January 4, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

If you’d like to read Derek’s serial — and you should — you can find it right here.

January 4, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

I’ve been watching this animated series Princess Nine which I’m going to have to give my full endorsement.

Note that Ryo there is a lefty.

It’s brilliant and awful all at once. I’ve been arguing for women in baseball for a long, long time — I wrote a serial once, there’s a screenplay I’ve sat on for years (baseball movies don’t make a lot of money, so it’s sort of pointless to try and sell one)… so it may be that I’m a little vulnerable to this stuff.

To get the awful part of the way: It’s got some real bad parts in it: on this star girl’s baseball team, there’s a preening girl who jumps out of the way of the ball and I want to reach through the screen and throttle her (and every time it looked like the team might have a little blanket party with her and eight bars of soap in socks, if you know what I mean) I cheered… but it never came. There’s some boring plotting elements. That stuff is so eye-rollingly annoying I laughed at it. And then there’s a lot of the Japanese baseball philosophy in it (big match-up tomorrow? better throw 100, 200 pitches to get ready!) which is a little weird.

It’s cliched but it’s awesome. When Ryo’s pitching impossibly well, it’s implausible, but I nod and say “Yeah, you want some more of that? ’cause she can throw that by you all day.” When one of the girls unveils her Wave Motion Swing, I grinned like an idiot. There are beautiful stages for epic confrontations that will determine if the team gains another recruit so they can play a game. There’s baseball in a strange context, with girl power themes and funny moments.

All of which is to say that if you’re as bored this off-season as I get, and you have access to a quality video store that carries quality animation like Scarecrow, which I fully endorse, or subscribe to Netflix (with which I have a long and complicated love-hate relationship), you might consider giving it a rental.

That’s it. I’ll return to my regularly-scheduled negativity soon.

January 4, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Juan Gonzalez, who tears the cover off the ball when he’s healthy, which happens sometimes, reportedly signed a 1-year, $4m deal to outperform Raul Ibanez in KC. This seemingly brings to the count of better outfielders who signed cheaper deals than Raul to 42. At 50, I understand, Bavasi will be given some kind of gag present by the other GMs, possibly a disassembled Rubik’s Cube he will be forced to try (and fail) to put together while they pelt him with sunflower seeds, or a year’s subscription to Dog Fancy, the first issue of which he’ll be allowed to peruse at his leisure before the other 29 teams in baseball take him out back and make him their bitch.