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SPORTS: ‘Clubhouse’ is worth watching

MULKEYTOWN, Ill. (BP)–Normally I don’t get too excited about a new television series, as it seems that network programs continue their slide away from decency each year.

But this year one caught my attention — “Clubhouse” on CBS. I caught it for the first time this week, and I’m glad I did. It looks like a promising show that’s going to do something very rare on other programs — promote values and decency.

“Clubhouse” is about teenager Pete Young who lands a job as a batboy for a fictional baseball team, the New York Empires. Dean Cain plays Conrad Dean, the team’s star third baseman who befriends Pete. According to the CBS website describing the show, “Pete is over the moon at being a member of his favorite team, but he must still balance life and home and life in the big leagues as he faces the moral dilemmas and curve balls that life throws his way.”

Just an interesting side note: Mel Gibson, who produced “The Passion of The Christ,” is one of the show’s executive producers.

In this week’s episode, the moral dilemma concerned cheating. Dean was mired in a dreadful slump, and one of the team’s other batboys convinced Pete that Dean was corking his bat in order to start hitting better. After all, the batboys saw Dean give a bat to one of the groundskeepers, who supposedly had a woodshop deep inside the stadium.

After Dean hit a home run in a game, the opposing team challenged his bat, which the umpires confiscated for examination. As the game continued, Pete managed to sneak into the umpire’s room and switch Dean’s suspicious bat with a clean one.

Influenced by Dean’s supposed cheating, Pete — normally a model student with a spotless reputation — decided to do some cheating of his own on a history paper. A friend bought a paper from a website, and Pete turned it in as his own.

As it turns out, Dean wasn’t corking his bat after all. The bat he gave to the groundskeeper — supposedly to get corked — was instead a birthday gift for the man’s son. Dean made it very clear to the young boy, and to Pete, that it’s important always to do the right thing.

The lesson learned, Pete went to work on his own history paper. He confessed his cheating to his teacher and turned in his own work, which the teacher gladly accepted.

I don’t know if every episode of “Clubhouse” will be one that promotes righteousness and truth. It’s possible that the show will degenerate into something not worth watching.

But until that happens, I strongly encourage you to watch “Clubhouse” and support a program that appears to be on solid moral ground. Shows like that are hard to find these days.

“Clubhouse” airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Central time, although it won’t be on next week. Be sure to watch when it returns Oct. 12.
Tim Ellsworth is a regular columnist for BP Sports, online at www.bpsports.net. Visit his web log at www.thewinningspirit.blogspot.com.

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth

    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.

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