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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hitting the G Spot With Another Summertime Smattering...


So, yeah. About that 8-2 stretch the Red Sox were coming off of last we talked. Yeah, turns out I was actually right about their penchant for consistent inconsistency. Who'd of thunk? But, thankfully there's plenty of other whatnot for me to delve into during this week's edition of my "Summer Smattering Series". Yep, it's a series now. Founded out of laziness, and fueled by the Red Sox mediocre play...

So, yeah. Enjoy this week's latest installment. Which includes a glance at the Sox as they approach the trading deadline, how Greg Maddux might be the most "me" player of my lifetime, and how ESPN has officially become the bane of my sport loving existence. Yep, that's right. Again...

OK, enjoy...

*Great baseball, poor grammar, and good ole fashioned locker room hijinks.The "3 Gs", if you will. And the story of this year's MLB Hall of Fame induction ceremony has them all! Holy CRAP!

First, the great baseball:

From the great managers like Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, and Bobby Cox. To the great players like Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas. This class is a great representation of the time in which I fell in love with baseball. None of these guys may "define" their generation, but that's merely a side effect of the quiet way in which they tended to go about their dominance. Just an incredibly worthy group. And it's refreshing to be able to say that about a group of players from their era without even the slightest tinge of sarcasm...


The poor grammar:

I've long been a crusader for "fewer NOT less". A crusade that's been about as successful as the Red Sox negotiations with Jon Lester. So it's only appropriate, at least in my selfish little corner of the world, that the induction of my favorite pitcher shed light on just how out of control the improper use of "less" has become. It's rampant, I tell you. RAMPANT! And while I'm fully aware that the pointing out of this error will do NOTHING to help curtail this RAMPANT abuse, I do take solace in the fact that I'll forever remember the induction of one of my favorite players because of this specific oversight. Especially seeing as his speech wasn't really anything to write home about. Except, of course, for the fart joke that he managed to sneak in there...

Which leads me to the hijinks:

Definitely the best part of the Maddux induction was all of the legendary Greg Maddux stories that it helped flush out of the woodwork. From Greg's penchant for peeing on rookies, to his insistence on taking shots at a reporter's mom (whom he'd never met), it was just great to hear about how such a seemingly robotic athlete was still enjoying baseball with such childlike (if not slightly perverted) enthusiasm. It's those stories that help the fans connect at that next level, and it's great to hear them and read them in print. Oh, and it's the publishing of said stories that puts Deadspin (WHERE I'M NOW A LEGEND!) ahead of, say, ESPN, in the minds of knowledgeable fans looking for time-worthy shit on the Interweb. Not that ESPN needs any help in tarnishing their "brand". Something that's been made abundantly clear by the subject of my next hot take...


*You hear it all the time. "MTV doesn't even play videos, anymore!" OR "What happened to all the Hitler shows on The History Channel?!" It's the sound of wannabe clever Teds, such as myself, chirping on the Interweb on how these once very popular channels have long since abandoned the programming that helped them rise to prominence. And ESPN is on the fast track to joining them, as was exposed/reiterated this week with their latest "Embrace Debate" bomb, featuring Stephen A Smith. A man who, it's important to remember, was only suspended because of the backlash created by what he said. NOT because his employer thought what he said on air deserved punishment. Something that's important to think about moving forward...

But here's the thing. ESPN is no longer interested in giving you scores and highlights. AKA their bread and butter, and the backbone of a business model that helped them become as wildly popular as they are today. At least not without said highlights being neatly packaged with a couple of talking heads that are "embracing debate". Because strict highlight shows, a la SportsCenter and all the shows that helped establish ESPN as the "world wide leader", don't grab a large enough chunk of the "target demographics". OR, at least they don't grab enough of the new target demographic, which is now basically everybody. Yeah, so instead of catering to die hard sports fans, ESPN is trying to cater to absolutely ANYONE that their marketing department tells them can help make them money...

It's a great "business model", as ESPN's profits and meteoric growth undoubtedly prove. But it also helps make for a watered down product. And when you water something down, it's because you're trying to stretch it out. And when you're trying to stretch it out, well then that's when people start to say stupid shit in an attempt to garner attention. Which is exactly what happened here, with Stephen A shooting his mouth off on a woman's role in domestic violence. And it's likely to continue happening on a regular basis as long as ESPN and it's competitors insist on basing the majority of their lineup on sports writers and athletes attempting to wax poetic on topics of which they have little to no real knowledge. But ESPN just considers this the price of doing business. Which is why, suspension for Stephen A or not, it's unlikely that we'll see any real change in the embrace debate business model in the near future, if at all...


