Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Gross Injustice

This image is not Raymond Approved.

Today I post for your perusal an electronic representation of the Raymond’s Certificate of Authentication I received from the Tampa Bay Rays.  As is often the case with official documents, this document contains an untruth.  Although it is true the document in question was presented to me, David Barker, and it is also true I took receipt of said document on April 18th, 2011, the manner in which I earned this attestation is disparagingly misrepresented.  For you see Raymond, whatever mongrel-type animal you claim to be, I did not merely retrieve that foul ball, I caught that motherf****r.  That’s right, I caught it; and your faint imprimatur, pantsless visage, and Sharpie-scribed document will never knock free the memory I clutch close to my heart for lo these many months.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Milwaukee Braves

In June of 2010, I traveled to Atlanta to watch the Rays play the Braves, the longest running franchise in Major League Baseball history.  Inside the marvelous city of Atlanta resides delightful Turner Field, home stadium of the Braves.  Inside Turner Field, at aisle 134 in fact, resides the Ivan Allen Jr. Braves Museum & Hall of Fame.  Inside the Ivan Allen Jr. Braves Museum & Hall of Fame, and behind a medium-sized glass case to protect us, resides a program from the 1957 World Series.  On the cover of that thin program, propped up by cheap plastic clips, is smeared the disfigured and regrettable idea that a race of people, admired though they may be, can be used as mascots.  I do not know the artist’s name.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

True Fan? I don't think so.

September 5, 2011, Tropicana Field

As shown in the picture above, the distinguished gentleman in the front row of the upper deck wears a Scott Kazmir jersey.  He is distinguished because I do not know him and I do not wish him to sue me for posting injurious comments as regards his character.  He is, after all, a fellow member of the Rays Republic, in attendance I might add, and therefore I accord him all the rights, privileges, and honors thereunto appertaining.  Now on to the matter at hand.

At the plate squats batsman Casey Kotchman for the Rays, thus proving I took this magnificent photo in 2011.  Scott Kazmir was traded from the Rays to the Angels two years prior, in the year 2009 Anno Domini.  Therefore, the distinguished baseball fan in question is clearly wearing a vestige of an era bygone.  Is this acceptable behavior for the True Fan?  I think it is not.  I am calling you out, good sir!  Proper Baseball Etiquette requires you to update your sporting attire at once!  To the local athletics haberdashery you go.  Off with you now, run along.

Irresponsible Anthems for the Children

The indoctrination of youth begins early.  Baptisms, Fourth of July parades, and tractor pulls are but a few tribal rituals we fervently believe will enhance the lives of unwitting children.  With great conviction, we drag the little ones, lollipop in hand and stumbling naively, into every conceivable adult preoccupation in the hope they will adopt our values as their own.  To this end we force them to say things they clearly do not understand.  How many children currently believe “eli minnow” is an actual letter of the alphabet?  How many children, eyebrows raised earnestly, expertly recite the Pledge of Allegiance without a clue to its meaning?  Oh well, eventually they get it.

One delivery system for childhood indoctrination is the sporting event.  In fact, I presume all current season ticket holders were at one point in their lives bribed to sit-down-and-behave with ice cream served in a tiny, upside-down helmet.  The problem I have noticed, however, is a disturbing trend in the world of interstitial baseball entertainment:  the awkwardly inappropriate pop song played between innings and at bats.  The chilling video evidence presented below harbingers the inevitable moral collapse of drunken, rhythm-less white people everywhere.

You may not have noticed, but the particular song lyrics to which all those little tykes happily bopped up and down is about murder.  Yep, that’s right, Murder.

I'm coming to get ya, coming to get ya
Spittin out lyrics, homie I'll wetchya 

Anyone familiar with ‘90s gangsta rap knows what wetchya means.  Did you also notice how the children were duped into participation by the introductory image of a kindly dowager and her pastoral cowbell?  If that wasn’t enough, the susceptible young minds finally succumb to the snugly feline disc jockey, DJ Kitty, secretly known as Minister of Evil Propaganda to the Innocents.  

