Darth Maul makes Episode I worth watching, though not by much. Anyway the video-game action sequences in Episode II is as bad as Jar Jar.
But it’s interesting you’ve read a blog that sets it up to end with 3 & 6, cuz my sister and I made up our own order for a marathon last year and that’s how we ended it as well. Pretty satisfying that way.
Braun’s probably guilty. Can’t know for sure, but his big speech made me roll my eyes. I thought of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing when she’s in a rage against the lying Claudio: “He is now as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie and swears it.” (Speaking of rolling your eyes …)
McCann’s gone. It’d be crazy for him to turn down both the money and the DH option. And the Braves’d be crazy to spend that much dough on any FA, much less a catcher who can’t be moved around when his knees start crackling.
Curt, I returned Lives of Others unwatched because stuff came up, and before I could re-queue it Netflix and I had a falling out. But I’m taking a film class (the easy credit that isn’t) and it comes up sometimes. Low angle and high angle shots showing confidence and vulnerability, respectively, are tied to these shots of a Stasi officer first interrogating somebody and then later monitoring agents raiding somebody’s house on the radio. Anyway, I’ll get to it eventually.
McCann will be elsewhere. Actually, I’d rather he be a Redsox player than a national league player. I don’t fault him a bit. For him to take the small contract Atlanta would offer him would be an insult to him. Unless Heyward re-explodes this financial issue could be the beginning of real low times for Braves fans. Prior to 1991, the Braves were pretty much the laughingstock of baseball. We can only hope things don’t return to that level.
Here is a quick reaction(s) – I will try and give a more full response later.
FIRST . . . . I love it. Makes total sense, and I am looking forward to taking my kids through this in this order. The only thing that I am going to have to figure out is how I tell my son that there is “no Darth Maul”. He asks me regularly if I know that Darth Maul has a double light saber, and “isn’t that cool?” I may have to insert Ep 1 in after Ep 5, as much as it pains me. (It would, however, absolve me from having to explain what those things are on top of Darth Maul’s head.)
Great show guys. I posted my thoughts on the extra Wild Card topic in the last blog, but I’ll state them again here — not the right way to change the playoffs. I agree with a lot of what y’all said, and while I think that it’ll make for one hell of an exciting game, that’s not the reason you change the entire playoff structure.
Also, my favorite part of the podcast is when Hammy invents a new word at 22:12: “hungriness.” As in, “I can’t wait to see that new adventure movie, ‘The Hungriness Games.’”
Part of the reason you would be bored by Ep1 where your son might not be is, for you who has seen Ep4, it is a story of what happened, practically a documentary.
For example, in Ep4, when Luke and Leia were going to swing across the opening on the Death Star, your emotions are heightened because you didn’t know if they would make it…
In Ep1, when you see the sabotauge of Anikin’s pod racer, you are not “concerned”, because (spoiler alert) you have seen Darth Vader in Ep4 and you know he makes it… So all you are waiting to see is how he did it… No emotional connection…
Since your son will be in a position of “will he make it” with regards to the pod race, since he has NOT seen DV in Ep4…
IMHO, that is why most don’t like the prequals… no emotional connection vs. 4, 5 & 6…
#7 – Let me also add that the dramatic tension in Ep. 1 is set up due to a trade embargo and our main characters spend 75% of the movie trying to get a part for their ship. No one could use a freaking Jedi mind trick to get what they needed!?!?!
“They” also are trying to re-create (every year) the “greatest night in baseball” that we had on the last day of the season last year…
Also, interestingly enough, should there be a tie between two teams to get into the one-game-play-in (OGPI)… There would be a one-game-playoff (OGPO) to get to the OGPI… Or more interestingly, if there was a three team tie for the two WC spots… Then how do you decide? Do you develop an “NFL-style” tie-breaker system? UGLY!
In the event of a three-way tie, post-season is cancelled and Pittsburgh is awarded that year’s championship.
Mark, I don’t think that knowing a character is going to live or die should keep a film from being engaging. Sling Blade telegraphs its ending in the first half hour, but it’s still gripping throughout. Roger Ebert is fond of saying “It’s not where you’re going in a film, but how you get there.”
M in M: I can’t tell if you’re really defending Ep 1 or not. Are you? I mean, I guess you can call it a documentary. I’d call it really boring, purporting to be exposition for the rest of the story, but not even reaching that goal.
Mark, not to belabour the point, but surely you don’t contend that knowing the live-or-die outcome of a story is the main thing responsible for emotional connection. If nothing else stood against this, every single Greek or Shakespearean tragedy or comedy does. You know going in that Hamlet dies. Lear dies. Macbeth dies. In fact, a sense of inevitability is one of the characteristics of great tragedy. Good luck proving we don’t emotionally connect with Prince Hamlet.