And to take it one unnecessary step further, I blame the success of Pardon the Interruption. Much in the same way I "blame" Wayne Gretzky for the over expansion in the NHL. Mostly because PTI proved that "embracing debate" could be a wildly successful and profitable format, just like Wayne's performance in LA encouraged other warm weather markets to jump into the fray. Thus watering down the product. But mostly because I try to relate everything back to my Wayne Gretzky Theory. It's one of my favorites. Along with the stat that Gretzky could have NEVER scored a goal and still been the All Time points leader in NHL history. Oh, and he happens to be the All Time leader in goals. Wooo! Wayne freakin Gretzky. Dude makes for some good bar discussion, if nothing else. And I didn't even get to the fact that his dad (RIP) would give you a tour of Wayne's childhood basement if you randomly showed up at his house...

Freakin' Gretzky. He's no Maddux, but he'll definitely do...

So, yeah. Long story short, you shouldn't be watching ESPN for anything other than LIVE sports (they still do a great job here, by and large) and the occasional Outside the Lines/30 for 30 (get your sports news from the Interweb, for crying out loud. Like a regular person!). Attempting to view any of the rest of their programming will only ensure you have fewer brain cells than you did at the start of the day. Or is it "less" brain cells? I can never remember....

Which segues me back to grammar, and this little gem...


Because the disabled elderly pregnant children of the world have had to use public toilets FOR TOO LONG!!!! WE'RE HERE. WE'RE FREAKIN' WEIRD! (Some sort of paraplegic Benjamin Buttton type pregnant woman?) GET USED TO IT!!!


*On the HBO front. This week's documentary, Love Child, about South Koreans addicted to video games, was more or less a bust. But that doesn't mean the Home Box Office didn't continue to bring the noise. As evidenced here. That's Gennady Golvokin (AKA "Triple G". Nice of him to tie into one of this week's theme) with one of the best knockouts you've ever seen. And while I'm not about to try to convince you that boxing is "back", or that Golovkin is "the next big thing", that's definitely some cool shit. And who doesn't love some cool shit? Lord knows you do, or you habve never found your way to my shady space of Interweb in the the first place...

*And on the documentary front, there's a great clip making the rounds about the critically acclaimed music documentary, "20 Seconds From Stardom". A film that features the story of a myriad of previously unknown and unheralded back up singers from some of rock history's greatest songs. This clip comes from the recording of the Rolling Stones' "Gimmie Shelter", and is well worth the watch. Check it out:



Pretty fantastic stuff, especially if you're any kind of music junkie. I haven't seen the whole thing yet, myself. Only clips here and there. But it's definitely made it's way to the top of my documentary list. Somewhere you should be placing it, as well. You know, right after you actually form a "documentary list". GET LEARNED, TEDS! IT CAN BE FUN!!!


Boston Red Sox
Overall: 48-59 (9 1/2 games out of AL Playoffs)
Last Week: 1-6

And finally, in the no fun zone, we find the Boston Red Sox. A team I'd be more disappointed in if I actually had a sense of which direction they were trying to head...

That's the thing, too. This management group has been so inconsistent in this year's approach, that it's hard to trust that they actually know what they're doing. Something that's more or less being represented by the fact that they're now haphazardly trying to deal Jon Lester for prospects, in hope he'll still return in free agency at a "hometown rate". Yeah, good luck with that. I mean, not like it would be wildly unprecedented, or anything. And even if it does work out, don't expect me to think that this was somehow your plan all along. I'll be pumped, but that won't instantly make me stupid to boot...

Then again, maybe setting precedence is what this team is all about. After all, they are in the midst of going worst to first to worst. Pretty sure that's unprecedented. Or should I say, "unprecedenTed". Yeah, that sounds about right...

Show me some direction, Red Team. Trade Jon Lester, don't trade Jon Lester. Either way, just let me know you have a plan. Then, at least I can get my expectations in order. They'll still be high, mind you. But I'd prefer them to be "realistically" high and legitimately focused, rather than just having to believe you'll eventually buy your way out of trouble...


And that's it for me, friends. Hope you enjoyed, and I'll catch you next week...

#BAGSMUNMAN

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey there Pootie Tang!

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