Too Many Words About An Unremarkable Show

There’s enough going on in the television show landscape lately that I don’t think anyone should exactly be begging for more shows. I mean shouldn’t you go back and watch The Sopranos or Band of Brothers for the first time before opening that new Fox sitcom about how a small town lawyer can’t get along with his big town actor brother that is actually surprisingly good? Wouldn’t that be a the right thing to do!?! And yet, if you told me Danny Pudi and Alan Tudyk were joining a new show, that would be a solid single eyebrow raise. And the fact that it’s presumably a The Office type comedy set “in the universe of DC Comics” – yep, that’s the other eyebrow also rising, can’t help it.

The showrunner is Ben Queen, who is really only known for creating another NBC sitcom (along with executive producer Rashida Jones?) called A to Z featuring Michael Ginsberg and Leo’s first wife from The Wolf of Wall Street as the two romantic leads, Andrew and Zelda (DO YOU GET IT). Also it was cancelled after one season. So…eyebrows up, but I’m squinting now.

It’s an NBC comedy called “Powerless” that will star Vanessa Hudgens (why not?) as an insurance claims adjuster in a world of superheroes…I mean sure, that’s probably got some legs. You’d certainly understand if there were a lot of insurance claims in the DC universe.

But the DC cinematic universe hasn’t exactly had a comedic leaning, historically. In recent years, they’ve been more about Batman brooding in the dark and Superman being a deadbeat sociopath dad…compared to the other side of the fence that now has two wisecracking, $100+ million opening weekend, full body spandex clad dudes in their roster, alongside Paul Rudd/Michael Pena and talking tree/raccoon pairings.

Though it’s like the other way around in the domain of television.

It’s also very different logistically on the Marvel side, which inexplicably has every single superhero crammed into New York City. Batman’s in Gotham, Superman’s Metropolis, Flash is in Central/Keystone City, Green Lantern has Coast City, Green Arrow is in Star City (and I think Martian Manhunter was in Denver?)…so chances are you’re not going to see a lot of big name cameos. I think we’re talking like Booster Gold level stuff here.

…Ambush Bug?

But yeah, Danny Pudi typecast again as a weird, ethnic, sexually unthreatening best friend and Alan Tudyk playing Michael Scott…that buys you a pilot viewing at the minimum, regardless of the comic stuff…which at this point I don’t even know if it’s good or bad. Why do you need to set it in the DC universe, why not just any generic superhero universe? Is adding licensed superhero characters really going to add a lot more value than no name brand alternatives?

I wonder if naming a show Powerless is going to cause any confusion with “Powers” which is about homicide detectives set in a superhero universe, that apparently came out last year already…on the PlayStation Network? Okay, maybe not.

I’m living in that 21st century, doing something mean to it
Do it better than anybody you ever seen do it
Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it
I guess every superhero need his theme music

Mos Def Retires, Is Probably Insane

This morning I saw a headline noting Mos Def’s retirement from music and acting, and my first reaction was very much like when Francisco Cordero retired last year…dude hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 (he was bad) and it was more like a formality in order to collect his pension and stuff. Except…actors and rappers don’t really need to submit paperwork to their union for retirement. Most guys just…you know, stop doing stuff, and that’s that.

So this, from Mos Def, seems like just a cry for attention.

But then I read the article and oh man…it’s so much more.

I mean…there’s a lot to process. Can I kick it grade school style and break it down in point form notes?

  • Mos Def and his family have apparently been living in Cape Town, South Africa since 2013
  • Though this article says 2009, after a court ordered him to pay $10,000 for child support
  • He originally entered the country with a visitor’s permit he obtained with his US Passport
  • Last week he attempted to leave the country with something called a “world passport
  • It was unsuccessful and he was arrested
  • While he was in prison, he called Kanye West
  • During the phone call he dropped a five minute long freestyle announcing that he was retiring

It’s still on KanyeWest.com if you want to hear it…but you probably don’t.

