Monthly Archives: June 2005

“He Winked At Me”

“Well, you know I… I never got to bat in the major leagues. I would have liked to have had that chance. Just once. To stare down a big league pitcher. To stare him down, and just as he goes into his windup, wink. Make him think you know something he doesn’t. That’s what I wish for. Chance to squint at a sky so blue that it hurts your eyes just to look at it. To feel the tingling in your arm as you connect with the ball. To run the bases – stretch a double into a triple, and flop face-first into third, wrap your arms around the bag. That’s my wish, Ray Kinsella. That’s my wish. And is there enough magic out there in the moonlight to make this dream come true?”

Today is the 100th anniversary of the lone major league appearance of Archibald “Moonlight” Graham of the 1905 New York Giants.
The centennial will be celebrated tonight at the Metrodome. Meanwhile, the Red Sox played at home this afternoon- I really, really hope they flashed Graham’s career stat line on the Fenway scoreboard at some point during the game.

TV Critic Quote of the Week

To suggest someone watch ‘The Andy Milonakis Show’ would also require suggesting the use of mind-altering drugs or alcohol. Having watched a tape of the premiere episode, airing 9:30 p.m. Sunday on MTV, being under the influence is about the only way I can see someone sitting through a full show… is a stretch, but Milonakis might be funnier if seen after an hours-long bender.”

Richard Huff of the New York Daily News, continually returning to the same theme while reviewing the new show. I haven’t seen it yet, but will be sure to weigh in when I do.
And speaking of MTV shows- the Iraq war veteran girl’s slamming of Michael Moore on “Real World: Austin” last night was my favorite RW moment in years. Probably since the Vegas season.

It’s McCants

I’m generally happy with the T-Wolves’ choice of Rashard McCants tonight in the NBA draft. He’s got talent, but also baggage- but that baggage wasn’t enough to stop Carolina from winning the championship last year. And besides- what with years of having good records and/or forfeiting choices due to the Joe Smith incident, this was literally the Wolves’ first draft pick of consequence since Wally Szczerbiak in ’99.
I won’t write too much about the draft (because Simmons does it better- I wonder what kind of hotel suite he rented for this year’s diary). But I thought it was good that the draft for once emphasized winning college players, as opposed to unproven high schoolers and foreign players.
And is it just me, or did Jay Bilas describe literally every single player drafted as “long”? “Long” is the new “upside.” That’s why they pay Mel Kiper the big bucks for the NFL draft- he actually provides analysis- and sometimes even uses multi-syllable words.
UPDATE: Simmons diarizes:

“Here’s my McCants question everyone was writing that his stock was dropping as teams kept doing background checks on him. Well, what were they finding? Did he kill a litter of puppies? Did he appear in a snuff film? Or was it something as innocent as “His favorite movie is ‘Scarface'”?

Other than that, the highlight is the writer who thought Portland would draft Carlton Dotson.

Great Moments in Fantasy Baseball History

Monday, June 27, 6:00 PM: My team, The Masking Agents, successfully completes a trade for Pirates pitcher Oliver Perez.
Monday, June 27, 9:00 PM: The Pirates place Perez on the 15-day disabled list after he breaks his toe, from having kicked a laundry basket in the clubhouse. I’d had no idea Kevin Brown was his mentor.
Not only that, but I’d gotten this far in the season without a single pitching injury. “Hey,” said the league rival who traded him to me, “at least he doesn’t need Tommy John surgery.” No, more like Toe Nash surgery.

About That Movie List…

The response to last week’s list has been overwhelming, due in part to very generous links from GorillaMask, Double Viking, Large Regular, Paul Katcher, and numerous other blogs and messages boards. The links have easily made this the most-read post in this blog’s history, and Ive shattered all records for visits and page views by the day, week, and month.
A few notes inspired by the comments:
– Forrest Gump takes place all over the country (DC, etc.), in addition to Vietnam, so it does not meet the 2/3rds threshold for Alabama. As for Citizen Kane, it too takes place all over the country. Dont you think I wouldve picked it if it were eligible?
– I absolutely, positively, swear to everyone reading this: except for the first scene, Fargo was set entirely in Minnesota, with the majority of the film taking place in suburban Minneapolis. I know this as well as I know the sun will come up tomorrow. And sorry to pick on NoDak, but Ulees Gold didnt take place there either (it was in the Florida panhandle.)
– Theres all sorts of debate over where The Shawshank Redemption was set, but I consider it irrelevant to this discussion because one, Im not a huge fan of the film, and two, the geographical location tends to be unimportant in a movie set almost entirely in a prison or mental hospital. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest was omitted for the latter reason.
– One that is certainly ineligible based on my criteria- From Here to Eternity took place (and was made) before Hawaii became a state. So Blue Crush is the new choice, but only because Hawaii 5-0 was never made into a movie, and neither was the Wayne Gretzky-starring SNL sketch Waikiki Hockey.
– Donnie Darko, ostensibly set in the Virginia suburbs, was indeed better than Remember the Titans, but if you buy the explanation, it was actually set in the tangent universe, and not in the actual state of Virginia, and therefore doesnt count.
– Im ashamed that I didnt think of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut for Colorado, or Say Anything for Washington state. I’ll adjust the latter- trading one Cameron Crowe film for another- but not the former: BLU loses points for being animated.
– The Deer Hunter has been suggested for Pennsylvania, though I suppose theres some debate over whether it was set in Western PA or Eastern Ohio- and besides, Id say more than a third of it is set in Vietnam. As for Full Metal Jacket, about two thirds of it is in Vietnam, making it not eligible for South Carolina.
– One reader suggested Ghost Dad as the best film ever set in Washington state. Makes me wonder where Leonard Part 6 took place. As for those who picked Life of David Gale for Texas and The Postman for Oregon- very funny.
– I love Animal House as much as anyone- it was released the day I was born, so how could I not?- but I left it off the list because its geographical location is unimportant. Also, no one seems to be able to figure out exactly where it was set. And besides, theres college partying of that sort going on in every state, why restrict it to one?
– My favorite comment, of which I got several versions- I disagree with your choice, but I cant think of anything better. Damn, [my state]sucks. People said this about Utah, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia