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All Quiet on the Baseball Front
2006-03-01 22:04
by Mike Carminati

A quiet fool can go undiscovered for a long time
—"Roger" Mason Cooley

War begets quiet, quiet idleness… —Sir Walter "Alston" Raleigh

It's a slow news day, news week, and even news month, if you count February, which just ended with Barry Bonds, arguably the best player of the last seventy years, appearing in drag on the front page of most of the major baseball sites.

Aside from debating the merits of Bret Boone's Hall of Fame chances or enumerating all the players backing out of the World Baseball "Classic", which henceforth will appear only accompanied by the pretentious quotes, there aint much going on here.

While I complete my General Manager study (I have just about every one all-time and will finalize the rest soon) and regretfully ignore my site, my baseball jones the last few days has been slaked with the amusing attempts by to positively spin the WB"C" defections. Witness, "Citing family tragedy, Guerrero out of Classic". " Leiter, Majewski added to Team USA" (Of course, replacing two major pitchers gone AWOL, Billy Wagner and C.C. Sabathia).

Unlike March, which starts today (set your calendars accordingly), this baseball season goes in like a lamb but comes out a lion.

The Marlins and Nationals have already hung "Contract Me" targets on their backs. Both teams are clamoring for a new, more favorable stadium deal. In the last collective bargaining agreement, of course, the owners acquired the rights to contract without the players union's say-so. Thanks Donald Fehr, bye bye Expo-Nats and Marlins. Of course, the contraction threat might just be empty posturing to secure the deals in question, but hey, that doesn't mean it won't happen. And the Marlins are down to "Cabrera and Willis and hope the rest don't kill us".

And there's the CBA itself, which runs out at the end of the year but has barely caused a ripple this languorous offseason. I think I read one mention of a meeting by both parties on a new CBA. I expect that to change dramatically fairly soon.

And lastly, there's hardly a mention of last season's bugbear, steroids. Meanwhile players who are tainted by steroids, or at least perceived as so, are quietly disappearing into the sunset. Rafael Palmeiro. Sammy Sosa. And now Bret Boone. They will be spending plenty of time with Luca Brasi and Adrianna from "The Sopranos" this season.

It's quiet out there.

But like Billy Ray Valentine in "Trading Places", I can smell that there's something afoot. (Or as Valentine put it, "They're panicking out there. It's Christmas and they're afraid they can't get their kids the G.I. Joe with the Kung-Fu grip and that their wives won't make love to 'em anymore. They're panicking. I can smell it")

I have the feeling that every parent gets when his kids are too quiet. "It's quiet…too quiet! They're up to something!"

Or maybe it was a slow news day and Mr. Eko cutting his beard off and giving it to one of the "Others" on Lost got my conspiracy mojo rising. What the frig was that about anyway? Was it a possible reference to the newly minted, non-caveman edition of Johnny Damon, New York Yankee—how weird is that to say?

2006-03-02 11:27:04
1.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Some of us with Tivo haven't watch the latest episode of Lost yet.... And here I thought I was safe, on a baseball blog. ;)
2006-03-02 11:54:18
2.   Mike Carminati
Sorry, Brent. It has absolutely nothing to do with the plot, however, nor anything else in heaven or earth.
2006-03-02 13:54:00
3.   Inside Baseball
It is way too quiet. Your discussion of the CBA and the events today in the NFL have me further distressed.

With apologies to Brent (don't read yet) I can't resist the Lost mention...

Mr. Eko and the Beard, that was weird and threw me off. I'm concluding that he made two braids representing the two "Others" that he killed--they were a blood oath burden that he carried until he could be freed by confession, in line with his previous vow of silence.

I'm still trying to figure out another plot element that threw me even more, but in respect to Brent and the "TivOthers" who haven't watched yet, I won't give anything away.

2006-03-02 18:15:16
4.   Mike Carminati

I gots to know: what was freakier than Eko cutting off his nubbies? Please do tell.

2006-03-02 20:34:21
5.   Inside Baseball
Hey Mike,

Ok, they were 2 things actually.

One, the mobile of planes: The planes had the Oceanic Air insignia on them. That leads to me to speculate the plane crash was orchestrated by the Others/Dharma Initiative.

And two, the one I was referring to in my prior post, when Claire is flashing back (about halfway through the episode) of her conversation with Ethan outside in the jungle, at the very end the current Claire appears in the background watching their (her and Ethan's) conversation. I've decided that probably just was a cool visual to signal the end of her flashback to the present day but it still was pretty freaky. For some reason, it reminded me of the scene near the end of Memento when the Guy Pierce character was transposed on the no short term memory guy in the mental hospital.

Anyway, I hope these didn't disappoint.

2006-03-02 21:54:15
6.   Mike Carminati
Now, that you mention it, the mobile did have the logo. Creepy, but I'm not sure what it means. Couldn't her memories be a bit warped given the hallucinegens she was on? The same thing goes for the "seeing herself" scene.

I have to watch the episode again, but something that struck me as odd was Ethan saying that keeping the baby was her choice. I mean, they were preparing to vivisect her to get to it. Then again, maybe it was a test to see if she'd give herself and her baby up to the Others, but if so, didn't she pass with flying colors--so why cut out the baby?

And what gives with the vagabound dress-up clothes and various accoutrements (like a beard)? So they are dressing up because the Others live in the lap of luxury but want to hide it? Are they experimenting on the Losties? And what's up with the stuff they were pumping into the unborn baby? It seemed like George Bush's idea of what stem cell research is about.

And wasn't it convenient that the Others cleaned out the place better than the Grinch but they left the incriminating costumes and Claire's bootie (and one can of Who-hash). By the way, the creepiest thing might have been when Claire gave the unwashed bootie to her baby and let him chew on said unwashed garment after she picked the thing up off the floor of that disshevelled bunker. I guess she's gotten over the first-kid jitters already.

2006-03-02 23:06:51
7.   Inside Baseball
We're agreed on the baby booty and sloppy exit. I thought Ethan was just lying to Claire just as he did when he told her Charlie was fine. I think the disguises are in line with "The Village." Plus Deliverance-style vagabonds are just plain scarier than regular white folk.

I lean toward the postulate that the Others are the scientists and our heroes are the lab-rats but the whole vaccine thing throws me off a bit. If it's legit, it would make sense that they made lists of those who are worthy of it and abducted them. But if it's a hoax, why inject the baby. Maybe it's some sort of marker and the adults have already been treated. Who knows. The fun is in the details anyway. I know the ultimate explanation can never live up to the build-up.

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