I will say this – in terms of announcing your retirement, there are certainly less interesting ways to do that than within a freestyle rap during a phone call to Kanye West while you’re stuck in a South African prison.

I mean…is this just a really outside the box marketing strategy for an upcoming album?

Is he even still doing stuff? I mean…Mos Def, you were great in Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy and I liked you in that wacky heist movie with the Mini Coopers. And you had some top notch bits on Chappelle’s Show. But what the heck is this, dude? First impression is that he has gone a bit wacky in the head…but I think it’s just because he just doesn’t want to pay any tax. I can’t imagine it would be very difficult for a famous American millionaire to easily obtain the legal right to reside in Africa.

Most interestingly to me is that a world passport, to my absolute surprise, is not total bullshit as apparently three countries (though the issuing office of the World Service Authority claims there are six) do actually accept them as travel documents. Although these seem like countries with immigration officers that would also readily accept an American twenty dollar bill tucked in folded paper towel as a valid passport as well. I mean if you’re claiming legitimacy by citing Mauritania, Tanzania, and Togo as countries that accept what you’re doing…there’s definitely worst first steps, but you’re definitely not quite where you want to be yet.

“Didn’t you think it was strange I was trying to shake hands with a car?”
“I assumed you were drunk.”
“I thought cars were the dominant life form. I was trying to introduce myself.”

2016 Looks Horrifying So Remember 2015 Forever

What a wonderful and wacky 2015 it was.

The Toronto Blue Jays are finally a playoff team and the defending AL East champions. There is a new Star Wars movie that is actually about stuff that happened like after the first movies. I mean, certainly it can still all go wrong and head straight downhill from here. Even though the Jays didn’t blow $30 million a year on David Price, it would still be tough to resign both or even one of Bautista or Encarnacion. And more Star Wars movies don’t necessarily mean more good Star Wars movies, the capacity of man to fuck this franchise up have already been well demonstrated.

Still…what a world we live in. It’ll be an interesting 2016 if nothing else. I mean look around.

Movies inspired by comic book properties are going out of control, to the point where there’s actually going to be a goddamn Dr. Strange movie made that will star human beings with actual names like Benedict Cumberbatch, Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejofor, and Tilda Swinton. This magical gathering will not only feature the weirdest looking Europeans in the world, but also the weirdest named ones. I would almost be disappointed if they don’t give the agents of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau or Saoirse Ronan a call throughout this franchise. Get it done Marvel, Zach Galifianakis as the voice of Shuma-Gorath in Dr. Strange 2: Hangover in the Chaos Dimension.

Which will be the bigger Civil War? Captain America versus Iron Man? Or whatever’s going on in Syria right now? The uh…Syrian Arab Republic? And ISIL…? ISIS? See, I can’t follow, I need the entire storyline to be summarized and crucial plot points to be spoiled for me in a two minute feature trailer. Each faction needs to have like their own lead-in movie franchise before throwing them all together. There hasn’t been any time for the audience to associate or empathize with any of the parties individually before you forced them all to share screen time with each other, it’s just not going to capture interest and it’s going to be an unmitigated human disaster. I mean I don’t think the Syria Civil War will be as bad as Dawn of Justice, but it’s too early to say really.

Continued tensions in the Middle East could cause continued complications with oil production – falling oil price headlines dominated 2015, with crude oil hitting it’s lowest mark in over a decade and will remain an important topic in 2016. But even though the severing of ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran may cause complications with production between the two largest suppliers of crude oil to the US, now that the trade sanctions against Iran have been lifted there will still likely be millions more barrels to add to the US’ 80-year high inventory. Which will continue to cause Canada’s own oil-linked loonie to struggle. That’s why you need to diversify…and uh, invest into Bitcoins…?

