Thursday, October 03, 2019

(Not) Rickey on Behalf of Rickey

I was somewhat of a Rickey Henderson fan when he played, but since his retirement his stock has only grown in my estimation. He really is one of the all-time greats to have ever played. Obviously, nobody disputes that Henderson is an obvious HOFer, but I still feel he's somewhat underrated only because his greatness wasn't a matter of big power (though he had real pop) but rather getting on (and then, obviously, advancing on) bases.

Anyway, I love these quotes from pitchers about the nightmare that it was to face Rickey Henderson at the plate:
"He was, by far, the most dynamic leadoff hitter I've ever seen," former Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan said. "If you got 2-0 on him, you were fearful of throwing it down the middle because he could hit a home run. But if you threw ball three, he was going to walk, and then he's on second base. We had many, many long discussions on our pitching staff about how we could control this guy. He was irritating, infuriating and great."
"There was no one else like him," former pitcher Tom Candiotti said. "I hated Rickey. Really, I couldn't stand him. He never swung at my knuckleball, he never swung at my curveball. He never swung until he got two strikes. He had the strike zone the size of a coffee can. If you threw him a fastball, he would hit it for a home run. If you walked him, it was a triple. It was ridiculous. It was like, 'Good gosh, what are we going to do with this guy?'"
There wasn't much anyone could do. "We threw the kitchen sink at him to try to keep him close to first, which we couldn't, but once he got to second, forget about it," Flanagan said. "If you paid attention to him there, invariably [Carney] Lansford would hit a double, [Jose] Canseco or [Mark] McGwire would go deep. If you tried to hold him on all the way around the bases, it was so distracting, before you knew it, you were down five runs."

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Labour Constituency Schedules Vote of No-Confidence Against Jewish MP for Kol Nidre

I don't want to say this is "peak Labour" because it seems like they're always capable of reaching new, er, heights, but my goodness this might be peak Labour:
A Labour branch in Dame Louise Ellman’s Liverpool Riverside constituency is to debate a motion calling for her resignation – on the evening of Yom Kippur.
The St Michael’s Labour branch is to meet on Tuesday evening - Kol Nidre - to discuss a motion of no confidence in the Jewish MP.
A motion, proposed by a member named Ritchie Hunter, cites a JC article that reported Dame Louise's speech in which she said she “understands why Jews would seriously consider leaving Britain if Corbyn became PM".
The motion says: "We have no confidence that our MP Louise Ellman will carry out the wishes of our CLP and our Riverside constituency or that she will follow Labour Party policy.”
It adds: “This branch therefore call on our Riverside MP, Louise Ellman, to resign.”
I just feel the need to walk through this more slowly, in order to emphasize all the layers here:

The mind boggles. It boggles.

Monday, September 30, 2019

NBC Thursday Comedy Quick Thoughts

NBC really pushed its fall comedy lineup, with veteran battleships The Good Place and Superstore looking to boost newcomers Sunnyside and Perfect Harmony (notably, Brooklyn Nine Nine's seventh season will be coming a bit later). The first two are great shows, and they inspired Jill and I to give the pilots of the latter two a try. So ... quick thoughts on all four!

*Potential Mild Spoilers*

Superstore

  • I actually don't really have much to say about this show, other than Mateo's ICE detention is heartbreaking and terrible and a really good storyline but also just makes me very sad.

The Good Place

  • Seems like a whole bunch of our favorite guest-stars are going to get return appearances this season. I'm always here for more Marc Evan Jackson in my life. The sexy mailman who's always "going to the gym" shows up, much to Eleanor's side-eyed delight. We haven't seen Vicki yet (though to be honest, Tiya Sircar was much, much better as Real Eleanor). But the real stretch goal is if Trevor (aka Adam Scott) and his crew stage a return.
  • This show has earned a ton of trust, so take what I'm about to say very lightly, but ... if the show is serious about following through on using these random (or "random") four humans as test dummies to see if humans generally can get better in the Fake Good Place, then they're forgetting an important point of their premise. It's not that being in the (Fake) Good Place improves people. It's that particular elements of the original quartet, in conjunction with being in the Good Place, ended up bringing out the best in each other (under conditions of adversity). But that doesn't apply to any random four people, not the least because not all of them will necessarily experience this iteration of the Good Place as "adversity".
Perfect Harmony
  • I've missed Bradley Whitford on my TV screen. Trophy Wife, you were gone too soon. With respect to his probably drunk, deeply embittered character, Jill comments: "Josh Lyman in the Trump years."
  • Somebody identified Whitford as being from "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and I almost tossed my computer across the room.
  • I know Anna Camp is from South Carolina, but boy that accent she's putting on feels broad, doesn't it (and yes, I know that South Carolina and Kentucky are different places with different accents, but that's just it -- it feels like a caricature of "backwoods hick")? It's testament to just how gosh darn likable she is that I can look past it.
  • Dwayne's voice -- real, or put on by the actor?
  • That "Eye of the Tiger/Hallelujah" mashup was pretty damn good, I'd say! Seems like a lot for the choir to throw together on a few days notice without their star director, though.
  • The evil megachurch pastor definitely has engaged in some serious sexual misconduct, right?
Sunnyside
  • Kal Penn! Remember that time he got a job in the Obama administration and so they just had his character commit suicide out of nowhere on House?
  • I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that the actress who plays the councilwoman who took Kal Penn's seat is an AOC looklike. And by "not the only one", I mean "everyone noticed, immediately, it's incredibly on the nose").
  • Man, between Mateo on Superstore and Drazen (a Moldovan immigrant and disco music fan) on Sunnyside, network TV is all of the sudden actually willing to tackle the fact that a bunch of people who are just living their lives in America are at constant risk of being plucked off the street and thrown into detention.
  • I really hope we haven't seen the last of Drazen -- his dynamic with Brady (also from Moldova, but came to America at two years old and doesn't even know where Moldova is) is fabulous. Save Peggy!
  • Best running gag on Sunnyside is Griselda working a job at every single place the group meets. Probably can't carry for a whole season, but it absolutely worked in the pilot.
  • Whoever plays Kal Penn's sister can get it.