Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hot Stove Commentary

I was pleased with the signing of former Twin Boof Bonser the other day. To me he seems like an improvement over Wakefield; age-wise anyway. It looks he's gonna be a long man in the annual revamped 'pen. Whatever.

I say whatever because yesterday's signing of former Angel ace John Lackey makes the Bonser signing completely irrelevant. Despite stating the season on the DL for his former team the last two years, he still brought it for them being up near the top of their rotation. Depending on Dice-K' Matzusaka's new conditioning program goes, they'll fight each other for third which is awesome. What I don't like is this makes Clay Buccholtz trade-bait. Trade Wakefield and/or Bonser for the final bat.

Jason Bay demanding a fifth year, or at least his agent, does not impress me much. Pedro pulled the same crap when he left for the Mets. Pedro wasn't worth a longer contract then and Bay isn't now. If I was negotiating I'd give him 4 years as well but include an option. I'm pretty sure that would be turned down as well. Veteran Mike Cameron will fill the bill just fine. He brings improved defense and his offense isn't that much worse than Bay despite complaints to the contrary. Since both he and Ellsbury are primarily centerfielders who have experience in left, I'm sure that'll be straightened out in spring training.

Mike Lowell is a great guy and player. He was a tack-on to the Beckett deal but became so much more than that. The idea of him and David Ortiz splitting time at DH was an intriguing one but he brings with him too many question marks on defense. I don't know what the current market on either first or third basemen is right now but with Kevin Youklis and Casey Kotchman available to them already, only serious offers need apply.

OK, Marco Scutaro isn't Alex Gonzales defensively but then, looking at the complete package, he isn't Julio Lugo either. He'll be more than fine. Jed Lowrie may get it together and become the shortstop we want him to be but I worry that time is farther off than originally thought. Heck, I think we should be prepared for it to never come.

It's not even Christmas so I'm sure Theo and his crew have one more trick up their sleeve and I can't wait!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Rules For A New Star Trek Series

After reading, this article, I think all of my readers know I had to comment. Actually, I did at the article itself but what kind of host would I be if I forced you to go there and search for them? Besides this is why I have blog in the first place.

I loved the new movie and agree a reboot needed to be done. It's more Trek than Universe is Stargate That said, it's too soon to use that alternate universe for a series. I'd wait until the third or, better yet, the fifth for that. That said, speaking strictly as a Trekie, it's not too soon for a new series for me...

My must haves, in no particular order:

1. Likable characters-Tension is great but Stargate: Universe vs. Voyager/DS9 has shown even characters that hate each other in the beginning eventually should get along. Even Enterprise characters grew on me by season 2...

2. A ship-Space, time or space and time, I don't care but there must be a ship. DS9 was and still is my favorite of the franchise but the main complaint about it was they "didn't go anywhere." A load of crap by season 3 especially but why take chances?

3. Do something with cool ideas-A complaint I still hear about Voyager is that they'd introduce a cool concept/alien then not do enough with them. The Swarm and 8472 being the main examples. Apparently moving out of their space wasn't enough of an excuse. Again, why chance it?

4. Don't try too hard to appeal to all your fans because you will fail-The biggest problem with Enterprise for me was that I expected the "Birth of the Federation" stories we got mainly in season 4 and Berman and Braga decided to add the Temporal Cold War and anachronistic TNG elements (The Ferengi anyone?) because that's what they knew but also because they wanted to appeal to fans who strongly felt TOS was antiquated crap so they didn't bother to watch it. The new movie may have helped this problem...

5. Find a network that's wiling to give it a chance or just go back to syndication-NBC cancelled TOS after three seasons. Under the supervision of CBS president Les Moonves, lowly UPN cancelled Enterprise after only 4 seasons. In this day and age of Windows Media Center, and maybe DVRs in general, you don't have to know when a show is on. It can be on at 4 am on a Tuesday; it will be found.

Yeah, I mentioned Time. Set a show in the future but have a crew made of an El Aurian who can sense when timelines are changed and humans, Bajorans, Vulcans and the other sort-of human looking aliens to go back in time and fix it. Essentially give the TCW storyline it's own show. Yeah, probably too different...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

What Does Alanis Morrisette Need With a Starship?

For this month's book group at church I read The Shack by William P. Young. Simply put, not nearly as bad as I feared it would be given the beginning reminded me of Left Behind which as a pretty good story but "nauserating" theologically. In fact, Young's novel was quite thought provoking.

The book tells the story of a man irritatingly named Mackenzie Phillips (Young never saw One Day At A Time apparently...) who holds a lot of emotional pain from a abusive father and kidnapped daughter and is summoned by note to the scene of his daughter's murder supposedly by God.

What I liked about the book: though The Shack is fiction, Young writes it as if Mack related the story to him to write down. It's a plot device I really want to use someday.

As I implied earlier, the book's writing style was similar to Left Behind but, as the story gets going, it turns out it's more in-line with where I am theologically. Hint: God isn't an old white guy and Jesus is Arab...

What I didn't like: Young likes to crack people's heads open. It happens twice in the first fifty or sixty pages... Seriously though, I ave to warn you the ending is a ::facepalm:: for me. First, it takes Mack a whole book, and God coming right out and telling him, to figure out what his other daughter's problem is. Trust me. You don't need to be a child psychologist to figure it out...
Also, and I refuse to give it away, the ending is pure science fiction clique.

Don't just take my recommendation though; Winona Judd liked it too...
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