Thanksgiving 2014, Filled With Great Victories

Happy Thanksgiving!  At this moment, all is right with the world.  My beloved Redmen stepped up and played a gutty (aka ugly) game against a tough Minnesota team, and somehow managed to pull it out, going away.  The defense was stifling, especially in the second half.  I thought the team looked good from a coaching perspective – excellent spacing and good ball movement.  The shortcomings were from downtown (not surprising, although 15.4% is unexpectedly bad) and the entitlement bar – an unforgivable 59.5% (perhaps it’s the entitlement bar sinister).  Can’t blame Lav for that.  The positives – 3’Angelo showed up and took over, Sheed looked pretty good, and Sir’Dom had a much better game than the box score indicates.  Zags up next, we owe them for a couple of NCAA tournament losses.

What else is right on this Thanksgiving?  The same thing that is always right on Thanksgiving.  March of the Wooden Soldiers is on, the greatest movie ever!  It has everything you could want:

Laurel and Hardy at their comedic finest

Amazing displays of hand-eye coordination

One of the all time great villains, Silas Barnaby

Barnaby’s lackey, the forerunner of Tattoo

Santa!

Sprawling fight scenes

“I though you wanted 100 soldiers at 6 feet high”

Horror, courtesy of the bogeymen

A Western torpedo flinging mouse in a blimp

Enter Sandman

An alligator infested moat

The headless soldier, so tenacious he chases one of the bogeymen through a wall

For the women, the love story and impressive pipes courtesy of Tom Tom and Mother Goose

“Let’s get the cannon and give them a parting shot!”  I love how all of the townspeople laugh at Ollie when he’s got about one hundred darts stuck in his back.  Thanks for saving us from death and destruction, as well as the laugh!

RAT

Balloon-inflicted violence

And, the piece de resistance, the instrumental “March of the Toys”, coupled with the stop motion animation of the wooden soldiers.  It still gets me pumped up!

The parting shot has been fired, have a great Thanksgiving!

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Frankie Earthquakes

Yep, Il Papa has been making news, yet again.. and whipping the progressives into a frenzy.  Can you feel the earth shaking?  I love reading what the media has to say about Pope Francis.  He has “demoted” Raymond Cardinal Burke, who is apparently an evil right wing conservative.  I feel so fortunate, for without them, I would not have a clue about what was going on in the Universal Church.

I greatly enjoy reading the comments of the misguided on major media websites, as they have a great deal to say about things they know nothing about.  According to some of the things I have read, the Church is changing its view on the GBLT community, because, you know, Jesus never said anything negative about the gay community.  Also, GBLT behavior is no longer sinful, because now DC people can get married.  And should somebody take an opposing position, you can bet your bottom dollar that somebody will bring up papal infallibility.  You also get to read “Judge not, lest ye be judged”, and that the Church has no right to deny Communion to anybody.

Many years ago, as I was at a Pet Expo.  They had a liger, which is part lion, part tiger, for those of you who do not have bow hunting or nunchuck skills .  It was in a cage,  which was a few feet behind a rope barrier.  A lady near me was banging on the cage of this sizable beast (FYI – a different sort of beast from #48), and one of the handlers came over and told her to stop banging on the cage because it was disturbing the liger.  The enlightened response from the lady?  “There’s no sign saying not to bang on the cage” – really, you can’t make up stuff like this.  For those who think DC behavior is OK because The Man didn’t explicitly say anything about the lifestyle, I submit to you that you are banging on the cage.  The Man defined marriage as being between one man and one woman, and any sexual behavior outside of marriage is sinful.  The Catholic Church does not (and will never) recognize alternative lifestyle marriages as being valid.  Of course, you don’t need to read the Bible to understand this, a high school biology textbook (and perhaps a brief tutorial taught by Captain Obvious) should be enough to wise you up.

As far as papal infallibility is concerned, it does not mean that every word from the mouth of the HF is unassailable.  If he says “The moon is made of green cheese”, it is not incumbent on Catholics to fall in line (FYI – we all know it’s more of a yellow cheesy substance, not unlike Cheez Whiz).

