Hat Steve Action!

presshatOur own “Hat Steve” Action, tepid reporter, has been delivering the goods to us from the floor of the Winter Meetings where he has been hiding among the nutcracker army in the grand floor display at the Convention Center.  His missives are heavily encoded and delivered by carrier salmon, so we tend to receive most information long after it is old news, but at the same time, we sent his notice of termination in identical fashion, so at least it’s free labor.

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It’s the End of Season, Awards!

Around this time last year, the Right Honourable Brian, Lord Reinhart, W.B.E. &c. laid before the Commentariat and consortium the prospect and duty of electing the 2015 Banknotes Industries MVP.  Perhaps he shall raise the banner again in 2016; though as he is at present in repose, bare-chested and slathered with a thick, red wine mushroom sauce highlighted with hints of honey dijon, the haste with which he is at leisure to address said task is decidedly limited.  In the spirit of golden gloves and silver slugs, we shall entertain a metaphorical writerly mound visit and hand out some lesser hardware to stall.

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Forget It

alldoneThe Chicago Cubs of the National League have won the World Series, here, now, recently, in 2016 of the calendar you know; and, as such an incident clearly pursued and involved items of magic — including and featuring curses, goats, curse-breaking, enchantment and sorcery, spells and science — and perhaps some on-field action, we will surely be publishing investigative pieces in the near future.  In the meantime, as there are no other events of significant concern to America or the world on the close horizon, you can go ahead and just relax for a while.

Now Mike Trout’s Trash Can and Urn

troutcanLike the prior post in form, but for those who have some difficulty with organizing initial consonants (although not to the extent that a Bike Mount appears in the can), but also unlike the prior post in content, in that it is completely unrelated, this one is to inform the readership that I am presently departing for the Arctic and/or Antarctic to rescue a portion of the staff, along with uncompensated employees, time permitting, from alligators and/or narcotic fugues and/or the self-absorption of Red Sox fans that blinds them to the fact everyone else sees them as little different from Yankee fans — the same sense of entitlement, only less pompous and more whiny — and that while I am not sporting plus-fours my blade is keen and my violence immortal, so a good time shall be had by all and even the dead, which in the end is to say that proper posting shall resume shortly.

8 Days of Braunukkah: An Almost-Original Idea

When one has tasked oneself with the production of original content, the mind can become a contentious place, finding contentment only upon arriving at a new idea that rings distinct to one’s own self. Such an idea that may have been produced by, say, a cat, like “meow” or “purr”, or elseways a robot, like “beep” or maybe “boop”, fails to stroke our need for connection and stimulation through the record of complex, creative thought. Likewise, a human-signed idea that fulfills the previous criteria, once conceived, can bedevil the writer who did not conceive it first. It is in this position I find myself, caught with figurative and literal pants down in a close-but-cigarless attempt to bring holiday cheer to the reader who, like myself, is deprived of yuletide festivities; for alas, my gift to you, Ryan Braunukkah, has been signed, sealed, delivered already:

However, lacking the novelty of the thing itself, please accept in its stead 8 Days of Braunukkah: 8 gifts Ryan Braun might give to other MLB players if he behaved like a character representation of himself written by me.

Day 1: A falcon for Chris Davis. While on suspension, Ryan found that anything at all reminiscent of baseball left a bad taste in his mouth. Something that could not be more different is what he sought to occupy his time. Through circumstances unexpected, remarkable, and too long to elucidate here, he happened upon the practice of falconry. The kinship it produces with animal so grand and beautiful, so emblematic of the determined nature that defines a professional athlete at the highest level, was something Braun had never experienced before. It excited him thinking about it, even removed from the open fields and the hunt as he was when considering the purchase.

