Almost Reel: Contraction Is In

Who would have guessed that Bud Selig is a revolutionary thinker?

(Who would have guessed that Bud Selig of all people would give me fodder for an article?)

Baseball’s commish has ratified the owners’ vote to drop two Major League Baseball teams before the start of next season. (Never mind the myriad legal battles that stand in his way.)

Now that the nation’s downsizing trend has made its way to baseball burgs, has taken the “drop-two” concept to entertainment groupings that might need a trim.

And, unlike baseball, we’re not afraid to name our two, either.

Group: Harry Potter characters

Which Two Get Canned: Professor Dumbledore and Hermione Granger

Why: Both are stuck-up, righteous, know-it-alls. Who needs ’em?

Group: ABC primetime shows

Which Two Get Canned: Dharma & Greg, America’s Funniest Home Videos

Why: True, the whole lineup deserves to be canned, but these shows rotted on the vine a long time ago.

Group: ‘N Sync

Which Two Get Canned: Lance and Joey

Why: For one, they can’t sing. For two, they starred in that God-awful movie, On the Line.

Group: James Bond movies

Which Two Get Canned: The Living Daylights, License to Kill

Why: Even George Lazenby was a better Bond than the wooden Mr. Dalton.

Group: Friends

Which Two Get Canned: Ross and Monica

Why: The other four–especially Chandler–are actually funny at times.

Group: Destiny’s Child

Which Two Get Canned: The two who aren’t Beyonce

Why: Because we don’t even know the names of the two who aren’t Beyonce.

Group: Jackson 5

Which Two Get Canned: Marlon, Randy

Why: As if we’d ever get rid of Tito…

Group: Star Trek

Which Two Get Canned: Sulu, Transporter Chief Kyle

Why: They’re the first two to go when a recession finally hits the Federation.

Group: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Which Two Get Canned: Commander Riker, Wesley Crusher

Why: Extraneous. Captain Picard needs Riker like he needs a third leg, and the young Mr. Crusher is just a skinny snot rag.

Group: Led Zeppelin

Which Two Get Canned: John Bonham, John Paul Jones

Why: They aren’t Robert Plant or Jimmy Paige. This was essentially a two-man band.

Group: The Brady Bunch

Which Two Get Canned: Jan, Sam

Why: Their names have three letters. And Jan is just a whiny little snot rag. Hmm, maybe she should date Wesley Crusher.

Group: Rocky Franchise

Which Two Get Canned: IV, V

Why: Five was way too many Rocky movies. Even Sugar Ray Leonard didn’t un-retire this many times.

Group: Late night TV hosts

Which Two Get Canned: Conan O’Brien, Charles Grodin

Why: Can’t get rid of Jay or David; they have too much money. And we like Craig Kilborn and Charlie Rose too much.

Group: Star Wars movies

Which Two Get Canned: Return of the Jedi, Phantom Menace

Why: Jedi was the weak link of the first trio, and Attack of the Clones–despite the inane title–will be infinitely better than Phantom Menace.

Group: ER

Which Two Get Canned: Chloe, Luka

Why: Both of them have lost that lovin’ feeling.

Group: Beatles

Which Two Get Canned: Ringo, George

Why: (See comment above, re: Led Zeppelin.)

Group: The Simpsons

Which Two Get Canned: Skinner’s mom, Rod Flanders

Why: Agnes had sex with the Comic Book Guy, which is unforgivable. Rod, the elder Flanders son, has already left the straight-and-narrow path set by his dad: How boring.

And an honorable mention goes to The Sopranos, who don’t need to be on this list. They do a good enough job of contraction all by themselves.