Friday, August 29, 2014

Montero for Pineda Saga Continues

(Remember the '80s pseudo metal band SAGA and their hit song [Tonight I'm] On the Loose?) Anyhow, the whole Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda trade that the Yankees made with the Mariners a couple years ago, continues to play out with unexpected and bizarre consequences for everyone involved. Pineda, after missing all of last year with an arm injury (after reporting to camp overweight) has come on strong recently for the Yankees, but only after suffering a back injury which followed a suspension due to his reliance on pine-tar in cold weather games.

Despite Pineda's problems, it still looks like the Yankees got the better end of the deal, as Montero, a once ballyhooed power hitting prospect, has struggled mightily for the Mariners. Coincidentally, he also seems to have weight problems, which apparently led to a recent confrontation with a scout, involving Single A baseball and an ice cream sandwich.

Stories like this make you wonder if both these teams didn't realize these guys had issues before trading them and were laughing about sticking someone else with their problem. Well, the joke's on who now?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Amazing Night at the Uht

Yes, it was the last buck night of the season, and yes, we got pretty drunk, and no I didn't spend a lot of money to get pretty drunk, so that was all good. And it was beautiful out, and we watched the last 5 innings from the first row directly behind home plate...and the Seawolves, after giving up 7 runs in the top of the first inning, yes, Bowie's first nine hitters all reached base, the Seawolves came back to win 10-7. Amazing game.

Couple of notes:
  • Erie starter Wilsen Palacios got his 9th win of the season, despite giving up 7 earned runs in the first. He threw 101 pitches and came out after the fifth, by which time the Seawolves had scored 9 earned runs off the Bowie starter.
  • Dean Green and Stephen Moya, Erie's two best hitters, went a combined 7 for nine, with Moya mashing 3 doubles, and Green hitting a home run. Both are lefties. Moya now has 102 RBI in 127 games. Seems like a likely Sept. call up for the Tigers. His downside seems to be 152 strikeouts and only 20 walks. Not sure how that will play in the major leagues.
Oh, yes and Jim Kelly is being critical of the Bills quarterback play, and I really couldn't agree with him more. He echoes my thoughts the EJ is a bright and nice guy, and everyone seems to like him, but on the field, he is just not (yet?) getting the job done. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Some Sympathy for O.J.

I know the man is a killer and all, and currently serving time for attempted armed robbery, but hear me out. (Also, if we can have a Stones' song called Sympathy for the Devil, can't we have a little sympathy for a man who is a human being - albeit a very flawed one, but therefore cannot possibly as completely evil as the devil?)

Anyhow, here's the O.J. legend has I understand it: He grew up in San Francisco and ran with a pretty rough crowd as a kid. After a childhood bout with Rickets that led some doctor to tell him he would always be handicapped, he grew into a physical stud and was a star running back in high school. His grades weren't great so he went to a junior college in Los Angeles, where he starred and made JC All-American. He was offered a scholarship to USC - one of the prime national football programs in the heart of Los Angeles, where once again he starred. So, now he's getting national attention, hobnobbing with movie and TV stars in LA, starting to dabble in acting - life is good.

Then he gets drafted by the Buffalo Bills. As you may know I'm a Bills fan, but was this really fair? I mean to take a guy from San Francisco, who went to college in LA and place him in Buffalo - on a terrible team - to start his career. No wonder he went crazy. In no other career but pro sports do you not get to pick the city you want to live and work in after going to college. Would OJ have been happier if he could have played for the LA Rams and stayed near Hollywood and acted part time? Absolutely.

I remember my grandfather, who lived in Dunkirk NY (down the road from Buffalo about a half hour or so) saying OJ couldn't wait to get out of Buffalo when the season ended and back to CA. At the time, (I was like 7) I thought he was a jerk. But now, having been around a bit, I can totally understand. Buffalo is nothing like Southern CA or San Fran. No wonder OJ wanted to get home.

And he was drafted in 1969, which is only a few years after the legendary Bills back Cookie Gilchrist had been complaining about racial prejudice in Buffalo after having played for several years in Toronto. And, as I said, the team stunk. Luckily Lou Saban, who had coached to Bills to some titles in the Gilchrist era, came back to town, recognized OJ's talent and built a team around him. So, from a career standpoint, OJ ended up having success, was loved in Buffalo, and even found time to do some acting in the offseason. But I'm sure this all put a good deal of stress on him that could have been alleviated if NFL rules had just allowed him to stay on the West Coast. I'm not saying all this made him a murderer, but I'm sure it didn't help....On the other hand, maybe if he had stayed in CA with all the crazies, he would have flipped sooner!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wild at Heart

So, last night, I watched the first part of this really entertaining film called Wild at Heart. This film was recommended to me way back when I was still in college I think. It came out in 1990, so this was certainly plausible. For whatever reason, I never had occasion to watch it, but saw it was being included on some cable channel as part of a Nicholas Cage retrospective, which was kind of fascinating in itself.

First off, Wild at Heart is directed by David Lynch. I have never really watched too much David Lynch, but his work is always being praised by people whose opinions I respect, including the great Charles Bukowksi, so it was probably time I gave something of his a full-fledged try. And Wild at Heart was definitely worth it. A lot of good energy, sex, music, sexual energy, sensual energies, one liners, style, etc. And Nick Cage really does a great job personifying all this.

Which brings me back to my thoughts on a Nick Cage retrospective. Valley Girl, which came out in 1983, was also part of that retrospective. That was Cage's first major role and turned into a cult classic, which we, as high schoolers at the time, loved. I'm sure I saw it more than once. I watched the second half of it the other night and it seemed kind of stupid, but Cage is certainly the strongest player in the movie.

Move forward seven years to Wild at Heart and he is really still bringing it, with the help of David Lynch of course. By that time he had also made Raising Arizona with the Coen Brothers, not to mention being the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola. So, Cage certainly had the opportunity to learn from some top notch and innovative directors.

He made some other mildly interesting flicks in the early 1990s, before really hitting a home run with the role of the drunk lead in Leaving Las Vegas, for which I believe he won the Best Actor Academy Award. As far as I'm concerned, it's been all downhill for him since. I think I've seen him in three entertaining movies since: Adaptation, Con Air, and Gone in 60 Seconds, but while they were all fun movies, Cage didn't have same energy be brought to his early flicks. What happened to it? Probably life just wore him down. I know he had a highly publicized bankruptcy and was said just to be making movies just to pay his bills for awhile. Cage's bankruptcy was always a bit confusing, because, as often happens in these cases I guess, you find yourself wondering how somebody that could be so good at something like acting (which you are assuming, perhaps incorrectly takes some intellectual ability) be so bad a managing their money.

Anyhow, I guess I'll just enjoy the rest of Wild at Heart and stop wondering about what happened to Nick Cage. At least he gave us a few good movies, which is more than most people can say.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Great Bukowski quote on women & relationships

This is one I hadn't come across before. From his collection of short stories "Tales of Ordinary Madness." I had never read this one before and checked it out recently as an electronic resource from the Erie County Public Library, which is a pretty cool process in itself. I check it out as a Kindle book and it took me to the Amazon page, which enabled the book to be delivered directly to my Kindle Reader.

Anyhow, here's the quote, which is from the story "Would You Suggest Writing as a Career?" "Christ, there were women everywhere and half of them looked good enough to fuck, and there was nothing you could do - just look at them. Who'd ever devised such as awful trick?...Which one did you pick? Which one picked you? It didn't matter and it was all so sad. (Editorial comment by RG: A very Kouacian move, invoking 'sadenss'.) And when the picks were made, it never worked, it never worked for anybody, no matter what they said."