April 15th, 2005

Calvin

Culture Clashes...

I finished Janet Kagen's Hellspark a little while back, and I'm still not sure what to make of it. It's a novel about first contact, and how one goes about determining sentience. The book is both enjoyable and annoying at the same time, thus the confusion.

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You know, any fan who would smack Gary Sheffield in the mouth during a game has got to be eight kinds of stupid.

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"If Jerry Lewis were playing the lead in the "Sadaharu Oh Story," this is what he'd look like at the plate." - Eric Neel on Nori Nakamura

I finally got to see Nakamura hit the other night. He stands as straight up as I've ever seen anyone stand while waiting for the the pitcher to deliver, body and bat all precisely vertical, with not even his knees flexed. It's a bit like Yaz in his heyday, but even Yaz wasn't this rigid. Then as the ball approaches, he lifts his front leg up and back, much like Sadaharu Oh did, or Mel Ott. For that moment, he looks a bit like a crane or a flamingo. Then he drives forward off the back leg as the bat flails and hitches across the plate, and amazingly enough he can actually make contact with the ball while doing this. It's all very entertaining.