Not really much of a punishment

When the revelation broke out that the Houston Astros had developed a method to steal signs over the last few years, capitalizing on them en route to a period of great success, including one World Series championship, I figured nothing substantial was really going to come from it.  The evidence was pretty substantial and the fact that an active player snitched, it was a pretty foregone conclusion that the Astros were going to be busted for “cheating.”

Now I say cheating with quotes, because when the day is over, I don’t particularly think of stealing signs as cheating.  It’s a part of every day baseball, except the Astros just took it a little bit further with technology; it’s still a collaborative effort for players to identify and decipher signs, and then figure out ways to relay information without the opposition realizing it.  Yes, the Astros went a little bit further, utilizing a discreet live-feed camera and people banging on a trash can in the dugout tunnel, but I don’t really think it’s that much different than a baserunner on second relaying to the batter that a changeup is coming by pretending to yawn or scratch his junk.

Regardless, because baseball, among many other entities, has a revolving door of a moral compass, it was inevitable that the Astros were going to get punished for their perceived misgivings.  But the thing about punishments in professional sports, is that they never really amount to anything that would stop anyone from doing them again.  When the New England Patriots were accused of utilizing deflated footballs, or video taping the opposition’s sidelines, they got some fines and were penalized some draft picks; a few players like Tom Brady were suspended for a few games.  But no Super Bowls were rescinded, and nothing happened to strip the Patriots of any of the six championships they’d won.

There was little reason to believe that something similar wouldn’t happen to the Astros, and just like that, such was the precise punishment: a $5 million dollar fine, which they try and make sound severe, but in an industry that rakes in billions, is a drop in the bucket for any MLB franchise.  They make 8-12 times that from profit sharing alone.  Plus they were penalized a few draft picks, which were inevitably going to be poor ones, because of their success over the last few years.

The 2017 World Series remains completely intact, and the Astros will always be recognized as those champions until the end of time, regardless of the fact that there were probably trash cans banged on when the Astros slugged five homers in game 5, which was one of the most exciting baseball games I’d ever seen in my life but that’s besides the point.  The bottom line is that in spite of the cheating allegations, the Astros are charged some fine that’s basically pennies to them, docked some draft picks that have a way higher chance of flaming out and then going to go work for Lowe’s than making it to the big leagues; but the championship they won that coincided with the supposed cheating, well that’s fine.

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Tonight, a La Parka died in the ring

(spoken in the same manner in which Rorschach says “tonight, a Comedian died in New York”)

I have mixed feelings about this whole situation.  A La Parka died in the ring tonight, but it was confirmed to not be the La Parka that made me a La Parka fan in the first place.  It was in fact La Parka II who dove out of the ring at an AAA show in Mexico, crashed in the guardrail, broke his neck and later died. 

No loss of life is ever not tragic, but at the same time, it wasn’t necessarily the death of the guy that I was actually a fan of, which puts me in this awkward emotional state of where I hear news that “La Parka died,” but there’s always that explanation that it wasn’t the original La Parka that I really loved.

There’s still that emotional surprise of seeing the words that La Parka died, but when I read the explanation that it was actually La Parka II and not the chairman of WCW, and there’s this almost guilty feeling of relief that it wasn’t original La Parka.

I actually didn’t know that there were two La Parkas out there, and this kind of goes back to this joke my friends and I had in high school of how there were always myths that there were multiple Ultimate Warriors, and that they came from a Mayan temple in Parts Unknown that whenever one warrior died, another would remove his robes and sprint out of the temple and begin his own reign as the next Ultimate Warrior.

The difference is that there actually were two La Parkas, and it was a little fascinating reading about how it came to be, primarily stemming from a disagreement between wrestler and promoter, and then the promoter realizing just how easy it is to replace a masked wrestler in the first place.

Either way, I’m still sad that a La Parka died at all, even if it wasn’t the La Parka that would definitely warrant a longer eulogy in the brog.  In a way, La Parka is more than just an ordinary man, proven by two different men who took the mantle and were stars simultaneously, in different parts of the world.  And it’s only a matter of time before an el Hijo de La Parka shows up and starts blending the lucha flying of La Parka II with bashing guys with chairs from the original La Parka, and sets the wrestling world on fire.

This car FUCKS

A long time ago, there was a guy my then-group of friends knew that got a Subaru Impreza.  He was one of those guys that at the time, nobody really cared a tremendous amount about, but nobody really had the heart to tell him to fuck off.  Plus, as long as he felt included in the group, he could always be relied upon to bring food and/or snacks to any sort of arranged gatherings.

Anyway, aside from the fact that he bought an automatic transmission, we often passive-aggressively clowned on him for his car, because that’s what a bunch of Initial D-inspired auto enthusiasts did amongst each other.  Other points of ridicule were how he got his car literally months before the WRX was unleashed, how he got a huge speeding ticket in Pennsylvania for driving like a retard, and the time he wrecked because he thought AWD made him invincible.

My favorite method of trolling him was that I often times told him that he made a mistake getting an Impreza, and that the real coup of coolness would’ve been if he had gotten a Forester instead; the Impreza’s dorky but more utilitarian older brother.  Sure, the Forester was definitely more of a family car, but it was always fun to glorify the cargo room and the utility of the Forester over his Impreza.

The best was when we discovered the existence of a Forester STI, that Subaru released overseas, which was a jacked-up high-performance variant of the Forester, which not only retained all the utility of the original Forester, but had all sorts of performance upgrades that made it like two classes above what this guy got in his automatic Impreza.  That’s the car he should’ve gotten instead.

