The precise moment where the Braves fulfilled their destiny

Top 4th, runners on second and third, nobody out.  The Braves had just taken a 3-2 lead on the Dodgers on a single by third baseman Austin Riley, and were in a prime position to bust the game open and put the Dodgers into a precarious hole.  Instead, in only a way that the bumbling Braves are capable of doing, they turn a scenario that has a high probability to score some runs into one where they commit three outs in mere minutes in a game where every single one of the first four innings felt like Star Wars trilogies in themselves, they took that long.

After Austin Riley got tagged out for the second out of a bang-bang botched run down, and then the Braves completed the colossal fuck up by harmlessly grounding out to end the inning, this is where I knew that the game was effectively over.  I’ve watched enough baseball in my life to recognize that when you give away opportunities to score runs that don’t cross the plate, Murphy’s Law dictates that the opposition will definitively, cash them in instead.  What probably should have been a 5-2 or a 4-2 score to end the 4th inning instead remained at a paltry one-run 3-2 score, which the Dodgers would easily grind away and overcome, while the Braves literally went three-and-out in every single inning except one throughout the remainder of the game.

The fuckup on the basepaths undoubtedly sucked all the wind out of the sails of the Braves, ruined all of their swagger and confidence, and most importantly, planted the undefeatable seeds of impending defeat into their minuscule brains.  The remainder of the game after that tragic sequence was all but a formality, and a contest of when, the Dodgers would eventually take the lead.

Frankly, the only reason why I watched the entire game was that I was hoping that the Dodgers would go to Kenley Jansen to close the game since he’s been pretty awful throughout the season and he would be the best chance for the Braves to maybe make some late-inning heroics as they’ve done numerous times throughout the year, but it turned out that the Dodgers didn’t trust Jansen in this critical game, and instead rode the hot hand of Julio Urias instead to close out the game himself.

Naturally, I’m sure anyone of my zero readers can see through the façade I put forth of being the world’s worst baseball fan when it comes to the Braves, and I spare a lot of words and drivel bemoaning them and deriding them, as if I had the mutant power to tempt fate to prove me wrong with writing, but in reality, there’s nothing more I would’ve wanted than to see the Braves actually not fuck up for a change, defeat the Dodgers and actually go to the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays of all teams.

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This is what wheels coming off a vehicle looks and sounds like

Well, at least the Braves aren’t going to go down having gotten swept.  Instead, they’ll have gone down flubbing a 3-1 series lead, which in baseball isn’t that terribly uncommon, but it’s still poor optics, since the statistics of teams coming back from 3-1 deficits are still minuscule in comparison to how long Major League Baseball has been played.

Honestly, I’m more surprised that the series is going to seven games now, which is the ultimate agony for sports fans to endure, watching the slow bleed of defeat, watching their teams bring them to the brink of hope and jubilation, only for them to crash into agonizing finality.  But when the Braves got blown out and allowed 15 runs in game three, I figured that it was a foregone conclusion that the Dodgers were beginning their mighty comeback and were going to win four straight, like the way the Braves blew the 1996 World Series against the Yankees after winning the first two games.

Instead, the Braves gave false hope to all Braves fans by winning game 4 in commanding fashion and sitting on a pretty 3-1 series lead.  Naturally, since they have no starting pitching, they lost game 5, which was probably to be expected, but fans would find solace in the fact that Max Fried, arguably the best pitcher on the team would get the ball for game 6, but that brings us to now, where Fried pitched well, it’s just that the Braves offense appeared to have cashed in all of its available runs in the previous five games, and could barely scrap together a single run, losing to the Dodgers and sending the NLCS to game 7, where they will undoubtedly lose in embarrassing fashion, by like a score of like 11-1, bringing closure to a season that really shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and back to another cold offseason of pessimism and increasing nihilism in professional sports.

Much like Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, I can’t bring myself to watch games of teams that I actually care about, because it gives me anxiety and stress that I really don’t need, and I superstitiously believe that I am a master of the universe that undoubtedly jinxes whatever team I care about when I watch them, and if I do want the Braves to win, I most absolutely should not be watching them.

Seriously though, check out this Mookie Betts catch.  This is the kind of highlight that preserves no-hitters or turns the tides of playoff series.  If he doesn’t make that catch then Ozuna doubles for sure, and Freddie Freeman probably scores.  A single run doesn’t change the 3-0 deficit that the Braves were in, but at the same time, it could very well have been the start of a rally.  The thing is, a catch like Betts’ is what keeps the mythical momentum on the side of the Dodgers while sucking the life out of the hope of the Braves.  The jubilation of Mookie Betts after making the catch is precisely the opposite of a metaphor of what the Braves’ chances of winning the series sounds like.  Although his lips appear to be mouthing something probably like let’s fucking goooo it could very well be emanating the sound of a flushing toilet, because that’s precisely what happened when he makes that.

Welp, Baby Magic and partial-year champions theories were cute while they lasted.  I would undoubtedly put legitimate money on the Dodgers to win game 7, because it’s a foregone conclusion that the only thing well that the Braves are going to do, is what they’ve historically been known to do: fall short.

