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Jim Brockmire's 7 Best And 7 Worst Moments

Despite premiering on IFC in 2017, baseball announcer Jim Brockmire is a character that "The Simpsons" actor Hank Azaria created in 2010. Brockmire originally appeared in an episode of the "Funny Or Die" miniseries, "Gamechangers," and his enduring popularity inspired a four-season television series. "Brockmire" is funny and touching, with Azaria playing the eponymous main character and also serving as executive producer. Technically, "Brockmire" is a show about baseball, but its message goes far beyond the importance of America's pastime. It's a story of redemption, self-discovery, and embracing the things that matter most. It begins with Brockmire at arguably the lowest point in his life and follows him back to stardom.

He experiences countless highs and lows throughout his voyage from disgrace to baseball commissioner and fans come to love this flawed but well-meaning character by the end of the series. His struggles with addiction make him selfish and impulsive at times, and his ambition blinds him from true happiness. However, he is also profoundly nurturing in his own way and displays an impressive amount of selflessness and integrity when it counts. These traits, both positive and negative, portray a relatable character and the best and worst moments of his journey make "Brockmire" a truly memorable and underrated feel-good show.

Worst: Three Year Contract (Season 4, Episode 2)

It's easy to assume that becoming the commissioner of baseball would be a dream job for someone like Jim Brockmire. However, in the Season 4 episode "Three Year Contract," he quickly learns the harsh realities of his new position. The owners expect Brockmire to save their league but refuse to make significant changes or a more considerable financial investment. Their reluctance leaves Brockmire to rely on cheap gimmicks to revive excitement about the sport he loves. In a particularly embarrassing moment, he holds his first press conference and reveals his ideas for "baseball 2.0."

The press conference has almost no attendees, but that doesn't stop Brockmire from completely humiliating himself. For example, the first update he presents is different colored bats for the players and none of the conference attendees seem to understand the point of this change. What's worse, he gives the press conference with Batty — a giant, smiling baseball bat mascot. Brockmire attempts and fails to perform a choreographed, show-tune-inspired song and dance with Batty, but the mascot can barely keep up. Unsurprisingly, he leaves the conference full of regret.

Best: Kangaroo Court (Season 1, Episode 3)

Brockmire is sometimes an agent of chaos, but he can also make sense of difficult situations. In the Season 1 episode "Kangaroo Court," some Morristown Frackers players get into an argument that threatens to end the day's game. The feud starts over a miscommunication caused by a language barrier, and the team holds a heated kangaroo court to get to the bottom of the issue. Pedro Uribe (Hemky Madera) insists that the team's star pitcher, Yoshi Takatsu (Daisuke Tsuji), purposely ignored his request to retaliate against an opposing team.

The locker room quickly divides itself between those who support Uribe and those who support Yoshi. However, Yoshi only speaks Japanese and must rely on a translator, while Uribe's first language is Spanish. Team owner Jules (Amanda Peet) implores Brockmire to step in and mediate the kangaroo court proceedings when pandemonium breaks out. At first, he's reluctant to help, but his ability to speak Spanish and Japanese makes him the perfect candidate. Brockmire quickly diffuses the situation, restores order, and discovers the truth behind the misunderstanding: Yoshi's translator failed to relay Uribe's request properly. Thanks to Brockmire's help, the reunited Frackers get back on track for their second game of the season.

Worst: Caught In A Rundown (Season 2, Episode 7)

The penultimate episode of Season 2 includes some of Brockmire's worst moments on his way to hitting rock bottom. After another night of questionable drug-fueled decisions, Brockmire finds himself in the hospital. To his surprise, the staff invites several medical school students to stand by his bedside. He's confused at first, but a doctor explains that he has a highly unusual diagnosis: scurvy. All the students are fascinated by Brockmire's rare disease, but he doesn't take it seriously. His addiction has gotten so out of hand that he no longer appreciates the dangers of his behavior.

