BAMARAMARAMAheyhotdogRAMARAMARAMA — also known as the sound of your Football getting in my Baseball:

I went to a Baseball game the other day, and I have a few complaints. First of all, I understand the whole deal of how it (Our National Pastime) is a Business, and an Industry, and how it is Entertainment, so therefore you gotta make it Exciting–as in, way fucking more exciting than Baseball is to people who are not crazy about the Baseball but who end up at a game every now and then. So you gotta wake the motherfuckers up every inning because Baseball can be (get ready for this News Flash), according to some people, kinda Boring, but it’s like all this goddamn Intro Music every time somebody from the Home Team steps up to bat, like BAMARAMARAMARAMARAMARAMA with whatever fucking shit they got–Metal, Hip-Hop, Country, even Western–it’s all this goddamn BAMARAMARAMARAMARAMARAMA “BLAHRBLAR NOW STEPINNNN UPTOMRRMPH BALLLH, NUMMMBR PHRM-TNRMZLE BALWRR BLARR BLAHBLAH!!!” and then BAMARAMARAMARAMARAMARAMA BRRT-BRRT BAMARAMARAMARAMARAMARAMA, goddamn Jesus Fucking Christ, man, every goddamn time one of Your Baltimore Orioles steps up it’s gotta be BAMARAMARAMARAMARAMARAMA?

Amen.

(via YFSF)

1B, 1B, HR, FO, 2B, 1B, 2B, 2B, 1B, 2B, 2B, BB, 1B, K, HR (GS), HR, K — the top of the 2nd inning today at Yankee Stadium. Yikes. Also, it appears the ball gets a little extra giddy-up in right field at the Yankees’ fancy new digs:

In three games at the new Yankee Stadium, there have been 17 homers — 12 to right-center field. The dimensions are the same as they were last year, but in the very early going, all on relatively warm afternoons, the ball seems to jump in that direction.

Ultimately, that could help the Yankees, who have several left-handed or switch-hitters with power, plus right-handers who hit well to the opposite field. But on days when their pitching was so dreadful, it contributed to a historic mess.

The gamer over at YFSF was particularly prescient: “Bring a Glove.”

ROGER EBERT LOOKS BACK on the early days of a career as a good ol’ fashioned newspaperman, and it’s right out of All the President’s Men or the Daily Planet — except with a bit more booze and a little heavy petting.

Here, he’s a wide-eyed kid in the company of a Pulitzer Prize-winner:

I sipped the brandy, and a warm place began to glow in my stomach. I had been in Chicago four months and I was sitting under the L tracks with Mike Royko in an eye-opener place. A Blackhawks game was playing on WGN radio. The team scored, and again, and again. This at last was life.

“The Blackhawks are really hot tonight,” I observed to Royko.

He studied me. “Where you from, kid? Downstate?”

“Urbana,” I said.

“Ever seen a hockey game?”

“No.”

“That’s what I thought, you asshole. “Those are the game highlights.”

Another anecdote ends with free blow jobs. On the eve of the death of newspapers as we know it, the full, romanticized blog post is worth the read.

FOUR SIDED TRIANGLE is a science fiction novel by William F. Sample which was turned into a movie in 1953. And judging by the synopsis, it sounds kind of great:

Graduate students Robin Grant (John Van Eyssen) and Bill Leggat (Stephen Murray) have both loved the beautiful Lena (Barbara Payton) since childhood. After years of perseverance by both men, Lena finally chooses Robin, and the two become engaged. Devastated by the news of Lena’s plans, Bill uses his latest science experiment, a cloning device that duplicates matter, to create a “new Lena” for himself. Unfortunately, this device performs too well, producing a clone that also loves Robin. Furious and desperate, Bill decides to use electro-schock to burn the memory of love out of the clone’s brain.

(via Roger Ebert’s blog)

AS THE NEW YORK TIMES PONDERS the fate of Stan’s Sports Bar – the central watering hole around Yankees Stadium for the last 30 years — Joe Mondi, one of the bar’s managers, reminisces about the old days:

“I remember we played the Red Sox in ‘91,” Mr. Mondi said, “and right in that corner, some guy came in wearing a Red Sox jersey, and they ripped it off his body, they lit it on fire, and they urinated on it. Right here in the bar.”

Now that the stadium itself has moved and Stan’s is no longer in a prime location, the bar’s future is uncertain. But, oh, the memories!

EVERYONE BEING MANNY, or at least everyone would like to be Manny, according to Jeff Bradley in his ESPN.com article:

Quite simply, he’s the most studied, most observed hitter in baseball — and that’s just by his peers. They marvel at Manny’s ability to translate his prep work into success when the lights come on. They envy the short-term memory deficiency that seemingly allows him to bring the same level of confidence to the plate regardless of whether he struck out or hit a home run his last time up. “If slumps are between a player’s ears, which I think they are,” says former Boston teammate Sean Casey, “then Manny is slump-proof, because mentally he’s always the same.”

