As the final weeks of regular season play bear down upon us, frothy and chomping, rabid with glee, we would like to take a brief and largely premature look back at some predictions that were made by the BNI staff some five or six months younger, as part of our effort to make demonstrations of professionalism that mean very little, except that the bar for accountability in sports journalism is so low we cannot even trip over it.
1. Who will win the AL East?
There’s a tight four-team competition for the AL East, with only the Rays knocked out of contention. With the current leader — Boston — finishing the season with series in Toronto and New York, the division may not be won until the final game of the season.
2. Can Daniel Murphy stay hot in the playoffs?
In the 2015 post-season, Daniel Murphy hit an astounding 7 homers in just 14 games. That offensive explosion has carried over into the 2016 regular season and has earned the Pride of Jacksonville University serious MVP consideration.
3. Can the Cubs break the all-time win record?
With 93 wins and only 17 games left, can the Cubs break the 2001 Seattle Mariners’ record of 116 wins in a single season? Joe Maddon recently said, “No, that’s not mathematically possible.” But that’s not likely to stop them from trying. Stay tuned!
4. Will Tebow arrive in time to save the Mets’ season?
Ten games behind the Nationals and stinging from the departure of JU alum Daniel Murphy, the Mets could really use a 30-year-old broadcaster-turned-outfielder who hasn’t played baseball since high school. Manager Terry Collins has intimated over the past week that the team plans to have him play two-ways, both offense and defense, though it is unclear whether he will be expected to run the option while hitting.
5. Yankees fans expected to start paying attention soon!
As the season winds down, New York fans are beginning to awaken from their year-long abstinence from actually caring about baseball to check on how the Yankees are doing in the playoffs. According to ESPN, if the Yankees fans awaken and don’t see the Yankees in the playoffs, then the MLB post-season will end early, and the NFL football season will be in full swing. But if the Yankees see a playoff team, then the MLB postseason will be long and bloated and overfull with documentaries about Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter, and not about how uneven wealth is definitely ruining baseball.
Life at Triple-A Durham has been very interesting. For starters, the Blue Jays traded RA Dickey to the Rays for Desmond Jennings. Which is completely plausible for the 65-64 Rays. The acquisition of Dickey bumped Matt Moore to the bullpen. Dickey has a 9-7 record over 169.2 IP, 105 Ks, an ERA of 3.77, and a WHIP of 1.33. Matt Moore has a 6-8 record over 121.1 IP, 105 Ks, an ERA of 3.77, and a WHIP of 1.44.
WE WANT A PENNANT, DAMN IT.
Triple C has not exactly had the best start for the Bulls, though. Consider his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde first two games:
Triple C’s first game in Triple-A:
Knights batting. Cistulli pitching.
Davidson hit by pitch.
Davidson reached 2nd on wild pitch.
Coats doubled and deflected off centerfielder Mahtook, Davidson scores.
Eveland in bullpen.
Sanchez grounded out to Hager (6-3).
Rottino grounded to center for a single, Coats scores.
Markel in bullpen.
Parrino flied out to Motter (F7).
Lemon chopped to the pitcher for a single, Rottino advances to 2nd.
May flied out to Mahtook (F8).
Triple C’s second game in Triple-A:
Braves batting. Cistulli pitching.
Tuiasosopo struck out chasing a fastball high and away.
Landoni struck out chasing an outside slider.
Kennelly flied out to Mahtook (F8).
Well, which one is it?! Make up your mind! That’s baseball, I suppose.
We also received a new email from the very catty General Manager:
Let’s play a quick word association game. What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “baseball music”? “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”? Walk-up music? Others will mention John Forgerty’s “Centerfield” without any hesitation. Perhaps the more in-the-know will mention Bronson Arroyo’s “Covering the Bases” or Joe West’s “Blue Cowboy.” But we’d bet our bottom dollar that death metal would be pretty close to last on your list of responses.
So, brace yourselves. Houston Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus is taking the music world by storm with his first foray into death metal.
And it is excellent.
“A lot of the guys didn’t believe me when I told them what kind of music it was gonna be,” Rasmus admitted with a smile. “I’m a Georgia boy through and through. It don’t take long to figure that out when you talk to me. But my musical roots are all over the place.”
Colby provides vocals for Rasmus, and the band is made up of close friends of his from his childhood in Georgia. “We’d kicked around the idea for a while. It wasn’t until I hit the DL for my cyst when we finally said, hey, let’s get this thing done.”
Death metal is a subgenre of heavy metal. Beware, as the album is not for the feint of heart and is a dramatic shift away from even traditional heavy metal. “Bitter Agony” is filled with break-neck guitar speeds and Rasmus’ practically unintelligible yells. Comparisons could be made to Puig Destroyer, a grindcore supergroup that writes songs centered around Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig. “It ain’t for everybody,” Rasmus laughed.