Already suffering the second worst fall on record last year, the continued weakness of the Canadian dollar will affect Canadian consumer purchasing power – especially if they’re looking at this sweetass Combiner Wars lineup for 2016. How can I afford these awesome Bruticus and Shockwave toys if US shale production doesn’t pump its fucking brakes? Goddamn, guys, Shockwave transforms into a gun for Bruticus!

Oh yeah and Bran Stark is coming back…? Sure.

I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

For The Love Of The Game

Here’s a bunch of links about a bunch of random things!

Someone is offering 90.5 BitCoins (worth approximately $50,000) for a qualified Magic Pro Tour player to build a deck based around Seance. It’s a weird request. Bystanders familiar with “mtgfinance circles” think that it’s in an effort to inflate the worth of the card, likely from an individual who owns thousands of copies of it, who years ago speculated on its future appreciation. It could be the same person that, eight months ago, spent $1,200 on hiring random internet strangers to burn the same card, reducing its supply. But I just can’t imagine meaningful changes to happen on the scale necessary for real money to be made. I mean even if you have like…5,000 cards, you’d have to wager that a successful and popular Seance deck makes the card jump over $10 in value before you can even break even. Which seems…difficult? But I don’t have a handle on the numbers at work here at all so who knows. What a hilarious and bizarre subculture. Though as someone that once sold a Diablo 3 set legendary for $250 and spent more time speculating in the auction house than in the game itself, I feel like I should have a better handle on that.

– Some bad news for a Oscar-hyped upcoming film in The Revenant with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy that I know you all wanted to see. Apparently, contrary to some early internet reports, there is actually no actual bear rape in the movie. Only possibly implied bear rape, depending on your perspective, presumably. If I, as part of the consuming public choosing to make bear rape a central component of my interpretation of this film, who are you to stand in the way of how art is subjectively viewed? But still, what’s the point now, really.

– I stumbled onto this recently…a playlist of videos where someone plays Dark Souls with voice recognition input instead of a normal controller. It’s already one of the more difficult series of games I’ve ever had the masochistic pleasure of playing – doing something like that just seems excessive, really no reason for that at all. Like it wasn’t hard enough to backflip on a unicycle – I’m also going to do it while balanced on a high-wire across the Grand Canyon, blindfolded, while archers shoot flaming arrows at me, singing that opera song from The Fifth Element. All while trying to keep a relationship with a member of the opposite sex completely platonic even though both of you are single. I mean…come on.

– And now there’s even a Dark Souls III so I am posting stuff about a game that is one entire Dark Souls behind.

– Some unfortunate news from a Spanish news channel discussing the recent (man I wrote this a long time ago) terror attacks in Paris, as the logo of the Rebel Alliance was mistaken for the logo for Al Qaida. Presumably the intern that was responsible for the graphics of this segment was misled by an errant Google image search result. Who came up with that? Was it Randy? Did Randy come up with that? Or perhaps it was a subtle commentary on who the good guys or bad guys really are in Star Wars. Terrorist attacks against the global authority perpetrated by believers in a faith system that more easily lends itself to radical violent behaviour than other established religions…that sounds a lot like Force believers. Never heard about any light side/dark side turf wars from any nature loving Ithorians or Sacred Way practitioners, am I right?

– Speaking of Star Wars…the trailer that will play before one of the most anticipated and in most likelihood most watched movies of all time? Star Trek Beyond. Yes, the trailer for the new Star Trek movie will play before the new Star Wars movie. Which is a sentence that if I had spoken out loud two years ago, would have made everyone think I was having a stroke. What a weird age we live in.

– And speaking of trailers…no one does it better than It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. They are up to Season 11! I don’t know how it gets more perfect than this.

You can fly if you try leaving the past behind
Heaven only knows what you might find

A Random December Post

Oh shit it’s December already! What happened!?!

– Slim Jim is throwing out a ton of commercial campaigns, in what I imagine to be like a marketing shotgun approach. One particular line includes TJ Miller in blue-face as a Slim Jim genie that grants wishes…? I don’t know, I think you should watch them. But watch them while keeping in mind that commercial perfection has already been reached by the Macho Man Randy Savage.

