September 15, 2013

Cruising, Beards, And Other Miscellany

Boston (91-59) is 32 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2004 season (98-64).

This season is only the third time since 1951 that the Red Sox reached 90 wins before the 150th game of the year (1986 and 2007 were the other seasons).

Seasons in which the Red Sox were above .500 from start to finish: 1912, 1917, 1918, 1940, 1946, 2013.

Red Sox's largest increase in wins from season to season
33 games - 1945: 71-83   1946: 104-50
27 games - 1911: 78-75   1912: 105-47
22 games - 2012: 69-93   2013:  91-59 (12 games to play)
Koji Uehara:
Has made 27 straight scoreless appearances covering 30.1 innings (since July 9)

Has retired 37 consecutive batters over his last 12 games (since August 17)

Has not allowed an earned run in his last 33.2 innings (June 30)

Of his last 96 batters, only 7 have reached base

Since June 10: 41 games, 0.21 ERA, 3 walks, 60 strikeouts, .076 opponents average

Wednesday, September 18 is Dollar Beard Night at Fenway Park. Any fan wearing a real or fake beard can buy a ticket to that night's game against the Orioles for $1 (at Gate E).
Derek Jeter is a VHS cassette.

Most home-run stare-downs are erotic French films.

R.A. Dickey throws a sidearm knuckleball.

Rob Neyer: Major League Baseball's mixed 9/11 messages.


Maxwell Horse said...

Everyone, please ignore this post. Can't help myself...

The smirking comparison of Derek Jeter to a VHS tape is actually pretty depressing to me, as I'm convinced that VHS is a superior format than digital, just as analog sound is better than mp3s. They might as well have equated Jeter to film and then compared him to the HD radioactive Colorforms show known as Barbara Walter's "The View." Yes, a digital copy of something will last forever, and a VHS will degrade. Boo-hoo. Spaghetti-O's and Twinkies can survive nuclear winters.

Yes, VHS is incompatible with LCD HD screens, but that's an indictment of the fact that people en masse have decided that the lurid LCDs of a sports bar or waiting room are the only way to absorb art; it shouldn't be an indictment of a particular medium or a reflection of the soul it's able to convey.

Watch VHS (good condition) on a CRT screen and compare it to a DVD on that same CRT screen. You'll notice that the DVD is cleaner, but it's also deader. What's mesmerizing and alive and pulls you in on VHS--just tiny character moments, a still shot of a horizon, even opening credits--is fucking BORING on DVD. You have to force yourself not to feel indifference.

Sure, your left brain will be happy to see how clean the new versions of Star Wars are. But art is not meant to be cell-phone apps. It's not meant to be Angry Birds. Pop in your VHS's of that same trilogy--get over the initial, "but it's not clean!" whining--and then find your right brain totally immersed in this deep, alive OTHER world, a world separate and beyond the living room your occupy. A world deeper than the pixels of a flatscreen. A world in which everything on the screen feels "married," like a cohesive whole, rather than disparate elements which have nothing to do with one another.

I'm convinced that part of the reason people have such short attention spans now--at least in terms of watching images--and they NEED quick edits and giant CGI robots smashing skyscrapers every minute of a movie or else they look away from the screen, is because of the misguided new standards we have in "perfect" images. Sure, things are clean and sharp now, but they're also impossible to actually be absorbed in. Or to empathize with and be coaxed into wondering. We've come to value "sharpness" and "cleanliness" above all other concerns, as if we were talking about dental equipment.

Even people who say they love our superior digital age, and who like to brag about their awesome Insano HDTV setup in their "man cave"--ask them how often they actually are *really* absorbed in something. So absorbed that they don't stop every 5 minutes to send a tweet out; so absorbed that they forget they're in their rec room. I bet they'd have a hard time remembering when that used to be the norm, rather than the exception.

I'd bet they'd have to go back several years. Back to when they were watching so-called inferior non-digital things. But they'd never put two and two together.

johngoldfine said...

Okay, then, Maxwell--so you're saying Jeter is like digital: famous, ubiquitous, but currently over-rated and unworthy of his own fame and popularity! I can get behind that, though I have no opinion whatsoever about vhs v. digital or analog v. mp3.

grahams said...

"Everyone, please ignore this post. Can't help myself..."

If only I had listened.....

laura k said...

The smirking comparison of Derek Jeter to a VHS tape is actually pretty depressing to me, as I'm convinced that VHS is a superior format than digital, just as analog sound is better than mp3s

I can't figure out if this is an intentional MH self-parody, an unintentional MH self-parody, neither, or both.

My inability to detect sarcasm online is legendary (and hyperbolic!) but this has me second guessing my second guesses.

laura k said...

On a more serious note, I, like johngoldfine, have no opinion on analog vs digital vs anything else. I mourn my attention span, but I get absorbed by - I cringe as I type this dreadful word - content, regardless of format. The format itself is invisible to me.

Maxwell Horse said...

Laura, I'm being dead serious. I was going to post another long explanation, but decided against it, as I didn't want to cause graham more pain.

I'll just sum it up as: There are more to moving images than cleanliness and sharpness. (Just as there are more important qualities to food than whether it's symmetrical.) What matters most in images is whether they are alive and organic looking. Whether they make you lean forward and pull you into another persuasive world, rather than just sit there dead in the same room you occupy.

Maxwell Horse said...

"The format itself is invisible to me."

You may not be consciously aware of it, but I can guarantee you that you're responding to it all the same. Someone can be acting their heart out, talking about the loftiest themes--but it's amateur hour if they're shot like, say, Matt Lauer on "The Today Show."

Compare that with the beginning of "Road to Perdition." There's basically no content at all. No lofty themes. No mentions of the Holocaust or Jesus or cancer. It's just a kid on a bike. But it's timeless magic, because of the way it looks.

laura k said...

Awesome Neyer! Thanks for the link. Great stuff, especially the reference to the disrespect inherent in GBA.

laura k said...

And thanks to Neyer, I now have extra reasons to hate Bobby Valentine! If you haven't done so yet, watch Keith Olbermann, starting at about 3:00. Wow.

laura k said...

MH, yeah, I should have known you were serious. It was the combination of Derek Jeter and VHS, and then your perfectly timed comment... but yeah, of course.

You may not be consciously aware of it, but I can guarantee you that you're responding to it all the same.

We have no idea how others perceive things. I realize how important this is to you, but you can't know what I (or anyone other than yourself) perceive and respond to. It is possible that we care about and respond to completely different things.

allan said...

BV has backed off his 9/11 NYY comments: "It was a mistake. I was asked my opinion. I'm not saying all my opinions are correct. I'm not saying all my opinions are fair."

laura k said...

That just makes it worse. He was not giving an opinion. He was telling a version of events that didn't happen.