20 January 2006

Theo's Back, SPAMalot, New Site, LOST...

Some days you're not sure if you have anything to write about, and if you can actually think of something worthwhile. Some days, the big news shit sort of writes it for you. So yea, that's what this is.

Even though it seems kind of obvious he never left, The Red Sox announced last night that Epstein would be returning to the club as a "full time baseball operations" member of the Front Office. Now, when he first decided not to sign back on Halloween, I was both upset and very sure in my assessment of what happened- Lucchino, Steinberg, the leaks, blah, blah, bob, loblaw.

Of course, looking back, though that may have kernels of truth, I certainly don't know it for sure either way. Henry last night claimed that Lucchino's role "wouldn't change."

But there is one thing- Epstein, throughout, has intimated that his departure was based on a divergence of philosophy- some unnamed issue on which he and the structure of the higher ups did not see eye to eye. As recently as a couple weeks ago, Epstein left the door open for return, mentioning, however, that "things would have to change." He was pretty consistent (if not excessively vague) about that throughout.

So now, he's back, leaving one to assume something has "changed." Hey, maybe it isn't making Lucchino effectively a Sox memorabilia auctioneer and nothing more. Either way, he's back, and this is a very good thing over all for the organization.

I really like Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington a lot- they both seem to be doing a fine job so far, inasmuch as there's even anything to judge just yet. But Theo being back, to me, is a great, great thing. For some reason I just always really liked him, and sort of related to him for some reason. After years and years of stodgy cronyism, ineptitude, drinking buddies and stuffed shirts running the Red Sox, the rush of new blood with different ideas and ways of thinking- guys like Theo that, in their own right, were kinda sorta like me- I'm sure it's of little value to the team, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me enjoy being a fan more.

So, welcome back. Ignore curly-haired Muppet-looking guy in the corner. Everyone else does.

Erin and I went to see Monty Python's SPAMALOT last night at the Shubert Theatre. I know I risk imminent ridicule by saying this, but... I didn't LOVE it.

It was entertaining- and there were certainly parts that were genuinely hilarious. But I just couldn't help but feel like it was a poor man's version of the film. It made me want to go watch that- almost like when your friend tries to recite lines from it and gets little bits wrong. Oddly frustrating, for some reason.

It's not that they "got stuff wrong," it's just that it didn't strike me as an altogether inspired translation to stage. Maybe it was just me- but a lot of the cast just seemed bored with the material, some of the songs were just bor-ing, and many of the jokes sort of didn't jibe with the tone of the original. It also didn't help, I think, that Hank Azaria took the night off from his 2-hr a day job. Awesome.

So, looking back, it's hard to say which I enjoyed more at the theatre- the tourist-y soccer mom walking over to the bar in the back of the theatre and shouting her drink order for a "SPAM Adams!" so everyone could hear, or Erin standing to move for a couple of people to return to their seats, and falling flat on her face, almost snapping her kneecap. Tough call.

It was a really good time, though. The entire experience of going to one of these things is worth it, so I really enjoyed myself. Erin loved the play, actually, so she dug it too. She, for reasons known only to her and, AHEM, Liza Minelli (or Star Jones), has a crush on David Hyde Pierce. So she was a pig in shit, so to speak.

I love Hank Azaria and all, but you're going to come up to a guy in a $5000 suit and tell him you're not appearing in this performance? COME ON!!!

I found LOST this week to be both unbelievably great (as usual) and uncharacteristically clear-cut. Not a whole lot of hidden stuff, and most of the revelations are largely wide out in the open. Here are a couple observations, however:

  • When the presumed leader of the "Others" (we'll call him 'Zeke,' like Sawyer) called for the bound and gagged Kate in the jungle, he called for "Alex" to bring her to him. Alex, of course, is the name of Rousseau's (the French chick) abducted child.

  • Mid-episode, when Jack returns home early in the morning from work, removes his shirt and hops into bed, he is seen without his tattoos. Therefore, he gets them at some point between then and his getting on that plane, and why, we don't know.

  • Just a guess- but I think the woman that Jack's wife is cheating on him with will be someone of fairly major significance. Desmond? Sawyer? Jack's dad? Locke's dad? Who knows. Just have a hunch.