Needless to say, since then, I’ve always carried somewhat of a positive connotation with the Forester, even if it stemmed from ironic, griefing purposes.

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lol good riddance

In short: SunTrust Park begins removing all traces of SunTrust identity on account of merger with BB&T and the re-naming of the company

I know that at the root of it, ScumTrust is not truly dead, but still in existence under a different name, merged with another company, but damn does it feel nice to know that the logo that I was so familiar with during my tenure and eventual layoff with ScumTrust is being wiped from existence.  Especially from the ballpark, of my preferred team, that I was so diametrically opposed to from the onset, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they were named “ScumTrust Park.”

Despite the fact that ScumTrust isn’t truly dead, the fact that they’ve completely lost their identity and headquarters, ScumTrust is pretty much dead.  In short time, few people will remember the ScumTrust identity, and only the corporate stooges who have to take an orientation class will actually ever hear of the name ScumTrust in the future.  Even shorter will be the time it takes before cranky customers bitch about how shitty of a bank Truist is, and then it’s only a matter of time before Bank of America or Wells Fargo consumes them too.

I think my favorite part about the whole saga is that it wasn’t that long ago in 2014 in which ScumTrust signed a 25-year contract to the naming rights of the ballpark that would soon become ScumTrust Park.  Six years, in a 25-year contract, and although the terms of the contract have not been necessarily severed, the fact that ScumTrust’s name is coming off of the entire property might as well be the same thing as the whole contract being dead in the water.

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Greatest or not, Jeopardy James changed the game

Man, that was some good Jeopardy! last night.  I felt like a black guy watching the NBA slam dunk contest at certain points of the consecutive matches, like whenever any contestant went all-in on a daily double or Final Jeopardy and got the question right.  And to think there are several more nights of this, I think it’s safe to say that there are at least two more solid nights of some solid Jeopardy! entertainment to be had.

Ken Jennings may have taken the first win of Jeopardy! GOAT tournament, and could very well  win it all; but I think it’s safe to say that when the smoke settles “Jeopardy James” Holzhauer is still the one who really changed the game.

It didn’t take a lot of time to see that from the very start, the contestants started with the high-dollar answers, a staple of the Holzhauer tactic, with the ultimate objective being finding the Daily Double(s), and then going all-in to either run away with the game, or crash and burn trying.  This was definitely not something that either Ken Jennings or Brad Rutter did in their previous runs, but by virtue of Holzhauer standing at the podium next to them, forced them to adapt.

Basically what it boils down to is that if you don’t play like Jeopardy James, there’s little way to actually beat Jeopardy James.  Contestants are forced to clear the Daily Doubles and wipe out all of the high dollar answers so that he can’t build any bank, because he’s so good at the game that he can win any game where he’s capable of remaining in striking distance.

Both Jennings and Rutter played a Holzhauer game where they sniffed out all the high dollar questions first, and unfortunately for Jeopardy James, between the two of them, they basically found every single Daily Double in the two matches of the night.  Rutter, who was there solely on his legacy from 19 years ago, found 3-4 of them, and blew it and zeroed out each time, and it’s painfully evident that in spite of his imprssive lifetime earnings through Jeopardy, he really has no place being in this tournament today.

It was a clear two-horse race between Holzhauer and Jennings; I think most assumed that would be the case from the start.  But even Jennings admit to being out of his comfort zone when he bet his entire 3,800 on a Daily Double, and you could see the immense relief in his face when he happened to get it correct.  But it no more clear the importance of playing like Jeopardy James than in the first match’s Final Jeopardy where all three contestants going all-in on their wagers, with Jennings getting the win solely based on him building a strong lead in the first two rounds.

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No better way to start the new year

Than with a Pepsi truck crashing on 285, dumping its contents all over the place and tying up traffic for hours.  This wreck actually impacted my commute this morning too, but I’m an early riser and somehow managed to avoid the worst of it; I figured it was just the whole world returning to work at the same time causing logjams.

Frankly, this wreck couldn’t really have been in a worse place at a worse time, considering it happened right at the 285/75 interchange, during the morning rush.  From what vague details there are, it sounds like the driver fell asleep at the wheel and veered off the road; they’re banged up, but fortunately still alive, but it leads me to wonder that this particular trucking company must not be one of those that employs a co-driver, which specifically is meant to prevent incidents like this from possibly occurring.

But whatever, it’s Pepsi, and Pepsi is second-rate, especially here in the land of Coke.  In almost a prideful way, it’s entertaining to see the visuals of a wrecked-up Pepsi truck, as if Pepsi done fucked up and came to the wrong neighborhood and immediately paid for it.  As if they knew that they were in hostile territory, tried to circumvent the city by taking 285, but were too late, and blown off the road barely after getting onto the bypass.

What’s interesting to me is that of the photos I’ve seen, the vast majority of the spilled cargo appears to be Dr. Pepper.  So it’s pretty clear that this is a truck that had no intention of really unloading here, because in Georgia, Dr. Pepper is a Coke product, showing up at all fountains and Freestyles under the Coke umbrella.  It also puts me in a conflicted position, because although it’s fun to dunk on Pepsi, I have no qualms with Dr. Pepper.  So it’s kind of sad to see large portions of Dr. Pepper go down the drain, but fuck them for being in a Pepsi truck.

Either way, this marks the first post of 2020, and in spite of the sentiments of new years and new beginnings, it’s pretty much business as usual at the brog.  Glorifying dumb shit like truck crashes and the hypocrisy of Georgia and other shitheads, that is when I’m not talking about professional wrestling, baseball players getting owned, or TLC programming.

Happy New Year!