Finally, on to judgement, which happens to all of us in the end.  It is important to judge behavior, because things like murder and rape are evil, and need to be identified as such if we want to live in a civilized society.  It is also important to avoid passing judgement on others when you really have no idea what they are doing in their private lives.  However, when a politician runs as a pro-abortion candidate in order to get votes, then they have publicly declared a position that is against Church teaching.  You can’t come out and say “I am pro-life, but my constituency is pro-choice, therefor I must vote pro-choice”.  Wrong!  You should have said that you were pro-life when campaigning, and that is how you will vote.  So, yes, the Church has every right at that point to deny Communion to those politicians.  Same applies to anyone who declares they are behaving in a way that is contrary to Church teaching, like “I am living with my girlfriend”.

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NL ROY

Hats off to Jacob deGrom, 2014 NL Rookie of the Year! Hardware is always a positive, congratulations for getting something in the personal trophy case. When he pitched, it was must-see TV, which we had not had since Matt Harvey got hurt… and that guy will be pitching in 2015 as well. I am cautiously pumped.

I think I like the Cuddyer signing. Although he’ll be 36 around Opening Day, he’s definitely a professional stick, and if he can stay healthy, I think he’ll really help out the line-up. No, I do not expect him to put up the numbers he has the last few years, because, well, Colorado, but if he can stay healthy, I’m hoping for .280-20-85. Plus some clubhouse leadership, as well as a friend and ally for El Capitan, can be a major plus in helping turn around the team’s mentality, if not put it over the top.

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Roll ‘Em Out

So, it was Midnight Madness at Union and Utopia. A veritable swarm of recruits in the house. According to my fellow masochists, it was spectacular, so we’re good on that front.

And what front are we not good on? I’ve heard a lot of chirping from our heroes. Talk is good if you’ve proven you can back it up. Last I checked, we were basking in the glory of a one seed in the NIT, while Robert Morris was laying hammer to head. Mr. Greene has said that the Redmen have the best backcourt in the country. High praise indeed – prove it. Mr. Harrison has said that Seton Hall is not our rival, Syracuse is. I think Syracuse’s big concern with us is looking past the game. Coach has said that Chris Obekpa will average a double double, not counting blocks. I am somewhat skeptical.

I am looking forward to the season, and do have high hopes. But, until I see some results, the Kool-Aid will remain in the fridge. I’m hoping that I have a reason to down the whole pitcher on Thanksgiving.

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Da da, Da da, Duda Had A Big Year

I was an Ike guy.  I had had enough of Lucas Duda.  The wrap on 2014:  30 taters (3rd best in the NL), 92 ribeyes (tied for 5th in the NL).  And quality D as well.  Nice season, big fella!  Here’s hoping for more of the same in 2015!

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2014 In The Books, 2015 On The Horizon

Alright, the baseball season was a bust.

If Harvey comes back to where he was, and

deGrom does not get hit with the sophomore jinx, and

Wheeler continues to improve, and

David Wright returns to form, and

The Grandyman returns to form, and

Lucas Duda is able to play like it’s 2014 again, and

We have a better shortstop than Tejada or Flores, and

D’Arnaud’s elbow bounces back and he continues to rake,

Then the Mets should be in a position to challenge for a playoff spot.

As always with the Mets, there are too many big IFS.

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Compare and Contrast

It is 9.7 miles from Citi Field to Yankee Stadium.  The actual distance might as well be a light year.  Each team had a player retire today.  For the Bombers, it was the team captain, the face of the organization, a HOFer, a 20 year player for whom fans traveled to Boston in droves to send him off in style.  And, as usual, he delivered.  For my beloved Metropolitans, it was a player signed on 4/1/2014.  My first thought was “Bobby Abreu?  Is this an April Fool’s joke?”  No joke, it was legit, and so was Bobby.  He carried the Mets (as it were) shortly after being signed, then he tailed off.  Like Derek Jeter, he once wore pinstripes.  Like Derek Jeter, he ended his career with a single.  Of course, Jeter’s hit plated a run.

I wish them both well in their retirements, if you can call it that.

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