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Friday, March 20, 2009
Longoria to the WBCSo there's this part in "LOTR: Return of the King" where Denethor, who has descended into madness over the death of his eldest son Boromir , demands that his younger son, Farimir ride off in a suicide mission to retake Osgiliath, which has been overrun by the orc army.
Or, um, that's what some geek told me.
Anyway, the same storyline is playing out in the WBC:
Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was named Thursday to replace injured Chipper Jones in the United States lineup for the semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic.
Look, Seiler, sending Longoria out to replace the fallen Jones isn't going to save anyone's honor, and the way things are going, is only going to get yet another big name player hurt. Just stop the offensive, gather your forces back at Minis Tirith, and hope that Aragorn shows up with an undead army to save everyone's bacon, OK?
Don't judge me. That flick made over a billion dollars worldwide, so you probably saw it too.
UPDATE: Welcome Rob Neyer readers! If you think this is geeky, just scroll down to the comments. Let's just say I'm lucky that I'm already married, because if I wasn't, no woman would come within 100 yards of me based on some of my nerdy admissions.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 9:54am
Jason @ IIATMS said...
what the hell are you talking about? take the marbles out of your mouth!
(I might be one of the few who just could not get “in to” these fantasy-themed movies. Just didn’t work for me)
Posted 03/20 at 10:07 AM
Matt S. said...
Long live Shysterball, where all of my geeky obsessions collide into one giant waste of time- It’s like a cyber-Rivendell.
Posted 03/20 at 10:14 AM
Chris Simonds said...
Manny Ramirez - orc chieftain or dwarf warrior?
Posted 03/20 at 10:20 AM
I have seen that movie (and read the book) many, many times, Craig (and I highly recommend the extended version if you haven’t seen it yet… yes, it’s 45 minutes longer, but, man oh man, those are some great 45 minutes).
It’s an interesting comparison, and I see where you’re coming from. I don’t think the current state of the WBC is quite on par with Osgiliath, though. Osgiliath was like the Alamo or Iwo Jima (minus the ability to dig-in) - hopeless causes that were due to be run over whenever the attackers decided to attack. There’s got to be a more apt comparison. Sarumon at Isengaard during the March of the Ents? How about the March to Helm’s Deep, when the good folk of Rohan were getting picked off by Sarumon’s Uruk-Hai and Warg-Riders (I had to look that last one up)? Yeah, I like that one.
Of course, if you just wanted to make an awesome (and geeky) LOTR reference without regard to perfect accuracy, that’s cool, too. I respect that.
Posted 03/20 at 10:29 AM
You forgot the part where you say “Although it didn’t happen like that in the book” and then spend a paragraph or two complaining about the changes.
Posted 03/20 at 10:31 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Lar wins. You should change the name of your blog to Geeken-Ball. And I mean that as a compliment.
KR: I’ll own up to the fact that I didn’t make through the enitre book trilogy. Tried when I was 15 and found it kind of tedious, probably because my geek training came in the form of the highly derivative, watered down, yet immensely enjoyable Dragonlance books. I was an impatient lad in those days, and I wanted my escapism to come in easily digestable form.
I tried again before the movies came out and couldn’t make it through due to (a) attention span problems; and (b) the fact that I had shaken a lot of geek off my cloak in the intervening years.
Posted 03/20 at 10:39 AM
@KR: True. But I’ve seen the movie more than I’ve read the book, so I’m not as easily offended. Plus, I understand and appreciate what happens when books are turned into movies, so changes like that rarely bother me (like, I didn’t mind the changes made to Watchmen and, in some cases, really appreciated them). To keep it simple, I’m not one to rail endlessly about something like that.
Though, if they screw up Star Trek too much this summer, and the movie isn’t good enough to redeem it, I might get a little annoyed by that… Who am I kidding? I’m gonna enjoy the new Star Trek as much as anything else (I mean, it took me 4 years to acknowledge the Phantom Menace was a bad movie). I’m really looking forward to it… can’t wait.
Posted 03/20 at 10:55 AM
How soon does the season start?
