71 thoughts on “September 12, 2013: Eighteen Runs”

      1. I have to say that Ritter's death was more unnerving to me than Johnny's. That is not to say that Ritter contributed anything close to what Cash did to our civilization. But, Johnny was a relatively old man, having lived a long life. John was only 54 and I remember that day being very scared about my own mortality. I was having some health scares at the time and as headed off to the doctor for some diagnostic tests, I was thinking: man, that could be me.

            1. That show is terrifying to run, given its complexity, but it's a favorite of just about any actor you'll find. I quote it often as well (usually the Michael Caine lines, but also Reeve and Ritter).

          1. Fantastic pull (and I just watched it last month with the Milkmaid for about the tenth time). I also don't think one needs to like stage plays to appreciate the hilarity in the movie, though certain jokes are best enjoyed by folks that have actually done shows before and recognize the archetypes and staging challenges.

          2. Great flick. I've seen it on stage a few times before too. Funny thing, the best production of it I saw was done by a high school, the worst by a well-respected profession troupe in D.C.

      2. And Warren Zevon died 5 days before. I agree, Johnny was old and sick, his death was expected. It always causes pause when it happens to someone relatively young and seemingly healthy.

    1. I called Pops Hayes that morning (it was my birthday), and he had already heard the news, too. He was a lifelong fan, which meant I grew up listening to Johnny Cash, too. I didn't really become a fan until American Recordings was released. I bought it from the BMG Music Club, of all things, out of curiosity more than anything else. It blew me away.

      As for 12 Sept 2003, well, Pops and I didn't even talk about my birthday.

  1. I watched the "Abiquiu" episode of Breaking Bad last night. Much better than "The Fly." The O'Keefe door paintings conversation and Gus' advice at the end made nice bookends on the episode. But

    Spoiler SelectShow
  2. O.k. Heading to Chicago for Riot Fest later this afternoon. These are the bands I plan on seeing over the next three days:

    Friday
    4:15 -- Dessa
    7:45 -- Atmosphere
    8:30 -- Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
    9:30 -- Danzig

    Saturday
    1:45 -- X
    3:15 -- Dinosaur Jr.
    4:45 -- Guided By Voices
    6:45 -- Blondie
    7:45 -- Public Enemy
    8:45 -- Violent Femmes

    Sunday
    3:45 -- Best Coast
    5:00 -- Rocket From the Crypt
    8:00 -- Pixies
    9:15 -- Replacements

    I plan to tweet a lot and take lots of pics. Probably won't do any videos however.

      1. Funny you mentioned that. Atmosphere is in direct conflict with GWAR. When would I ever actually go see GWAR except for a a festival like this.

        1. I've caught Atmosphere at a couple of Soundsets, so I know that their mediocrity was not due to just a bad-day (like, for example, when Alabama Shakes were at First Ave and Brittany might as well have been asleep. She totally redeemed herself and more with the Cabooze show).

        2. You should definitely see the GWAR show if for no other reason than to say that you've seen them live. Yeah, one of the top ten concert experiences I've ever had.

        3. Why have I never heard of GWAR before? Fortunately, the Repository provides this helpful disambiguation:

          not to be confused with guar (Cyamopsis tetragonolobus), an annual legume.

          Whew, I'm glad that's cleared up.

  3. Blah, blah, blah, Face of Baseball, blah, blah, blah.

    One thing I thought was interesting in the survey data of baseball fans was that of avid fans, 80% thought baseball was the "ultimate team game". I would strongly disagree with that on one level, i.e., that the game is comprised of a discrete series of one-on-one matchups and there's not a lot of teamwork during the actual play. On the other hand, baseball probably relies on depth of roster more than any other game, because, you know, you can't just send up your best player to bat in an important situation.

    Any thoughts?

    1. One reason I love baseball is that it's not the ultimate team game. The one-on-ones give fans a unique opportunity to see a new matchup every few minutes. Football, basketball, soccer and hockey are all more team-oriented than baseball. I figure plans saw the word "ultimate" and figured they were required to answer this way, or they've just parroted various talking heads over the years that use the phrase without ever considering the game.

    2. So what sport relies more on the worst player being the best rather than the best player being the best?

      Basketball teams can ride on superstars. Football teams can ride on a great QB for a while.

      I'm thinking hockey or soccer. A bad third line can kill a hockey team. I know nothing about soccer, though.

        1. For sure, and I certainly wouldn't mind seeing a 15/15 season out of Cooke for that, but I'm concerned he's going to start to showing his age.

          1. That would be great, for sure. I think he's going to be limited by the way Yeo started deploying his lines last year. If Cooke is paired with Brodziak, I think that line is going to be seeing 2/3 of the defensive zone faceoffs. Yeo must be watching a lot of Canucks games.

            1. Yeah - hopefully Yeo's brief exposure to him in Pit will allow for some offense too. I still can't help but think that Brodziak's 22/22 from 2 seasons ago wasn't a fluke. If they do get the bulk of the d-zone faceoffs, then Yeo obviously values their 2-way play, but the Wild sure as hell need some more offense too.

              1. I know. Brodziak looked so good that year.

                I don't know where the offense is going to come from. I guess, hopefully, the top line will now have some familiarity. And a couple of the kids gel on a line with the Heater. I'm squinting through these rose-colored glasses.

      1. So what sport relies more on the worst player being the best rather than the best player being the best?

        Great question about production functions! Your question boils down to whether we characterize a team sport as weakest link production, best shot production, or dependent on averages.

        Baseball is pretty heavily toward the best-shot case, I think. A sport in which the offense can really exploit a single defender or matchup (doubles tennis?) leans weakest-link (I know, that's pretty circular reasoning). But the concept isn't really tied to a specific position per se, such as a goalie.