In the article, teammates and rivals alike heap admiration and awe on the slugger’s beguiling hitting prowess. Orlando Hudson, former second baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays, says when he played against Manny:

“I’d get so focused on what he did at the plate that I forgot my job was to see the ball coming off his bat and make a play. He can mesmerize you.”

His secret seems to be no secret at all — a solid game plan for every at-bat, plenty of hard work and preparation, a keen eye and great mechanics. But even so, Manny’s formula for success remains, like the man himself, a mystery. He can try to explain it – as he did for Russell Branyan, a former teammate on the Cleveland Indians – but good luck imitating it:

One time, Ramírez laid it all out for Branyan, gave him the whole hitting equation. “He told me that he put 70 percent of his weight on his back foot and 40 percent of his weight on his front foot. And even though I knew the numbers didn’t add up, I thought for a second, I’ve got to try that.”

JAPAN BEATS SOUTH KOREA to win its second World Baseball Classic in a row. The final game between the two rival nations reached its peak with a two-out hit from Ichiro that put Japan back on top for good in extra innings. From Jack Curry in the New York Times:

Ichiro Suzuki lined a two-out, two-strike single to center field off Chang Yong Lim to drive in two runs in the 10th and ignite a celebration from Dodger Stadium to Tokyo. But Suzuki did not immediately celebrate. After he scooted to second on the throw home, he showed no emotion. He calmly lifted his hand to call a timeout.

“I believe that Ichiro’s hit is something I’ll never forget,” said Tatsunori Hara, the Japanese manager. “It’s an image that will forever be imprinted in my mind.”

Amazingly, it was a hit that shouldn’t have had a chance to happen in the first place:

The South Koreans decided not to intentionally walk Suzuki, who batted with runners on second and third, and the decision doomed them.

In Sik Kim, the South Korean manager, said the team had signaled to Lim that he was supposed to pitch around Suzuki. If Suzuki did not bite at a bad pitch, Lim was supposed to walk him. But Lim apparently did not get those signs or did not obey them.

“I don’t know why the pitcher tried to pitch directly to Ichiro,” Kim said.

Suzuki diplomatically said that he was not surprised that the South Koreans pitched to him because walking him would have loaded the bases. But even Kim said that he regretted not walking Suzuki. During the memorable at bat, the usually focused Suzuki said his mind was cluttered.

“I really wish I could be in a state of Zen,” Suzuki said. “I kept thinking of all the things I shouldn’t think about. Usually, I cannot hit when I think of all those things. This time I got a hit. Maybe I surpassed myself.”

And despite the emphasis on their cultural rivalries, the two teams seem to share a similar approach to how they play the game – an approach that has proven mostly successful:

The all-Asian championship reiterated that the rest of the world plays excellent baseball, too, and was a credit to the two teams that play in a more disciplined way than the United States. Japan and South Korea feature pitchers who are not immune to throwing strikes and players who are smart and aggressive. Japan was a little smarter, a little more aggressive and a little better.

“They try to play as sound, as errorless and as perfect, that word should be perfect, as perfect baseball as they can,” said Shane Victorino of the United States. “And that’s how you win ball games.”

Good stuff.

ONE DAY, YOU, LIKE ME, WILL DISCOVER TEDTALKS, and, just like me when I was you, you won’t know where to begin. If I were you, and you were me, I’d start with these:

Also available on Ye Olde iTunes.

“THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” Different circumstances present different risks and opportunities, and in this brave new world of psychobiology and genetics, how and why we respond to any specific circumstance seems to be increasingly explained by what’s in our genes rather than what kind of diapers we wore growing up. In other words, nature seems to be edging out nurture as the chief culprit for shaping our behavior and identities. But, of course, the whole story is a little more complicated than that. Steven Pinker talks about the somewhat muddled implications of getting to know your genome in his New York Times Magazine article “My Genome, My Self”. Mapping our individuality through our genes at first seems like a straightforward proposition (i.e. this gene makes you fat, this one makes you good at math). But the endeavor quickly becomes a rabbit hole that leads you from piece to piece to piece – all of which refuse to neatly add up and explain a concept like intelligence, let alone demystifying what makes you you:

The search for I.Q. genes calls to mind the cartoon in which a scientist with a smoldering test tube asks a colleague, “What’s the opposite of Eureka?”

REDBELT is an unusual little flick – a samurai/noir/fight film with turn-of-the-screw plotting, some enjoyable martial arts scrapping, trademark Mametian masculinity throughout (for better and for worse), and, yes, a somewhat dopey ending. But I dug it. Every scene contains both surprise and a sense of inevitability, and the characters and themes resonate with a singular, uncomplicated understanding of decency – a notion usually ignored, upstaged, or over-sentimentalized in movies. Here, despite all the twist and turns, decency remains the simple principle on which all the action pivots, and by the end, it becomes a virtue raised almost to the level of nobility.