Plot for a sports film

Act I:

Display various protagonists in subplottish situations.
Starting in right: guy arguing with his gal, who isn’t into this sports thing.
At shortstop: guy looking for dad’s approval.
On first: part of a minority/uncommon plurality, just trying to fit into this squad.
Pitching: old, crusty guy.
Catching: inspirational captain sort.
Also: bunch of guys who you can’t distinguish.
Backups: Oh, probably not. Don’t want a rich, solid-looking squad, you know. This won’t do at all.
Or a protagonist who can join in at a critical point, but not right away. That works.

Act II:

Talk up big showdown. Or don’t talk it up, as this squad isn’t so good as to go that far anyway. Show clips that display just how bad this squad actually is.  Minor squabbling.

Act III:

Loss in small showdown. Moping. Blaming a guy that’s not you, or just sulking. Coach not having any of this. Inspirational talk, possibly with many ****s. Or talk from inspirational captain sort, without so many. Acclamation and display of squad unity. That kind of music in background (you know what kind I’m talking about). Flash through many photos to skip through improving days.

Act IV:

Non-sports affairs. Minority/uncommon plurality guy/gal confronts cohorts in minority/uncommon plurality and says no, it’s okay, I’m still with you although I’m with this squad. Guy in right and gal…work through arguing. Film bigwigs throw in this part to look all tough and cool so our film’s rating isn’t so childish. (Part of this plot will not work for kid films. Part of it will, mind you, but kid films call for lots of puns and stuff. Snappish humor is still important in this plot, just not as much of it.)

Act V: Allusion to how important big showdown is for all of us, or allusion to small diamond from Act I. Slow-motion inning or two. Broadcast guy summarizing it all and skipping to last inning. Dramatic conclusion, possibly thanks to backup from Act I. Victory for us! Hooray!

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Top Nine Win Probability Graphs

It’s a sad duty to pay a yearly homage to the Atlanta Braves, but their comeback win against the Phillies was pretty impressive. To see just how impressive it was, check out this graph. It shows the likelihood of a Braves victory plotted against how far along the game was. As you can see, the Phillies almost had it in the bag; they led by 3 with two outs in the ninth. However, Troy Glaus hit a two-run homer, Jason Heyward hit a solo homer to tie the game, and then Nate McLouth homered in the tenth inning to win.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story. See that tiny uptick just to the left of the Heyward home run? That was Troy Glaus’ homer. It only increased the chance the Braves would win by 2.8 percent. Come on, 2.8 percent? It’s gotta have been a bigger deal than that!

In order to make up for the lack of information presented by the graph, I have created nine more graphs, that lack different information. Click and zoom for full size!Graphs

Scorelessness

I like keeping score. I tend to do so when I’m seeing the sport in person. It helps keep me focused. If I’m lucky enough to witness something unique, I’ve got written proof. Sometimes, I’ve tried putting dots in those little boxes to note the running count. But I don’t do so very often. There’s not much room. Count-counting isn’t big for me. This is fine. Even when I’m content with noting everything I wish to note, there’s much more I could write down to keep score.

MLB.com lets me note lots to do with every pitch. Well, it’s supposed to. Tonight, though, it didn’t show speeds, types, or “Pitch FX” (this isn’t fudging for omission purposes; its true moniker is “Pitch FX”) for every pitch. Not in the New York (NL)-St. Louis contest. I don’t put guilt on their shoulders. One of tonight’s “pitchers” is truly St. Louis’ shortstop; his sub is their pinch-hitter-turned-center fielder.

Even so, I could follow their pitches with precision. If I were in St. Louis, I would’ve most likely kept score. Or tried to. I’d use every column I’d gotten. Then I’d use box score columns, if they were there (I never return to fill in those box score columns). Then I’d squeeze it into the sides. Then…well, I don’t know. I guess I could return to previous columns. They weren’t getting lots of hits, right? Or were they? St. Louis got fifteen throughout the night; the Mets got nine.

But the point is, I would try to keep score. Every out, every inning stretching into the night, everything would count. I’d try to write it down.

“It’s scoreless.”

No. No, it isn’t.

Kyle Lohse stood in left field with Felipe Lopez pitching. Lopez threw one inning without giving up hits. Not giving up hits; so simple, even your shortstop (or guy on second or third) could do it!

Of course, this isn’t true. It might be, for short times. Then it becomes something in itself, some sort of self-destroying prophecy. You could throw shutouts, hold your opponents…without runs, but no-hitters require skill. With, quite often, luck too.

Throwing wildly–or motioning wildly to let runners move up–might help you in some sense. Relieve one level of pressure, preserve the picture of effort expended futilely. The illusion of simplicity–this whole BB thing doesn’t look very good, you know. But you might not need to be good. If Lopez could…will, of course. They didn’t know then. They were “only” in the sixteenth or so, over in St. Louis.

