Picks and Pans Review: Hardball

updated 10/10/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/10/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Fox (Sundays, 8:30 p.m. ET)

C-

Comedy strikes out! This simpy sitcom about life on a major league baseball team was launched just weeks after the actual baseball fraternity went on strike. But this show has worse problems than bad timing. Take, for instance, bad writing, cardboard characters and witless plots.

Bruce Greenwood plays a sage but fading pitcher. Mike Starr is his Falstaffian battery mate. Asked what keeps him from retiring, Starr responds, "Give up showering with other men? Not bloody likely." On the fringes of the locker room are the team's owner (played by Rose Marie of The Dick Van Dyke Show) and its manager (a miscast Dann Florek of Law & Order).

Boorish and vacant, the show is as obnoxiously boisterous and flip as a beer-soaked bleacher bum. Even the laugh track sounds dispirited.

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