This episode starts with Dan and Casey making on-air predictions for the top teams in Major League Baseball, because, in their words, a month into the season is the best time to make predictions. I imagine this would be news to the other sports networks, who I'm reasonably certain made their predictions before the season began, like no wonder these guys are perpetually ratings runners-up. And speaking of predictions, I feel the need to clarify my predications from a recap or two ago. I meant that the Yankees would take the AL East and the Red Sox were going to be second most of the year but the Blue Jays would finish strong and overtake the Sox for the wildcard spot. And I know predicting the Yankees to take the AL East isn't exactly going out on a limb, but at least I made my predictions before the season started, unlike these guys. And although I didn't really mean that the Blue Jays would be in the Series this year, I was DEAD SERIOUS about the Expos making it. Just remember where you read it first. Anyway, Dan picks the Orioles to take the American League, like thanks for coming out, Dan. You'd think that if these guys were going to make predictions so late, they'd at least check out the standings before they did so. Dan predicts Cincinnati will win the National League pennant. Much better choice, if not for Guerrero stomping all over the Reds. Casey picks the Yankees and Mets in the World Series, like thanks for that not-all-biased-towards-New-York prediction, Rectangle Head. Then Casey says no matter what team you cheer for, there's one thing everyone can agree on, "and what's that, Danny?" And Ed McMahon, I mean Dan, says, "John Rocker is a doofus." And to make matters worse, Casey says, "John Rocker is a big honkin' doofus." And while I agree, and I do appreciate the comedic value of the "big honkin'" modifier, I think it's a little unprofessional to keep harping on John Rocker's doofusness. I really think the less said about that guy the better, and even Atlanta fans will stop defending the guy as soon as his pitching starts to drop. And speaking of predictions, I have to say that I don't think we've seen anything yet in terms of a scandal surrounding John Rocker. Watching the guy pitch, it looks like that guy is really tightly wound, and I think he's going to snap in a way that will make that Sports Illustrated article look like nothing. But in the meantime, actually insulting an athlete on their little sports show will achieve nothing. And I bet Casey and Dan never referred to Casey's baseball buddy as a doofus on-air after he badmouthed New York in Casey's craptacular one-on-one interview so long ago.
But I digress. As they outro, Casey reminds the viewers that it's "Day 6" of the CSC "fire sale" and is offering the network to any viewers with four or five billion dollars, and that's kind of funny. How weird was it that, days after the episode of Sports Night where the sale was announced, my parent company announced that its newspapers were up for sale? All I can suggest is that Sorkin knew it was coming and worked that into his plotline on the show, so the selling of Continental Corp. was a predictive shout-out to me. The guys end the show, and we hear Natalie say "good show," and Dana asks, "Who wrote the Rocker joke?" like "joke" is a bit of an overstatement, and so is "wrote" for that matter, and it sounds like she's giggling a little, and of course both Dan and Casey lay claim to it. And the two of them argue, and Casey says Dan suggested it but he refined it, and Dan clarifies, "You typed it!" as I pray for a quick death and start to wonder why I missed this show, although Dan and Casey both make this two-handed palms-out gesture at the same time with this "give me a break" look on their faces, which was funny. Dana wants to see them, and now Jeremy says he gave them the Rocker joke, so then Natalie says she gave it to them. Dana looks like she's losing patience almost as quickly as I am. Jeremy concedes that Natalie suggested doing a joke about Rocker but that's not the same as doing it, and why I am noting the excruciating minutiae of this stupid sorry excuse for a bit is beyond me. Dana tells Dan and Casey to come with her and walks into the hall, and Jeremy is still going on about who gets credit for the joke, and we find out that Jeremy said they should call Rocker a doofus and then he and Natalie disagreed on the spelling of doofus, and it is at this point that I am contemplating stabbing myself in the ears to avoid listening to this. Then they are joined in the hall by Dan and Casey, and we learn that Dan agreed they should call him a doofus and that Casey added "big honkin'," and Jeremy is proud of this "team effort." I don't know which is sadder -- that it took FOUR of these guys to come up with seven words, or that all four of them would bicker over the credit for that so-called joke. Dana decides to shut everybody up by pointing out that Time-Warner owns the Atlanta Braves and is one of the potential bidders for CSC, and I wonder if maybe Dana would like to start making journalistic compromises to appease potential advertisers as well, and I wonder if this story is going to be at all affected by the Disney/Time-Warner dispute, but at any rate, it's not unlike Dan and Casey to poke fun at people on the air, so I find it sad that Dana is chastising them now in case Time-Warner gets all huffy about them calling Rocker a doofus. She dresses them down for a while and says it was sophomoric and stupid, and it was, but that should be the only reason she gives them flak for it.
But guess what! After a pause for alleged comic effect, they now all try to blame each other for the so-called joke! No one's laughing now, are they? Dana tells them all to shut up (have I mentioned how much I love Dana?) and that she's going to Anthony's. Casey suggests going someplace different because they've gone to Anthony's the past six nights, but Dana and Natalie both think they need to keep going there, because they figure negotiations are going well, so they shouldn't change their behaviour. It figures that Natalie the little suck-up would agree with Dana. I completely agree that going out drinking every night is a sure-fire way to improve your marketability. Seriously, at least refusing to change their behaviour is a time-honoured sports tradition, just like when I was in high school and I would wear the same socks as long as my basketball team kept winning, and that meant not washing them, and if you think that's bad, I can't even mention some of the other superstitions the other guys had. Speaking of traditions, I would like to go on record as saying that it won't be very long before we see the death of the NHL playoff beard, and it will be a sad day, since you used to be able to measure how well a player's team was doing by how big his beard was, like when Ray Bourque was with the Bruins when they didn't suck, and they made it to the finals and Bourque had this huge beard, but it didn't matter because the Oilers destroyed them. Now the players, if they grow anything at all, grow those stupid little playoff goatees, and the excuse players give is that their wives don't like the beards, but I'm willing to bet the wives like their huge paycheques enough that they might consider putting up with a decades-old tradition for six lousy weeks, during half of which their unbearably stubbly husbands would be on the road anyway. We're not even five minutes into the show and I'm already off on too many different tangents, so I will attempt to focus.