Or, in say your average Pixar movie, when the hero is in danger, do we ever really think he’s gonna die?
Or what about the tons of movies that have voice-over narration of the main character looking back. We know he lives. All those movies = no emotional connection?
(Sorry for such a pedantic post. I tried to think of a less “look ma I’m in college!” way to put it, but failed.)
I, on the other hand, cannot be apologetic about my reaction. I’ve really never stopped being angry about how much disappointment I felt after planning an early exit from work with a couple of buddies to go see Phantom Menace. And then, it got all stirred up having to watch it again a couple of weeks ago (after swearing I never would) because my 11 year old really wanted to see it in the theatre in 3D. I could not have disliked it more. Midichlorians? Immaculate conception? Jar Jar? I’m getting all angry just writing this.
Per DOB, very exciting pitching tomorrow (Tues.), “The Braves will start Kris Medlen against newest Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, and planned Atlanta relievers include the “O’Ventbrel” trio of Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters and closer Craig Kimbrel in their spring debuts.”
Either Braun’s telling the truth or he’s an evil lying genius. I’m leaning towards the latter. The idea of someone trying to frame him is crazy.He obviously was tired at the end of the season and decided to take PEDs for the playoffs. He just didn’t think the random testing to choose him. He’s one talented liar.
#22: And that’s the thing. If you don’t believe that it was tampered with (which seems incredibly unlikely) and you don’t believe that the test results were simply wrong (again, very unlikely) then he went up there in his press conference and lied and lied and lied.
All those guys went on Capitol Hill (McGwire, Palmiero, Clemons, etc.) and told the same lies. Nothing is shocking to me at this point, and really, no one is believable. They’re all liars. I think they just believe that if they can vehemently defend themselves, then it will all go away.
The new playoff system rewards teams for winning division titles more so than it it does for winning games.
It doesn’t matter if a team wins 85 games or 95 games, if the team wins a division, it is free from the one-game playoff.
And it doesn’t matter if a team wins 85 games or 95 games, if the team is a wild card, it is forced in to the one-game playoff.
Basically geography is a major factor in playoff seeding. The 2005 Astros would not have been farther enough west to play in and win the NL West, therefore they would have been forced into the one-game playoff. The 2005 Padres, since they were on the west coast, which allowed them to win a very weak division, they get a pass in the one-game round. Seems fair to me.
I’m actually one of those in the minority who likes the DH. I don’t enjoy seeing pitchers hit. There’s a very good chance, when that spot comes up, that we are going to see an out or a bunt. I suppose some people like to watch guys bunt runners over one base in exchange for an out. I’m not one of those people.
Shaun, I like the DH, too, and even though I’m a traditionalist on 99% of everything, it is obvious to me that the DH is the most elegant form of the game. No sport should ask any of its positions to perform an action three times per game that they are comically unqualified to perform.
Except in the rarest circumstances, you never ask your hitters to pitch. Why, except in rare circumstances, should you ask your pitchers to hit?
The bunting and small ball stategies are all ridiculous contrivances to make up for the obvious fact that you are putting a player who is already more responsible than any other single player in that game in a very stupid predicament. The fact that those contrivances have given us some entertainment and tradition goes no further to make it a good part of baseball than if we had the manager come out three times a game and try to steal a base.
Having the pitcher hit is lame, lame, lame. The DH is the way baseball ought to have been drawn up to begin with. I sympathize with those who refuse to accept that, but there is no other great sport that asks its players to regularly peform a skill they are utterly unqualified to perform.
I like the DH rules as they are now. I know I’m greedy. I like to have my cake and eat it too. You can’t deny the NL game is more fun and we see it time and time again that pitchers can contribute to a win with their bat.
I don’t think the NL game is any more fun. And typical pitchers don’t contribute to a win with their bat more often than the worst-hitting regular position player.
When a pitcher comes up the odds are overwhelming that you’re going to see an out. If a runner is on base you are guaranteed to see a bunt.
Some people call that “strategy.” But is it strategy when the strategy of bunting with the pitcher with runners on and less than two outs? Does a manager really have to decide anything in this situation, for the most part?
There is just as much strategy, if not more so, in the AL. If a pitcher is throwing a pretty good game and it’s getting to the point where it may be wise to take the pitcher out, but a manager can’t really pinpoint exactly when, an NL manager can just wait until the pitcher is due to hit.
Also, in the AL if a hitter low in the order gets on, a manager can’t just automatically bunt the runner over if the 9th spot is up with less than two outs. The manager actually has to decide whether he wants the 8th-place hitter to bunt him over, whether he wants the 9th-place hitter to bunt him over, whether he wants to bunt the runner over at all. And it’s a lot hard to decide whether a bunt is a good strategy because the manager has to weigh whether an actual hitter (position player) has a good chance to get a hit.
