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Thursday, July 14, 2011

MLB All Star Break: Baseball & The Book...


What if I told you there was a movie coming out about the '07-'08 Patriots, that ends with them going undefeated and winning the Super Bowl?  And how about if I said there is a country out there where "licensed" fans are given designated areas where they're allowed to argue sports with each other to their hearts content?  Well, get ready, because that's exactly what I'm about to tell you.  That, and a few baseball notes, including what I would have done with Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit...

So get your read on, pimps.  And quickly, before baseball starts up again...
I would have rather seen Zombieland II...
OK, so maybe there isn't a movie coming out about the undefeated Patriots.  My bad on that.  But JD Drew still sucks, right?  So my credibility should still be good.  And see how I switch John Lackey with JD Drew, there?  Yeah, I just figured it's a safer bet all the way around.  Besides, I wouldn't mind Lackey being good...

No, my mention of the alleged Patriots movie was just a  sports related, backhanded slap at the overindulgent and transparently one-sided piece of crap of a movie I finally saw this weekend, The Social Network.  I mean, WOW.  What a piece of shit that thing was.  Yeah, it was both crappy and shitty.  That's how low my opinion is of this film...

When first the book (The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich) and then this movie based on it came out, my first thought was that it was waaaay too soon.  IT was like a Behind the Music being done after the artist had done just one album (Which VH1 did, by the way.  And how's that show doin'?).  I just felt there was no way for any legitimate perspective to be gained, and that the right thing would have been to wait 20-25 years.  By then, we'll know what facebook actually became, and I'd assume the principals involved would be more willing to candidly talk about it's founding.  I'm all for documenting history, and docudramas in particular, but that doesn't mean you need to rush out and make what claims to be an authoritative movie on it.  Which is exactly what they did.  That's a major beef of mine, here.  The timing of it all.  OR more to the point, the poor timing of it all...

And not only did they make it far too soon, but they advertised the movie as more or less a docudrama based on actual events, and then went on to tell the story strictly from the perspective of all the people that felt they got screwed by Mark Zuckerberg.  Oh, and with absolutely NO input from Zuckerberg, himself. Which again, would be totally fine if this were 20-25 years from now, and he was still unwilling to to tell his side of the story.  But that's not the case, which makes you wonder who on earth would have thought making this movie this way would have been a good idea...  

This is more or less where the similarities end...
SO I have to ask.  Obvious monetary reasons aside, why on Earth would anyone even want to make this movie?  I mean, I can get why the people that think Zuckerberg screwed them would want to make it, but I'm asking the question of pretty much everyone else.  You know it's one sided going in, and you know you're going to be dealing with events that the movie goer A) was familiar with before seeing the film OR B) could fact check after leaving the theater.  That's what I meant with the undefeated Patriots.  I mean, it's fun to tell a story, but to try to pass it off as true while significantly changing events that are still fresh in people's minds?Well, I'm sorry, but that just doesn't work for me...

That shit's not real, ya know...
I just think of it like this.  When you see Inception, you don't go home and look online and determine, "Well that was bull shit! That dream sharing thing isn't even real!". Right?  Of course you don't.  But with this movie, that's exactly what you can do.  And when you do, you realize that the story you were just sold was about as believable as Leonardo Dicaprio sneaking into your mind and stealing your ideas.  Which is an idea that he stole from me, by the way, but that's a topic my therapist said I shouldn't get into on my blog...     

But let's make sure we call a spade a spade here.  True, false, embellished, whatever.  It just wasn't a good movie. Period.  And despite everything else, that's what could have save d it.  If it were actually a good piece of film.  But it wasn't.  The beginning was slow, there was no ending, the directing wasn't all that great (and I like David Fincher) and aside from a few flashy scenes from Justin Timberlake that the real Sean Parker says even he's envious of, the acting wasn't all that great, either (and I'm not a Jesse Eisenberg hater).  The score was good, and I can see why that got so much run, but that was about it.  I mean, what can I say?  They took what should of been a great story, told it waaay too soon, picked a crappy angle from which to tell it, and weren't able to execute it.  All things considered, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised with the result.  Still, that doesn't stop it from being a major disappointment.  Hence my emotional response...

I may be a huge Ted, but I'm still CEO BITCH!
Oh and for the people that will want to say, "Well we all weren't following the facebook litigation as closely as you were" OR accuse me of sticking up for Mark Zuckerberg, let me just stop you right there.  I wasn't closely following that stuff, and I was already pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg was a conniving prick, as the movie depicts, just from the stories that had been hitting the headlines.  So I'm not trying to stick up for him here, either.  But, I knew he wasn't participating at all in the making of this film.  Knowing that, and watching how he was portrayed, was enough to convince me that, if anything, The Social Network was more a piece of anti Mark Zuckberg propaganda, starring co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, as the victim, than it was the story of the founding of the website that changed the world.  Truth be told, I'm of the opinion that Saverin dropped the ball, and Zuckerberg, the prick that he his, reprimanded him in a spineless and manipulative fashion, by sneakily diluting his stock.  That makes them both wrong, at one time or another, and seeing as they've both ended up as billionaires, anyway, I'm not going to let who did what do who in that situation keep me up at night.  And either way, I don't want to hear that story from just one side, if I do have to sit through it again at all...