His friend and business partner, Charles (Tyrel Jackson Williams), comes to pick him up at the hospital, but Brockmire absconds with a bottle of champagne. Charles gathers all of Brockmire's closest friends and family for an intervention to convince him to go to rehab. Unfortunately, Brockmire treats the intervention like an ambush and lashes out at all of them. He pokes fun at the caring, heartfelt messages they have to share, and his combative behavior finally pushes Charles to his breaking point. He storms out of the intervention, and the two have an argument that temporarily ends their friendship.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Best: Road Trip (Season 1, Episode 6)

In Season 1, Brockmire definitely doesn't seem like he has any fatherly instincts. However, his relationship with Charles slowly starts to unearth that side of his personality. In Episode 6 ("Road Trip"), he finds out that Jules is pregnant, and the pair are initially uncertain about handling this unexpected situation. Brockmire is more comfortable terminating the pregnancy, but Jules seriously thinks about keeping the child. Brockmire goes to the Morristown stadium to do some soul-searching and asks Charles to play catch with him. The teen seems confused at first and it's clear that the idea of playing this game is foreign to him. Brockmire is appalled to learn that Charles has no idea how to catch a baseball and is determined to teach him.

Even though Charles clearly doesn't enjoy learning to catch a baseball, the game is an early highlight in their relationship. Charles and Brockmire compare notes on their respective examples of fatherhood. Their conversation isn't exactly heartwarming, but Brockmire's attempts at bonding with his young friend reveal some of his kinder, more nurturing tendencies. Although he and Jules ultimately decide to terminate her pregnancy, this simple moment on a baseball field foreshadows Brockmire's eventual journey into parenting his long-lost Filipino daughter, Beth (Reina Hardesty).

Worst: It All Comes Down To This (Season 1, Episode 8)

Falling in love with Jules was the last thing Brockmire expected when he came to Morristown, but their relationship quickly blooms in Season 1. However, in the season's finale, "It All Comes Down To This," he receives news that threatens their union. After the Morristown Frackers win the most crucial game of the season, Brockmire reveals that he's earned a chance to audition for a better announcer job. Despite everything he and Jules have personally and professionally built together, Brockmire tells Jules that he's leaving to chase his major league dream. Effective immediately, he'll be finishing out the AAA season in New Orleans.

Jules is shocked by his choice, but her sadness quickly turns to anger when Brockmire insists she comes with him and belittles her loyalty to the Frackers. He finally admits his love for her, but since he has already packed his bags, it's too little too late. Jules tells him that their relationship is over for good as he walks out the door and refuses to let him come back inside for some forgotten belongings. A dejected Brockmire meets Charles outside, and the two begin their long drive to New Orleans. Choosing baseball over love is one of many decisions that he lives to regret as the series unfolds.

Best: Clubhouse Cancer (Season 3, Episode 1)

Season 3 focuses on Brockmire's journey through sobriety and one of his most significant issues is learning to redefine his relationship without alcohol. While feeling like no one wants to be around him, Brockmire finds an unexpected guest in his Florida home in the season's first episode. A 100-year-old tortoise wanders into Brockmire's kitchen, and he immediately panics and calls for help. However, the animal control representative who comes to inspect the situation guilts Brockmire into letting the tortoise stay and he reluctantly tries to make the reptile comfortable in his new environment.

Of course, selfishness briefly takes over, and Brockmire sets the tortoise free along a roadside. However, his AA sponsor, Shirley (Martha Plimpton), later inspires him to give the tortoise another chance. When Brockmire complains about everything going wrong in his relationships, Shirley encourages him to practice building them with something simple, such as a houseplant or a small pet. It dawns on Brockmire that the tortoise he abandoned would make the perfect pet for this exercise, and he frantically searches for him the next night. Luckily, the tortoise hasn't gone far, and Brockmire returns home with his new companion. He later names the tortoise Clemenza, after a character in his favorite movie, "The Godfather."

Worst: The Yips (Season 3, Episode 3)

According to Brockmire, sportscasters experience a special kind of anxiety called the "yips," which makes it difficult for them to perform on air. In the Season 3 episode "The Yips" Brockmire finds himself in the grips of this crippling condition. He falters whenever he tries to give the count during games, which threatens his confidence. As if he doesn't feel badly enough about the situation, no one in his life seems particularly sympathetic to his plight. For instance, he tries to explain the issue to Shirley, but she offers constructive tough love instead of the sympathy he craves.