– Apparently they are looking to replace Brendan Fraser in The Mummy reboots. Except instead of going younger and sexier with recasts, they’re going older…and sexier, with Tom Cruise. It’s a very ambitious project as well…

Characters from the monster universe films are expected to crop up in each other’s installments before culminating in an “Avengers”-style tie-in film.

Because now everyone wants that sweet, sweet Marvel money. It’s what they tried to do with Van Helsing, but it was before the world was ready for it. But now…t’s time for Tom Cruise to be the new Van Helsing.

– With Kobe’s recent announcement of his retirement at the end of this season, as a small tribute I will post a 15-minute video containing all the game winning shots he’s hit in his career up to this point. Surprisingly there’s only three Raptors games in there. Goodnight, sweet prince.

Look at my life, Jack. My father was a congressman, I was valedictorian at St Andrews, an Olympic archer, fourth guitarist in Loverboy…as a teenager! Its almost unbelievable! If it weren’t all true, I’d say it doesn’t even make sense.

Game Of Inches, Or Less

This is not a Blue Jays blog, this is all just a coincidence. But man it’s fun to cram all these wacky graphics into a post, so on it goes!

Playoff baseball is really just normal baseball concentrated. Baseball concentrate. You add some cold weather, filter out the crappier teams, distill a 162 game season into 20-something odd games, and it’s just pure unadulterated baseball. Everything is amplified in stark contrast to the meaningless grind of the regular season. Because in the regular season there’s always time to make a run still, and baseball is all about staying steady in the ups and downs – the best baseball teams still lose as many games as the best basketball teams win in a season. So you’re used to that mentality of “well, we’ll get ’em tomorrow.”

But there aren’t too many tomorrows left when you hit October. I wasn’t prepared for how different playoff baseball was. Or…specifically playoff baseball that I care about. You start getting really invested into the minutiae of all the bullshit within a single game that you normally don’t give a shit about. Silly things. Whether a cleat was less than an inch off a plate, a single funny throw, a bobbled ball or three, potential eternally celebrated home runs that turn into forgotten warning track outs because a round bat hit a round ball travelling at 98 miles per hour just a fraction of a second too late and a fraction of an inch too low. And all the round balls going 98 miles per hour that were indeed hit squarely with round bats. Often it seems like entire games, and maybe entire series, hinge upon a single play or a single at-bat.

Maybe Game 5 was one of those games, maybe it wasn’t, I don’t know. But here’s the game chart from Fangraphs, showing Win Probability on top and the Leverage Index below.

Source: FanGraphs

The highest leverage play of the game was Estrada getting Zobrist to hit into a double play in the 4th. Considering Estrada is an extreme fly ball pitcher with third lowest GB% of qualified starters in the league (32.2%), that becomes even more impressive.

The second highest leverage at-bat was Jose Bautista coming up against Edinson Volquez in the bottom of the 6th. Up 1-0 with two men on, trying to crack open the game (it would eventually happen with the three run double from Tulowitzki three batters later). And although Tulowitzki’s hit actually added more towards the Win Probability (7.7%) than Bautista’s walk (5.8%), the game was more “on the line” when Bautista came up – it would have represented a much different WPA with based loaded, none out versus men on first and second with one out. And although the Blue Jays were still up 1-0, the game becomes a lot different going into the 7th up 1-0 versus 5-0, especially with the possibility of burning Game 6 starter Price out of the bullpen instead.

So while this ALCS may not have hinged on Game 5, and while Game 5 would not have solely hinged on a single at-bat in the 6th that didn’t even score a run directly, it still represents maybe the most critical at-bat of the game in terms of the huge difference between the possible “good” outcomes versus the possible “bad” outcomes – high leverage versus win probability added.

