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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday Thoughts

And Also: Reading Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over For Bush. Equal parts depressing and aggravating. Just love the conflicting ways Gore/Kerry and Bush were treated respecting their Vietnam service. The press' negligence is about as aggravating as people who seriously claim to care about honor etc. and suggest Bush is the more honorable one. That is simply insane.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is a fairly typical summer blockbuster -- not much brains, but a fairly decent way to stay cool. The movie was a bit disappointing -- the storyline was a bit anemic (actually, lazy really), which is not too surprising given it is the second film growing out of a theme park ride. And, of course, many action movies do not have great stories.

Worse, the action was rather anemic, boring really, and things moved rather slowly. Things started with a good visual but even that was overcooked, while some key plot points were lame. Finally, there were not really any big exciting action scenes. The spectacle, art direction, and Johnny Depp's performance (more fun last time ... he really has much less to do here) stood up pretty well though. The movie also had a "see it pays to wait to the end of the credits" bit.

Not great praise, surely, but it is not like there are so many other films to watch. The movie in fact ends ala Back to the Future II -- leading up to another sequel. The cutsie leads btw are a bit lame ... Orlando Bloom especially isn't doing that well finding good roles, though I am sure these three movies alone will do pretty nicely. As a fan of the British show Coupling, even a bit of Jack Davenport amuses. I'd add that looking at the quotes in the entry linked above, there aren't many good ones. One hopes things are better next summer ... the middle BTF was pretty weak too. Anyway, the Cubs and Mets swept division rivals. So, good weekend in that department. [Glavine again did poorly though ... this is getting to be a concern.]

On the baseball front, the Yanks probably clinched another division title and maybe more (they had hitting in the past few years though, so perhaps not) with pick-ups today. It is not like another division title was hopeless even now. They had pitching problems and injuries to key bats (including two long term in the outfield), but still had at least a handful of bats and some arms throughout. And, are only 1/2 game out of first today. Since at least one of those outfielders are likely to come back for the final push, chances were good that they would do the job. Still, after really needing to work it last year, some hard work led to concerns. So, not only did they get a great bat, but also a good starting pitcher. They now have four good to very good starters and one serviceable one. And, so it goes.

Sort of tiring after awhile. One reason, along with favoring more of the personnel, I root for the Mets these days. No fan of Boston and Toronto again will be a respectable third (repeatedly losing key games that keep them there, including a blown save by their highly paid ace closer today), so it is not like I don't want the Yanks to win the East. I like underdogs, so go Tigers, though time will tell if the rookies will hold up. Still, even with all the drama, the Yanks never was in that much trouble to begin with. They stepped up and was likely to get into the playoffs by one way or the other. But, they are the Yanks. Not champs for awhile, but that is the mentality.

Doesn't mean everyone have to be happy. Some say it is good for baseball -- they challenge others and so forth. But, they are doing that now. They hit quite a bit now, thank you. They lost a game 19-6 ... even in a loss they got five runs early. They have a starting three for the playoffs. Three good to great (closer) relievers. And, to get a prime resource, they just had to pay for it. They did not even have to give up prime prospects or (heaven forbid) a useful back-up outfielder that is filling in rather well, thank you. This has been par for the course -- a few times, their rejects turn out to be useful, but quite often not. Such is the nature of economics, but again, don't tell me it's so "good for the game."

Meanwhile, how is that Clemens pick-up doing, Houston? Last time up, he went seven innings of one run ball. The allegedly good bullpen gave up six more runs to lose the game 7-6. This is pretty par for the course, though other times the team wound up losing other ways ... such as getting nearly no runs. Clemens is getting paid more than any pitcher for playing half the time. The team if anything lost ground since he came. Running out of time guys.

Not too interesting in the NYT today.