At work, his broadcasting partner, Gabby Taylor (Tawny Newsome), is equally uninterested aside from worrying about how it impacts their jobs. She tries to give Brockmire a pep talk, but it backfires horribly and makes him even more anxious. Later his longtime nemesis, Matt "The Bat" Hardesty (J.K. Simmons), threatens to embarrass him on air after a particularly clumsy broadcast. Desperate, Brockmire calls Shirley again for advice on how to save his career. Shirley suggests he seek a higher power to conquer his anxiety, but in the end, the only thing that restores Brockmire's confidence is being alone in the broadcasting booth.

Best: Retirement Ceremony (Season 2, Episode 4)

In this Season 2 episode, Brockmire faces the daunting task of returning home to Missouri for his father's funeral. Before this, we see several scenes depicting Brockmire's complex relationship with his father, so it's no surprise that attending his funeral is difficult. To make matters worse, relations with his sister, Jean (Becky Ann Baker), are hostile from the moment he arrives. However, what seems like a low point for Brockmire turns out to be the first step in healing his relationship with his estranged family.

Brockmire has a surprising talent for writing eulogies and intends to give a well-rehearsed speech at the funeral. Despite the eloquence of the speech, it's an inaccurate depiction of the ire he feels for his neglectful parent. Furthermore, Jean resents Brockmire for leaving her to care for their sick father alone. Jean insists that no one will speak on their father's behalf, but Brockmire insists. Instead of delivering the speech he wrote, he does something much more fitting — he tells the truth about how poorly his father treated him and his sister. This choice initially mortifies Jean, but after the funeral, the siblings make a crucial move toward reconciliation by holding hands in the cemetery.

Worst: The Hall (Season 4, Episode 6)

"The Hall" begins with what should be good news — after a lifetime dedicated to sports announcing, Brockmire earns a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Naturally, he's ecstatic, but his big day quickly becomes a nerve-wracking disaster. Brockmire expects his daughter Beth to give a heartwarming introductory speech about his life and accomplishments, but the young woman has other plans. She shows up late to the event and hands Brockmire a copy of her intended speech which is full of hateful but factual statements about his past. This development makes Brockmire panic and he rushes to find a replacement speaker.

First, Brockmire tries to call Charles but finds out that he won't even be able to attend this all-important event. He even tries to ask former colleague Joe Buck for help, but his assistance isn't ideal for an introductory speech. At a loss, Brockmire spends most of this episode pleading and debating with Beth about her speech before discovering the source of her anger — she knows that he lied about his relationship with her birth mother. Of course, the two make amends by the end of the episode, but this moment is another reminder of how thoughtless and selfish Brockmire was as a younger man.

Best: Opening Day (Season 3, Episode 8)

The opening day of the baseball season is typically a welcome event for fans and professionals alike. However, in the Season 3 finale "Opening Day," this annual event is anything but great for Brockmire. He thinks he'll be spending the day calling his first MLB game with Gabby, but instead, he spends it dealing with adversity at every turn. First, Brockmire's angry sister Jean shows up to inform him that Jules is engaged to someone else. Then, his signature jacket gets lost by local dry cleaners right before the game begins. All this stress is enough to send Brockmire's to a local bar, jeopardizing his sobriety.

Luckily, he encounters a situation at the bar that changes his mind about ruining his sober streak — he sees his AA sponsor, Shirley, drinking alone. Instead of wallowing in his misery like he usually would, Brockmire sees past his own problems and tries to help her. Shirley isn't very receptive to his help at first, but Brockmire refuses to give up on talking her through her struggles. He even brings Shirley to the opening day game, which gets her away from the bar and back into a more supportive environment. This moment demonstrates Brockmire's growth since the beginning of his journey, and opening day is a success after all.

Worst: Make-Up Game (Season 2, Episode 5)

Brockmire spends a lot of time regretting his choice to leave Jules, so when they reunite in Season 2's "Make-Up Game," it seems too good to be true. Jules reschedules her flight to spend more time with Brockmire in New Orleans and he may have a real chance of winning her back. Unfortunately, his selfish tendencies turn this reunion into one of his worst moments in the series. The morning after they reconnect, Brockmire gets a phone call with some unexpected news — he's secured a position as a major league announcer in Atlanta. Even though there are a few days before his first meeting, he decides to fly out immediately.

