Can anyone tell me why we play the National Anthem before sporting events? It’s tradition at this point, but what was the thinking behind it, and when did it start? I bet some time around the beginning of the Cold War, MLB execs thought it would be good for marketing purposes, and every other sport followed. It’s not like we even apply it across the board. The PGA doesn’t play it at all. The NFL charges the military for it. Youth leagues don’t play it. They don’t even open sessions of Congress with it. We all just agree to sit through a minute or so of someone singing about a war we forgot, and we get mad if people don’t stand up or remove their hats while the song is played. If you were busy taking a knee this week, odds are you missed it.
Apple jacks jack
This week, Apple rolled out its latest line of new stuff, which included a new version of a watch no one is buying, and a new version of a smartphone, except without the audio jack everyone uses. Because Steve Jobs didn’t do the presentation, the bad idea was heavily criticized by tech bloggers and consumers alike. In an act of revenge Apple put another new U2 album in the iTunes libraries of every single critic.
Johnson, like rest of America, doesn’t know about Syria
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential nominee and personification of every news article comment section rant, took his message to MSNBC this week, sitting down for a live interview on his ideas. When asked what he would do about Aleppo, asked, “What is Aleppo?” His response question not only cost him credibility points, it cost him $1,600 because he lost his wager on the Daily Double.
Tebow sent to baseball purgatory
The New York Mets signed failed NFL quarterback Tim Tebow to a contract with its minor league system. Because God can troll harder and better than anyone.
I love baseball. Probably because I barely watch it, thanks to arcane legal agreements that make baseball a cable-only sport. (Streaming only works if you’re not a home team fan willing to shell out for MLB.com because they black out home games. Or if you’re a much more technically literate person than me.) Point is: I can forgive baseball its flaws because it’s barely around to bore me 5 hours at a time most days.
The best part about baseball is that it’s a human story. The players aren’t hidden behind helmets and body-changing pads. Except for the HGH Era, they look roughly like you and me, questionable facial hair choices and all. And, like the rest of us, they have personalities you can actually see and hear.
On the one hand, I respect Curt Schilling’s pitching accomplishments. On the other, he demands that I respect his opinions, which weren’t asked for and make him look and sound like a douchebag.
So, how tolerant do I have to be? Do I have to tolerate it when someone’s an unbidden jackass in a public forum? You probably know the answer to this question, but hit the jump to find out why we don’t have to tolerate it from anyone who’s just “expressing his opinion.” Continue reading →
Baseball is back, and old people could not be more excited about it. I’m a casual observer of baseball until after the all-star break, because really those are the only games that matter in a 162-game season. About half the opening day games were postponed because of torrential snow or rain. I think it was a wise move for the MLB to call these games early. If they hadn’t, they would have lost some fans to exposure. Old people are fragile. If you were busy proposing on top of a mountain this week, odds are you missed it.
The side project awakens
This week, the trailer for Rogue One, a new Star Wars movie that takes place around the time of the first trilogy, hit the internet. And because it’s the Star Wars, the internet went bonkers. However, Trump supporters said they have had enough of the liberal Rebellion media coverage. They declared it was bad trade deals that brought down the Old Republic establishment, and the galaxy far, far away needs a firm, authoritarian hand to unite it.
Gays now welcome in Catholic Church
Pope Francis released a letter this week calling for the Catholic Church to be a more welcoming place. He called on priests to be more accepting of single parents, divorced couples and most notably, gay couples. In the very same week it was announced the pope was considering visiting, and this is true, the island of Lesbos. Who’s got the stones to tell the infallible guy it’s not what he thinks?
Racist charicature to get own movie
Warner Brothers confirmed that it is working on a movie about Speedy Gonzalez of Looney Tunes fame. Some people say it’s a bad idea, but I’m excited about a dark, gritty reboot of the cartoon character–sort of like what Warner Brothers did with Superman.
God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates robots. Robots destroy man. It’s the shadow of a dark future looming over our heads. All the time we are building smarter and more automated machines, on top of this, we’re teaching them things about ourselves, so it stands to reason they will get tired or reading our whiny Facebook posts, snap, and kill us all.