There are other examples of this disturbing phenomenon.  Willy Aybar used to strut to the plate while his favorite song about a stripper echoed through the catwalks.  Deadeye killer Rafael Soriano took the field to the Latino gangster stylings of Pitbull.
I’m really not sure what to make of all this.  The songs are fun and the adults need to be entertained too, but it’s kind of weird to have the kids listening to this stuff, right?  They might not be able to understand the lyrics at the game, but later they will seek out these song lyrics on the internet.  Then they’ll get it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Bradenton Marauders Logo is Dead Sexy

McKechnie Field, Bradenton, FL

The Bradenton Marauders logo is dead sexy.  It uses the same black and yellow color scheme as the MLB parent organization Pittsburgh Pirates and plays with the same pillage-and-plunder motif to boot.  This finely crafted logo piqued my interest in graphic design and compelled me to investigate the principles of this persuasive black art.  An exhaustive Google search of at least 5 seconds led me to Andrew Mundi’s excellent presentation describing the Principles of Graphic Design.  Here I found the incantations necessary for creating such a striking image.  Would you care to join me upstairs for a nightcap as I reveal its secrets?

The topmost internal contour suggests the female breast and the composition of the B contains soft, gentle curves accented by two seductive apices, each contributing to a lively rhythm of excited anticipation.  An enlarged serif at the base extends outward and downward, with a rakish confidence.  The visual language of the logo is stable, front-oriented, thick, large, and overstated.  The incongruous color harmony of black and yellow portends danger; taboo, if you will.  Finally, a columnal stem of ample girth marks the script typography and hints at penetration of a narrow opening.

Now listen, Marauders B may embody these characteristics but he has no time for academics.  In fact, he has no more time for you.  Marauders B will never cuddle in bed and watch The Office with you.  Marauders B will break your heart.  Marauders B has tattoos he regrets, but he would never admit that to you.  Marauders B never wears an undershirt and always leaves the top three buttons undone.  Marauders B’s beard is perpetually three days long and smells of the finest spiced rum.  You dare not ask Marauders B if he applies eye liner or if those eyes are naturally sultry.  Marauders B no longer returns Lana Del Rey’s calls.  The fields in his native homeland smell of olives and jasmine.  Rumor is he killed a man there, and that man did not deserve to die.  Two weeks from now, when he mistakenly calls you, Marauders B won’t give a damn if your sister is in town and just broke up with her boyfriend.  You’re coming over tonight and you better be wearing that top he likes.  You know, the sexy one.  Marauders B will plunder your hidden treasures.  Like the oaken barrels that mellow his rum, Marauders B’s soul is charred.

I cannot deny the third paragraph is Dayn Perry-esque.  Thank you Mr. Perry for your blessing, which I have neither asked for nor received, and am therefore characterizing as "tacit".

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Four-syllable Canticles

Here's a link to a Draysbay FanPost I concocted out of much frustration with the Rays current cheering options.  I wrote it almost a year ago, but sadly, Rays Republic has not yet adopted my stellar suggestion.  Also of sad note is the unfortunate pseudonym I employed:  Deuce Cannon.  What initially seemed to me a bad ass nickname now too closely resembles the word "douche", and might also describe some sort of early military contraption for hurling feces.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Make Some Noise

The philosopher George Berkeley stated, "to be is to be perceived".  The familiar thought experiment is as follows:  If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  Similarly, if a baseball bat cracks at Steinbrenner Field and few people hear it, does the sound even matter?

A while back I captured some video at a meagerly attended Tampa Yankees high-A minor league game.  Described dramatically, the score was "all knotted up" tightly at 2 in the bottom of the ninth inning. However, given the near complete lack of spectators, I could more accurately describe the score as loosely bound by a ball of kitten's yarn.  The scoreboard operator, despite peering out onto this windswept nullscape, was dutiful and steadfast in his resolve.  He would not sway from the appointed task: rally the home crowd to victory.

As the poignant refrain of Tinie Tempah implores and echoes throughout the latticework of Steinbrenner Field:

One day I had a dream I tried to chase it
But I wasn't going nowhere, running man!
I knew that maybe someday I would understand
Trying change a tenner to a hundred grand
Everyone's a kid that no-one cares about
You just gotta keep screaming until they hear you out

Indeed, Tinie, indeed.  "You just gotta keep screaming until they hear you out."  As true of minor league baseball as it is of initial forays into the blogosphere.  "I'm on my way..."