More time to raise costs, duh

Less surprising than Grayson Allen tripping someone again despite saying he’s grown out of it, the Atlanta Braves’ spring training saga yet continues on, this time revealing that the team has signed an extension with the Disney Wide World of Sports for the 2019 season, with the writing between the lines meaning that the new facility in Sarasota, won’t be finished in time.

Who would’ve thunk it?  That in spite of the $100M+ budget and all the promises and plans in the world, the magical construction of an entire facility in a calendar year seems to be viewed as potentially unrealistic.

In all fairness, the Braves do deserve a little bit of credit at identifying the potential for failure this early, and moving forward with a logical contingency plan.  And as much as I bet Disney would have loved to have turned the screws to the Braves and told them that seat’s taken and that they would have to find somewhere else, the reality is that almost all of the teams in the Grapefruit League want to be in a coastal town, so Orlando is kind of screwed for Spring Training once the Braves depart.  So clearer heads prevailed, and the Braves get one last partial Spring Training at Disney, and Disney gets to cash in on that sweet MLB money for one more spring.

But it’s still a failure in the sense that the Braves made all these grandiose plans and basically gave Disney their walking papers, but when their shit started to seep through the cracks, they kind of had to crawl back to the hand that’s been feeding them for the last few decades for their safety net.

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Well, barbecue sauce is delicious

Short story shorter: man loses his shit when Waffle House doesn’t have barbecue sauce, goes to jail over it

Oh, Waffle House, how I love thee.  No really, I love Waffle House.  I go at least once a month regardless of how healthy I decide to try to be for a week.  In fact, in the morning of the day that I’m writing this right now, I went to Waffle House.  I had a heaping mound of hash browns with chili and onions on it, and a side of sausage.  It was delicious.

But anyway, as much as I love Waffle House, there’s no mistaking that it’s a magnet for odd stories and interesting characters.  Some, not as savory as others, and in the case of this Macon Waffle House, unfortunately a volatile and very hostile customer, hell bent on getting some barbecue sauce.

Now I’ve been to Waffle Houses in at least five different states, and I can’t say that I’ve ever once seen barbecue sauce available at a single one of them.  It’s always ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce, and sometimes there have been A1 and/or Heinz 57 and/or the occasional Waffle House-branded imitation steak sauce that’s almost like A1 mixed with Heinz 57. 

But never barbecue sauce.

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A free weekend of wrestling

It doesn’t happen that often, but it turned out that I had an entire weekend free to watch all of the wrestling available for the Royal Rumble weekend.  Weather derailed my hopes of breaking in my new grill with its maiden meats, and all I really wanted to do alternatively was absolutely jack shit other than watching NXT Takeover: Philadelphia and the Royal Rumble.

Surprising no longtime fan or wrestling smark, NXT Takeover was the true gem of the weekend, as just about every single match on the card was pretty good, and I can’t help but wonder what goes through the mind of Vince McMahon sometimes knowing that both his daughter and his son-in-law are basically openly declaring war on his own product with their own personal projects in the women’s evolution and NXT.

Since NXT developed and turned into the officially televised developmental product and started putting on shows since Arrival, they have pretty routinely outperformed the main roster, and just about every single Takeover event has outshined the primary shows that they’re supposed to be the lowly undercard for.

Superstars are given the time and leeway to properly build up their characters, let feuds develop, and are given the latitude and clock in matches to put on actual good matches.  This was no more prevalent than at the last Takeover, where just about every single match on the card had some degree of development behind it, and wasn’t just some fly-by-booking where opponents are pitted against one another without reason.

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The Braves’ latest failure: Blooper

So, to recap what kind of off-season it’s been for the Braves between the 2017 and 2018 seasons:

  • Their general manager, John Coppolella was fired and banned for life by Major League Baseball for basically cheating the system when it came to signing international amateur talent
  • As a result of Coppolella’s tampering of the system, the Braves were penalized by means of forfeiting the rights to 13 prospects
  • The Gwinnett Braves decided to rename their team because they want people to believe that their fans are stupid enough to mistake minor league Gwinnett Braves tickets for major league Atlanta Braves tickets, so to avoid the confusion, they decided to hold a contest for a new name, where the winner ultimately ended up being none of the selected options but instead, the “Gwinnett Stripers”
  • Their new spring training facility in Sarasota has gone from approved, to having an estimated cost of $75 million, to now costing $110 million, with likely more increases to come as time passes
  • Despite plenty of speculation that the team would try to capitalize on the Miami Marlins’ fire sale and make a trade for budding star Christian Yelich, they didn’t, and lost him to the Milwaukee Brewers (where his career will likely stagnate and become forgotten, in a boring market)

Needless to say, it’s been a pretty typical crappy offseason for the Braves this year.  It’s hard to say that things could possibly get any worse, but whenever anyone decides to tempt fate by saying that things couldn’t get any worse, inevitably they just have to.

