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Random Noise

Posted by phduffy on 2004-08-19 15:22:56
20 forum posts
I have some random thoughts I felt like putting down. There will be no flow from one idea to another, and there may not be coherence. Call me Larry King.

The Canadian Men's baseball team is kicking ass and taking names, which is good, because all our other athletes are... um... let's just say they're not kicking ass and taking names. They're too busy getting disqualified from events or blaming their coach. The baseball team is alone in first place! Granted, they haven't played Japan or Cuba yet, but you never know! Ya gotta believe! And the States didn't qualify! And Ernie Whitt is the manager/coach! Yay!

I heard Gary Bettman, NHL commisioner, on the radio last week. He was discussing the ongoing labour negotiations. He said that the system they have in place now obviously doesn't work.


Yeah, it's so hard to compete in the NHL, that's why only big market teams like Calgary and Tampa Fucking Bay can make it to the Stanley cup finals. Look at the final 4 last year! Calgary, Tampa Bay and San Jose are all small markets!!!!! (Philadelphia may be large market, or they may be middle market, I'm not sure). The Big Market teams in the NHL are
New York Rangers - Suck
New York Islanders - don't act like a big market team in terms of payroll
Toronto - Consistently use their advantages to be consistently mediocre
Detroit - Mostly good, even they're not guaranteed of anything.

Really, those are the only teams you might be able to call large market. I'm probably stretching it on the Islanders. Some might want to include Colorado, New Jerser and/or Dallas. Trust me, Dallas is not a larger hockey market than Montreal.

The player's unions in sports does a crappy job of communicating their ideas to the public. I heard yesterday that 83% of fans in Canada blame the players for the upcoming lockout. First, it's a lockout, not a strike. Secondly, the players have never once asked for more. Not once! (This is the same as baseball players, which alot of people also don't seem to get).
The players want to leave things as they are now.

Now, you might be thinking "Oh sure phduffy, small market teams can compete... when they're not busy going bankrupt!"
Great point. However, the bankruptcies that occured are the fault of the NHL, not the players.
Let's look at them:
Ottawa - The reasons Ottawa was having trouble paying its bills was not because of player salaries, but rather because they couldn't afford to make the payments on the money they'd loaned in order to pay the $100 million expansion fee, as well as the money they spent building an arena in the middle of nowhere. As much as I love Ottawa the city and Ottawa the team, Ottawa had no business being granted a team during expansion.

Pittsburgh - When someone wants to buy an NHL (or any major sports league) team, the league scrutinizes their finances. Basically they want to make sure that you have enough money to run the team.
Unless your name is Mario Lemieux. Then you get to buy the team without going through that, despite the fact that your investors group doesn't have enough money. Then you have cashflow problems.

Buffalo - to be honest, I don't remember what they screwed up. I think they overpaid for their new stadium, but i"m not sure. What should happen here is that the team should move to Hamilton, to correct the mistake of granting Ottawa an expansion team.

Today major league baseball commisioner Bud Selig's contract was renewed through 2009. This is horrible news if you're a baseball fan. Bud Selig is a terrible, terrible commisioner, and it sucks that the owners are so short sighted as to rehire him. Here's a list of the things he's fucked up that I'm stealing from another website:

We'll set the "Yankee tax" aside for a minute and look at the major accomplishments/events of the Bud Selig Era.

1. Helped engineer the strike of 1994. True, it takes two to tango, but the hardline and borderline absurd tack the owners took can be attributed to Selig.

2. Perpetrated a fraud against the citizens and taxpayers of Milwaukee.

3. Is currently being sued under RICO laws (the same ones used against mob bosses) for poisoning the baseball market in Montreal.

4. The ongoing saga of extorting a new place to play for said Montreal franchise.

5. Engineered the "shady" (and that's being kind) sale of the Red Sox and subsequent sale of the Marlins and Expos.

6. Contraction.

7. The Polhad loan.

8. Reinstituting the 60/40 rule as a way to attempt to a) drive player salaries down and b) get municipalities to pay for new stadia.

9. Consistently appealed to the lowest denominator. Attendance lagging -- cozy up to SpiderMan 2... Tell fans in most cities their team can't compete. No one watches the All-Star game and it ends in ties - make it count. Honestly, the man has the long-term vision of a fruit bat and can rarely, if ever see the pile of gold for the dollar bill in front of him.

10. Converted "interim" to "for life" and in the process gave us Gov. George W. Bush who became President George W. Bush.

11. Destroyed the integrity of the game by degrees with interleague play.

12. Engineered realignment to get more Brewer home games vs. the Cubs (who are much better and much more popular in Wisconsin).