But we can say for sure that within that crucial at-bat, it all hinged on the last borderline pitch, called a ball just off the outside corner that made it bases loaded with none out versus men on first and second with one out. And it’s a close pitch. Both Fangraphs and BlueJays.com already have great articles about just that at-bat. The Fangraphs article in particular is must-read with nice pictures and everything, and it notes that similar pitches in similar situations are called strikes almost half the time.

PITCHf/x, the system that captures all this pitch information used to come up with those numbers, is basically three 60 Hz cameras that have been installed in each stadium. The data is owned by Major League Baseball Advanced Media which makes it available in XML format, and sites like Fangraphs and Brooks Baseball then take that data and overlay it over a strike zone graphic.

This is from Fangraphs – showing that the pitch catches the bottom of the zone, which is by definition, a strike. (All of these are from the catcher’s perspective.)

This is from Brooks Baseball – note pitch #10 below the zone, a ball.

At this point you can’t even really say definitively if it’s objectively a strike or a ball – even the computer systems aren’t precise enough to capture it. There might be a question of accuracy as well – check out the Brooks Baseball chart for Dioneer Navarro’s at-bat in the 6th, right after the double.

Pitch #1, a called strike where the head of a right handed batter would normally be? And then pitch #2, a ball in the middle of the strike zone? Was this umpire smoking the drugs?

Here’s the actual first pitch – located nicely at the bottom outside corner.
navarro1

MLB Gameday called it a 44 mph “unknown” pitch…but I think Pitchf/x just fucked up because it looked like a fastball to me. You can see this in the Fangraphs chart above too, that lonely red called strike at the absolute top left. And then here’s the second pitch, that was apparently a ball right down the middle.
navarro2

Nope. Actually turns out none of the other six pitches were even close to where Pitchf/x said they were. So yeah, okay that’s pretty weird. Maybe we’re not quite ready for robot umpires just yet.

Which is all just to say in the end…it’s a pretty close call. Something the computers couldn’t even determine conclusively. That is as close as you can get to the textbook definition of a borderline pitch. And if that ends up the pitch that swung the at-bat that swung the game that swung the series…then man, how crazy would that be? Between stuff like this and The Elvis Andrus Show in the 7th inning of Game 5 in the ALDS, it’s hard to push that cursed Toronto sports narrative any further than this. And just being able to put that silly idea down is quite a reward on its own. Because to get this far in the baseball postseason which is ultimately just a crapshoot, you need at a lot of luck. A ton of talent as well, but unlucky teams don’t get this far.

So regardless of what happens tonight in Game 6 and all the possible games that come, it’s been a wondrously fun ride we’ve all been lucky to witness.

“You can argue that I got the benefit of a borderline call,” Bautista said. “The bottom line is I ended up on first and Tulo came through.”

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It is upon us!

Technically yesterday, but I kind of forgot. Didn’t even make it into November, which seems to buck almost a decade long trend, if my history can be trusted. Which probably cannot, to be honest.

Man it got cold quick this year!

Snow dad’s better than no dad!

Holy Fucking Shit

No exaggeration, that was that craziest baseball game I’ve ever seen in my life. Maybe the best as well…I mean hard to say for sure now while I’m caught up in the insane emotional high of a postseason series victory, I’ve seen so many games over the years…but definitely the craziest.

Let’s recap that wacky 7th inning shall we?

– In the top of the 7th, with Rougned “Jays Killer” Odor on third with two outs, Russell Martin forgets how to throw a fucking ball back to the pitcher, something he does like 150 times a game, hitting Korean Superstar Shin-Soo Choo in his hand while he stands in the batters’ box, which is technically a live ball, causing the ball to roll away and letting Odor score before anyone even realizes what’s going on. Rangers go up 3-2, causing the Win Probability for the Blue Jays to dive 17%.

