I have published my first article on the Yahoo Contributor’s Network. Basically anyone can publish here as long as they are competent. Here’s the piece I wrote.
I happened to stumble across a rankings list for different blogs under the WordPress banner that use the MLB theme I use for this blog. This blog, the one you’re reading right now, was ranked #41 among fan blogs. I think it was 41. Something like that. It’s all statistical based so it’s not like effort is factored in at all. I could post literally one letter and not bother with anything and so long as people are visiting I would get credit. It’s still pretty cool to see how I do very little promoting for this blog that it can still make some top list. What’s that say about everyone else? That’s sad.
Philadelphia Sports radio hosts are the only celebrities who respond to me on Twitter. Earlier in the year I had Glenn Macnow respond. Tonight I had Brian “Sludge” Haddad. It’s a little strange I suppose too. Maybe not so much strange as it is ironic. Maybe not so much ironic as it is coincidental only to me. But Sludge was filling in for Macnow this week. Sludge was apparently a big Chicago Bulls fan and has made mention of Michael Jordan at least three times this week. Philadelphia, a city that has struggled on the basketball sphere, is a little upset about this. At least one caller I guess who called Sludge out on this. I decided to Tweet Sludge and congratulate him on his work this week because I enjoy him on the radio. This has very little to do with baseball, but I still like posting pictures of times celebrities respond to me on Twitter. This comes about a week after I asked Amanda Bynes out on a date an got no response.
Three HA’s? That must mean he really did Ha-Ha-Ha.
Thanks Sludge. You made a fan for life.
I entered a radio contest. It would mean a lot if you left a comment on my video. It would mean even more to me if you just gave me a million dollars and I never have to worry about making something of myself. Thank you!
Maybe the title to this is a little too extreme. Nobody was hacked. My life has been hacked if anything. The first month of the season I had all the time in the world to update my roster and make any last-minute changes I may have needed to do. This week has been the busiest one so far. Between working 5 straight days and then not being near a computer over much of the weekend, it’s scary to see how things will turn out without me at the team’s helm.
Yesterday was a big day for Stone Cold. A home run by JP Arencibia and two by Josh Willingham have helped to put Stone Cold in the lead, 127-125. Of course this comes when both teams still have many starting pitchers ready to go.
My life has been hacked this week, which I somehow suspect Stone Cold is behind. The Carlins cannot possibly go three straight weeks with losses, can we? Stone Cold has been more active than ever this week in trying to take me down. I believe this has something to do with the East vs. West Rivalry I started two weeks ago. Or maybe he has more free time. He’s getting into my head now and I’m over-thinking. I must concentrate. So much more still can and will change.
Last night I went to the movies for the first time since seeing Django Unchained on Christmas last year. I find it odd that the last two films I saw in theaters dealt with oppression of African-Americans. Really, what are the chances? Only if Amistad is re-released into 3D Imax and I go to see that will the trend be able to continue. Since I write a baseball blog and I like putting any baseball related content up here, I decided to write a review of the film. Here it is. Okay, let’s go.
The film starts off with archive footage from the 1940s. Airplanes, celebrating soldiers in the streets, and baseball are the images used. We cut to Branch Rickey in his office played by Harrison Ford in a fat suit. Or maybe Harrison Ford really has put on a lot of weight. It could explain Calista Flockhart’s lock-pick thinness.
(No more leather pants for Han Solo)
Rickey says he wants a black baseball player because it will bring in money. He uses this strategy to convince others who are a little less racially tolerant to go along with the plan. To make this dream a reality, he has to come up with the right player who will be able to handle it and actually make a difference. Roy Campanella is too “sweet” and Satchel Paige is too “old.” Rickey then stumbles upon the player profile of Jackie Robinson and immediately knows this is the man for the job. Of course they probably also went through many names of guys who never played well in the majors and it probably took more than three minutes to complete. This was a movie though and they didn’t want us to watch them do paperwork. Only creators of the television show The Wire would make us do that.
A coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers played by the great Toby Huss tracks down Jackie Robinson at a gas station then brings him to Brooklyn to speak with Rickey. Robinson is unsure what the catch is, as there must be one. Racism is still prevalent and there is no way there cannot be one. Robinson goes along with it anyway as opportunities like this rarely come around. In fact, it never comes around. He’s set to be the first black player in Major League Baseball.
(Toby Huss’s greatest role)
Robinson heads to spring training with his wife down in Florida. It’s set that he will most likely play for the minor league affiliate, the Montreal Royals. He makes the team despite the manager and many of the players feeling reluctant to accept him. Not much is shown of his playing days in Montreal other than an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers and a game against the Jersey City Giants. I had no idea there was ever a minor league team in Jersey City at any point. After research, I found they had moved to Ottawa and are now the team in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for the Yankees. I’m not sure what really happened between Ottawa and today as minor league teams are always changing. This has nothing to do with the movie. This is just me becoming a minor league baseball fan-boy.
