John Smoltz and the Washed Up Legend
Last night after getting the girls to bed, and finishing up the last of this weekend's school stuff, I checked in on the Red Sox score on line. I saw that Smoltz had only given up 1 run through 5 innings, and the Sox had the lead. I figured this deserved my attention, so I went down to the TV, successfully managing to avoid an accompanying bag of tortilla chips, and turned on the game.
Turns out I was just in time to witness the unraveling of Smoltz. Two strikeouts and three home runs later Terry Francona ended the former Cy Young winner's misery. I don't know what he was doing the first 5 innings, but the Rangers were smacking the crap out of whatever he was serving up in the 6th.
I love Smoltz, and I know there's a long term plan here where the Sox are only concerned about what he has to offer in October, but it's painful to watch a guy who has been so dominant, get hammered around like that.
Maybe he can turn it around. Maybe they can have a shorter leash on him, and try to avoid the dreaded "one bad inning", for now it's rough to see a guy be a fraction of his former self.
Larry Bird's last season and the ensuing Dream Team stint in `92 was an extreme case of seeing a legend - THE LEGEND - turn from All Star to All Washed Up before your eyes.
Willie Mays and Babe Ruth batted sub .200 their final seasons if memory served. The Babe was ailing woefully, and Willie had just plain gotten old, yet the Mets couldn't resist the opportunity to give him a curtain call in New York.
One of the most depressing things I ever saw in sports was Goose Gossage in his final season. The Goose had returned to the Yankees as a mopup man, and the Red Sox were beating the Bombers by double digits. Goose couldn't get a guy out, but was left hung out to dry to save the Yankees bullpen. As much as it's never a bad thing to see the Sox pound the Yankees, this one was painful.
I sincerely hope Smoltz has something left in him, but if he doesn't I hope this doesn't linger. It would be sad to see.
Well worth checking out for a fan of the blues. Cadillac Records tells the story of the founding of Chess Records and with it the birth of a whole new sound of electric, raw, blues. Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Howlin Wolf (Eamonn Walker), Etta James (Beyonce), Little Walter (Columbus Short), Willie Dixon (Cedric the Entertainer & Chuck Berry (Mos Def) were the key figures featured in the film - all signed by label founder Leonard Chess (Adrian Brody).
They did a really nice of giving some insights into the artists and how their key songs and sounds evolved. Some of the "badass bluesman" stuff seemed a little over the top, but I guess you need to allow some poetic license to a Hollywood production - it's not a documentary after all.
For my money, Howlin Wolf & Muddy Waters are top 5 blues men. I wasn't aware of how much they butted heads. If you're into them, check out this movie.
Fun Buttons and Bonus Features
One of my earliest memories is of watching Speed Racer on TV. I must have been 3 years old or so. The thing I remembered most about Speed Racer's car was that it had all of these cool buttons that did cool things. In particular I loved the one that made the car jump into the air.
Thanks to Speed Racer, I get excited still about any every day object that offers even the slightest added extra bonus. I still get a little thrill every time I get water and ice cubes from my fridge without opening it. Lighters in a car. The rear window wiper. A pen with four color choices.
Anything that has been added to the main function of anything just fascinates me. The emergency phone in the elevator...Beach chairs with built in cup holders...
To this end, cell phones, and now Iphones, have me on complete overdrive. I honestly don't think I can own an Iphone for fear of all of its applications putting me into an added extra bonus function dysfunctional funk.
...the built in sharpener on a box of 64 Crayola Crayons - oh HELL YEH!...
Just thought you should know this from the beginning in case of copyright infringement:http://redrants.com/
Personally I much prefer your rants, and thank god you use the "Z" at the end your name.
1. I was incredibly excited at the onset of the Sox season that they got Smoltz. For years I had actually imagined them getting him somehow. I had Smoltz every year that I did fantasy baseball (although I gave up fantasy sports for good.) I purely love the guy.
I'm not in the States this summer and for this haven't gotten to see many Sox games in general. And I certainly haven't gotten to see any of the games Smoltz has pitched, but I have to imagine that the somewhat bad results he's gotten so far have to be a fluke. He's been so effective for so many years and the last few has used pure veteran savvy to work his way to being dominant.
The sox have a great pitching staff and that excites me a lot because, more than hitting (which comes and goes in spurts,) you can always rely on deep and good pitching.
I've been lucky enough to not really go through the sadness of watching one of my personal favorites and greats fade away. I began to really be a fan of the Celtics in the late 80's and thankfully can't remember the demise of the then big three very clearly. I remember much more vividly the death of Lewis and the years of futility there after. I don't know how they compare in terms of misery, but I guess neither are very fun.
2. This list is some of my favorite and most influential musicians. I've never heard of this movie but the cast sounds awesome and interesting too. Thanks for the recommendation and I look forward to checking it out. TP.
3. I have a iTouch. It's awesome. I didn't think it would be that much more awesome than a simple iPod, but it is. If you are truly addicted to extra functions then you may go into a siezure the first time you use one.
On that note, how about computers?! Our family had one of these in the 80's when I was growing up:
Now I'm sitting in Spain, in my bed, without a single cord running into my computer, talking with thousands of strangers about the celtics. My computer is thousands of times more powerful than the one pictured above and I'm using a rather normal computer by today's standards. You must have also been astounded at the increased functionality of computers in an awe inspiring way Redz.
One last thing that the Speed Racer story randomly reminded me of. When I was in high school and my friends and I were getting our first access to cars, one friend's mom bought him a 1980's toyota camry. This camry had a button, big and red, that said "emergency" on it. I've never seen anything like it since. It was near the emergency brake and was part of the original manufactured car, and I had no idea what it did. I was convinced for many years that the button would activate the ejection seats or split the car in half. The car was totaled in an accident and suffice it to say, I never got to find out what it did. It's the button that got away.
TP...keep the Rants coming.