Nerd of Batman, sports, logic, objectivity, Star Trek, personal enlightenment, Lincoln, the Rays, psychology, mic dropping. Kind've in that order.
There's no need for any debate, Star Trek The Next Generation was the most popular entity of the five television series.
But after seeing Lebron's performance after he amnestied his headband last night, I ask you to allow me to delve into the underrated mythos of Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
No-headband LeBron had 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block of Tim Duncan and 4 turnovers on 5-of-11 shooting. He saved the Heat season.
LeBron played desperate — as he should have, the Heat were about to be sent fishing — and while Chris Bosh with his rebound and Ray Allen with his three were key none of it happens without LeBron’s no headband run.
Lebron went to war. Against the Spurs, his critics, the fans people that left, the challenge of quenching his insatiable thirst for not five, not...well, more titles.
Back to DS9; and if you're a fan of the show, you'll possibly see where I'm going with this analogue.
Did you know...
3. Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko) wanted to shave his head, but directors were concerned that he would look too much like Hawk, a character he played in the 1980s seriesSpenser: for Hire. It was only after Brooks was identified more with Sisko than Hawk that he was allowed to shave his head.
Apparently, depending how and what you Google the background, Paramount didn't want dueling bald captains (even though Sisko entered the show with just the rank of commander, though he was still the man in charge).
Whatever the reason, Brooks, as Captain Sisko, returned to his menacingly bald and goateed look he once wore when he was the character on the Spenser For Hire series right before season four of DS9. That character, Hawk, was the muscle, the hired gun.
Hawk is the street-wise black kid who grew up to become a smartly dressed enforcer. Though he is for hire, he has a code of ethics and generally works on the side of good. In the pilot show ("Promised Land"), he and Spenser obviously have respect for each other, and he switches over from King Powers' (Chuck Connors) side to Spenser's side when he doesn't like the way Powers is doing things. Hawk carries a nickel plated .357 Magnum Colt Python 8" barrel revolver as his weapon of choice.
That sounds like a guy I want on my side, or even front of me, when going to battle.
Wanna know what happened at the end of the season three of what had become Paramount's flagship Star Trek property? The crew of DS9 - and of course the entire Federation - was on the precipe of war with as worthy an adversary as any Star Trek heroes had ever faced. A conflict that would eventually cost millions and millions of lives, and one that genuinely spanned half the galaxy. The fate of it was to be controlled by one man.
After four more emotionally and ethically tortorous seasons of savage battle that was the antithesis of creator Gene Roddenberry's vision (he'd passed a few years earlier), Captain Sisko, comfortable and confident, sans hair emerged victorious to close the series (roughly 14 years ago to the week!).
Captain Sisko lost the hair, audaciously and willingly entered battle and sometimes with questionable morals as his weapon, he won the war, and fulfilled his role as a planetary god (don't ask, just Google).
Lebron, not so ironically with follicle challenges of his own, severed his relationship with his headband and powered a furious comeback to stave off another Finals loss.
The battle was won, but the war's not over. By the time you read this we may know if James will be with or without his customary headband.
Though who knows, comfortable and confident, Lebron James may adopt the polished look Sisko did when he needed to save the galaxy. And at this point, with where he is in the pantheon of current and historical athletes, I'm not so sure Lebron and everything that creates his atmosphere, isn't bigger than the Milky Way.
I enjoyed the nightly homerun derby during the 90s and early/mid 00s just like every other fan. Bonds is probably the second greatest athlete I've ever watched and beloved, after Jordan.
But, I've ALWAYS been a pitching first guy. I was a pitcher. I think my most lasting memory of my sporting life that was, was when I threw the most devastating slider that had ever come out of the hand of any 15 year old. At least I thought so at the time. The kid, a friend named Greg Arnold, had no prayer. That thing started in the middle of the plate and dove what must've felt like 12 feet to him. It was probably two feet. He would've needed a tree trunk to just foul it off. I remember how I felt after I threw that pitch, and I think I looked at my hand wondering how I just did that. It's like I was possessed. For one brief moment, Steve Carlton gave me his slider.
Then I got into radio.
My favorite pitcher ever? Greg Maddux. Deceptively unhittable, and quick. Even as a teenager, I didn't have the patience for a meandering three and a half hour marathon of an MLB game. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
Maddux worked with such grace and pass, he has a term named for a part of his excellence. A CG/SO under 100 pitches is called a Maddux.
Somewhere along the line, probably in 1998, I came across a box score for a game in which Maddux had thrown a complete game shutout, and used fewer than 100 pitches. I LOVED that! Ever since then, I've kept my eye out for such games and calling such a pitching line a "Maddux."
Madduxes are fairly rare, there have been an average of roughly ten per season, going back to 1988, when MLB pitch counts began to be kept consistently (there are various games with accurate counts before that, but 1988 is the most legitimate starting point that can be used). This is the 25th season since then, and there are 256 Madduxes on record.
This year's MLB era is 3.92.
Ten year's ago it was 4.40.
At some point after Bonds hit 73, or maybe it was during that same year when Bret Boone (he's MY face of the PED Era) just about doubled his RBI output (74 to 141!) I said to hell with the offense. I was exhausted and fatigued by games that had box scores where you'd have thought every game was played at the same altitude of Coors Field. 8-7. 10-5. 15-6. Ugh. Stop.
