the house, taxed with taking care of her husband while at the same time making sure she's not taxing her body too much. It's an odd situation, with both voicing support of each other while lamenting that the circumstances of the pregnancy haven't played out as planned. Buster seems happy to be home, but he also appears quite restless, anxious to help out the team or at least move around on his own. Of course, now that the twins are born and in the house, maybe things are a little more comfortable.

Posey also gets some airtime at the ballpark, including some really cool footage of his first steps after ditching the crutches. He's still in a walking boot, but this peek into his rehab makes it pretty clear that he'll be back in the lineup next season. Slowly but surely, our Dream Catcher is returning to the fold.

Zito is a different story, mostly because nobody is really itching for his return to San Francisco. After reinjuring his ankle during a rehab start in Fresno, his season appears over. As such, he's returned to his home in the Hollywood Hills, where he seems more concerned with his father's (Joe) health than his inability to help the Giants. Recently, Joe Zito wasn't breathing for eight minutes before being revived by paramedics. He may pass very soon, and Barry appears to be cherishing as much time with his father as he can. Their interview before the cameras is remarkably direct, filled with statements of how much they mean to each other with little small talk. It's too bad for Zito that this season has been such a mess, but at least he's gotten the opportunity to spend more time with a man who means as much to him as anyone in the world.

In other hands, these two stories may have seemed totally unrelated to the story of this season's Giants. However, The Franchise has proven so adept at handling human-interest stories that spend much of the episode with two guys who haven't factored much in 2011 -- and that seems perfectly fitting to the team's story. This show has expanded the world of the team to what happens off the field, too.

Still, it's a series about a baseball team, and this episode delved into how rough the Giants have had it over the past few weeks with an impressionistic view of their road games in Florida and Atlanta. In sharp contrast to previous weeks, this one didn't focus on the wins -- in fact, they completely glossed over the lone victory in Atlanta -- and let the losses pile up. Plus, although there wasn't much talk about the team's terrible injury luck, the producers didn't make it seem as if reinforcements were right around the corner. It's a true-to-life view of the team that hasn't been glossed over for broader consumption.

The Franchise is in a groove now, in part because it now understands what it is. This show isn't going to change any lives or make anyone look at the Giants in a totally new light. But it's a fun half-hour -- and one that helps deepen our relationship with the roster.

For a huge fan, that's enough to keep us coming back.

Up Next: What Kristin Posey thinks of Scott Cousins ...

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Eric Freeman


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