The real question is will they get blown out in the first inning like they did in game 3 a few nights ago and in game 5 against the Cardinals last year, or will they be competitive and hard-fought the entire way and then lose in agonizing and soul-wrenching manner late in the game like they did against the Dodgers back in like 2012?  Who knows, but as long as it ends up with the Braves going home yet again, does it really matter?

Dexter took a hiatus about as long as the Ultimate Warrior did

Mostly perplexed: Dexter television series set to return in a limited series capacity

My knee-jerk reaction to this was, whyyyyy???  But then I stop for a few minutes and think about how much I enjoyed the television series, in spite of its ups and downs throughout the season, the staunch survival through the writers’ strike(s), the awkward behind-the-scenes relationship between Deb and Dexter and their season six storyline, and of course, the head-scratching ending that spoiler alert it’s only been six years, resulted in a bearded lumberjack Dexter, in exile in the Pacific Northwest, and wonder… maybe?  Maybe this isn’t going to be one of those cringe-worthy reboots, like just about every old ABC network TGIF sitcom?

I mean, there’s a lot of terminology to define television shows these days.  Reboots, spin-offs, revivals, etc.  Even the linked article uses the term “revival” to define what the return of Dexter would be, and I guess among most available definitions, it’s the closest thing that might apply, but considering it’s more or less seemingly going to be a continuation of the series, it might as well just be a very late and overdue, ninth season.

Michael C. Hall will be reprising the role of Dexter Morgan, and frankly that’s all that there really needs to be.  I imagine there will be a bunch of flashback sequences to re-acquaint those who might have forgotten a lot of the past which might result in some paydays for the actors who played Debs, Angel, Masuoka, LaGuerta and hopefully Doakes.  And honestly, depending on how well the series performs, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see an appearance by Yvonne Strahovski, which would probably kick the label of “limited” off of the series, and next thing we know, there are two additional seasons ordered by Showtime.

The thing is, the series didn’t really end in a manner in which it would be difficult to pick back up where it left off.  Considering the nature of the general concept, it doesn’t matter if it’s in Miami, Florida or Tukwila, Washington, there are murderers and psychopaths everywhere, and Dexter would never be at a loss for murderers for him to murder, righteously.

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The corporate workplace injury risk

In the world of internet sports fandom analysis, every sport’s offseason is often pocked with discussions on the player(s) that everyone’s favorite teams should want to acquire, whether it’s through a trade or free agency.  It’s a thankless and pointless black hole of exercises, because in the grand spectrum of things, the chances of a professional sporting franchise actually utilizing the opinions of a bunch of internet armchair general manager tough guys is probably pretty slim, and what it really amounts to is a bunch of dudes on the internet vying to see who might actually be right about theories or predictions.

Among one of the more predominant tropes of internet sports arguing is the dreaded injury risk player.  As the name insinuates, these are professional athletes who have a reputation of getting injured frequently, and therefore not capable of playing the kids games in which they’re contracted for large sums of money to perform.  These are often times players capable of above average talent when they’re healthy, but the constant fear of them getting hurt and providing zero ROI is significant of a deterrent to actually jeopardize their employment chances.

A good example of an injury risk player is linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.  This guy is an absolute monster defenseman who is capable of altering an opponent’s entire offensive scheme just to mitigate his impact; that is, when he’s actually playing, and not on injured reserve, nursing a laundry list of injuries throughout his seven year career that’s enabled him to play a full 16-game season only once.

Pitcher Stephen Strasburg is also another good example, as sure, he’s helped the Nationals win a World Series sure, but from a business standpoint, the guy isn’t glass fragile as he once was, but can be assured to miss at least a month every single season with some sort of really questionable (pussy) injuries.  He’s made 30 starts in a season just three times in his eleven year career, and someone I’d definitely classify as an injury risk player.

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Everything is inadequate

The following are health bars from Left 4 Dead 2.  The way the game works, the only time a player will be at 100 is at the very start of a game, and once they take any modicum of damage that brings them down from 100, you will never see 100 again, no matter how many health packs you use.  It’s kind of an appropriate analogy to life itself, that once damaged, it will never be unblemished, no matter how much repair and fixing goes into it.

Note the partial bars that are to the right of the solid colored bars.  These are what the zbs community refers to as “decaying health” or “pill health.”  It’s health that counts towards your overall hit points, but also ticks down over time, unlike the solid bar health.  In spite of the tropes and memes about L4D out there, you can take pills as often as you can find them in order to keep your health high, but it will always be temporary and degrading over time.

L4D health bars are a good analogy to how I feel my life is going these days, and often times why I feel like I could use some therapy.  I’m long past the point where I’m probably closer to 50 than I am 100, and much like in L4D, I don’t think I’ll ever see 100 again any time soon.  Right now, if I had to guess, my solid bar probably maxes out at 60, and if I ever want to be any higher than that, I’ll have to down a jar of pills to get up into the 90s, but that time will be temporary, fleeting, and will come back down naturally over time.

