Game II in a series of III between the Reds (41-61) and the Padres (44-59.) I’d like to take this opportunity to look in on how the Cubification of Aroldis Chapman is working out:
So we’ve got that going for us.
Last week an Indians fan reached out via Twitter to pat me gently on the back and offer sincere condolences over the absolute world-ending mishandling of the Chapman trade. “How you doin’, bud?” she said. “Can I get you anything? Some tea, glass of ginger ale?”
Thanks, Reds. Thanks for making my life such that an INDIANS FAN feels sorry for me.
|1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Jay Bruce (RF)
5. Adam Duvall (LF)
6. Brandon Phillips (2B)
7. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Anthony DeSclafani (P)
|1. Travis Jankowski (CF)
2. Ryan Schimpf (2B)
3. Wil Myers (1B)
4. Matt Kemp (RF)
5. Brett Wallace (3B)
6. Alexi Amarista (LF)
7. Jose Rondon (SS)
8. Derek Norris (C)
9. Christian Friedrich (P)
Tomorrow is Homer Day. Today is Disco Day.
|ERA||IP||SO||WHIP||SHOULD HE BE INCLUDED IN A JAY BRUCE TRADE?|
|Christian Friedrich||5.00||68.1||57||1.60||At this point everyone remotely associated with Major League Baseball, up to and including Rob Manfred, has been implicated in a Jay Bruce trade|
|Anthony DeSclafani||3.09||55.1||46||55.1||YES ABSO– oh wait, we already have him. This was unlikely to stop the front office from attempting to obtain him, however.|
REARRANGING THE DECK CHAIRS
To cheer me up against the endless spew of dumb which has emanated from social media this past month, I watched a movie about the sinking of the Titanic. Not that one. A good one. It’s called A Night to Remember, and it is art.
I don’t know how I missed seeing this movie; I’ve been fascinated by the Titanic since childhood. It is sublime. As a writer, I was drawn into the director’s choices to avoid telling and focus on showing, which is no small task in a dramatic, well-known story like this, which has a very bad and very famous ending. Rather than spend ten minutes on splintering decks, for example, the movie shows unattended, freshly baked loaves of bread sliding from their racks. They were made in normalcy, but weren’t needed for the breakfast service which never took place.
Based on a nonfiction book of the same name by Walter Lord and produced in 1958, the film was limited by facts and the technology of the times, and it is much the better for it. Without CGI to crutch against or a Sweet Valley High romance to “improve” one of the most starkly tragic tales in all of Western Civilization, A Night to Remember simply tilts the camera a bit and lets human nature unfold. As a result, I felt more drawn into a story which I already knew well.
My irritation with the James Cameron cartoon version of the sinking stems from the same disgruntlement I have with canned rock music at college football games and shrieking sound effects in baseball parks: You are “improving” something which requires zero improvement. It is arrestingly human in and of itself. Giant computer renderings of boilers and DAY-Os ricocheting across the outfield only distract from the natural unfolding of what’s already there. Don’t tell me I need to be amused by this game before me or feel sad about these lives lost. I can find the detail for myself, and thus experience it more intently, if you don’t insist on blinding me with neon signs and strobe lights.
One of the film’s rare stumbles showed the inside of what was ostensibly a first-class playroom for small children. It depicted a rocking horse skittering across the floor. The note rang stereotypical and false– “Lazy. That’s a bit much,” I thought, especially since the viewer was already shown actual children in peril. And sure enough, I found out later that Titanic didn’t even have such a nursery.
Likewise, something deep within the average sports fan rebels when presented with the likes of the Pro Bowl and mascot races. They seem manufactured and an empty distraction from the actual story at hand because they are.
And that is why the Reds, with all their fireworks and bobbleheads, stand 23rd in a league of 30 in attendance. I’ve been told by out of town fans that the Reds are among the best in fan relations, and I’m sure they are. But the story we’re currently told on the field isn’t a good one right now. We know the ending, and we don’t want to see it.
You can see the all of A Night to Remember here. Give it a watch, and then another watch with commentary from Titanic historians on the Netflix DVD version:
(This video is fascinating, btw, if you would like something more uplifting in your lives this afternoon than resigning yourselves to the fact that Thom Brennaman hath returned unto us. Pardon the circusy title graphics, which I hate, as nothing says GOOD CHEESY TIMES, EVERYBODY!! like the horrific deaths of 1503 people.)
A THING FROM TWITTER
That’s deep, man. Really makes you think.
Fox Sports Ohio was playing a rebroadcast of a Reds-Mets game from 1978 while I was at the gym last week, and it was more compelling than the 2016 game which had just finished.