Monday, April 17, 2006


Easter Eggs and Dinosaur Hunts

I'm a pretty big fan of the British television show Red Dwarf, and I own all seven of the released seasons on DVD. Like most DVDs, they all contain these little things called "Easter Eggs," little hidden "treats" buried deep in the menu screens, or requiring a specifically-timed push of the "select" button. Anyway, none of them are all that interesting, really, and aren't much good for anything besides being nerdy and wasting time.

After watching yesterday's game before heading out for the family Easter gathering, I noticed that there are similar inconsequential hidden delights in every seemingly mundane regular season baseball game. A lot of them have to do with deconstructing the comments made by the announcers, adding context where they fail to (or where it makes what they say seem even more ridiculous). Again, just a way of being nerdy and wasting time, but then again baseball is the kind of spectator sport that facilitates--and almost even requires--such snarky behavior. And, as has been well-documented and complained about, the current crop of announcers for the Mariners provides plenty of material.

More interesting to me were little visual eggs I hadn't noticed, out of sheer ignorance on my part. First, they've added a little "LOB" column to the traditional commercial-break line score. A very small thing, again largely inconsequential, but it does come in handy when trying to convince optimists and other assorted nincompoops about the futility of our offense. Not that an offense hitting against the likes of Josh Beckett could be expected to do much anyway. Still, when it comes time to play K.C. and we're holding a slim 3-2 lead entering the eighth, I look forward to jabbing a finger at the LOB number and saying "I told you so." Thank you, FSN.

Second, the sheer joy, perhaps ironic, that I get from watching Adrian Beltre hit. It is very rare in this day and age to see someone waste their obvious talent in so publicly humiliating a fashion. It is somewhat akin to watching Michelangelo fill in a coloring book and consistently color outside the lines. It is something to be appreciated, in my book. This is a failure more immense than Jeff Cirillo, more comical than Rich Aurilia, albeit slightly less bare-handed than Kevin Mitchell. Enjoy it while it lasts; he got two hits today, that son of a bitch. He keeps this up and he'll have to relinquish his post as the world's highest-paid defensive specialist.

And now, an abrupt segue to my next topic: Dinosaurs. When will it become cliché and old hat to make fun of Carl Everett's disbelief in dinosaurs? It probably already is, actually. I'm sure he and everyone else have heard it all before, just as every tall person's been asked what the weather's like up there and fellow SoB Eric has been asked how his courses at Clown College are going (he has a big nose). But the far more important question is: When will making fun of Carl Everett's disbelief in dinosaurs cease to be fun? The answer to that, I believe, is never.

With that in mind, I've decided to try and educate our dear Designated Hitter with an informative series of posts about the giant lizards. I figure it will work best on an incentive basis, namely: for every homerun he hits, I will address a specific dinosaur or aspect of dinosaur history, instead of doing something useless like donating to a charity or whatever. It may not help him any, especially considering he can't read,* but I know I'll enjoy it and hopefully everyone else will too. Besides, if he mashes 40 jacks for us this year I'd be more than happy to scramble for resources about dinosaurs.

Since he's already hit two this year, and I'm just now deciding to do this thing, I'll have some catching up to do. Expect a couple of posts over the next few Patrick Business Days, or in real-time, three to four weeks.

*Attn: Carl Everett -- Please direct all libel suits to my solicitor. My accusations of your illiteracy are my own, and do not reflect the views of the other SoBs, who barely even acknowledge your existence.

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