Monday, January 28, 2008

On Fashion

After a soul freezing week here in the Midwest, the temperature finally lifted itself to what seems like exalted heights (can I get an amen?) and with it so too, did my spirits rise, and rise high they did, high enough for me to mount the bicycle for only the second time in a month. More than a week of sub-freezing temperatures can make forty degrees feel like spring.

I have brain freeze, I'm serious. I can hardly remember what it feels like to be sitting in the ballpark because I'm so buried by winter, my first in Ohio in a decade. There's something inherently painful about seeing a ballfield in winter, imprisoned by snow and ice and the bitterness of cold.

And you know what? I would never combat the cold with one of those sweaters old Wayno wears. Does he know people call him Sweaterpants?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cold weather puts me in a bad mood...

I love New York City - there is no other place in the world like it - and I like Boston, too, but I'm getting to a point where I never want to hear New York and Boston in the same sentence. Despite the fact that sports media keeps saying there's "no real rivalry" between the Giants and the Patriots, which, of course, is true, they keep mentioning a New York-Boston rivalry anyway.

Of course, maybe people employed in this field just don't know what to write. I mean, some of them don't know how to write, so maybe what to write escapes them as well. Here is one of the worst sentences in the history of not only sports journalism, but in all of journalism. Ever.
"Only a super quarterback could be traced visiting a supermodel during Super Bowl bye week."
Anyway, I was in Indianapolis this past week and snapped this photo in the surprisingly good Indianapolis Museum of Art. Click it to make bigger.

I have to ask myself - am I contributing to the media hype by constantly complaining about this? Maybe, but I'm not alone in my fatigue. Will E$PN and the others ever wake up and realize that much of the country is sick of it, too?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This should be Redsland

So I find myself in the city of Indianapolis to see U2 3D, the first of its kind of film, a National Geographic live action 3D concert. The day is freezing, and the Indianapolis Indians' Victory Field is just down the street. This is the state of the likes of John Mellancamp and David Letterman, and the framed picture on my wall of Victory Field shows Catcher Brook Fordyce and the Indians when they were Cincinnati's AAA team. This is Reds territory.

Which makes me wonder, why is Indy not solely Reds territory? Cincinnati is only an hour and a half away. Chicago is four hours away. St. Louis is four hours away. Do the math.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Below Zero

Winter's prisoner (that's me) stands at the window looking at the colorless, snowcapped barrenness and the shivering shrubs once surrounded by a rainbow of flowers and longs for the days of freedom when warmth and light reign and the outdoors are not a forbidden planet but something welcoming, inviting. The days are long then, and freedom wears a smile on its shining face as it frolics in the green grass, its skin exposed to the pleasant radiance of a summer sun. Oh, how the prisoner longs for those carefree days of light and glorious freedom, but this cold incarceration weighs heavy on the soul. Wherefore art thou, baseball?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Icicles drip from his eyes

Once their was a magical kingdom full of beautiful green fields, happy people, a free flow of beer and hot dogs, and Cincinnati caps in the Cincinnati area rather than Boston and New York caps. Everyone was relatively equal, though some were more equal than others. Over time, the kingdom fell into decay, partially due to the hideous uniforms of the royal court - hideously colored polyester things that symbolized the ugliness that was taking place in the kingdom. A tragedy occurred one year and the royal court went on strike, and less than a decade and a half later, they did it again. The people of the kingdom forgot what their happiness had been like and rebelled. Some stayed away from the green fields for years. Some still haven't gone back.

There were scandals during the ugly uniform times, many scandals, some involving drugs, and a big one involving gambling, which led to the downfall of one of the highest members of the royal court. The king at the time was a vile creature, as vile as the cursed hebenon juice. A leperous distilment of stress did strike him dead, and a new vile creature took over the kingdom. But the dukes of the land organized a coup, appointing one of their very own as a "temporary" king. Thus one Allen H. Selig became ruler, despite his obvious conflict of interest as the Duke of Milwaukee.

That was five years short of a score ago, but a score it will be when he now says he will step down. An incompetent tyrant he became during his rule, overseeing that second strike, the destruction of tradition, and the second greatest tragedy in the history of the kingdom, a tragedy he knew was happening before his eyes, yet he ignored it. Despite this tragedy, he told the world that he would extend his rule three years beyond what he told everybody he would.

The people would have wept for the loss of their happiness to a dictator, but most of them had stopped caring, because they had not the attention span or necessary intelligence to appreciate the happiness that the kingdom had once appreciated. One of the strongest threads in the social fabric had broken long ago, and not many seemed interested in repairing it. Jesterly fools now rule. Welcome to the Tragic Kingdom.

What a National Disgrace.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Catching some photos

For Christmas and my birthday, I asked for printer ink and photo paper so I could print out my photos from my trip through Eastern Europe. In two and a half months, I took more than two thousand photos, so no, I haven't come close to printing even half of them. In fact, I have only printed the photos of Budapest, where I spent a week. I spent two months in Bulgaria, and those are the bulk of the photos. What happened was I started dreaming of the Reds, and I went through my photos of the summer, and I thought about getting autographs at Spring Training and at the Winter Caravan, and well, I started printing some photos I'd like to have signed. You know how you used to buy those 8X10s that everyone else had? I have an autographed one of Paul O'Neill. Well, I have some unique ones that no one else in the world has, like the one of David Ross here (but I've adjusted the color, cropped it, and blown it up.) I can't wait to ask Ross to sign it right there in the upper righthand corner. I already have a frame for it.

