September 27th, 2004

Roadkill

Non-Baseball Update

The back was somewhat better this morning. It still hurts, but the stabbed-with-an-ice-pick pains I've had lately has been replaced by a more managable been-thumped-with-a-hammer soreness. We'll see. My muscle relaxant prescription runs out tomorrow morning.

I'm about halfway through The Ipcress File and am enjoying it quite a bit. It's fun hearing the narrator in my head using Michael Caine's voice. The narrator is a bit like Marlowe, although he has that British love for describing the minutia of his everyday life in detail. Plus, there are appendices. I love appendices, especially appendices as esoteric as these.
Calvinball

(no subject)

Eric Neel on the Dodgers-Giants series.
Ray Durham homers in the bottom of the first. And the Giants get another run in the bottom of the second. Tie ballgame. Right. What, did I think it was going to be easy?

This is what the Dodgers and Giants do. This ain't no one-sided, David-and-Goliath, Sox-and-Yanks sort of thing. This is Akroyd and Curtain going blow-for-blow. This is Beatrice and Benedict going, "I know you of old." This is real rivalry.

The two teams have finished 1-2 seven times. They've played dead even head-to-head in the last seven years.

It's like Capone and Ness. They Bobby Thomson us, we 12-1 them as a no-soup-for-you capper to their pretty (as in pretty meaningless) 103-win season in '93. That's just how it is. That's just how it's always been.

So when you sit in the stadium at one of these games, you're not soaking up the sun, you're not taking in the action, you're stewing, in a pool of dread, you're slogging, through a swamp of fear and loathing. Because you know, like you know the earth is round, that the other guy's just gonna keep coming for you.

To the Yankees, the Red Sox are an annoyance. To the Red Sox, the Yankees are the Boogeyman. In the Dodgers-Giants thing, it's not like that. Your enemy is real and dangerous and if you have hand, the only thing you can count on is that you're going to lose it.

So like I said, tie ballgame.
Roadkill

Where There's a Will...

Salon is featuring a very odd review of Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. Now, I haven't read the book, but Greenblatt is a Shakespearean scholar who has apparently taken what is known of Shakespeare's life, and attempted to fill in the blank areas of that life (which are enormous, to be sure) by careful extrapolation both from what's known about the culture Shakespeare lived in, and from analysis of Shakepeare's works. It certainly contains a great deal of speculation, but it's still a work of history. What's odd about the review is that the reviewer spends half the article discussing how Greenblatt's book likely gives a far more accurate picture of Shakespeare's life than does Shakespeare in Love.

Well, DUH!!! Apparently the reviewer mistook Shakespeare in Love for a documentary on Shakespeare's life. Either that, or poor little old non-humanities major me didn't realize that SiL was a supposed to be careful history of the Bard's life and times. I must have been thrown off by that souvenir mug from Stratford-upon-Avon on Will's desk. I foolishly assumed it was an anachronism. Silly of me.

It looks like the reviewer has a huge axe to grind with SiL. Don't get me wrong. The reviewer is entitled to dislike SiL. Lots of people do. But it seems to me that reviewing a work of non-fiction by saying, in effect, that it's better than a fictional account is faint praise indeed.
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Calvinball

Stupidity

Scott Kazmir of Tampa Bay reminds me very much of Ron Guidry. Not facially, but he's about the same height and build, his mannerisms and motion are similar, and he sure can bring it like Guidry. He's only twenty years old, and could become a great pitcher. And the Mets gave him away for peanuts because they thought he was too small to be effective.

He managed to get ejected tonight from the Sox game for accidently hitting Millar one batter after deliberately plunking Manny Ramirez. Which shows you how stupid the whole retaliation thing can be. It started when Bronson Arroyo accidently hit Huff in the knee, injuring him enough that he had to leave the game. Then Arroyo may or may not have deliberately hit Tino Martinez in the same inning. Jerry Remy, the Sox broadcaster, seemed to think it might be deliberate, but I can't imagine why Arroyo would be going after Tino in that spot. Shrug. In the next inning Kazmir, who to that point hadn't given up a base hit, plunked Manny in the leg in retaliation for the Tino hit. The umps warned both benches at that point. Then Kazmir hit Millar, which put the umps in a spot. It was pretty clear it was an accident, but the warning had been given, so both Kazmir and Lou Piniella were ejected. Retaliating cost Tampa Bay their best starter. The Sox are pounding Tampa Bay at this point.