Posted 03/20 at 11:03 AM
The undead army could include guys like Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner, but I’m afraid they would make an inappropriate comment about the people they were playing against.
Then again, the undead army could be the same one from the movie, but the injuries/deaths the other teams would sustain would only equal ours so far. The great equalizer.
Posted 03/20 at 11:04 AM
You’re not a complete geek, it’s “Faramir,” not “Farimir.” Though it is quite geeky to get the rest of the names correct without having read the whole trilogy.
Posted 03/20 at 11:15 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
I had to go to Wikipedia to get “Osgiliath,” because I couldn’t remember the name of it.
Posted 03/20 at 11:19 AM
@Craig: Thanks. Don’t worry, I didn’t take it in a bad way at all. And, oh, good ol’ Dragonlance. I really enjoyed those books when I was like 13 or so. I haven’t looked at them in 15 years, so I can’t say if they really held up (i’m gonna guess no), but they were definitely a fun read at that time in my life.
Posted 03/20 at 11:21 AM
Chris H. said...
I wonder if I am the only one who read this and pictured Eric Greig screaming, “YOU…SHALL NOT…PASS!”
Posted 03/20 at 11:30 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
I read the Dragonlance books when I was 14-17 or so. Chronicles, Legends, Eleven Nations, and a handful of the Tales. Out of nostalgia I then read the one or two Weiss-Hickman books that came out much later.
I haven’t truly revisited them, but I grab one off the shelf and flip through a few pages once in a while. It’s hard to get much farther, though. The writing is fairly poor, and that may be charitable given the goodwill I will always have towards those books. As for the stories, I have no idea how TSR wasn’t sued by the Tolkien estate, because there’s barely an original idea in them. Draconians are Orcs. Kender are Hobbits. Tanis is basically Aragorn with some added angst. The undead army fights for the good guys instead of the bad, but really, it’s the same thing.
The only arguably original and truly interesting thing in the books is the Raistlin-Caramon dynamic, which appeald to me a lot, probably because I have a slightly complicated relationship with my brother. Because of that, I think Legends is way better than Chronicles, and guess that it holds up better than Chronicles does.
By this point I’m sure I’ve lost everyone except Lar. Which is fine. It’s getting near lunchtime. Go out and get a sandwich or something.
Posted 03/20 at 11:31 AM
I retract my statement that you aren’t a complete geek….
Worried about Siena, or don’t care?
Posted 03/20 at 11:36 AM
Wooden U. Lykteneau said...
Don’t worry guys, you can call it a “command center” - to the rest of us, it’s the PC in the basement.
Posted 03/20 at 11:37 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Hizouse: I wish I could defend myself against charges of geekdom, but it’s not who we are underneath, it’s what we do that defines us. Guilty as charged.
And nah, I really don’t care a lick for college basketball anymore. I only have space for so many obsessions in my mind, and hoops doesn’t make the cut anymore.
Posted 03/20 at 11:42 AM
Wait, wut? Who said The Phantom Menace was a bad movie? You get to see Tatooine, like, 20 years before it was in Star Wars and you get to meet Luke’s Grandma. That was hecka cool. And Liam Neeson was in it. He’s not in bad movies. I’ve always wanted to write baseball into sci-fi/fantasy like, a lazy game in the Shire, Anakin taking Obi-Wan deep in a pickup game on Naboo, or The Enterprise crew @ home vs. the Vulcans. Too bad I’m not a writer.
Posted 03/20 at 12:07 PM
When I read that Longoria was joining the team I thought of an old “Futurama” episode where Zapp Brannigan is explaining how he defeated the Killbot army. “You see, killbots have a preset kill limit. Knowing their weakness, I sent wave after wave of my own men at them until they reached their limit and shut down.”
Posted 03/20 at 12:18 PM
section 34 said...
I can’t believe I wasted 5 minutes of my life here. What are you suggesting—that the US forfeit? In the semifinals? Because a couple players have been injured? Rob Neyer, please don’t link to this clown again.
Posted 03/20 at 12:19 PM