Speaking of Ross, he's going to have a good year. It's the law of averages or something like that. Last year he hit so poorly that it just isn't statistically possible to be that bad again. It's like getting hit twice by lightening.

Oh, and in some unrelated political news, Uni Watch has this to say about Mitt:
I caught a quick glimpse of a Mitt Romney campaign rally on TV yesterday and noticed that many of the people in the crowd were holding up signs shaped like baseball gloves — mitts, get it? Only problem is, a regular fielder’s glove is not a mitt, because “mitt” is short for “mitten” and only applies to the fingerless gloves worn by catchers and first basemen. Do we really want a president whose campaign makes this sort of mistake? I think not.
I thought it was funny.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I hate snow

I hate winter.

Bring on baseball.

What should I watch tonight - Field of Dreams or Bull Durham?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Some science fiction - or another rant - or a thought on the signing of Jocketty - or some randomness

Once upon a time, there was a baseball team. Actually, there were thirty of them, until two of them from Florida went away because no one ever came to see them play. Then there were twenty-eight. Oh, they were glorious things, except for the Yankees and the Red Sox, who were the epitome of what eventually broke baseball, which was just a small scale tragedy in a drastically mutating world. When what was left of the human race - after Pakistan nuked Israel and then the US nuked Pakistan and then Russia nuked the US and then China nuked Russia and then surprisingly Switzerland nuked China - went to Mars and abandoned Earth, it was discovered that baseball just couldn't be played on Mars, for the atmosphere was too thick and it was too expensive to build ballparks that had to contain a thousand foot home runs. The first generation lamented the loss of their beautiful game, but subsequent generations forgot baseball ever existed because it was easy to play football on the surface of Mars, and they all got a kick out of the hits which sent men flying twenty yards down the field.

Once upon a time, there were mighty sluggers who hit 500 foot home runs. That was before children stopped building strong bones and muscle by sitting in front of the television during the time they were supposed to be out running around developing their bodies.

Once upon a time, there was a team called the Cincinnati Reds who had won more championships than only three other teams, yet the Information Age had decided that the Cincinnati market was too small to be worthy of attention and tried to bury it beneath the avalanche of Yankees and Red Sox crap, which was bought by people across the country who just liked to root for the frontrunner. There was all of this country music singing about the "simple life," lamenting change and praising the "country" way of doing things, yet it never said root, root, root for the home team or anything like that, and people who lived in the Cincinnati area wore Yankees caps like the guy in the restaurant right now or that guy right outside the window with the Red Sox cap...

I just don't get it. I guess I am more old-fashioned than any of these people who hang those communist stars on their houses and proclaim superiority over city folk, because I just think it's criminal to root for a team just because they've won for a few years instead of sticking to your own team. Now that the Reds have demonstrated a desire to win this year, I wonder how many bandwagoners will join us faithful if the formula works. Finally getting rid of John Allen, who has been there throughout the losing, may have been the biggest step towards ending this seven year losing streak. Signing Dusty Baker, Francisco Cordero, and Walt Jocketty is, in my not so humble opinion, going to change these losing ways.

I understand sabermetrics, but I think the overemphasis on stats is making people overlook what is going on here. There is a winning attitude here that you can't quantify. Jocketty has been to the playoffs seven times in his stint with the Deadbirds. (That's in 13 seasons - more than half!) (An aside - to demonstrate how much I hate that team, I even hate the cardinals I see sitting outside on trees and flying around in the winter weather. Environmentalists would abhor me if they saw my brain seeing these birds fall dead out of the sky!) Anyone who says that Jocketty isn't serving as a second GM is kidding themselves. And anyone who thinks Wayno has done a good job in his stint is overlooking the succession of failures like The Trade, Ryan Franklin, Jason Ellison, Mike Stinkton, Rheal Cormier, etc, etc, etc. (Stop with the Phillips Arroyo thing - they just don't outweigh the bad.)

I am so happy. I hope to see Bob Castellini on the winter caravan this year just to thank him. And in other news, I will be around Reds country to go to the winter caravan. I will be around Reds country all summer. I am going to Spring Training. And I will be in Cincinnati for the summer, which means I will be at the ballpark more often than not. Here's some math. If I have gone to about thirty Major League Baseball games every year for the past three years, doesn't that mean that if I'm in the city of my team, I will go to forty this year? Ha! I'll serve as a clubhouse accessless beat writer! Ha ha! Well, we need another voice on the Reds with the Post closing, don't we?

Oh, I can't wait for this season.

Friday, January 04, 2008

still here

Been a little busy of late, which doesn't really matter because the Reds have not been. Signed Andy Phillips to a minor league contract. That's about it. I'm currently suffering from dial-up, so I haven't been ready or willing to put up with long loading waits, but I'll post something here in the next few days.

I'm really looking forward to the 2008 season, especially because I think I'll be in Cincinnati for the summer.