Introducing Blooper, the new mascot of the Atlanta Braves.  What is Blooper?  Nobody really knows.  Apparently, he came from the “Character Builder 3000” and is a pretty good metaphor for the organization itself: uncreative, stagnant and nowhere remotely near innovative.

All anyone does know is that Blooper is like a Caucasian, less fat imitation of the Phillie Phanatic, of the division rival Philadelphia Phillies, which is extremely sad that the Braves are basically copying the Phillies.  Aside from when the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, nobody should want to copy the Phillies – they suck, their city sucks, and everything remotely associated with Philadelphia sucks.

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I want to enjoy food as much as Kasumi does, someday

Going down the Netflix rabbit hole, after I finished watching Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories, the immediate suggestion by the algorithm was a show called Samurai Gourmet.  Upon watching the preview; not like I had any choice, because Netflix forces previews upon you like James Franco’s alleged sexual aggression, I decided to give it a flyer, because I was sad that I had watched all of Midnight Diner and was wanting to get more of that peaceful, slice-of-life feeling that it had provided, and a show about a retired man leisurely seeking food to savor and enjoy seemed like it had some potential.

Now I don’t think it’s as good as Midnight Diner, but Samurai Gourmet has so far been pretty enjoyable as well.  Whereas Midnight Diner was more about a centralized location and the people that gravitated to and around it, Samurai Gourmet is conversely centered around a singular person, freely flowing to different locations.  However, it does manage to capture that light-hearted feeling and emotions of internal thought processes and the enjoyment of comfort foods in perfect circumstances.

I feel like the best analogy for the show is that it’s like Stephen King writing, when he was still in his literary prime.  He’d take something like his protagonist going into the kitchen and doing mundane things, and somehow bilk 5,000 words, mostly adjectives to describe every little activity, before the last two paragraphs in the chapter are loose ties to the inevitable aliens/demons/monsters/spiders that the story is supposed to opposed by.  Except in Samurai Gourmet, there is no supernatural villain to derail Castle Rock, just protagonist Kasumi’s own imagination of his inner samurai dealing with his fairly minor conflicts.

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I don’t remember the exact numbers I estimated when I originally started going off on diatribes about the Braves’ new Spring Training facility that’s being built in Sarasota, Florida, but I do recall it being somewhere in the range of 40-50% more than what was estimated.  Because if there’s one reoccurring pattern in the development of stadiums is that there is a 150% chance that whatever is originally estimated, will be exceeded, and by no small amounts.

That being said, it’s about as shocking as finding out that the WWE’s Enzo Amore has been accused of sexual misconduct, that the Braves’ original estimation of somewhere around $80 million dollars for their new training grounds, has risen.

Somewhere in the revisionist history of the timeline of this unnecessary extravagance, I’m pretty sure the original price tag was set at $75 million dollars.  Apparently, prior to the start of the new year, it was revised to $100 million, and as of this morning, it’s been confirmed to have hit $110 million.  I want to say that in my earlier rants about this bullshit facility that I predicted that it would top out at around $125 million.

Continue reading “SURPRISE, SURPRISE”

The sad truth about Doc

As is often times the case whenever a publicly known figure dies in some unexpected incident, there is a lot of immediate response of shock and surprise, followed by endless litanies of knee-jerk condolences, instant sorrow and poetic waxing.  Personally, I think it’s sometimes obnoxious when I think that people are doing it what I feel is disingenuously, especially when it seems like they’re just trying to be seen grieving, and not actually caring that much.

The point is, there are a lot of immediate reactions when it comes to news of the sudden deaths of publicly known figures, and as nihilistic as I may think they sometimes can be, it’s for good reason.  Death is almost always sad, and it is rarely good news to hear about the passing of life in general.

A few months ago, Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico.  It was sudden and out of nowhere when this occurred, and immediately afterward, just about anyone who ever liked baseball in the last two decades immediately came out to speak about condolences, thoughts and prayers, among other things.  The cities of Toronto and Philadelphia, where Halladay played for made huge public announcements of their sadness of the passing, and I bet they were preparing for shit like moments of silence, memorials or public acknowledgments of his career in the coming 2018 season.

The sudden loss of one of the greatest pitchers of this generation was definitely surprising, unfortunate, and a genuine loss for Major League Baseball.

But as is often the case whenever a publicly known figure passes, personally, I’d like to know the whole story first before I decide to speak about them.

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