I realize that this makes me sound like I’m thinking that I need a lot of medication to get through my days, which couldn’t be any further from the truth, but from an emotional standpoint, I definitely could be in much better shape and I can’t really figure out why I’m in such a dark space in my head so often lately, when I really shouldn’t be.

But today, I am frustrated, sleep deprived and completely over basically everything and I feel like this is the culmination of weeks of a thousand cuts and I’m having a day where I want pretty much nothing but to be left the fuck alone and to have a little bit of time to myself. 

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Appreciation for what LeBron James has accomplished

Whether you like LeBron James or you don’t, what can’t be disputed is the success he’s had throughout his career.  After winning his fourth NBA championship, with his third different franchise, I think it’s safe to say that he’s on a platform that not even guys like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant can measure up to him.

Obviously most everyone in the sports world is generally under the belief that MJ is the true Greatest Of All Time, and if there was ever a person in history that would have come close to the crown, MJ himself basically said it was Kobe.  I don’t disagree with Jordan being the GOAT and that Kobe was the closest thing to the Heir to Air, but at the same time, I really began to think that there was a lot of deliberate disrespect sent to LeBron while these claims were made.

I kind of get it too, I thought LeBron was pretty shitty when he jumped to the Heat, and had the whole The Decision spectacle, but as time as passed, and his body of work has expanded and grown, and we’ve seen the kid grow into the man he is today, and all I really want to say these days is, fuck the comparisons to MJ or Kobe, LeBron is just out there being the greatest LeBron there could possibly be.  The GLBOAT.

Because when the day is over, LeBron is never going to get the respect that MJ or Kobe ever got.  So, and I’m guessing he’s already figured it out himself already, he’s fine with that, and he’s simply carving out his own legacy that doesn’t measure up to them, and raising his own bar, that will be the measuring stick for all sorts of future players to try to aspire to be the GOAT or the GLBOAT.

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When your brain wants you to be sad, you’ll be sad

Lately, I can’t shake it, but I often times find myself feeling sad.  A few weeks ago when I posted about wondering if I needed therapy, it really wasn’t one of those posts where I was trying to be humorous, it was more erring towards legitimate pondering than it was trying to be funny but I understand how it could be misconstrued considering the vast majority of the time on my brog I’m trying to be funny.

The thing is, I have no real reason to be feeling sad, too.  Sure, my paternity leave is over and I’m back to a job I’m often times feeling very lukewarm towards, but the reality is that I have a job, my mom is staying at my house and alleviating mythical wife and I of our biggest concern, which is childcare during the work days, and there’s a small sliver of normalcy starting to come back into our lives.  My child is healthy, often happy, and there are no adequate words to describe the happiness and joy that she brings to me, but whenever I get settled down and have the time and capacity to get into my own head, I can’t help but feel sad from time to time, and I really have no reason to be.

I think I’m generally unsatisfied with certain aspects of my life and it’s silly to think that I feel like a lot of things would improve if I were to win the lottery or find some way to take financial concerns off the table entirely, and whenever I get into my own head, these pessimistic and worrisome thoughts tend to permeate into my head and leave me feeling more blue than I really have any right to be.

I’ve been asking myself lately what I think would make me happy, and the answers that come up are often times further into the realm of impossibility, like being able to take my child out to certain places, because the world is fucking dangerous still because America can’t get their collective head out of their asses and put some fucking masks on for 2-3 months and eradicate coronavirus instead of waiting for a vaccine that large swaths of the country won’t take anyway because they’re anti-vaxxer dumb fucks. 

And then there are more realistic things, like wanting to make things with my hands, but that requires tools, materials, space, to which those require time, money, time and money, to which those are commodities in which I do not have a lot of to expend, because no matter what, my child will always come first.  By no means do I harbor any resentment towards my child for such reality, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but in the fleeting amounts of spare time that I do have, I feel like I want to do things that I just don’t really have the means to indulge in, at least not without a bunch of prerequisites.

In a perfect world, I have a workshop space, where I can create and do and build and explore things.  But in order to have that, I need to have money, to which I’m not struggling to pay bills or have a fairly normal life as it is, but I don’t want to take out loans for things that don’t add any true value outside of personal gratification, so this is where it would be nice to just win a lottery or something, just to jump start a lot of personal projects and to oh, quit my job while in the process.

But back to the point, I occasionally feel irrationally sad, and it doesn’t take a lot to trigger it sometimes.  It’s times like that in which I ponder on if I should seek therapy, which isn’t that easy of a decision for me to make, because my work insurance doesn’t cover any, and I wonder if I have the financial means to go out of pocket on it.  I’m not saying I want medication, quite the contrary, I barely like taking ibuprofen when I have a headache, but I don’t think it would hurt to know why my brain sometimes insists that I be sad, when I really shouldn’t have any reason for it.  My life is pretty good in spite of the dumpster fire ‘Murica is these days, but when the brain wants to be sad, it’s going to be sad.