Really, though, the whole movie is really just a shame.  OR I guess maybe a "sham", would be a more appropriate term.  A movie framed as an intriguing docudrama, that ended up to be just being an overproduced piece of propaganda.  It just really is unfortunate.  But I guess that's Hollywood.  And it being Hollywood, I'm sure someone will take another crack at this subject matter somewhere down the road.  Hopefully next time, they get it right...

Matt of fact, I think I might have to drop Mark a line one of these days to help set up a meeting for the movie "facebook" in 2022.  I figure that'll be enough time for Mark to gain some perspective, for facebook to finally settle into their niche and hopefully for me to gain enough knowledge and/or connections to have the ability to write and produce a movie.  What?  Stranger things have happened.  A kid changed the world from a dorm room at Harvard.  Who's to say I can't do it from a basement in Attleboro?..

"Look into your heart, Jules!...Vincent?!?"
Oh and before I move on to other sports related topics, I have to pass along this gem that came to me courtesy of Rooch Nation supporter and mole, Mr. Neal Donahue...

What is it, you ask?  Well it's pretty much the coolest picture I've ever seen, and yet further proof that indeed Leonardo Dicaprio may have jumped inside my brain and stole my thoughts.  It's a picture entitled, "Miller's Fiction", and it's a mash up of two of the most memorable scenes in recent cinematic history, from the films Pulp Fiction & Miller's Crossing.  The art exhibit is called "Quentin vs Coen", and the concept behind the project is just as I explained, with each piece being a mash up of both Quentin Tarantino and Coen Brothers' movies...

Amazing concept, and even better execution.  Especially in terms of this particular piece.  I mean, I've come to accept the fact that I enjoy Miller's Crossing waaaay more than the next guy, but that doesn't change my opinion that the scene depicted above, with John Turturro's, Bernie Berbaum, desperately pleading for his life, is one of the best I've ever seen put to film.  Combine that with the bad asses, Vincent and Jules, from Pulp Fiction, and pretty much you've got the coolest hit that's ever been put to canvas...

It really is just such a cool painting.  So Neal, thanks again.  And the rest of you can go ahead and consider this print on my Christmas lit...

Now, it's on to some baseball...        

MLB All Star Break

I turned off the All Star game when...

Somebody shut that thing...
(hard hit grounder to 3rd is deftly scooped by Scot Rolen, who fires on to 1st for the out)

Joe Buck: "There's one of the best of All Time, right there. Tim, where would you put Rolen All Time as a defensive 3rd basemen?"

Tim McCarver: "He might be the best base runner in baseball........."


Pretty Scooter...
And that's why he gets paid the big bucks, folks.  Oh well, it's not Tim's fault.  After all, they took away that animated ball, Zippy or Scooter or whatever his name was, that used to help him make his points.  He's just lost without that thing, and who can blame him...

Seriously, though, FOX. What the Hell?  Put this guy out to pasture, already.  And let him take that animated ball with him. (cue to mental image of Tim McCarver in a wheelchair on a porch, stroking Scooter, the animated ball, and staring blankly off into the distance.  Feel free to throw in a Dumb and Dumber like "pretty Scooter. Pretty Scooter...", too. Trust me, it's appropriate.)...

It did "count", however.  "IT" in this case being the All Star Game, and I'm a little less than pleased that the AL lost.  They trotted out a pedestrian pitching staff due to scheduled starts and minor injuries, and will now have to suffer through that extra game without a DH.  Oh well, I'm sure we'll all survive...

Dontcha Know?!?
I did enjoy the home run derby, though. For what that's worth.  Those were the two best hitters in baseball going tow to toe, right there, and while the format still makes the event far too long, it was good enough for me to finish watching on my DVR when I got home.  Just take 2 guys out of that thing, and you'd be all set.  1st guy is the guy whose leading the league in homers. 2nd is a fan selection.  And 3rd is voted on by the players.  Done and done.  3 on 3, and we're all in bed a little earlier, next time...

And I know it's just the home run derby, but I'm glad Robinson Cano got some time in the limelight.  He's my Miller's Crossing of Major League Baseball.  I've been telling people for years that he's probably the leagues best, and most consistent hitter, and more often than not they just brush me aside.  Well, if maybe even for the wrong reasons, I think Robbie's performance in the derby served notice to Joe Baseball Fan that he indeed is one of, if not THE most dangerous hitter in the game today...

...and hopefully he'll get the derby champ jinx and fall into a slump the 2nd half of the season.  Ya know, for the Red Sox sake...

Just an icon doing iconic things.  No big deal...
Mr. 3,000

Speaking of Yankees, I talked last week about the significance of Derek Jeter and his 3,000th hit, and over the weekend, the Captain came through.  And in true Yankee style, too, going 5 for 5 and getting # 3,000 with an improbable laser like home run.  A very appropriate way to cap things off, if I do say so myself...

