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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Breaking the Rules...


If there's one thing I can't stand (there are obviously way more than just one), it's when someone or something goes out of their way to make sure you understand their "rules", only to then go out of their way again to break their own rules while trying to pass the alleged transgression off as shock, surprise OR a long sought "solution". I call it the "If the sky is green, it's green", rule (also know as the Inception rule). And somehow I think I've been able to eloquently relate that to BOTH the Alex Rodriguez FUBAR-fest and the latest episode of Breaking Bad. Am I reaching in an attempt to give this post a theme? Meh, probably. But I'll let you be the judge. I'll even reward you for your effort with a little fantasy football advice if you're able to power through...

Enjoy...


Remember that world we created and immersed you in? Yeah, turns out
it may have all just been a dream. AKA FUCK YOU!
First, allow me to explain my "The sky is green" rule. It's rather simple, and it's basically this:

In establishing your rules, whether they be for a sport, game, TV show or movie, you have to make sure you stick to those rules throughout. Most importantly, you can't suddenly "forget" or go against those rules simply because it's the easy way or out or has suddenly become a nice way to tie things together. I call it, "the sky is green", because I figure it you want to tell me the sky is green, that's cool. But you can't then suddenly solve all the problems in your movie or film by suddenly discovering that the sky is actually blue. If it's green, it's green. AKA Find a way to finish your story or solve your problem without breaking your own rules. It's not too much to ask...

And that's where I've found myself with both MLB and Breaking Bad. MLB, because of their poor handling of a "suspended" player. And Breaking Bad because they just spent 4+ seasons painting a character in one light, only to apparently switch gears at a pivotal moment, and have that character make a decision totally inconsistent with how they've been portrayed. Got it? OK, here we go...

The sideshow has officially taken center stage...
When is a suspension not a suspension? If you guessed, "when the suspended person is still allowed to do the thing for which they were being suspended", then you're right. It's not a hard concept to wrap your head around. But here's Major League Baseball, being made the fool by Alex Rodriguez as he slugs and shrugs his way back into the public's collective heart. Why? Because they put for the edict of "IF YOU GET CAUGHT USING PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS, YOU WILL BE SUSPENDED", only to then attempt to suspend someone without providing the necessary evidence of guilt...

So, I have to ask. Why bother coming down so hard on ARod if you aren't fully prepared to immediately prove his guilt to both your sport's governing body (If that even exists. Spoiler: it doesn't) and/or the viewing public? Oh, that's right. It's because you don't really have the power to adequately enforce the rules you consistently say are vitally important to the integrity of the game. In other words, the rules aren't really the rules. OR, to fit my theme. Despite your overt insistence to the contrary, the sky isn't really green, after all...

That's all I ask. If you're going to bark about something, and profess it's validity from every vacant rooftop, then at least be as prepared as you are confident that you can see that proclamation through even in the most tumultuous circumstances. And, hey. Maybe MLB is prepared to do just that, but are merely crossing their t's and dotting their...lower case j's. I tend to doubt that's the case, but it's going to need to be for them to get through this saga without looking like anything but Ted #1. And with that, the noise will have officially prevented anyone from hearing the actual message. And what seemed like possibly the league's biggest drug scandal, will simply fade from memory and have no lasting impact on cleaning up the game. A ship I think we all agree is at the very least beginning to pull out of the harbor, if it hasn't already set sail...

Oh, and as for Dempster hitting ARod? 3 things:

1) Nobody came onto the field to defend Arod

2) Dempster can't even hit adequately throw at guys, never mind get them out

AND

3) It would be easier to believe that the umpires wanted ARod to get beaned (letting Dempster throw behind him 3 times) if they weren't so consistently inept...

But, yeah. Those bitter old bastards probably wanted to see that purple lipped sociopath get at least a portion of what he's got coming to him...

I'm also bitter because I wanted Lackey to bean him in the face when I was actually at Fenway on Saturday afternoon. So there's that...


As for Breaking Bad, where my rule fits more eloquently (it is a rule honed from TV and movies, after all). My beef is with Anna Gunn's, Skyler White, and her refusal to immediately turn on her husband when given arguably the most accessible situation in which to do so...

First, I should mention that I think both of the female leads in Breaking Bad are essentially useless (particularly Marie). Maybe my feelings of dislike stem from the fact they've received so much critical acclaim that I don't understand? I don't know. But I've never been overly impressed by their acting. Especially not in the same way I've been impressed by Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Jonathan Banks. But, impressive acting or not, that's not the problem. The problem is that Skyler's actions in this latest episode seemed too conveniently inconsistent with how we've been told she would act. Not "led to believe", but told...

Here's a woman that has been looking for a legitimate way out since jump street, yet when finally presented with one, buy her brother in law no less, she freaks out and lawyers up. And hey, maybe she is going to revert back to her well established character eventually. With this just being a stop and go for the writers to extend the story. I sure hope so. I mean, I want characters to grow and change. Don't get me wrong. And misdirection and foreshadowing are great things. But not at the expense of an integrity of one the series' major characters...

It's a nerdy stance, I know. And you could easily argue that I just don't like being deceived. But I assure you that's not the case. I just figure, you created this freakin' world, the least you can do is stick to it's rules. You know. Your rules?

Whatever. Like I said, I'm a nerd. And for all I know, Skyler's actions could ultimately satisfy even my staunch demands. But for now, I can't help but view it as a convenient exception. One that could be first of many, ultimately setting Breaking Bad up for a truly unbelievable ending. For better, or for worse...

This paralysis by over analysis means I'm still into the show, though. So you've got that goin' for you if you've actually been enjoying my reviews...

This was in the search results for 'ESPN fantasy fail', so here it is...
As for the fantasy football advice I promised you, here it is. Don't take any fantasy advice from ESPN. Now, it's not in my best interest to tell you all this, seeing as you're all potential competition. But it's legitimate advice, not my attempt at clever disinformation. And the reason you should ignore them is that their "advice" is only useful if you're in an 8 team league with 3 inactive owners. Their "sleepers" will be gone by the 8th round of your draft and their recommended waiver wire pickups will always be owned. I attribute it to the fact that when these guys started doing fantasy it was probably hard to even scrape together 8 teams to get a legitimate league going. I think that, because I've been there. But they've got to adapt or die. And if their networks continuously sagging ratings are any indication, it'll be the latter long before it's ever the former...

If that leaves you looking for a new place to get your fix, well then I leave you to find a fantasy advice platform of your own. It's not that I don't want to tell you who I read and where I go (I don't), but finding someone whose fantasy advice you like is like looking for a film critic that shares your taste in movies. So have yourself a search in the 'ole Google-sphere. I'm sure you'll find something. And if you have the word "roto" in any part of your search, I'm fairly confident that you'll end up in some capable hands...


The Sox are continuing to sputter, but so is the remainder of my summer. So I'll get to that next week. As well as another look with the Patriots as the regular season draws ever closer. Oh, and by this time next week I will have actually drafted my first fantasy team. The results of which I'll be gracious enough to share. I'll probably have another Breaking Bad revue, too. Because that seems to be my thing...

So, yeah. Be sure to check back. And don't be afraid to leave your thoughts, either. I'll liekly disagree, but there's nothing I enjoy more than a little spirited message board discussion. Hell, it's one of my favorite parts of fantasy football...

OK, enjoy your week, friends. I'll catch you next time...

#BAGSMUNMAN

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