Last season, and the season before, Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista crushed the ball.
Mammoth home run after mammoth home run.
His swing was violent beauty.
Then the beginning of this season happened.
His swing was off.
Probably not a lot. A first.
But balls that in past years would have been upper deck home runs, ended up as flyouts to second basemen.
And Joey Bats was angry.
He started pressing.
Swinging more often.
This, of course, did not go well.
Strike outs piled up, and his batting average plummented.
I’m not sure when it happened.
But he hit a home run.
It looked familiar.
It got out of the park so quickly.
And while experts were debating whether this was an outlier, or a corner turned, he hit another.
He now has 26 home runs. And the all-star game hasn’t been played yet.
That’s kind of how I felt about The Newsroom.
With the exception of an early well-written diatribe, in what we’d later find out was a brief moment of excellence for Jeff Daniels, the first half-ish of the show was… off.
The dialogue was stuck in between not realistic enough and not Sorkin enough.
The characters weren’t likable.
The casting was uninspired. (I dare you to try to think of any role in The West Wing being played by any other actor.)
An oil rig blew up.
Suddenly the energy increased.
You got brief glimpses of who some of the characters could be.
John Gallagher Jr. staked his claim as future break-out star of the show.
And time moved faster.
For a moment, I got the same feeling I get at the end of every episode of The West Wing.
“I want to watch more.”
For the first half, I didn’t think the show had potential.
I figured however many episodes were ordered already would be the entire run.
But now I’m not so sure.
Maybe a couple new characters.
Maybe Sorkin remembers he’s Sorkin.
Either way, I am pretty curious to see if the last twenty minutes of the pilot are an outlier or a corner turned.