Sunday, October 31, 2010

Week 8 NFL Picks

Week 8 picks below. I went 7-7 last week, putting me at 55-48 for the season. Again, picks are for the win, not against the spread.

Here we go (home team in CAPS):
Dolphins over BENGALS
Jaguars over COWBOYS
Redskins over LIONS
CHIEFS over Bills
RAMS over Panthers
JETS over Packers
Broncos over 49ers (SF is "home team" but game is in London)
Titans over CHARGERS
CARDINALS over Buccaneers
PATRIOTS over Vikings
Seahawks over RAIDERS
SAINTS over Steelers
COLTS over Texans

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Some Random Thoughts About SNL 36x5 Hamm/Rihanna

Tonight Jon Hamm hosts SNL for the third time in three seasons. He hosted on the night Amy Poehler gave birth in season 34, which featured musical guest Coldplay, the final Two A-Holes sketch (although both Sudeikis and Wiig are still on the show) which featured Mad Men co-stars Elisabeth Moss and John Slattery, and Hamm as JFK in one of the better sketches of the past few years, The Barack Obama Variety Half-Hour. He returned last season with musical guest Michael Buble, which featured one of the best sketches of last season, Hamm & Buble.

SNL and Mad Men also have a relatively odd (unique?) relationship. Along with Hamm hosting for the third time, January Jones hosted last season, and as mentioned Moss and Slattery appeared the first time Hamm hosted. Hamm has also had a recurring role on Tina Fey's 30 Rock. Jones dates SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis, and Moss was married to SNL's Fred Armisen for a year before filing for divorce earlier this year. If you want to stretch it even further, former 30 Rock writer Donald Glover costars with Mad Men's Alison Brie on Community.

Rihanna is the musical guest for the second time. She appeared for last season's Blake Lively episode, and was in a digital short.

My baseless predictions:

-Two cameos. January Jones and someone else.
-Rihanna is in at least 1 sketch.
-Cold open will be something political, with the election coming up this Tuesday. I doubt it will involve today's Rally to Restore Sanity, but that could be funny.

Back at 11:30!

Sketch 1- And we're off, with a Biden sketch. Sudeikis does Biden significantly better than Armisen does Obama. People are complaining a lot, but it is a lot better than being one of the Chilean miners. And that was pretty much it, for 3 straight minutes. Not terrible, but not special. B+.

Monologue- It's his second time hosting the Halloween show, less nervous this time. Because of Mad Men advertising role he now thinks of slogans for every product he thinks of. Random cast members (Hader, Pedrad, Thompson, Samberg to be precise) name products. Also he thinks Hader is a woman. B-.

Sketch 2- Digital short time. Rihanna is talking to a nervous Samberg, and it is Shy Ronnie part 2, the sequel to Rihanna's first digital short. This time they're robbing a bank. Hard to explain but pretty funny, especially as a sequel. A-.

Commercial Break- It looks like a Vincent Price's Halloween Special. BTW I called this when it was announced that Hamm was hosting the Halloween ep before the season. Forgot about it until now.

Sketch 3- And it is Vincent Price's 1960 Halloween Special. And it is pretty much like every other Vincent Price holiday sketch. Wiig as Judy Garland. Hamm as JFK and Pedrad as his date/prostitute, Candy. And Armisen reprises his role as Liberace. D-.

Sketch 4- Parody ad for Back to the Future 25th Anniversary DVD. Screen tests for Al Pacino (Hader), Eddie Murphy (Pharoah), Jennifer Tilly (Wiig)...Hamm can do a fantastic Robin Williams impression. Tremendous. A.


Sketch 5- Casting for something. Sudeikis is doing the casting, Wiig auditioning. Wiig lists things she will and won't do. It goes on and on. Sudeikis tells her she isn't getting the part. Hamm as her husband walks in to see how it is going, when she tells him she didn't get it, he goes off on a rant. Next auditioner is Hamm in a cape. Sudeikis jumps out window. Not even mediocre. D-.

Sketch 6- More Back to the Future screen tests. Nic Cage (Samberg), Alan Alda (dead on Hader), Prince (Armisen), Bill Cosby (Thompson, again dead on), keeps going...same sketch, same grade. A.

Music 1- Rihanna is singing What's My Name which is apparantly her new single. Not bad, it sounds like most other Rihanna songs. B.

