The Newsroom

Je suis un inconditionnel de la série The Newsroom, une comédie créé pour la CBC par Ken Finkleman en 1996 et qu'on a fait revivre pour deux autres saisons récemment. Ce qui me frappe en regardant cette série se déroulant dans une salle de nouvelles peuplée de gens odieux, c'est qu'on n’a jamais vu de comédie aussi sèche et acide à la télévision québécoise.

De façon générale, les comédies mettent en scène des personnages sympathiques et truculents: Elvis Gratton la famille Bougon, les Paré de la Petite Vie... Les Bougons sont un exemple intéressant. Oui, ils sont sales. Oui, ils sont paresseux. Oui, il sont profiteurs Mais ce sont surtout des bons vivants qui forment une famille unie. Des «natures». Plus important encore : le point de vue de la série, c’est que les Bougons ont raison de se comporter comme ils le font. Raison de se rebeller contre un système encore plus pourri qu’eux. On ne le regarde pour les juger et les trouver horribles, comme on regarde Georges de Seinfeld par exemple. On rit plus souvent avec eux que d’eux.

À quand une série québécoise centrée sur un personnage aussi antipathique, morne et amoral que Georges, le directeur des nouvelles de The Newsroom?


Leon Durham

The most astonishing thing about Leon "Bull" Durham is how quickly he fell off the map. In 1987, at age 29, he had one of his best season with the Cubs, hitting a career high 27 homers and .273 AVG/.348 OBP/.513 SLG batting line. In 1988, Mike Grace took over his job at first base for the Cubs. Durham was traded to the Reds and his career derailed due to a drug problem. He hit .218 in 73 games that year and .56 (1 for 18) in 29 games with the Cards the following season. He disappeared from the Majors after that.

Durham was a left-handed hitter with a big swing who had trouble with the inside pitch. He had good speed at the start of his career and stole a career high 28 bases in 1982. He played three years in the outfield with the Cubs before replacing Bill Buckner at first in 1984. At his best, he was a .280 hitter piling up 20 homers, 30 doubles and 60 walks a year.


Dick Allen

In 1972, Dick Allen became the first bespectacled position player to be selected as MVP as a Chicago White Sox. In a strike-shortened season of 154 games, Allen hit .308 with 37 homers and 113 RBI. He collected 99 walks for a league-leading .420 OBP. He also led the league in slugging (.603). That’s domination.

Allen played 15 seasons in the Majors and hit .292 in an very difficult era for hitters. He has 351 career homers and many people thick he should be in the Hall of Fame. But he was a very controversial player who had difficulty fitting in everywhere he played.

1972 was his first season with the White Sox. It was a fresh start for the moody slugger and he blossomed under Chuck Tanner, an easygoing manager. Unfortunately, he got hurt in 1973 and the White Sox fell from 87-65 to 77-85. Allen rebounded in 1974, hitting 32 homers... but he retired with a month left to play without an explanation. The White Sox traded him after the season.

Bob Dillinger

Third baseman Bob Dillinger had a short career and is not very well remembered. But we owe him one of the funniest baseball story involving glasses. During a minor league game in 1939, Dillinger took a pitch that the umpire called strike two. Disgruntled, Dillinger took off his glasses and offered them to the umpire. Amazingly, the umpire didn’t eject him. Instead, he took the glasses and put them on under his mask. The next pitch came in, Dillinger didn’t swing and the umpire called strike three. Then he handed the glasses back to Dillinger.

Dillinger broke in the Majors with the Saint Louis Browns in 1946 at age 27. He was a speedy third baseman who led the American League in stolen bases in 1947, 1948 and 1949 (with 34, 28 and 20 steals). In 1948, he collected 207 hits, 34 doubles ,10 triples and 2 homers to finish the year .321 AVG/ .385 OBP/ .415 SLG. In 1949, he played only 137 games but was just as productive: 176 hits, 22 doubles, 13 triples, 1 homer, .324 AVG, .385 OBP, 417 SLG.

In 1951, Dillinger played 101 games with the Pirates and White Sox. He batted .292, but retired after the season at age 33. Apparently, he didn’t want to play baseball anymore. He'S a career .306 hitter.