– While confusion swirls, Blue Jays players start yelling at umpires, causing Brett Cecil to get ejected. Or was it Mark Buehrle? Or Michael Saunders? No one even knows which inactive player was thrown out of the game, it’s calamity! Rangers manager Jeff Banister points to a fan near the Toronto dug out who then gets…thrown out or arrested or something? No one fucking knows, the shitty television crew is completely clueless and the camera men are overwhelmed.

– During the 18 minute delay while the ruling is explained to everyone (umpires got it right, even though the plate ump should not have called a dead ball initially), classless Toronto fans throw trash and unfinished $12 beers onto the field. Some of the brighter and more ambitious ones throw shit from the 500 level, and without the blessed arm strength of Jose Bautista, end up dropping dangerous bottles and trash from the sky onto fellow Jays fans in the lower levels. The camera cuts to a terrified woman in the lower level who has somehow inexplicably decided to bring a fucking infant to a playoff game.

– John Gibbons officially inform umpires that they are playing the rest of the game under protest, which means the rest of the game could potentially be replayed if, subject to a ruling from the League President, the alleged misapplication of the rules is deemed to adversely affect the protesting team’s chance of winning the game. Which rule is being protested…I have no idea. But dammit, WE ARE UNDER PROTEST.

– Bottom of the 7th, the first batter Russell “I Hope I Get Out Of Here Alive” Martin grounds a ball up the middle, which is bobbled by Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus. One error.

– Next batter Kevin Pillar grounds to the first baseman Mitch Moreland, who attempts to force Martin out at second with a total shit throw into the dirt that Andrus can’t come up with cleanly. Another error.

– Next batter Ryan Goins, who was going to be replaced by pinch-hitter Justin Smoak, now goes up to the plate to bunt. The bunt is a bad one, because…Goins, Beltre fields it clean and throws to Andrus covering third, who just straight up drops it like an idiot. Three straight errors have allowed the Jays to load the bases with none out.

– I take a nervous sip of my third beer as I have flashbacks of my 2009 softball team in the coed recreation level playoffs.

– Ben Revere, who is fourth in baseball with a contact rate of 90.1%, makes contact, but it is of the awfully shitty variety – a grounder directly to first baseman Moreland who forces pinch-runner Dalton Pompey at home.

– Pompey makes a great takeout slide – a proper non-Utley baseball play – to knock Chris Gimenez down and prevent the double play. Umpires review it because…I don’t know, some catcher interference rule or something? Nothing happens, and ground ball machine Sam Dyson comes in to relieve the impossibly handsome and calm Cole Hamels, looking to hopefully get front running MVP candidate Josh Donaldson to ground into a double play with the bases loaded and one out.

– Dyson gets Donaldson to fist a shitty flare to second…only Odor, tricked by Donaldson’s violent swing backpedals on the ball instead of turning his body to track it, and just misses it, allowing the ball to fall in and Pillar to score. Revere, like everyone in the stands and at home, thinking that the ball was going to be caught, hesitates at first and gets forced at second. Runners at first and third, two out.

– Jose Bautista, the heart and soul of this team, playing in his first postseason series after so many years of wandering in the baseball wilderness, comes up and promptly proceeds to commit murder of the first degree to the third pitch Sam Dyson throws him. It instantly becomes maybe one of the greatest moments in Toronto sports history, with perhaps the most boss bat flip I’ve seen in my life.

– Shit gets pretty crazy.

– BENCHES CLEAR, as Edwin Encarnacion’s actions in pleading with the crowd for some kind of sanity, are instead misinterpreted by Dyson as an attempt to raise the roof or something, who fucking knows.

– Jays are now up 6-3, and their Win Probability jumps to 93.5%. Three batters later Troy Tulowitzki is retired as the third out of the inning.

– BENCHES CLEAR AGAIN, as Dyson walks by Tulowitzki after getting him to pop out to the catcher, and slaps him in the ass. Hey Tulo don’t play like that Sam Dyson!

That will never, ever happen again.

The Blue Jays are going to the American League Championship Series.

What a glorious time to be alive.