Weekend Update- Best line "Well Jon Cryer, I think you can go ahead and book that vacation." Our first guest is Hader's always funny Carville. Makes some moderately decent political points. Solid Chilean miner joke. And Garth and Katt are back with some yet-to-be-written Halloween songs. Armisen is losing it very quickly. Decent. Still expect more from WU. B-.

Sketch 7- A talk show called "I Didn't Ask For This" hosted by Moynihan. This is terrible. The only F I have given so far is for a sketch in French, but this looks like it has potential. And it is. Terrible. F.

Sketch 8- Highway Cops, an old NBC show. Sudeikis and Hamm are cops, Thompson is the chief. This isn't moderately amusing. This is actually worse than the last sketch, but that got the lowest grade possible, so here it is again. F.

Two terrible sketches in a row on Halloween and I'm out. I'll sum up the last couple tomorrow when they are on Hulu.

The October Network, Primetime, Half-Hour, Live-Action Sitcom Rankings

Here are the October sitcom rankings. This goes through all episodes that have aired to date. Ratings and viewership numbers are considered, but it is mostly opinion based. Parks and Recreation continues to be based solely on the first two seasons.

RankPrev.ShowNetwork% of Next Seas.
1530 RockNBC95
21Modern FamilyABC100
38Better with YouABC85
42The Big Bang TheoryCBS100
54Two and a Half MenCBS100
67How I Met Your Mot...CBS90
86The OfficeNBC95
910Cougar TownABC70
109Parks and RecreationNBC75
1111Running WildeFox33
1316Raising HopeFox33
1412The MiddleABC20
1514Rules of EngagementCBS15
1615Mike and MollyCBS40
1717$#*! My Dad SaysCBS15

Some quick thoughts:

-30 Rock has been as good this season as it has ever been during the entire, 3 time Emmy winning series. While many critics disliked the live episode because it did not fit well with the typical series dynamic, I enjoyed seeing them doing something different. 30 Rock almost certainly won't stay in the top spot, with moderate viewing numbers being spiked by the live episode, the numbers will catch up with it. I am, however, much more optimistic than I was before.

-The other reason 30 Rock moved to number one is because Modern Family has been utterly disappointing. It hasn't been bad. But it hasn't been funny. And unlike a show like How I Met Your Mother or The Office which has you so invested in the characters that it can afford to not be funny once in a while, Modern Family built itself on the laughs. I don't care about Phil and Claire like I care about Marshall and Lily or Jim and Pam or even Leonard and Penny on Big Bang Theory. And so, when the show isn't all that funny, it isn't all that good.

-Better with You has been the most consistent and most impressive of the new shows. Frankly it hasn't been close. I actually think if you only looked at this season with none of the sitcoms having any prior history, Better with You has been the best of any sitcom. Of the other newbies- Running Wilde has been inconsistent, funny when good, but nobody is watching, and I would not be surprised if November is its final month. Outsourced and Raising Hope have both grown on me this month. Any controversy over Outsourced is long gone, and it seems to be developing into the funny series I thought it could be. Raising Hope has taken advantage of its Gleed-in (see what I did there?), has gotten continuously more funny, has stopped overusing Clorice Leachman, and has gotten picked up for a full season. Unfortunately so has Mike and Molly, which has gotten tremendous numbers, thanks to the 2.5 Men lead-in, but has made the biggest noise as a source of controversy this week thanks to a derogatory Marie Claire article. There is not much to say about $#*! My Dad Says, it is not very good, it is losing viewers by the week, and CBS still gave it a full season. I still don't think there will be a season two.

-Community is almost certainly on its last leg, unless it gets a significant uptake in viewership or NBC gives it the Arrested Development treatment. But if it is dying, it is going out with a blaze of glory. The back-to-back-to-back Apollo 13/Abed as God/Zombie Halloween episodes were over-the-top, but also highlighted things that this series can do that no other sitcom on tv can do (aside from the animated ones).

-Parks and Recreation will almost certainly shoot back up this list as soon as it starts airing again. NBC is showing The Apprentice instead of it. Seriously.

