Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Baseball, rallies and catchy electronic psychedelia.

1. Baseball
To borrow a common epithet from the world of baseball, the way Canada played in their WBC game against Italy was TOTALLY HORSESHIT. They lost pathetically against a team who got their asses handed to them twice by Venezuela (including tonight). I see two major reasons for their awful performance:
  1. Pitching
    Canada's pitchers couldn't throw strikes and couldn't put guys away... except for Jesse Crain, the guy who they brought in with two outs in the eighth inning, with the game already practically salted-away for Italy, who struck out every fucking batter he faced. Completely overpowered everyone. Blew them away. Where the hell was he in, oh, I don't know, the second inning, when Canada's starter couldn't hit the broad side of a barn? Ernie Whitt, what were you thinking?!

  2. Left-handed hitters
    It seemed like the entire Italian pitching staff is left-handed. Yet, Canada had six out of seven consecutive batters in their lineup be left-handed (Votto, Morneau, Stairs, Teahen, Weglarz and Orr, with righty Jason Bay in between Morneau and Stairs). You want to kill any semblance of a rally? Have six lefty-lefty matchups out of seven hitters. Sparky Anderson knew how to platoon players based on who was pitching; it's not rocket-science. By the time the Italians got around to throwing ex-Tiger (and continual Major League Douche) Jason Grilli out there, the Canadians were in such a funk that George Clinton was asking them for advice.
At any rate, Venezuela's fans were hilarious. I was at both their games against Italy (Saturday night and earlier this evening), and they're always singing, yelling and chanting things in some strange language... Venezuelese? Venusian? Venetian Blinds? I'll figure it out. Tonight's game brought a particularly vocal Cuban fan, who verbally sparred with the Venezuelans until the eighth, when he was escored out by the fuzz (but posed for pictures with people on the way out).

Also, I found out that Magglio Ordóñez, who plays for the Detroit Tigers and is also playing for Venezuela here at the WBC, is a fan of controversial Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. It is for this reason that a lot of Venezuelan fans booed Magglio when he came to the plate... but my reasoning is, if you're Venezuelan and you came all this way for baseball, you're probably rich. And if you're a rich Venezuelan, you probably really dislike Chávez, because he puts the poor first (because there's a hell of a lot of them). In addition, Venezuelan centerfielder Endy Chávez (no relation) received chants of, "¡Endy, si! ¡Chávez, no!" every time he came to bat.

Lots of politics involved in Venezuelan baseball, for sure.

2. Rallies
Because our employer doesn't exactly like to do the whole "fair and transparent collective bargaining" thing, our union is having a rally at the Board office tomorrow in advance of their big Trustee meeting. We're gonna show 'em they can't treat us like chumps and blackmail us with money that isn't even theirs to begin with.

3. Catchy Electronic Psychedelia
I know I'm a little late to this party, but MGMT's Oracular Spectacular album is stupidly good. If you don't have it, go to Deezer and listen to it.

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