According to Statcast™, the ball left Bautista’s bat at 106 mph and travelled a projected 431 feet.

Jays’ Dickey Price Too High For Rangers

Inconclusive.

And from this angle I’m not even sure he ever left the bag at all. Certainly not clear enough to overturn the safe call made on the field, which is how the replay rule works. The point is…shut up already. This doesn’t tie into the whole silly “Toronto sports teams are cursed!” narrative – that was but one tiny pebble amid the other mountains of reasons the Blue Jays dropped the first two games against the Rangers. All you fickle bandwagon fans are stressing out so much it’s harshing my buzz. You guys didn’t even know about this team a month ago and now that you’ve gotten a contending team dumped in your lap, you’re going to criticize and scrutinize it endlessly?

Yo guys, fucking Blue Jays playoff games! We are watching Blue Jays playoff games! That is an incredible thing isn’t it? For the first time in 22 years. I’m not even sure the goddamn internet was really around at that time. An entire online culture has risen since the last Blue Jays playoff game, while the ruins of postseason baseball lay dormant in this city, and now we’ve really jumped back headfirst into it. Hash tags, online videos, Roberto Osuanas? Those didn’t even exist back then!

But what else really needs to be said that isn’t already universally known? Or at least, should be universally known? That the playoffs are awesome, this team is awesome, and we haven’t gotten to be a part of something this awesome in a long time.

I just want to enjoy this ride for what it is, a wonderful gushing climax of joy after two decades of baseball blue balls. And while I am totally supportive of the bandwagon rights of everyone anywhere to cheer for whatever they want to cheer for whenever they want, and wholly impressed and thankful for the heights of instant popularity that this city’s sports fans are able to elevate winning teams to – the relatively fickle ups and downs they’re going through are stressing me out. So I think I need to stop talking about baseball at work, stop listening to call-in radio shows, stop reading all these internet comments. I mean I have no problem with other people celebrating and being passionate about something more than I am, but I just don’t want you to get in the way of my enjoyment.

The amount of conversations I’ve had at work already with everyone second guessing every irrelevant decision John Gibbons has made, like every one of you are baseball experts after going two years without ever mentioning baseball to me once, sticking your suffering in my face after Toronto was down 0-2. Shut the fuck up, this is not suffering. This is a delight, getting to watching your home team finally play some meaningful postseason baseball games. Suffering is watching a team prepare to field John MacDonald and Royce Clayton at shortstop for an entire season and still trying to convince yourself “Hey, they still have a chance!”

But just because I’m happy to be here, it’s not like I’m not deeply invested in further success of this team. You knew the Blue Jays were still in it. You saw signs of this offense busting out in the first two games – a few loud warning track outs from Encarnacion and Tulowitzki, a monstrous shot pulled just foul from Donaldson. It was maybe going to be a bad idea to go with lefties Martin Perez (allowed .300/.352/.425 against righties) and Derek Holland (.258/.337/.511) against the Blue Jays who destroyed sinister pitchers this year (league best 124 wRC+ against lefties)…turns out, yeah, bad idea. And ace or not, they’re going to do it again with another lefty in Cole Hamels on Wednesday.

So Blue Jays fans, you gotta like those odds, playing at home in a do or die game with Stroman on the mound. Even if they have Yovani “Jays Killer” Gallardo available to go, that won’t matter – he barely escaped in Game 1 after getting just three swinging strikes all game. They don’t want to give the Jays a fourth crack at him.

Does it matter though? We’re finally here. Every little additional bit we get from here on is gravy. Good or bad, remember it, savour it. I don’t know if it’s going to be another 22 year wait until the next taste, but the point is…enjoy it regardless, we should know better now than to take it for granted. To the new guys, have fun, enjoy the ride, welcome aboard. But to the rest of us, like this fucking guy (why did you have to be Asian?) – we’re finally here. And you’re the guys who will know what it means when I say that I’m so happy we finally have an opportunity to have our hearts broken by playoff baseball.