Most other nights, either score would shine out. Tonight, does one eclipse the other? Most likely. But both were still wonderful. To diminish the worth of either by noting the glory of the other is silly, just like deeming something “scoreless” when the score is kept. They will both be kept long into the future.

Fugue for Marlins fans

I got your batter here, he’s gonna start the year
Right down in Florida where the weather’s clear.
Cantu, Cantu, this guy that we got, Cantu.
You know he’s gonna come through, come through, come through.

Cantu will get a hit, if he’s on top of it,
As long as Gonzalez doesn’t make him sit.
New game, new game, it’ll turn out just the same.
Each game, each game, he’ll drive someone in each game.

I said, this guy right here, we all should hold him dear,
He’s gonna get some hits, and I’m real sincere.
Cantu, Cantu, this guy that we got, Cantu.
You know he’s gonna come through, come through, come through.
Cantu–this guy we got right here!

This is his time to shine, cause on the morning line,
I heard he could pull it off here in game nine.
Has chance, has chance, this guy says he’s got a chance.
If he says he’s got a chance, has chance, has chance.

He’ll go out there and shine, his swing is looking fine,
And you know Bailey was never a friend of mine.
Today, today, this is gonna be his day.
It’s looking like a good day, today, his day.

He’s gonna be that guy to get the RBI
He’s gonna hit a homer and let it fly.
Big threat, big threat, the Reds know he’s a big threat.
They’re calling him a big threat, you bet, big threat.

And just a minute, boys,
I hear the broadcast noise,
He’s got a homer! That’s gonna bring many joys.
It’s done, we won, and now he is number one.
If he’s really number one, we won, we won.
Yeah, Cantu was the guy with the RBI,
Because he hit a homer and let it fly.

We’ve got the guy right here!

Bull’s Eye

The field is new. The doors sport bygone monikers, but it just shows how new it truly is. Nodding to history is just one method of showing off how old you’re not. “Look in whose footsteps we get to follow! Look how long gone we’re not!”

The field is green. It could be brown; there’s freedom, now. You won’t be sure if it’s green or brown or (shiver) even white next spring. It’ll quickly grow uneven, with the possibility of surprising fielders. This will become run-of-the-Mill City; freedom under the open skies.

They’ll lose pop-ups in the sun. They’ll find pop-ups they wouldn’t find before. The home-field bonus will be less striking, if only when it comes to knowing its quirks. But this could well be the only problem. There will be new bonuses in return; the lure of new growth, new beginnings. Even now, there will be new milestones to keep your eyes open for; the first triple, first cycle, first no-hitter.

Nobody knows when they’ll come. Stick your finger up, hold it in the wind–for once, I’m not writing of the Dome-exiting whoosh–you just won’t find out. There will be other things to see, less exciting ones. First loss. First boos (I think. Didn’t listen to the home opener.) First suspension due to inclemency.

But even then, even when you think nothing will be new, we’ll still come to visit. The Twins, now, deserve cheering for, wherever they go. This could be the most exciting piece of it.

To-do list

There’s more than clocks that must be cleaned in spring:
Some clocks were cleaned, but we don’t need them here.
There’s new faces to meet, all who will bring
Something different to their team for this year.

So say hello to Halladay. Don’t say
That Placido need be placid, though. Greet
Greenhorns around the leagues. Proudly call “hey”
To Justin Heyward and each star you meet.

Try your best to keep up with Garrett Jones.
Welcome back Marcum. Spring’s glories fade fast
So soak it all in before it all drones
Into no more than murmurs of the past.

Learn more of phenoms that you may have heard
Just briefly of. Say hi. Welcome a Byrd.

Ripoffs for two holidays

Oh, did you know?

Oh, did you know to obtain vaccinations?
I think that guy put salt into your drink.
Our boss is okay with six-month vacations.
And Florida is just about to sink.

Oh, did you know that Obama just got mumps?
A principal is burning down our school.
Your hair is full of ants with spotty big rumps–
April Fool!

I don’t know what to do now,

I don’t know what to do now,
What to say, how to go now,
It’s changing, it’s all changing.
On this funny day, I look in my mirror
And don’t know who I am.

I don’t know how to fight this.
I don’t know why it’s so big,
It’s  a man. It’s just a man.
And I know so many a man
In oh so many ways–
It’s not my plan.

Should I bring him down?
Should I fuss and shout?
Is all that I want
Worth talking about?
I didn’t think I’d want all this.
Now I start to doubt.

Don’t you think it’s sort of funny
That I’m stuck in this position?
It’s not fair. I always am
So calm, so cool, nobody’s tool.
Putting on a show
I’m afraid so.

I didn’t think I’d want all this
Now I start to doubt.

But, if I was told that this
Was mutual, I’d panic.
I couldn’t stand up to that fact.
I’d turn around. I’d back away.
I wouldn’t want to know.
I’m afraid so.
I want him so.
I’d miss him so.

Also, look at my links list to find a totally lipogrammatic blog. This URL has lots of cool lipograms, including an all-star squad of all-lipogram guys. Why didn’t I think of this?