13. Perjured himself on national television.

14. Strung out Pete Rose, thus giving him a forum to hawk books and other merchandise and further besmirch the game.

And let's not forget, this is the man who is so concerned about what franchise movement does to a community that he go into baseball by stealing the Pilots from Seattle after just one season.

I don't neccesarily agree with all the points (I'll get to Pete Rose in a minute and I don't have a big problem with interleague play), but the bottom line is that Bud Selig is a fuck up. It pisses me off how he's killed baseball in Montreal.
Even if you don't like baseball, consider point 10. Many people thought that George W Bush was in line to become the next commisioner. Instead, Bud Selig decided to stay on. Imagine the world we'd live in if things had gone differently!

Richard Griffin is a douchebag.
If you don't know who Richard Griffin is, I'll explain. Richard Griffin used to be the PR director for the Expos. He was pretty good, as he has a way with words and can be humourous.
Then Griffin decided to write for the Toronto Star and cover the Blue Jays.
Since JP Richardi, the new GM of the Blue Jays was hired, Griffin has done nothing but criticize him and his philosophy. His philosophy (sometimes called the Moneyball philosophy, based on a book written about JP's former team, the Oakland A's) is reffered to as idiotball. Some people think that this philosophy is about getting slow guys that walk alot and hit home runs, but never bunt or steal bases. These people don't know how to read. Moneyball is not about that. Read the fucking title of the book. Yes, the Jays steal and bunt less. That may make things less appealing, but it's also a better strategy to win. And the Oakland A's suck at walking and hitting homeruns, but are great at pitching and defence!

Anyways. So Griffin bicthes and moans and tries to kill all fan interest in the Jays. Then JP goes on the radio and says that he doens't listen to what Griffin says, and Griffin tells JP to grow up!
Today he wrote the following article:
Jays need to appeal to fans, not complain

He stars off the article by saying that he gets accused of being negative too often, so he's going to offer 6 suggestions on how the Jays could improve. THEN HE PROCEEDS TO USE EVERY SUGGESTION AS A WAY TO CRITICIZE THE TEAM!

Furthermore, when JP was hired he said it would take 5 years to get things back on track. This is year 3. It is far too early to bitch.

Now, you may be wondering, what do I care if Griffin bitches about the Jays?
Well, it's like this. I probably pay more attention to them then the casual fan. And I'm worried about their future, what with their low attendance and all. And I figured that the average Toronto Star reader picks up the paper reads a column by Griffin and says "Man, those Jays don't know what they're doing". They don't realize that Griffin, although a talented wordsmith, is absolutely incompetent when it comes to knowledge of baseball.
I hear from people all the time that say the Jays suck and have sucked for years. This of course ignore the far distant past of... 2003! When the Jays were within half a game of first in June and finished the season with 86 wins.
I could say more about the Jays, but i'll stop now.

I was dicussing movies with a bunch people this weekend, among them Miguel. I'm reminded of something he said months ago when we were discussing Lost in Translation. He referred to the mood and atmosphere of watching a movie. The more I think about it, the more I think this is a very good point. Maybe if you watch LIT while sitting on someone's couch after a weekend of heavy drinking you're not going to see the great interaction and love that goes on, but only the lack of plot. Maybe if you see The Last Samurai at home you don't get the majestic epic that we saw at the theatre, and you can't overlook its flaws.

Maybe if you didn't enjoy the first 2 Harry Potter movies and you're forced to watch the third ones with a bunch of foreign students you're not going to see the beauty and joy that someone who loved the first 2 movies so much that he saw the third one by himself would see.

I think two movies that I liked but that others didn't would qualify. My guess is that if you see Mystic River and the Manchurian Candidate in a theatre you're much more likely to enjoy them than if you rent them. At times they're both somewhat slow and somewhat tense, two qualities that can be enjoyable in a theatre, but sleep inducing at home. (I realize that many people disliked the Manchurian Candidate for other reasons, but I still think it'd be better to see in a theatre).

In fact, I think almost all movies are better seen and enjoyed in a theatre. Simply being in the atmosphere at a theatre makes it fun.

The hard part about this idea is accepting that maybe some movies you didn't like weren't as bad as you thought. Like, maybe if you'd ever felt disassociated with your own life you would have realized that LIT was a great movie.

The really hard part is realizing that some movies that you thought were great weren't as good as you thought. This is why I rarely re-watch movies. Would Mystic River be as good if I rented and watched it on the small screen? What about Lord of the Rings? I prefer not to answer that question.

I'm not suggesting that these are the only reasons to dislike a movie. I'm certain that some people would have disliked Mystic River had they seen on the big screen and that I would love Harry Potter had I just rented it. I'm just saying that perhaps this helps explain why people can have such different reactions to movies. (I'm also thinking about Brother and Series 7 here).

Peace out. Thanks for staying with me.
  20 forum posts