        And then there are sports like tug-of-war, where average contribution drives outcomes.

        Basketball teams can often compensate against a superstar (or a weak link) through a variety of strategies. Sports with a single gatekeeper (hockey, soccer) seem to be strongly the best-shot case, as DG attests re: "hot" goaltenders.

        Weakest-link production is best associated with "linear" production, such as an assembly line, where the slowest worker determines production for the whole line. I can't readily think of a good sports analogy, frankly, other than doubles tennis. Football might come the closest -- where the failure of a single player [almost any single player!] to carry out his assignment on a play can cause the play to fail.

    3. Why? Because no professional sport in North America is more rooted in its This Is How We've Always Done It mindset than this sport. And that mindset has blown up more brilliant ideas than you could possibly imagine.

      Hockey begs to differ.

    4. to the Boss's point about not being able to turn to your best player in a given situation in baseball. Yes, but. The but is that runs scored at any point in a game count just as much as runs scored at any other time. Yes, there are "high-leverage" situations, but those high-leverage situations are largely driven by outcomes earlier in the game. So every at-bat by the FotF is as important to the final outcome as any other.

    5. also, Calterra on the topic.

      I realize that it’s not terribly scientific, but all of this flows pretty nicely with my hypothesis from yesterday which holds that A-Rod is not bigger than the game. He’s a headline and a face among those who don’t follow the game too closely. He leads non-sports news stories for non-sports reasons, just as a lot of off-the-field garbage is likely to seep into mainstream news. Put him back on the field, though, and he is comparatively diminished. Put him in front of hardcore baseball fans and they are quite adept at putting him in the proper perspective.

      A-Rod is only a monster when he has time and space to be made into one. And when he is presented to (or by) people who are more interested in the soap opera elements of it all than the baseball elements of it all.

      1. How bad have the last three seasons been? In all likelihood, this will be the worst three season stretch for the Twins, ever. They've also offset so much of the goodness before this that the last four seasons are below the average four year stretch for the franchise. As are the last five seasons. And the last six. And the last seven. And the last eight. And the last nine. And by the end of the season, perhaps the last ten.

        1. The last few years of the 90s were pretty miserable, too. From 1997-2000 the team averaged 94 losses per season.

          1. Yeah, that was not good. But, that was after Kirby and Herbie got old and retired. Who would have guessed that this club, just three years ago, would have fallen off a cliff like this?

              1. Bad move after bad move after bad move in all facets of the teams operations - from the FO moves with the big club to the scouting/drafting and minor league teams - seems a perfect maelstrom of dysfunction and ineptitude...death by a thousand paper cuts.

                I know, I know, basically everyone else missed on him too, but I still can't believe that the Angels took Trout with a pick from the Yankees as compensation for losing Mark Teixeira (who they rented for about three months and got a slash line of .358/ .449/ .632/ 1.081 out of) ...3 picks after the Twins selected Kyle Gibson!

                1. Gibson was a Top 10 pick until he got hurt. At the time, that was a great pick by the Twins, who paid more than they would have. Gibson was maybe a month away from the majors when he got hurt. We really don't know what would have been. His stuff is still plenty good and he'll be better than any starter the Twins have right now.

                2. We're paying for moves made several years ago. The Twins are doing the right things to turn this around other than not being more aggressive at trading veterans. They didn't accept that they were in a rebuild, so it has been a little slower. Still, the Twins have one of the best farm systems and two of the best prospets in baseball, one of which who will almost certainly be up next year and another who could very well do the same and be the most exciting player for the Twins since Kirby.

                  Of the Twins' Top 10 prospects, according to MiLB.com, six were brought into the organization after the 2011 season. The Twins drafted Buxton, Stewart, Berrios and Eades, and they traded for Meyer and May. I'm excited about the future of the Twins. They haven't had this much talent in their minor leagues since the 80s, and that seemed to work out pretty well. It's a long process, but they're in the right direction.

                    1. Batting prospects are easily transformed into pitching prospects. The key is to have desirable assets in the system. AND not trade them for fat, over-priced closers.

                    2. The key is to have desirable assets in the system. AND not trade them for fat, over-priced closers.

                      Well, we've got Perkins for $3.75 million in 2014 and 2015, and a $4.5 million option for 2016. As long as he stays healthy, that shouldn't be a problem for a few years.

                    3. Hard to complain when five of the six I mentioned are pitchers and they don't include Gibson. Five of Top 10 prospects are pitchers, but none of them were in the organization prior to the June 2012 draft. That's how barren the system was. 11 of Top 20 are pitchers, but Felix Jorge (#20) was the only one in the system prior to the 2012 draft.

  4. Brie? no, brie. (yea, I've been guilty)

    There is real Brie (1 percent, literally), and then there is factory brie (lower case ‘b’, 99 percent). Day. And. Night. … Anyone who chooses the ‘brie’ found in the shittiest supermarkets, the finest supermarkets, the chichiest food shops is making a really bad choice.

    He went on:

    Again, any purported sophisticate that does not understand this is no more than a dilettante. There is absolutely no redeeming reason for ever allowing pasteurized ‘brie’ into one’s life. The stuff doesn’t even run. The running should be the American cheeselover—AWAY from this phony-baloney.

    1. I had some Brie-like cheese from Surdyk's or Kramarczuk's once. It was on sale, probably the last of its wheel or something. It had strong flavor and it made part of the fridge stinky and it ran so bad. I ended up eating most of it (it wasn't that big) in one sitting because I didn't know how to keep it.

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