In Chris Davis he saw some of himself. Davis had also been suspended for a drug violation, and in particular, a drug that suggested it was the slow burn of the season that he needed help with. After Adam Lind was traded, Ryan, who usually doesn’t pay too much attention to roster construction, was unusually concerned that first base would turn back into the black hole it was during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. First base is supposed to be a position of strength on the team, and he saw Davis as the perfect man to fill the role, and he had the perfect idea of the gift to get Davis excited and energized for the upcoming season. Any persuasive effect the gift had on Davis’ choice of team was purely incidental, perhaps. Continue reading

This Year’s BNI Cyber Monday Deals

Million_Dollar_Arm_posterAfter last year’s rousing success, Banknotes Industries Cyber Monday is back! Also, it’s on a Tuesday. Check out the following hot bargains available this week only.

  • Jumbo party bag of 120 Harold Reynolds-brand fortune cookies: $59.95
  • Will Ferrell plays on your beer league team, but only for one plate appearance: $200
  • Blu-Ray special edition of Million Dollar Arm: $1.23
  • Limited print run UTLEY U BUTT-LEY poster: $75 (unframed), $140 (framed)
  • Audition for Detroit Tigers bullpen: $5
  • Autographed game-worn Jose Altuve shoe lifts: $39.95
  • Autographed game-worn Jonathan Papelbon jock strap: $11
  • Autographed game-picked Mike Trout booger with certificate of authenticity: $199.97
  • Luxury box suite with all-you-can-eat Cuban sandwich and mojito vouchers, at the 2016 Miami Marlins home opener: $15
  • Exclusive rights to add two new place names to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: $2,000
  • Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast, by Carson Cistulli: free, and includes free audiobook narration by Suzyn Waldman

‘Tis the Season, Almost

personalized_name_baseball_christmas_ornament-r18812202ef334399b05e335ac642d49b_x7s2y_8byvr_324

Back when I was growing up, I was pretty young. That led to things such as getting older.

Now that I’m older, I can look back on the time when I was growing up and think about things – things such as getting older, sure, but also things such as being pretty young.

Back in those days I would read on an annual basis the annual newspaper sports columns in which perennial newspaper sports columnists granted imaginary Christmas presents to pro athletes. It got pretty clichéd pretty quickly, even to a young guy getting older slowly.

But there it was, year after year, the same stupid column. What made it so stupid, apart from its sameness, was not only its outright unfunniness but also its flagrant smugness.

Examples, off the top of my memory:

“To Player A, I give a brain.”

“To Receiver B, I give a pair of hands.”

“To Center C, I give bail money.”

“To Player D, I give a cold shower.”

To those columnists, I give a retroactive “amirite?”

With regard to baseball, I’d like to give today’s players one special gift: the number 57.

Yep – 57 days till pitchers and catchers report.

I guess it’s possible I mixed up the To and the From on the gift tag.

That can happen as you get older.

Cyber Monday Deals at Banknotes Industries

Dick Allen

All orders ship with an original, FREE Dick Allen baseball card.

  • Certified game-worn Joe West protective cup: $449
  • Official Pat Burrell The Machine gimp costume: $79
  • Interview Kim Ng for your general manager position, but then don’t hire her: $1,200
  • Fake Jayson Werth beards: 2 for $20
  • Michael Morse’s home-produced Devo cover album: $12.99
  • MYSTERY BAG! Baseball autographed by either former reliever Mariano Rivera or former reliever Saul Rivera: $80
  • Portraits of Bud Selig coloring book: $1.99
  • Yoenis Cespedes Showcase Blu-Ray with audio commentary by Dayn Perry: $29.99
  • Marlins club level home opener tickets for two: $5
  • Special offer for pranksters: fake Scrabble set containing only the letters in “Rzepczynski”: $29.95
  • Derek Jeter gift basket: free (must accept delivery in person after several drinks. Gift wrap available. No male recipients please)
  • Sign an actual AAA left-handed relief pitcher as a minor league free agent: $299
  • Game ball autographed by Brandon Wood: free
  • Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated: Poetry, by Carson Cistulli: we’ll pay you