The next spring Rickey speaks with Dodgers manager Leo Durocher played by the legendary Christopher Meloni. He wants to make sure the players will accept Robinson for who he is on the field and not his skin color. Players initially begin a petition saying they refuse to play on the same team as Robinson. The petition is shutdown before it reaches Durocher’s desk because one of the players probably tattled. The players have no choice other than to accept Robinson or face possibly being traded, which does indeed happen to one of the team’s more racially negative players.
(Christopher Meloni’s greatest role in Oz. He looks pretty sad after only 12 days in prison)
The film focuses then on through the 1947 season and the main historical events that happened to Jackie that season. Some are glorified while others are completely turned around to appear more theatrical. A big point in the film is Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman played by the underrated Alan Tudyk and his harassment of Robinson. The film does not fear in the least bit about naming players who treated Robinson poorly. Instead of focusing on that mostly, they try to show that some of the players were accepting from the start, such as Ralph Branca who gets Robinson to shower with the team (it’s as much a joke in the film as it seems in print here) and Pee Wee Reese’s infamous arm around Robinson’s shoulder incident. It wasn’t so much about the negative people in Robinson’s life as much as it was his strength through it.
My favorite part of the film were the baseball scenes. I had heard they were done real well and indeed they were. Players didn’t throw like Tim Robbins in Bull Durham. Former Major Leaguer CJ Nitkowski even had a role as a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The story was nothing out of the ordinary as it was based on history and everyone knows where it was headed. Credit is due for the realism to the era and the beauty of the ballparks they played in. I’ve always been a bit of a nostalgic person to pre-1950s, baseball especially. We think so often how this was a simpler time, but when something as minuscule as a black man playing a sport can cause such outrage, were things really ever that simple?
42 was the highest grossing baseball film in its opening weekend in history. Of course this also has to factor in how expensive tickets are. Nevertheless it was a film definitely worth seeing, especially in a theater where the crack of the bat is as loud as it is if you were on the field. Only two other people were in the theater excluding me and my dad, both of whom showed up together about 25 minutes into the film when Robinson was already in spring training. I’d make a racial joke here about showing up late, but if I did that then it’s like I didn’t pay attention to anything the film taught me.
This is definitely a film for baseball fans everywhere, with exception to maybe only the household of a Klansman. I doubt Klansman really follow sports much these days. Those poor stuck-in-the-past bastards.
Yesterday while listening to Sports Radio WIP based out of Philadelphia which I do way more than anyone probably should, a conversation came up between the hosts on my favorite show.
Host Anthony Gargano was complaining to fellow host Glen Macnow about baseball’s opening day and how it means nothing these days. Opening day is Sunday night, Easter Sunday for some reason, and it is a game between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros. The Rangers will be pretty good this season once again, but the Astros will have an epic season as far as terrible play is concerned. All sports fans whether you follow baseball or competitive eating is more your thing, can agree this is not a match-up that gets anyone interested.
Anthony and Glen came to the conclusion this was the choice because they are in-state rivals. Up until this season it would have been interleague play, but the Astros are now in the AL West which has causes a lot of pandemonium as far as opponent match-ups is concerned. Every night there will be interleague play this season since both leagues have 15 teams. That means on opening day an AL team will play an NL team and on the final day of the season this will happen again. All throughout the season there will be match-ups that don’t get anyone excited.
I knew this would always happen. When I was younger I envisioned it. In my school planner rather than writing down my homework I would write down fake baseball schedules with interleague games all-throughout. Maybe finally it’s paying off.
Anthony threw out a few other possibilities of opening day match-ups. He didn’t go with the one I thought was perfect, the Baltimore Orioles at the Washington Nationals. Here are a few reasons why:
1) It introduces interleague play from the start
2) It will be taking place in the nation’s capital which means Obama can show up and there might actually be some more hype to it
3) Both teams last year surprised everyone by making the playoffs for the first time in over 10 years (the Nationals technically never making it unless you consider them the Montreal Expos franchise which I do)
Glen Macnow has always been kind enough to respond to me on Twitter whenever I have sent him my garbage opinions. I sent him my thoughts on this in less than 140 characters and he loved it! Then I sat by the computer for an hour hoping he would bring it up on the radio. He never did, but I have photographic evidence anyway. Him mentioning it through spoken word would have lasted only in a blip of time. This lasts forever. It made my day to have one of my favorite radio hosts not only pay attention to what I was saying, but to acknowledge it was a great idea.
Glen Macnow, thank you for entertaining me and other sports fans with your wit, humor, and knowledge of all sports not called soccer. You will probably never read this because I am too chicken to send it to you. It’s probably better that way. Howard Eskin would cry if he knew how much people like you more than they like him.