Week 3: Rodon's first appearance, the Royals as punks, CPS and BBB, and the Americans

Carlos Rodon’s first major league appearance on Tuesday was so-so. Let’s breakdown the good and bad.

The Bad:
  • Rodon couldn’t find the plate, which was bad. He wasn’t getting a ton of help from the ump, which wasn’t helping the situation, but he also wasn’t all that close on a number of pitches. He was clearly a little too pumped (but who can blame him?) and probably over throwing a little. While Rodon’s control probably wouldn’t be called good, there’s nothing that says he’ll struggle to find the plate like he did on Tuesday night. I’m not that worried.
  • Only one strikeout, which was a bit of a disappointment. However, pretty much everyone was in a good hitters count, so I’m not too worried about this either.
  • So much for that change up… Rodon didn’t throw one according to Pitch F/X.
  • Only three of Rodon’s sliders found the strike zone.

The Good:
  • He only threw his slider 18% of the time. Not sure where to put this, but that’s fine by me. It’s a pretty nasty pitch as it looked to be coming in at 87 mph with good movement. Lefties ain’t gonna touch him.
  • Other than Raburn, no one really got good contact on him. Lots of broken bats, weak grounders, and bloopers. Rodon was unlucky to give up the two run single to Raburn in the 6th, though he did himself no favors with his poor control. Raburn just missed a wind aided home run in the 8th, but he still hit it pretty well; and Raburn also destroyed a Rodon fastball in the 6th which went  foul (I think it was Raburn at least). But fairly weak contact over all which is a positive.
  • Carlos averaged 95 mph on his fastball and 87 (!) with the slider. That’s good!

In other Sox news...
--Jose Abreu so far this year:
.439 WOBA
182 wRC+

He's really good. Imagine what he's going to be like once he's walking more?

--The Royals are a bunch of punks. Who knew Phil Garner was managing them?

I have no clue how Kansas City has gone on this run since last season. I’m not sure I’d trust Ned Yost to manage a lunch order to McDonald’s, yet some how every bad decision he makes works.

There’s some talent on this team, but it’s not overwhelming once you get beyond three or maybe four guys. Yet there they are… can’t lose and their bullpen some how never giving up runs.

I can’t wait for them to regress to their below average talent level.

Most Interesting Things I’ve Read this Week:

--The always awesome Committed Indian with the Chicago line of the week: “Watching Joel Quenneville inch toward his optimum lineup in the playoffs every year is like watching the turtle races at Big Joe’s. You know he’s pointed the right way, and there’s a good chance he might get where he’s needed to but you don’t know if he’ll just stop and/or reverse course out of randomness/confusion/anger.”

--Keep gettin' 'dem checks, BBB. This entire situation at CPS—BBB, the Board, SUPES, the Fund, possible corruption, obvious mismanagement—is a mess. No one looks good right now, and I have no clue who is lying and who's telling the truth and who doesn't know... but the fact that BBB is going to get another $250k plus benefits? Someone one should step in here and void that contract. She's not coming back to the District. If they're going to void the SUPES contract, then void BBB's.

What I haven’t read:
2016 gets even dumber: New York Times wonders whether Jeb’s elitist weight loss will doom him (Salon) - There’s no need to even click on the link, there are so many of these type stories every day. This is but one example.

We moved into the 24/7 new cycle about 20 years ago. And with it the demand for news has increased. So instead of highlights of the baseball game, we get “talk” about if player’s X comments about twitter will affect his teams performance. Or, instead of talking about Jeb’s policies and what he did as governor of Florida, let’s debate his weight loss!

Essentially, the media now spends more time creating straw man arguments, and then debating and knocking them down, than they do actually discussing anything of substance.

The “news” has become the straw man. The starw man has become content. The content has become the entertainment. I’m sure I’m not the first to say this.

I’m not sure if this is problematic per se, but it’s silly and it makes it harder for everyone to get to the important issues and topics. Adding to the noise isn’t helpful and having to filter out yet another pointless non-news piece isn’t frustrating.

However, as the media’s platform becomes larger and most constant, the media’s response, too often, has been to create a straw man instead of discussing or researching or reporting the actual news and it’s impact and meaning.


Thoughts on Season Three of The Americans

  1. Amazing season. Amazing show. It’s easily makes my top eight of best shows of all time. Maybe even top five at this point.
  2. I was a little bummed we won’t get a few episode arch of Elizabeth and Paige in Russia. How amazing would that be? And imagine Elizabeth going to the USSR in ‘83 and coming to the realization that things were horrible there compared to the US? And what if she went all ‘fuck that shit’ on the USSR upon her return ‘home’ to the US?
  3. It is unbelievable how good Matthew Rhys is on this show. Give him an Emmy please.
  4. Suck it, Chekhov's gun.
  5. This show, maybe more so than anything in pop culture, shows how far powerful humanizing a person can be. We’ve got two Soviet spies who go around killing Americans and steal American secrets, and you don’t hate them. You might not be rooting for them, but you also don’t want them to be caught. It’s a testament to how well done the show is; to humanize Soviet spies so that they’re not evil people (per se). And remember that next time you see some puff piece on TV or in the newspaper on a movie star or politician. Humanizing someone goes a long way.
  6. I thought the AV Club’s review of the season finale was top knotch. I totally missed the Philip is a robot, but he’s not, metaphor the show was driving home in the scene where he kills Gene.
  7. I’m not going to say that The Americas is a better show than Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Sapranos, or The Wire… but it might make me feel more than any of those shows, other than The Wire. I have so many mixed emotions when watching, should I feel bad rooting for Phillip? Why am I rooting for Phillip but against Elizabeth? Where these people bad or where they just placed in a horrible situation? Did they ever have a choice*?

A great show. Can’t wait for Season Four.

*Walter White and Tony Soprano both had a choice, and both chose evil. Don Draper has a choice, and constantly chooses to, frankly, be an idiot (I’ve never seen Don as bad or an anti-hero fwiw). The Wire made it clear that most characters on the show didn’t have a choice due to socioeconomic status, and the ones who did have a choice, were usually corrupted by either power or were bad dudes. Philip and Elizabeth really don’t have a choice, since their only other option is death (unless you believe they could defect and not face any sort of repercussion, which I find doubtful).

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