INT. RED SOX LOCKER ROOM – JULY 11, 1914
The RED SOX COACH stares out a window as it rains.
COACH: We won four times in April and tied twice. People are furious. My wife is trying to convince me to fake our deaths and leave town forever. Ah, what to do, what to do…
BABE RUTH enters.
BABE RUTH: Hello. Name’s George. I’m your new pitcher.
COACH: My god, look at the size of you. Finally, a real batsman to show these other boys how to swing the stick.
BABE RUTH: I’m a pitcher.
COACH: Yes, you’ll look good in the three-hole, crushing dingers with those meaty arms. Don’t worry about the pea-sized brain in that pumpkin head, boy. You just take some cuts and we’ll all get rich. I’m talking dozens of dollars.
BABE RUTH: No, Skip; I said I’m a pitcher.
COACH: A what? No. You look like when my three sons stand on each other’s shoulders to get out of going to child labor camp.
BABE RUTH: I’m a pitcher. I pitch.
COACH: Definitely. Definitely. Here, hold this.
He hands Babe Ruth a bat.
COACH: There you go. All of our, uh, “pitchers” hit in the clean-in spot on days when they aren’t pitching. Also, sometimes they don’t pitch for months at a time.
Babe looks at him, nonplussed.
BABE RUTH: I’m a—
COACH: Pitcher, yeah, great. Fine.
UMP: [Leaning in the door to the locker room] Today’s game is canceled on account of “wet grounds.”
COACH: Damn it. Why does that keep happening? Some of us made some pretty hefty wagers against our own teams that we assured our wives would be all we need to get out of this dump town. She won’t run alongside a moving train and throw her luggage to me like a normal wife, no, no; we have to be inside the passenger car with legally purchased tickets. Tickets!
BABE RUTH: What if we just covered the field in like a big plastic blanket.
COACH: A big plas… boy, are you on the caffeine? No, I’ll just [Casually whips out switchblade] stab this umpire until he agrees to let us play.
UMP: We… we can’t have players playing in the rain, they’ll all catch colds.
COACH: So? It’s 1914, we have the highest forms of medicine available. You, Ruth: run down to the drug store and buy some heroin in case anybody catches a cold.
BABE RUTH: No go, skip. I’m going to warm up.
COACH: [To umpire] Teens these days. Won’t even go pick up a vial of meds for their teammate. Ruth, on this team, we buy heroin for each other. That’s the kind of clubhouse I run. And you’re lucky, too; in my day, instead of baseball, we stabbed Confederates with bayonets. Speaking of which, [whips out switchblade again].
BABE RUTH: I’ll be on the field.
COACH: And I’ll be suppressing the ghosts of the men I’ve killed with opiates. [Picks up bat and hands it to him]. Don’t forget your, uh, pitching stick.
BABE RUTH: I’m a—
The Good Book says we shall soar on wings like eagles. If so, we would be so blessed as to trace the flight path of that fair fowl from Minnesota who saw no better, no stronger, no purer locale upon which to alight than the right shoulder of our dear James.
Aslan Brewing’s Disco Lemonade (berliner weisse, 4.5% ABV)
Hangin’ round playing fantasy
And I have too many RP
And I was thinkin’ ’bout gettin holds
And then there it was
Low ABV won’t make me fade
Yeah there it was
My disco lemonade
Braden Bishop is a perfectly acceptable baseball prospect. His game has weaknesses but also strengths. He is very fast, and he can play a pretty good centerfield. Bishop and Mariner fans alike should genuflect towards the east, and pray that he ends up something like a poor man’s Kevin Pillar.
A tired truism is that athletes are people too, but with Braden Bishop that truism rings more soundly than with most. Since college he has helped spearhead awareness and raise money for the research and eventual treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, which afflicts his mother. He is open, honest, and passionate about the project. I encourage you to get to know him. He’s an All-Star.
Super Mega Baseball 2
In his wonderful review of the equally terrific board game War of the Ring, Fraser MacKenzie briefly digresses into a discussion on the history of games, and the balance between realism and accessibility.
There is no doubt that MLB: The Show is the most realistic baseball simulation you can buy. It has every uniform, player, stadium, and nuance. I haven’t played this year’s version but I wouldn’t be surprised if Marlins Man popped up periodically in random stadiums. It’s also, in my view, not a very fun game to play.
Super Mega Baseball 2 is a cartoonish throwback to the days of the quarter-gobbling arcade. There is no licensing of any kind, no real players, and absolutely very little in the way of realism baked into its systems. It is also easily the most enjoyable digital game of baseball I have ever played.
Our society has few correct normalizations, but one is that teens are, by nature, extremely bad. Another is that home runs, a.k.a. dingers, are one of the very best things about existence upon this earth. Between these two disparate, seemingly incompatible ideas lies a single figure. A lone youth, capable of bringing balance. The one true, good baseball teen.
I know what you are thinking. Look at this thing. Sure, you need a new vehicle—that ‘98 Chevy Cavalier is on its last legs despite its great gas mileage. You regret its fabric seats, still wearing the spilled milkshake from your son Jeffrey, who is now an Appellate Attorney in the state of New Mexico and makes three times your yearly salary; the cassette deck with the Soul Coughing tape still jammed inside, so every time you press a button Mike Doughty yells non-words at you; the ding in the windshield that hasn’t grown in seven years, but every person who rides shotgun can’t help but mention.
Nevertheless, take one look at this giant glass dome which could, very soon, be encircling your head, utterly superfluous to any conceivable use or utility one could imagine in a 21st-century sports car but also utterly there. Look at that silly horn—just how fun would honkin’ that boy be, stuck lifeless in the middle of a rainy Florida traffic jam. The gauche hood ornament. Gigantic cupholders. The futuristic color that modern people haven’t invented a way to like yet. Sure, it only seats about one-third of what your last vehicle could hold, but there’s a little stepladder on the side to help you get in!
The only problem might be that price tag… which, sure, could leave you questioning whether or not this puppy really is the vehicle suited to the needs and wants of the average American car owner. I understand your hesitation, but please be assured this is no problem: just make somebody else pay for it.