When the Phillies assembled the Four Aces in 2011 (Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt) I was the most eager for a baseball season as I'd been in sometime. They were sure to add another World Series title to the one they'd captured just three years earlier.
The four of them won 59 games and had a WAR of 26.3 Throw in lucky rookie sensation Vance Worley and tack on another 11 wins and 3.4 in WAR.
The 2011 Phillies won the most games (102) in team history on the strength of a 3.02 team ERA.
However, the season, and thus the Four Aces experiment - in the mind of every Phillies fan - was a failure.
Phillie fans despised Ruben Amaro Jr. for trading Cliff Lee after the '09 season. Amra was Ahab and he wanted his white whale named Halladay. Trading Lee seemed the only way to get him. But, there was elation when the Phillies snatched Lee back in the middle of the night from Yankees before the '11 season.
If I recall correctly, his first start back in Philly was dubbed 'Cliff Lee Day.' He worked quick, his hat was scummy, his physique was pedestrian compared to the lanky Hamels and behemoth Halladay, he WANTED to hit, and even pinch run, and he wanted nothing but to win. He embodied so much of what Philadelphia is, or strives to be. And striving is really what matters more than the success itself when it comes to a blue collar town such a Philly. You really don't have to win (just beat the Cowboys) and give a superhuman effort. They'll adore you for ages.
Lee probably won't be a Phillie much longer - if Amaro can secure the right prospect package from contender. This time, however, fans won't be as disappointed when he goes.
Cliff Lee (CLIFF, HOW COULD YOU!?) blew a four run lead Game 2 of the LDS against the soon to be World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, and that symbolically signaled the end of the mini-Phillies dynasty, and became the sobering wet blanket that 102 wins doesn't mean much once the regular season ends and ink of the record book dries. Aside from the perfect Brad Lidge on his knees, Lee's loss looms as arguably the most memorable from this Phillies era. No fan forgets Game 2.
(Actually, the Phillies season didn't REALLY end until the Shakespearean tragedy of Game 5 of the LDS was played. Ryan Howard's achilles popped on his way to first base after a weakly hit ground ball that was the final out in the series - a 3 hitter by Chris Carpenter, outdueling his fishing buddy Halladay - marking the fast paced beginning of the end of the Golden Age of Phillies baseball. In successive years the Phillies went Champs, WS losers, LCS losers, LDS losers...then last year missed the playoffs. My dad doesn't forget this. In fact, I think he forecasted it after the '10 loss to the Giants.)
I mentioned @NeilWeinberg44 yesterday, and he's got some stuff how the current Tigers have the best staff in history, so far.
This was our tweet-a-logue last night.
@NeilWeinberg44 every phillies fan would disagree and simply tell you, cliff lee and four runs. Lets hope things end better for the tigers.— Eric Chase (@Eric_Chase) June 18, 2013
There's more but the coding is being ridonkulous. Click here.
.I like Bob Costas' intelligent pithiness, but this telling the damn kids to get off the damn lawn.
.Even though the Lakers and Clippers seems redundantly from the Department of Redundancy, reading this gives me the sense the Lakers, with Jerry Buss no longer around, aren't willing spend without limits.
One source with knowledge of the Lakers' thinking said Saturday that any suggestion they could not philosophically allow themselves to make a major trade with the Clippers was "overblown." If the Clippers do indeed decide to formally offer Griffin and Bledsoe in a sign-and-trade package for Howard, indications are that it's a proposal the Lakers will certainly not dismiss outright.
Should Howard decide to leave the Lakers, sources said, several options have been discussed internally in Lakerland. Among them: The Lakers could simply let him walk, go into the season with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash as their centerpieces -- as they had planned in July 2012 before the trade for Howard materialized -- and focus on slicing into their luxury-tax bill.
.Here's what a Lazarus Pit is. And now my clever tweet to describe the last two games of the Finals.
Does anyone have visual or photoshop evidence of ginobili or wade coming out of the Lazarus pit. pic.twitter.com/ktwf8RuixK— Eric Chase (@Eric_Chase) June 17, 2013
Everything is trending in the right direction for Porcello. More strikeouts, fewer walks, more groundballs. He’s gone from very good #5 starter with some upside to a one of the game’s best starters over the last month and a half. In fact, his particular combination of strikeouts, walks, and groundballs is quite rare and extraordinary.
He’s striking out more than 7 batters per 9, walking fewer than 2 batters per 9 and has a groundball rate above 50%. From 2000-2012, here is the list of pitchers who have finished a season with that mix: Halladay (4x), Carpenter (3x), and Hamels (1x). In 2013, the pitchers on that list are Felix Hernandez, Doug Fister, and Rick Porcello. That is some excellent company.
.I DIDN'T SEE IT YET (TONIGHT!), but if Man of Steel is as dark as the Nolan Batman trilogy, then it's going to be a challenge to create a Batman/Superman movie where they are contrasting figures...which they are.
Welcome to the Dark Knight-ification of Superman. Yes, the film is directed by Zack Snyder, but it is heavy (in all senses of the word) with the imprint of co-writer and co-producer Christopher Nolan, who's followed his decade with the caped crusader by taking on the task of rebooting DC Comics' other superstar superhero. The tone is somber, the palette is grayish, and you can scarcely swing a cape without it getting snagged on some moral dilemma.