Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Common Musings

By The Common Man

Busy day on tap for The Common Man, so you get a random collection of his thoughts and links.

Nickname stuff…
Can we all just agree to call Angels CF Peter Bourjos "Gorgeous Bourjos?" Done? Done. Nickname approved.

Also, TCM hereby nominates RA Dickey as The Lion.

The Red Menace strikes!

Speaking of terrific nicknames, TCM was just introduced to Matt Kemp’s awesome moniker: The Bison. Get your t-shirts now!

Placido Polanco doesn’t have/need a nickname, as his given name is terrific. That said, he probably should be a tenor somewhere, not a 3B.

Beer stuff…
Friend of the blog, Lar of knows that TCM loves a good Oktoberfest brew, and recommended Staghorn by the New Glarus Brewery. TCM’s happy to report that it’s excellent (full and malty) and bound to be the subject of a Beer Leaguer before the week is out.

Other terrific Oktoberfests TCM’s stumbled into and loved in the last month: Bell’s and Berghoff. Ranking the three TCM would probably go Staghorn, Berhoff, Bell’s, but all three are excellent and offer something slightly different.

Documentary stuff…
Speaking of Lar, he caught the same thing TCM did last night on the Ken Burns’ Tenth Inning documentary on PBS, when Thomas Boswell mentioned that he saw a current Hall of Famer mixing something the player referred to as a “Jose Canseco Milkshake.” Lar tries to figure out who it is.

Bill’s going to have a formal review of the whole four hour production later this week, but here are a couple stray observations from TCM:

Burns has a relatively unflattering portrayal of Willie Mays, saying he taught Bobby Bonds “Don’t trust anybody,” and “Look out for number one.”

Counter to what TCM expected, Burns has a very realistic and even-handed portrayal of steroid use and a frank and sympathetic explanation of why players use/d PEDs. He spreads the blame around to players, reporters, ownership/team admin, clueless commissioners, and even fans. Virtually everyone wanted to turn a blind eye. And did.

While Donald Fehr may have been a good negotiator, strong union leader, and fierce protector of player rights, his inability to articulate the reasons for the ’94 Strike to the general public cemented the players’ status as villains, and severely slowed baseball’s comeback.

TCM’s favorite quote of the night, however, was from Pedro Martinez, who talked about his reverence for Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998: “Innocence is beautiful sometimes.” You say potato, TCM says willful ignorance.

TV stuff…
Come on, America. The Common Man knows you love bigamy, you watch True Love and the atrocious-sounding new reality show Sister Wives. He knows you love con men, as you’re watching White Collar and Psych. He knows you love anti-heroes because you watch House and The Sopranos. And he knows you love hot, naked and partially-naked women because you watch…well, everything. How can you not love Lone Star, which combines all of these things into a seriously well-paced, well-acted, and well-plotted show? Seriously, America, sometimes you disappoint The Common Man.

If you’re not watching Community, you’re not TCM’s friend anymore. The funniest show on TV? The funniest show on TV. Even if you don’t get all the jokes, just stare at Alison Brie for a half-hour and thank TCM later.

Terriers is pretty damn good too. And it’s on a network that will give it a chance. Catch up now, on Hulu.

Tampa attendance stuff…
Yesterday, TCM wrote about how the Rays’ attendance woes in 2010 mirror the struggles of the Twins as they emerged from almost a decade in the wilderness. There was a Twitter argument that followed with a Twins-centric blogger who essentially called out Tampa fans for not supporting their team, and said they were garbage compared to Twins fans. TCM thinks that it’s very easy to forget how hard it is to root for a team that has routinely destroyed the fans’ trust in its competence. And when that team gets back to contending, it’s very hard to regain that trust. It’s also hard to get back in the habit of going to the ballpark for casual fans, after several years spent cultivating other hobbies. The Rays’ attendance is actually ahead of the Twins’ pace when they started competing again in the early ‘00s, so let’s not cast stones. Good luck to the Rays, unless they’re up against the Twins. Their fans deserve to see a winner just as much as anyone else’s.

Twins stuff…
Speaking of the Twins…The Common Man is slightly concerned about their finish to 2010, as they’ve lost their last five games by a combined score of 46-21, allowing 10 or more runs in four of those games. That said, as Shawn Berg* points out, there’s actually no real connection between how a team performs at the very end of the season and how it performs in the postseason tournament. And, indeed, the ’87 team lost its last five games before it won the World Series. All the Twins are playing for at the moment is home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but the difference is really only one extra game if the ALCS stretches to seven. That’s not worth pulling out all the stops for, and the Twins are better served by getting everyone healthy and rested for next week.

*Shawn’s got an excellent Twins-centric blog, On the road with..., that you should really be reading if you're a Twins fan.


Bill said...

A little disappointed in Bell's Oktoberfest myself, though maybe only due to heightened expectations from Bell's Oberon and Two-Hearted Ale. It' I really wish I could find a place around here that had New Glarus. Spotted Cow is a favorite, and I'd love to try their Oktoberfest.

lar said...

Are the musings so common that they need a "the" at the front? ;-)

Glad you liked the Staghorn so much. I was beginning to worry that I had pumped it up too much and that it'd disappoint.

I can't remember if I had the Bell's or not. I want to say that we had it last year and liked it, but I can't remember anymore. We tried a lot of Oktoberfest last year.

And, Bill, New Glarus' other beers are good but not great. I like Spotted Cow fine, but I don't think it deserves anywhere near the kind of love it gets around here. I think people like it because it's cheap and easy to drink and it makes them feel fancier/smarter than just ordering a Lite. (Not that that's why you like it!) I'll drink it over a lot of beers, though, so it's not like I hate it.

Staghorn, though, is just terrific.