One day, when our robot masters decide to write history e-books, they will show that the beginning of the end of mankind occurred during the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, of all places. There aren’t any robot baseball players, that would actually be kind of cool. Actually, it’s the dawn of the automated bartender.
In case you missed the announcement last week, Derek Jeter is going to retire from baseball after this season. It makes sense. He’s been in Major League Baseball for two decades, broken all sorts of records and won countless awards, plus he’s starting to fall apart now. One more season, one more time out there on the field. Sounds romantic, right?
No, it’s terrible. Baseball players need to stop doing this. The 2014 season is now ruined for me, because it’s going to be one long goodbye for Jeter, who will act all, “Aw, shucks. Thanks guys,” at every single introduction for which game he’s healthy enough to take the field.
It is now the second week of June. This is typically the time when baseball’s elite start to distance themselves, and those nice little guys who flirted with .500 and had a division lead when they were 0-0 are starting to settle where they normally end up, and yes, welcome to baseball in D.C..
Baseball in the summertime in D.C. is a lot like football in Oakland, basketball for Clippers’ fans or Tiger Woods’ marriage: dead. If anyone can remember, the Nationals were last relevant in the summer of 2005. It was their first year in Washington, they had Alfonso Soriano and were a division leader going into the All-Star Game. To put this in perspective as to how long ago this was: Fall Out Boy was a “new” artist that year, Wedding Crashers was not in the $7.50 bin at Wal-Mart, SeriouslyGuys wasn’t even a thought, Chris, McBournie and myself were just out of college and batches of Jack Daniel’s that were being released had started aging in 1998. Continue reading →
Everyone remembers the unforgettable “Celebrity Jeopardy” performances on SNL. There’s a “sword” comment one way or another in any conversation involving Sean Connery, it’s undeniable. My personal favorite was the skit where “Months That End In ‘tober'” is answered with a buzz and on cue “FEBTOBER!!!” delivered by Darell Hammond as the bearded Connery. Some of you may remember me starting writing about the 2009 MLB season way back in early February, and that got me thinking…
Febtober is the perfect way to describe a truly avid baseball fan’s passion for watching every pitch, agonizing over every box score, and blowing every loss out of proportion. While the casual sports’ fans were watching the NFL draft, we were watching pitch counts. When you were watching the Los Angeles Kobes, we were scrutinizing slugging percentages. And while you were debating whether Rafael Nadal would look better with a shorter haircut, we were debating whether or not Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay would make the better late season pitching acquisition. Continue reading →
… would be in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame by now.
Pete Rose was kicked out of baseball in 1989 for betting on baseball while managing the Cincinatti Reds, a charge he finally admitted to in 2002.
Thanks to Hank Aaron, Joe Morgan and Frank Robinson,* however, Bud Selig is publicly considering reinstating Rose, which would put the all-time hits leader on the ballot for the museum that celebrates Ty Cobb, who once got into a fistfight with the Tigers’ groundskeeper and his wife.
But, even if he is made eligible, he would still have to receive enough Veterans Committee votes, which is made up of all the living Hall of Fame members.
*Is it just us, or does the Veterans Committee sound like the Justice League, especially with legendary names like Hank Aaron? Maybe if they forgive gambling, they can finally move on to real crimes.
So we’re officially past the halfway mark of the MLB season, to those of you who pay attention, it’s been a blur hasn’t it? We started this whole shebang back in April, and back then I also made some pretty big predictions, so let’s take a look at how much I actually know by grading my predictions from the Spring.
Predicted Winner: Atlanta Braves
Current Leader: Philadelphia Phillies OK, so right now the above .500 Braves are six and a half games back of Philadelphia. This may sound weird, but out of all the teams in the putrid NL East, the Braves have played the most consistent ball. Philly can’t figure out how to win in Philly and the Mets are … the Mets, can’t change who you are, kid. I’m sticking with Atlanta winning this because of consistency. Grade: B Continue reading →