'The Franchise' ending a week ahead of schedule

'The Franchise' ending a week ahead of schedule

'The Franchise' ending a week ahead of schedule
PHOENIX -- Through a rough season, the show must go on. For the Marlins, it just won't be going on much longer.

Showtime will air the final episode of "The Franchise" on Wednesday, a week earlier than initially scheduled.

The reality TV series, starring the Miami Marlins, started on July 11, and the plan was to run eight consecutive weeks.

Wednesday will mark the seventh week of the series.

The agreement was eight episodes, and technically, that is being met, because in April, the first series debuted after manager Ozzie Guillen made controversial comments about Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Guillen said the show wasn't a distraction, and the players shouldn't use it as one for under-performing.

"Those people are good," Guillen said. "They work. They're very professional. They're fun. They've got a hard job. But the way we play, who wants to watch? ... Every time I watched that, I got depressed. The voice of the guy, 'And the Marlins lost again.' This is depressing.

"If any players say it was a distraction, they're full of [garbage]. They weren't hitting for you, pitching for you. Scoring for you. Making a play."

"The Franchise" did bring insights and behind the scenes access. One of the most popular moments was the meeting with reliever Heath Bell and Guillen. Bell had struggled and he expressed to Guillen that he felt no one in the organization had his back.

Bell felt the editing process made it look as if too much of blame on the disappointing season fell on him.

"It wasn't a good experience for me," Bell said. "It was a good experience knowing how television can ruin your life. It was fun. I like some of the guys, the camera guys. They're not bad guys. It's just the guys who were cutting and pasting, they can make it look like one person is the reason we didn't do well, or they can make it look like the team did bad.

"They definitely portrayed me as the only one having a bad year, because you heard it on just about every episode, but not everybody else."