Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Reverse the Curse

I've been thinking about this for at least a year or two, but has it dawned on anyone else that the teams we visited for our Baseball Trips found out-of-the-ordinary success soon after our ballpark tours? If not, I did a little research and with the exception of a few teams, the Baseball Trip should be given more credit for teams' successes and...probably deserve some recognition or reward.

I may have my 2004 and 2005 teams out of sequence, but here are the 11 teams and their results from the Cass City Monkey effect as well as what life was like before the birth of the Baseball Trip:

2000 - Chicago Cubs: Playoffs 2003, 2007, 2008
          (1998 and 1989 was previous appearances)
2001 - Boston Red Sox: Playoffs 2003, World Series Champs 2004, 2007, 2013
          The Curse. Enough said. (1999, 1998, 1995, 1990 was previous post-season appearances)
2002 - St. Louis Cardinals: World Series appearance 2004, 2006, 2011, 2013
          (2001, 2000, 1996, 1989 was previous PS appearances)
2003 - Cleveland Indians: Playoffs 2007 & 2013
          (2001 and late 90's was previous PS appearances
2003 - Pittsburgh Pirates: Playoffs 2013 & 2014
          (Early 90's was last PS appearance)
*2004 - Atlanta Braves: Playoffs 2004, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2013
          (They are the exception...we jinxed them. They owned the playoffs in the 90's)
*2004 - Cincinnati Reds: Playoffs 2010, 2012, 2013
          (1995 and 1990 was previous PS appearance)
*2005 - Chicago White Sox: World Series Champs 2005, Playoffs 2008
          (2000, 1993 and 1983 was last PS appearances)
*2005 - Milwaukee Brewers: Playoffs 2008 & 2011
          (1982. And that's it. No other PS appearance)
2006 - Minnesota Twins: Playoffs 2006, 2009, 2010
          (The other exception. They were already successful before we came along)
2007 - Kansas City Royals: World Series appearance 2014
          (Talk about a PS drought...1985 was last appearance)

*=Those years might be backwards

We have seen every team from the AL and NL Central Divisions.

One could call it just a coincidence that eventually a given number of 11 teams will accidentally run into some luck over a 15 year window. I'd like to think we played a hand in some way, more than just pure luck. We're talking about Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minnesota, and KC. Did I mention Kansas City? AND Kansas freakin' City!

So, maybe we were just what a team needed to get over the proverbial hump to taste the post-season. Or, the missing piece to the elusive World Series.

You're welcome.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Thoughts on Interstellar

I saw Christopher Nolan's new movie, Interstellar, last night. Here are a few thoughts:

-First thing you should know: It's long. Two hours and 49 minutes and if your theater shows a bunch of previews it's going to easily be over three hours. You're probably not going to make it if you get a large Diet Coke.

-The word "epic" tends to be overused but it definitely applies here.

-It starts pretty slow. Once it gets moving though it is pretty intense. It actually felt like kind of an ordeal getting through the movie, especially since you really have no idea while watching where it's going to end up.

-As you would expect, the visuals are stunning. And, as usual in a Nolan movie, nothing looks like a special effect. I'm not sure that I'm going to see it again in the theater, but if they play it in the IMAX theater here there's a good chance I'll check it out.

-Some of the space visuals are so innovative that I suspect they'll be stolen by many future sci-fi movies.

-The intricate Nolan plotting is also here, though that's not necessarily apparent until fairly late in the movie.

-There are a lot of big sci-fi ideas and physics in this one. You don't need to be familiar with all of the ideas to enjoy the movie but if relativistic time effects, Newton's third law, and fifth-dimensional beings sound really boring you may not enjoy it as much as some of Nolan's other movies.

-I liked it but didn't love it. As far as Nolan's films go I would definitely rank it behind Inception and the Dark Knight trilogy but probably ahead of The Prestige, Memento, and Insomnia. It does grow on you though and I suspect I'd like it more with subsequent viewings.