Jules is understandably furious and Brockmire tries to ply her with beignets and coffee to soften the blow. The two discuss possible terms for their relationship and it's clear Brockmire has learned nothing from their last encounter. He again sees no issue with Jules having to follow him around while he chases his dreams, and his suggestion that they meet once a month further offends her. Jules wants a real relationship and Brockmire is entirely incapable of giving her that, so she walks out of his life and intends to never see him again. This moment pulls the two apart for much longer, and Brockmire genuinely fears losing Jules forever. His regretful choice becomes the catalyst for his hitting rock bottom, which later leads to a stint in rehab. 

Best: Platoon Player (Season 2, Episode 2)

There's no question that Charles is a reliable friend, but Brockmire doesn't always reciprocate. His over-the-top antics can be very embarrassing for Charles, especially since the two men share an apartment. In the Season 2 episode, "Platoon Player," Charles invites his estranged family to come to a birthday dinner in New Orleans. Unsurprisingly, Charles is reluctant to invite Brockmire out of fear that he'll misbehave in front of his family. However, Charles is less successful in hiding his plans than he would have liked, and Brockmire shows up unannounced during the meal. Mortified, Charles pulls Brockmire aside and chastises him for disrespecting his boundaries.

This event seems like another instance of Brockmire being a terrible friend, but it turns out to be one of the most redeeming moments in their relationship. Charles' family clearly disapproves of how he lives his life and scolds him for leaving Morristown. Brockmire could mind his business and let them speak but he decides to stand up for Charles instead. He lets both of his parents know exactly how talented and successful their son is and refuses to back down when they try to argue. Finally, Charles realizes he was right to leave his dysfunctional family behind and leaves with Brockmire. At home, Brockmire tells Charles how much he values their friendship.

Worst: Union Negotiations (Season 4, Episode 7)

Brockmire lived a wild life in his younger days, but sobriety and his position as baseball commissioner get him back on the right path. Unfortunately, life throws him a very unexpected curve ball in the Season 4 episode, "Union Negotiations." Before going to headquarters for contract negotiations with the players' union, his virtual assistant, Limon, notices a tremor in his hand. The device takes a blood sample, but Brockmire thinks he has more significant problems. He and Jules are under pressure to prevent the MLB players from going on strike, and they only have 24 hours to do it.

The negotiations drag on, but something worse happens the morning after his blood test. A doctor arrives at headquarters early that morning to give Brockmire the official diagnosis that he has Parkinson's disease. The doctor explains there's no cure, but new treatments show promising results. Nevertheless, Brockmire now knows how he will die. After a lifetime of risky decisions that could easily have turned fatal, the irony of his diagnosis hits hard. When Jules later insists that they get back together, he initially rejects her because of this news. Jules wins him over though and the two even have a shotgun wedding in the boardroom. However, the happy moment is undeniably tainted by the fact that Brockmire's condition will limit their time together.

Best: Disabled List (Season 3, Episode 7)

Brockmire makes his fair share of enemies throughout his career, but one of the biggest highlights of Season 3 is his journey to befriending one of them. He and Matt "The Bat" Hardesty never saw eye to eye at the height of their respective baseball journeys, but they find a surprising amount of common ground as Matt slowly dies due to terminal cancer. Because of their acrimonious history, Brockmire is initially reluctant to connect with Matt. However, he soon becomes a fixture at Matt's bedside. The two bond over their lifelong troubles with women and difficulties maintaining friendships, and Brockmire is a profound source of comfort for Matt in his final days.

Unfortunately, he isn't at the hospital when Matt dies. Instead, Matt's nurse, Maggie (Christine Woods), breaks the news to Brockmire toward the end of the Season 3 episode, "Disabled List." Brockmire is visibly sad about Matt's death and comes up with the perfect way to honor his legacy. He takes Matt's ashes to the Tampa baseball stadium and delivers a tearful goodbye speech. Brockmire is no stranger to long monologues, but his final words to his friend are some of the most touching he utters throughout the series. Fittingly, he mixes the former baseball player's ashes into the stadium's chalk dispenser and draws them along the first baseline, putting Matt to rest in the place he loved most.