My Morning in Exile

For anyone who cares, I will be watching the final episode of Season 2 of “The Wire” tonight (I just watched Frank Sobotka walk towards the Greeks waiting for him under the bridge so I’m pretty sure I know what’s going to happen there, but please, no spoilers for the finale). One question, though: How is it that in every single scene in every single episode, Sobotka has a three-day beard? Never clean shaven, never one day’s growth. It’s always the same. Dude is totally not the guy who uses a precision trimmer to cultivate that as a look, so it must be that all action in the second season takes place every third day. The only guys I’ve ever seen pull that kind of thing off are starting pitchers who only shave after starts, and that’s only because I only see them every fifth day by design. Anyway:

  • Schedule? Schedule! Charlie Manuel is actually going to blame the schedule if the Phillies choke the lead away to the Braves? Oh, Martha.
  • If you dump champagne over each others’ heads when you win the division, what do you pour on each other when you clinch the worst record in baseball? Yoo-hoo? Squirt? Diet Squirt?
  • How does the rainout affect the Twins-Tigers thing? I think it benefits the Twins, but I’m not really sure. Fun to talk about though.
  • Congress, after demonizing players for taking questionable supplements, is now going after the questionable supplement industry that they helped create. But really, the players are pure evil, I assure you.
  • Jeff Francoeur is about the only happy person in Met Nation these days. By the way, is their a Met Nation? Seems more like a series of loosely-affiliated villages to me. Often-warring city-states who occasionally come together for common defense at the absolute most.
  • So, what, is Cito Gaston the GM now?
  • And in hindsight, yes, Ziggy would totally have been the guy to steal the Ripken statue. Good call whoever it was who said that a couple of weeks ago.

    UPDATE: Holy Schnikes! I just read that the actor who played Sobotka was born in 1966, which makes him my age when he was filming “The Wire.” There are days I wake up, look in the mirror, and wonder what the hell happened to me. Whether it’s natural world-weary ugliness or simply a fabulous acting job by the guy, I now know that it could always be worse.

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    1. ralphdibny said...

      The actor playing Sobotka, Chris Bauer, wore a fat suit for the role, according to the DVD commentary.  Apparently some of the actors didn’t even recognize him at the wrap party.

      I saw him as Mitch in the revival of A Streetcar Named Desire a few years back.  Stella was played by his Wire co-star Amy Ryan.  They were by far the best part of the show.

      Oh yeah, and Frenchy sucks.

    2. Bob Tufts said...

      2001 Study – In 2001, over 630 nutritional supplements, purchased online and at local supplement stores, were tested for banned substances.  Over 25% of them were contaminated – either intentionally or unintentionally.

      2005 Study – In 2005 a follow up study looked at another 60 supplements, purchased in the same way as those above.  Again, over 22% of them contained banned substances.

      LAKE WYLIE, S.C., Dec. 6 (2007)/PRNewswire/—

      According to a new study released today and commissioned by Informed-Choice LLC, a not-for-profit partnership between supplement companies and a world-class, anti-doping laboratory,
      approximately one quarter of supplements could be contaminated.

      Fifty-eight supplement samples were purchased from popular retail outlets and Internet sites in the United States and sent to HFL*, the world’s most experienced anti-doping lab in the field of supplement testing, for analysis.

      Twenty-five percent of the samples showed the presence of steroid contamination while 11 percent showed the existence of stimulants.

    3. Jack Marshall said...

      That’s a great resource, Bob…thanks; I can use it almost immediately. It also puts the infamous 2003 list in perspective, and may even cause some fair-minded people to give David Ortiz, among others, the benefit of the doubt.

    4. YankeesfanLen said...

      Phillies and Mets fans have a lot in common. At their HQ in Voorhees NJ they come up with new ways of both being over-confident and then despondent.And take great umbrage at the baseball world from doing stange things to them that somehow even a brilliant trade for Frenchie cannot resolve.
      Yankees and Red Sox fans in Cromwell CT know they are superior and plot nefarious deeds to take every other team’s lunch money then play winner-take all holdem with the Yankees cards.
      Wait, did I just lump Nations and Universe fans together?  I AM UNCLEAN!!!!!!

    5. Alex K said...

      Seasons 3 and 4 of “The Wire” are bth excellent.  I wish I could go back and watch them for the first time all over again.

    6. puck said...

      Craig—after your rundown of Sunday’s games, I’m surprised you haven’t commented on another wrinkle to the Rockies’ win:  Barmes might not have caught the ball, after all.  (I’ve attempted to link the Denver Post article.)

    7. The Rabbit said...

      “Phillies and Mets fans have a lot in common. At their HQ in Voorhees NJ they come up with new ways of both being over-confident and then despondent.”  Are you my brother-in-law writing under an assumed name or writing about my brother-in-law who is a Mets/Phillies fan in Voorhees, NJ?

    8. YankeesfanLen said...

      @The Rabbit-
        Actually I just like saying Voorhees and it sounds like a good place between NY/PHL. Cromwell also fits for NY/BOS.
        When does your BIL turn Eagles fan? Met fans here are already viewing Sanchez as the second Namath coming.

    9. The Rabbit said...

      My BIL is from Brooklyn and a newly retired NYC school teacher/administrator. You can the boy out of NY…You can’t take NY out of the boy. He’s still a Giants fan.
      BTW Voorhees is a Philly suburb.  You have to go north about 50 miles to get the NYC/Phila split…and Minnesota just beat Detroit.

    10. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

      FYI: The tiebreaker on the Nats-Pirates “race” is last season’s record, not head-to-head play this season.

    11. YankeesfanLen said...

      @The Rabbit-
        Verlander better have his act together tonight!
        Voorhees just sounded funnier than Princeton.Glad your BIL has enough sense to be a Giants fan and disobeying the prototype Mets/Jets Yankees Giants combo.

    12. The Rabbit said...

      Verlander has been underwhelming for most of the second half; Jackson has been better until his last outing.
      If you have a warped sense of humor and find pretentiousness amusing, Princeton can be a very funny place.
      My BIL is an equal opportunity baseball fan-He follows both the Yankees and the Mets. (He has baseball shrine in the house. All must genuflect when entering the room.)  He acquired the Phillies when he married my sister.

    13. John_Michael said...

      RE: JC Romero

      If I remember correctly, Romero also checked with the Phils training staff about that supplement.  The training staff gave him the go-ahead.

      So, essentially, if I’m not misremembering, JC checked the label of the OTC supplement to made sure nothing prohibited was in it, then checked with his team to make sure it was ok, then lost out on pay checks for 50 games.

      While I’m no lawyer, JC certainly lived up to a reasonable person standard and still got screwed.

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