This could only happen to me: yesterday at 10am I was in a meeting with 20 other students, all of them dressed in sport coats & ties, Senator Marsh, a congressman whose name I forgot, the Mayor of Jacksonville, a city councilman, a tv producer, an actor (Chuck Bush?), a stand-in for Angelina Jolie, the university president, several other dignitaries and Hollywood medium-wigs whose identity I never figured out. And because I never check my university email and had no idea what I was walking into, what did I wear? Jeans and a denim jacket. Somehow we got the money we were asking for anyway. Can’t wait to hear my Professor’s gentle reprimand tomorrow morning.
Had to Google that Curt, and now I remember it. Every time I read any Frost I wonder why I’ve never gotten into him. Most poetry is lost on me, to be honest, but him and Dickinson I think I can get. Oh, and Neruda.
While I don’t necessarily “want/like” to see a pitcher hit, everybody is supposed to be a ball player. Ball players throw the ball, catch the ball and hit the ball.
I HATE the DH.
It was a ploy to get people to watch the AL when no one cared about anything but the “senior circuit”. They took aging players that could no longer play the field in the NL, but had name recognition and could swing a bat (if that is all they had to do) and put them in the line-up.
Today, it robs the strategy from the game. Not the just the “do I bunt him over or not” but managing the game stratgey – the “do I pinch hit for my well throwing starter in the bottom of the 5th to try to take the lead in a tie game or do I stick with him because of his pitching and hope the rest of my O will take over”?
Look at the Twins/Braves WS
Twins manager Tom Kelly said going into the three games in Atlanta that managing without the designated-hitter rule was “right up there with rocket science.”
In the first game in ATL, substitutions and double switches were used by both teams into the twelfth, when Minnesota manager Tom Kelly used up his entire bench and had to send reliever Aguilera to pinch-hit for the active pitcher, Mark Guthrie, who had never had an at bat in his major league career.
Baseball strategy is about trade-offs. Do I put the guy who can really pound the ball but has no apperent reason to wear a glove in the line-up? Do I bat for the pitcher that is throwing 0s on the opponets scoreboard for 6 innings since I have bases loaded and two outs in a 0-0 game?
Does the production outweigh the liability? The DH removes this issue for all the pitchers and a large number of the batters. I HATE IT!
“everybody is supposed to be a ball player. Ball players throw the ball, catch the ball and hit the ball.”
The pitcher doesn’t. He can’t hit. I mean, sure, he can go up just like you or I could and, with enough training hours (wasted when he could have been perfecting his pitching game), he can learn how to make the fact that he can’t hit harm his team as little as possible, but he can’t hit. Hitting a baseball at the MLB level is one of the most specialized skills in all of sports. Pitchers, by and large, perform this in the most ungraceful, ugly fashion. In short, they’re not really doing it at all.
So, if you already have one guy who’s designated just to pitch (in reality), it’s acceptable to have a guy who’s designated just to hit. It’s the most semetrical, logical, and elegant solution. The DH is perfect in almost every way except that it’s not as traditional, i.e. that they didn’t think of it for a while.
If you just want the game to be harder and uglier than it already is, just so you can have strategy, I can contrive for you a hundred silly things that will make players look just as dumb as a pitcher hitting. And then, whoa nelly at the strategy we’ll have.
Let me ask you this: has the strategy required by this most ungraceful dynamic in the game produced a group of uber-savvy managers? Has the game provided us with 30 master chess players? Do most games even come down to how this awkward eye-sore is managed? Nah, the hitters hit and the pitchers pitch and most games are won by how well they do that. And managers, God bless ‘em, they use about as good a judgment on this “strategy” as an intelligent blogger. Okay, I can’t prove that, but I know it in my bloggedy soul. And you do, too. These guys just ain’t that sharp.
Would you do any of them – why or why not (trying to get back to Braves centric discussions…)?