  • The fact that Jack could have hit that HOT Italian woman, abstained for his wife, only to go home to have her admit cheating and dump him... that's shithouse luck. That's up there with "crash on an island full of pedophilic, homocidal mountain men" bad luck.

  • Another hunch- Hurley knows Libby from somewhere- remember, he was in a nuthouse, and she's a clinical psychologist. That's too convenient.

  • When Locke and Jack were stuck with the guns, I was sort of excited to see what would happen when they couldn't press the button, but... that was dashed pretty quick.

  • I thought the comment from Zeke that "you only live on this island because we LET you live here," was interesting, and will have some import.

  • I also wonder the meaning of his saying to Jack, "don't worry, Michael will never find us." Here's why- Michael, as was detailed by Locke, was traveling on a certain path. He had direction in his travel. My guess was that he, at some point in his conversations with "Walt" on the computer, received some sort of direction as to his path.

    Now, this could either be the actual Walt he's talking to, in which case Zeke's "won't find us" could just mean- we both know navigation isn't his specialty, and we're not found unless we want to be. The other scenario is that "Walt" wasn't Walt on the computer, but someone else, and that the directions he was presumably given were designed to draw Michael off their track and/ or bring his compadres out after him for an ambush/ pow-wow.

    The other issue, never dealt with, is where those seven gunshots came from. Locke, Jack and Sawyer hear them, and later only find three shell casings from Michael's gun. Is Michael dead? Hurt? Captured? What were the seven shots from?

  • The "how long would it take to train an army" line was pretty chilling, and a promising/ interesting development. Gotta believe Sayid will be in on that eventually too.

  • Of note- Zeke seemed to know Jack and Locke's name, but not Sawyer, specifically. Worth noting that Desmond, who we lose track of after he abandons the hatch, knew only Jack and Locke, but not Sawyer.

  • I can't imagine what it means, but Locke's inquiry into Sawyer's name has to mean something, eventually. There has to be a connection there.

  • One thing to note- Michael seemed to be really coming apart at the seams- much the same way Rousseau seemed to be. Perhaps the "sickness" she spoke of is related to losing a child to the Others?

  • Upon further inspection, it appears to be something/ someone else, but looking at a blown up version of this image (just after all the torches are lit up by Zeke's demand), the person in the top right of the picture looks like it *could* be a young black boy.

  • That's all the LOST I got today. Is it Wednesday again yet?

    I had a thought- since I was enjoying doing the "great teams" breakdowns so much, and since they get buried in the posts they appear in, it seemed I was giving them a bit of a short shrift. So, I decided to sort of "launch" a new blog focusing on that.

    In it, every "breakdown" I do of an historical team will be posted here, and then taken alone and "archived" there, as a standalone. As of right now, there are five entries- the 1968 Detroit Tigers, the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays, the 1931 Philadelphia Athletics, the 1994 Montreal Expos and the 1957 Milwaukee Braves. That's the only thing going in there- no extraneous commentary, nothing like what goes on here.

    Check it out over here. Still a work in progress layout-wise, but I'm open to suggestions. I've also linked to the new site over in the links section on the right, down towards the bottom. The name, frankly, sucks- so if anyone can think of anything more appropriate/ clever/ witty, I'll even give you a "hey" and "how are ya?" on this site. Thrilling, I'm sure.

    Just for some perspective, since I started this blog in June of 2004, the following people have died- Marlon Brando, Johnny Carson, Hunter S Thompson, Richard Pryor, Wilson Pickett, the Pope, Rosa Parks, Luther Vandross, Peter Jennings and Dick Radatz. I'm sure I'm missing someone else, too. Those are some pretty big names, culturally.

    I mean, you've got arguably the greatest screen actor of all time, arguably the greatest stand-up comedian of all time, one of the most iconic men in American history, one of the seminal modern American writers, one of the three greatest soul singers in pop music history, one of the great Civil Rights icons of the last century, a legendary newscaster, the POPE... and a beloved member of the Red Sox. I wonder if I'm forgetting anyone- I'm sure someone will point this out.

    Very interesting.

    ______________________________ |