Rasmus kept the project close to his chest because he fears that teammates would take it the wrong way. “It’s not about the Astros or how we’re doing. It’s a commentary on human struggle and the apathy of the world around us,” Rasmus clarified. He told no one on the team about the album until its release last week. “It’s too rough to be played as walk-up music or during games, but we’ve been doing warmups with it on. The guys really dig it.”
The four song EP, which barely cracks ten total minutes, has drawn rave reviews and universal acclaim from every nook and cranny of music journalism. Pitchfork rated it a 9.3 out of 10 and gave it the “Best New Music” classification, praising the album’s ‘masterful fusion of musical styles and ‘apoplectic wall of sound that lunges for your throat.’ The album opens with a thunderous cover of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Rude Mood”, which most listeners would only recognize if they read the track listing.
“If anything, I’d like the album to challenge what a conventional ballplayer is. We’re very unique individuals with a wide spectrum of interests,” Rasmus commented. “There ain’t a single lyric about baseball in the whole EP. This is a separate deal for me, and I think it’s got something for everyone.”
“Bitter Agony” is out today on Southern Lord Records. Find it here.
1. Rude Mood (Stevie Ray Vaughan cover)
2. Bitter Agony
3. Obscene Apathy
4. Ominous Clouds
Even all these months later, when I close my eyes at night, safe in the enclosures of our modern city, I can still see their torchlight blazing in the dark, still hear the unearthly echoes of their prehistoric instrumentation. Their chants score my very dreams.
Yes, when my crew and I made landfall; pursuing most harrowing fluvial adventures, hard in the darkness of this timeless recess, furthest from any civilization; we knew not what to make of the alien locals who crept with that uniquely mammalian curiosity toward our dugout canoes — nor they of us. Specimens more unlike have surely not encountered one another beneath the eyes of Heaven!
Presented without comment. pic.twitter.com/ekU0fIKz8n
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) August 19, 2016
Let us now Explain That GIF!
- After being held hostage by the Cosplay Gang, Milo finally senses an opportunity to escape.
- “But how will we smuggle that much heroin into San Francisco?” Rogelio asked. “Easy,” Henry told him. “We hide in plain sight. We’ll be so conspicuous, nobody would ever suspect us.”
- Desperate to boost ratings, NBC adds a few last-minute events to the Rio Olympics.
- Goddammit, Jeffrey Robert Pludermacher thought as he plunged into the chilly waters. I thought dressing in a skeleton suit would be such a badass way to be a serial killer.
- As John Paschal fell backwards into Bradley Woodrum’s waiting arms, Christian LaFontaine realized all too late that the Banknotes Industries company picnic conflicted with his dentist appointment.
Media outlets throughout the country are already abuzz with the news that faded phenom Kevin Kebap, who despite a sterling youth career failed to find his footing in FIFA events or elsewhere at the top tier of play, is seeking tryouts with minor league baseball teams affiliated with MLB organizations.
With his looks and physique, mixed heritage, pronounced Bahá’í faith, and history of international volunteering, the multilingual charmer always scored strongly with the young and urban demographic, whose heartfelt support tended to overlook holes in Kebap’s game, such as in passing, shooting, running, and knowing which goal was which.
That’s odd. I don’t recall putting on Bull Durham. And Kevin Costner sure looks peculiar.
OH, WAIT. THAT’S JUST OUR DIGITAL FRIEND CARSON CISTULLI, CLOSER.
Our beloved beast has been promoted to Triple A Durham. You read that correctly. The Biscuit days are behind us as the hottest digital sensation in one of the most controversial digital seasons in recent digital memory is now one digital step away from his digital Major League Baseball debut.
GOOD RIDDANCE, ADAM KOLAREK. GOOD RIDDANCE, 8TH INNING.
I guess they knew what they were doing after all. As Adam Kolarek crashes and burns as the Biscuits’ closer, Triple C gets the call-up. The people decreed that there shall be no groveling for playing time. We didn’t need to ask for a workload increase. Good things come to those who wait. And groveling was beneath Triple C as he strolled in hot to Durham, North Carolina.
It is worth pointing out that, presumably as a holdover from the Wacky Joe Maddon era, the second baseman stands on the mound as Triple C winds up in Durham as well. That digital treat made the digital leap from digital Double A as well. (It will also get hairy now that Triple C is in Triple A. Please be wary of the letters following “Triple” because I’ve already confused myself a few times.)
Many baseball fans are actually unaware of Bull Durham because of its extremely loose connection to the sport and the abundance of films about baseball. Without spoiling anything, a young flamethrower navigates minor league life with the Durham Bulls with the guidance of a voluptuous temptress. Now, this sounds far too familiar. Is Triple C’s call-up life imitating art? Or perhaps digital art imitating digital life? Who will be his temptress?