1. Adam Jones and Jason Esposito for Jair Jurrjens and Randall Delgado
2. Corey Hart for Jair Jurrjens
3. Jason Bay for Randall Delgado
4. Ichiro Suzuki for Jair Jurrjens
5. Jose Bautista for Randall Delgado, Brandon Beachy and Zeke Spruill
6. Michael Morse for Jair Jurrjens
I must say that #5 intrigues me (but I was posting my desire to have him in ATL a season or two ago)… And I fear Beachy long term as he seems to be a “fly ball” guy who doesn’t miss enough bats… I am afraid his strikeout numbers from last year can’t be sustained…
#3 is interesting if the premise in the article is true, in that he is a player that was a 100 RBI guy before New York and would probably be again if he got out of there – as an example of “played better out of NY”, I site Javier Vazquez…
#1 could get us a third baseman (which we don’t seem to have in the minors) that should be ready by the end of Chipper’s contract as well as a CF should Bourn walk and a good LF is he doesn’t… Plus we don’t deal with Boras over JJ…
#4 is just plain interesting… Would the Japaneese following that the Braves would pick up because of him add any value to the team that might get Liberty to loosen the purse strings? Probably not, but having him in LF, playing behind Bourn… both of them setting the table… shoudl be fun to watch… just plain interesting… plus the Boras/JJ thing…
As for #2 & #6, I just don’t know enough about either of them to make a decision… I would probably err on the side of caution…
Mark @58, I just don’t think double-switching and sending up pinch-hitters is all that fascinating or adds anything to the enjoyment of the game. I think having nine guys come up that are going to put together at least moderately good plate appearances is more entertaining.
With a shortstop prospect, we might say, “well, he has a great glove but will he hit enough?” But we never say, “well, he’s an awesome pitcher but will he hit enough?” Because people don’t go to baseball games to watch pitchers hit.
For those opposed to the DH in the NL because it takes the strategy away from the game, let me remind you that Fredi Gonzalez is the manager of your favorite team. Do you really want him to strategize?
“Yes,” Gonzalez said when asked if he was concerned by the 1-5 start. “In the grand scheme of things you want to win ball games. I don’t care if they are in the Grapefruit League or an inter-squad game back on Field No. 2. You want to win ball games. We are playing some good baseball and the winning will come. We are getting some people on base. … It’s coming. It’s still early. The number one thing right now is being healthy.”
BTW, we’re not just last place in the Grapefruit league, we also have the worst run differential. And it ain’t even close. The 37 runs our pitchers have allowed is more than anyone. And the 17 runs we’ve scored is fewer than all but Miami and Tampa Bay.
I wonder if we lead in projected starters hitting under .200; I’m guessing yes.
Not-long-ago sensation Jason Heyward, limited by an injured right shoulder last year, must prove himself again. (When asked if the shoulder is healthy, Heyward replied, “I’m not going to be on the field if it’s not.”)
Weird, I was already thinking “Twas the Summer of My Discontent” would be the name of my Braves blog if I made one. Because, you know, what a rarity that would be: a guy on the internet dooming and glooming about his favorite team.
Leah, if I had to pay close enough attention to this Braves team to write a blog, I’d throw myself in front of Tommy Hanson’s vehicle. (Hey, wait, that might be a pretty safe spot).
Could the Bourn interview at the AJC be any more deflating? My goodness. Rather than pick at the parts that make me (and all the commenters) dislike him personally, I’ll throw this one out, which instead makes me hate the actual team:
Q. When you got here, did the coaches talk to you about what they expected from you as a leadoff hitter?
A. No. They just told me to go out and play. They didn’t want me thinking too much. They didn’t want me to worry about what is going on.
On Teheran: If you’re going to call/throw a first pitch fastball to every AL hitter you face and if that fastball has zero movement on it, then you are going to give up a lot of extra base hits. That’s why secondary pitches were invented fellas. If you can’t throw one for a strike you can’t play at that level.
At least some averages are picking up and Teheran/Delgado somewhat recovered from their opening horror shows.
What I can’t get my mind wrapped around is thinking a Pastornicky/Wilson combo is going to cut it. That’s gonna be a black hole offensively and who knows what defensively. And if Uggla takes any step back in defense from last year and we indeed start Pastornicky, we’re gonna have clown music playing when Hudson pitches.
Here’s my concern about the slow start in ST and it’s not the results so much as the doubt creeeping in to certain players on the team. We started worrying about it and putting meaning to it on day 1. The team certainly didn’t do it that soon. But, at some point here, it’s got to start getting to them, too.
#Braves lineup: Bourn cf, Prado lf, Jones 3b, Uggla 2b, Freeman 1b, Hinske dh, Heyward rf, Ross c, Simmons ss (Beachy rhp)
Simmons in there again today w/ basically regular #Braves projected lineup. Hmmm…
Maybe DOB is just fueling the fire or getting us fans interested in something other than the 1-9 record, but I for one am very intrigued by his comments re Simmons vs Pastornicky. Several times he’s responded to tweets asking if it’s possible for Simmons to be the starting SS, and not once has he refuted it. I think the closest he’s come has been to say that it’s Pastornicky’s spot to lose.
Looking forward to this week’s podcast, whenever it’s up!
Granted, Pastornicky has gotten a lot more playing time and has had about twice as many chances on defense (33 chances to Simmons’ 14), but I would really like to see Simmons make a strong bid for the starting spot.