And happier still that there’s a good chance this ride isn’t over yet.

On Oct. 8, when the first playoff game between the Jays and the Texas Rangers was starting, Au changed two small words on the page dedicated to the 2015 season, from saying the team “will open” the playoffs, to “is opening.” It might be seem trivial to some, but to Au, there’s nothing more important.

The Social Responsibilities Of Getting Baked

There is a bake sale here at work, which is something that happens in offices from time to time. I think it’s kind of a silly concept, but I do very much appreciate and understand people who donate their own homemade goods to a bake sale. Aside from the opportunity to indulge in baking stuff, whether that be a nice hobby for them or an opportunity to show off their artisan pastry decorating skills – it just makes sense. From a more economic perspective, there is justification to purchase those goods. There’s at least a labour component that goes into it – you’re paying for the work required to turn flour and eggs and whatever stuff is required for baking (I don’t know, chives…?) into cupcakes. Work that I am personally unable to conveniently repeat on my own. So that surcharge is acceptable to me, you’re paying for a component involving a level of skilled labour, that makes sense.

But paying for the labour component of you driving to No Frills to buy brownies or whatever doesn’t make as much sense – that is a feat that I can easily replicate on my own. And have done so many, many times previously. And yes, you’re paying for opportunity cost, but the inflated bake sale prices of store bought goods always seems like a waste. Isn’t there some way we can figure out how to maximize the money that goes into the bake sale with an implicit agreement between all parties that doesn’t involve a party like Loblaw’s coming out ahead?

But then taking that line of thinking to it’s logical conclusion…the whole point of a bake sale as a fund raising event for a charity or whatever seems wasteful as well. There is no way that extra time – during work hours – to setup a bake sale is efficient enough to justify the profit margins you yield on two dozen cupcakes with Halloween wrappers. Just monetize the work effort according to the hourly wage of “volunteers” that divert already allocated project hours to manning the bake sale table, put that in a cheque, and mail it out. No wasteful emails or calories.

Though the logical conclusion may actually be to cut out the charity entirely, and go right to the disadvantaged people it supports. So in this case…homeless people, or cancer, or people with cancer, whatever it is – maybe the best thing to do is just go out on the street and buy them iPads or whatever.

Now for some dumb links.

– So in 2012, some dude’s cat died and he had it stuffed in the form of a flying drone. He even introduced it to his old cat buddy too which seems kind of morbid but also funny.

– Holy cow have you heard of this movie, The Revenant? A revenge flick about a real life fur trapper that was left for dead after he was mauled by a bear? Which…you know, honestly sounds pretty forgivable. It’s a historical biopic, it’s got Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s got Tom Hardy, and will be directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu who was the Oscar winning director for Birdman. And in a hilarious twist, the bear will win the best actor Oscar over Leo. Just imagine it please, and remember when you eventually watch this movie and inevitably remark to yourself “Holy fuck, this bear is acting the shit out of this movie right now.”

– This is a Tweet from Cher asking for public support in writing a White House petition to lift the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s five year ban of UFC fighter Nick Diaz for his third marijuana-related offense.


Wow. I know Cher’s probably still a big time player in the Las Vegas power circles, but I mean…how is this not bizarrely amazing? There’s been a lot of irregularities surrounding the whole thing, but I would think this would be the most “irregular” thing associated with it all. The petition still needs about 33,000 signatures in 11 days before the White House will look at this and Cher has 2.8 million followers who will see this so…good for you Nick Diaz…?

Why the White House will give a shit about how the NSAC runs its business or what the overlap is between Cher’s followers and sympathetic fans of Nick Diaz…I mean these are questions for another time. There are more important questions to consider now. Like…I feel something inside me say I really don’t think those drugs were strong enough, now, do you believe in life after drugs?

It’s in your head now, it’s got you!

I don’t do drugs, though. Just weed.

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Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.

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