Now since then, two questions have arisen.  Why wasn't Jeter at the All Star Game? AND What should the kid that caught the ball have really done with it?  Naturally, I have some answers for you...

Why wasn't he at the game? Despite being voted in by the fans and just having collected his 3,000th hit?  Well, unfortunately, that's an easy one.  It's because he gets paid when he makes the team, not when and if he plays for the team.  So he didn't need to go.  Maybe some fans thought he should have gone to receive national recognition for his 3,000th hit, but I say that's bologna.  He plays in New York, for crying out loud.  It's not like he plays in some po-dunk market that nobody ever sees!  Every sports station with a pulse broke in to show his 3,000th hit.  We've seen it.  He's been recognized!  Dude wants to go home and rest for a few days so he can actually, I don't know, help his team win in the 2nd half.  Yeah, I'm pretty OK with that.  It's unfortunate, I guess, but after the work he's put in the past 15+ years, I'm more than willing to give him a pass.  Dude's old, he's banged up, he's been there a million times and he doesn't have to go.  Let's just leave it alone.  You really wanna see him play and pay tribute? I hear he's got at least 81 games left, so knock yourself out...

Must have been a pretty cool moment...
As for what I would have done with the ball, and what Christian Lopez, the guy that caught it, should have done?  That's easy.  You walk right down to the clubhouse, smile politely, and say, "Sorry, Mr. Jeter, but I'm going to need $250,000 in order to give you this ball".  Yup, that's my number.  $250K.  I'd do the same for Pedroia or any other Red Sox player, too.  IF that makes me a prick, well then I'm sorry, but I'm just not about to let a once in a lifetime financial opportunity go by when I know for a fact that the person giving me the money isn't really going to miss it.  Oh, and they'll then be in possession of a piece of memorabilia that's worth a shit ton of money, so the cost to them is really even less...

Listen, I want Jeter to have that ball, which is why, just like Lopez, I would have gone to him first.  It's just that I would have been the one setting the terms, instead of letting the Yankees sweet talk my into luxury box seats and a few signed game jerseys.  It's also because I think if I were in Jeter's position, that's about how much I'd be willing to pay for that thing, anyway.  That's more or less how I came up with that number.  It's ransom, when you think about it, but seeing that it's just a baseball and not a person, I don't really have a problem with it.  Just don't tell McCarver.  I don't want him getting all paranoid that I'm going to abduct Scooter...  

So call me greedy, if you must, but I think my way makes a lot of sense.  Mostly because it results in me landing a quarter milly, but also I like to think it brings a good dose of reason to what otherwise could turn into a very ugly, and very unreasonable situation...

El Duque! El Duque! El Duque!
The Hot Corner

Finally, we have the "Hot Corner".  A place I recently learned about on No Reservations, and was immediately taken with.  Well, except for one major issue...

"The Hot Corner" is a place, more often near a park or fountain in a major metropolitan area, where licensed fans are allowed to gather and talk sports in as animated a fashion as they see fit.  You heard me.  "Licensed fans".  No PinkHats here.  They can get together, scream, shout, flail their arms, whatever they want.  As long as they have they're license on them.  It's really a pretty ingenious system, and in countries that may be lacking sports talk radio, I have to imagine it serves as a more than acceptable substitute...

So what's the major issue?  Well, this particular "Hot Corner" in question, the one I learned about from No Reservations, happens to be in Havana, Cuba.  Yeah.  Communism.  Not so cool.  But I have to say, you add licensed fans to the free health care and schooling, and let me tell ya, things aren't lookin' so bad down there.  Granted it's more just like a really nice prison because you're not allowed to leave, but still.  A few cigars, a few discussions about baseball, and I guarantee it won't be long til you forget that you actually don't have any rights as a human being outside of serving the state.  Oh yeah, the sweet life...


And that's it for me this week, friends.  I'd drop you some news about the NFL, but you know just as much as I do right now.  I just say keep your fingers crossed that they don't fumble this thing on the goal line, and we should be all set.  Oh and as for 2nd half baseball predictions?  I was gonna do that, but when I looked back at my pre season picks and saw I had the Sox, Yanks, Phillies & Braves as the best teams in baseball, I figured I'd just leave well enough alone, and try to ride that wave all the way into the playoffs...

Adios, my friends, and remember.  Don't watch The Social Network, and always be ready to ask for a quarter milly when you catch a momentous baseball.  Oh, and make sure to adjust for inflation...


Have a good weekend, friends.  And I'll catch you on the flipman...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

3 comments:

Ktomasso said...

El Duque! Hahaha!

Brett Ferruccio said...

Right? And you just know Laurence Fishburne would be in there somehow, too. Mixin' it up, searchin' for "the one" and whatnot. Maybe tryin' to rustle up a game of chess or two, with some sort of Cubano accent wearin' one of those beanies that Jom Brown always seems to be rockin'.

That crazy bastard...

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