The September Network, Primetime, Half-Hour, Live-Action Sitcom Rankings (finally)

These are the (much delayed) rankings from September. They only reflect episodes that aired through September, which was 2 episodes for each series. Ratings and viewership numbers are considered, but it is mostly opinion based. Parks and Recreation continues to be based solely on the first two seasons.

RankPrev.ShowNetwork% of Next Seas.
11Modern FamilyABC100
22The Big Bang TheoryCBS100
45Two and a Half MenCBS100
5630 RockNBC90
63The OfficeNBC90
78How I Met Your Mot...CBS75
8NRBetter with YouABC75
97Parks and RecreationNBC75
109Cougar TownABC66
11NRRunning WildeFox50
1210The MiddleABC20
1411Rules of EngagementCBS15
15NRMike and MollyCBS25
16NRRaising HopeFox15
17NR$#*! My Dad SaysCBS10

For more information, check out the ranking page here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Series Prediction

I did well in my Championship Series predictions. Really well in the ALCS- I got the winner, the number of games, and the MVP. I got the winner of the NLCS too, but missed on the games (I guessed 7) and MVP (really, Cody Ross). Anyway, here's the world series pick:

Rangers in 6
MVP: Cliff Lee

And Lee will resign with Rangers and look to defend the World Series title.

We'll see.*

*Unless you're a cablevision subscriber. If that's the case, enjoy MLB GameDay.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Rocky Horror Picture Post

Rocky Horror continuously pops up in my life.

In my first Thespian Revue we did Time Warp, where I had my first solo line in a Revue.

In my second Thespian Revue we did Dammit Janet* and the senior number was Floor Show.

*It was actually Darnit Janet thanks to some special censorship.

In college I joined a theater company named for a lyric in Rocky Horror "Forbidden Planet." The company did RHPS every year.

So I know my Rocky Horror. I went to a midnight showing in Manhattan. I saw it once in Long Island (with co-thespians Graig Churchill and Elisa Weiss in it) and 10 times at GW (twice in 06, thrice in 07, twice in 08, once in 09). I own the 25th Anniversary DVD, and have watched it with the prerecorded call lines. I even tried watching Shock Treatment, the sequel once. But it was more Grease 2 than Austin Powers 2 (the 2nd most successful sequel of all time compared to the original, trailing only Terminator 2), so I stopped watching.

I know calllines. I know the classic ones, I know the ones people created at GW, I know the nondirty ones they did at the Long Island performance, I know the website that lists them all. I've delivered some good ones. I've made a Frank almost break character. I've delivered one so obscure that only 2 rows of the audience got it, but those who got it loved it.

I like Rocky Horror. It means a lot to me. I've thought about not being able to see it at GW this year, and I've decided I'll watch the dvd this weekend.

All that said, I think Glee doing a Rocky Horror episode will either be the greatest episode of all time, or the worst. Last year they only did 2 themed shows, and the Gaga show only had 2 Gaga songs. This year, this will already be #2, and at least one more is locked in for post-SuperBowl. And RHPS is not that widespread among the Glee fanbase. It could be great, but I don't think it will.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week 7 NFL Picks

Week 7 picks below. I went 8-6 last week, putting me at 48-41 for the season. Again, picks are for the win, not against the spread.

Here we go (home team in CAPS):
FALCONS over Bengals
BEARS over Redskins
Eagles over TITANS
CHIEFS over Jaguars
DOLPHINS over Steelers
SAINTS over Browns
PANTHERS over 49ers
RAVENS over Bills
SEAHAWKS over Cardinals
BRONCOS over Raiders
Patriots over CHARGERS
PACKERS over Vikings
COWBOYS over Giants

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Some Random Thoughts About SNL 36x4 Stone/Kings of Leon

Tonight Emma Stone hosts SNL for her first time. She becomes the 3rd SNL host younger than me, and the first to not have the first name Taylor (Swift and Lautner both hosted last season, while dating eachother). Stone did tell Access Hollywood in 2008 that her dream was to be on SNL, so good for her. She has actually had a bit of an odd stretch, where her first 3 big movies (Superbad, The Rocker, and House Bunny) were all promoted on SNL, but by Jonah Hill, Rainn Wilson, and Anna Faris respectively.

Kings of Leon is our musical guest, and rumor has it they could use somebody. This is their second time, first appearing in Season 34, Episode 2, hosted by James Franco.

My predictions for tonight:

-1 cameo in Weekend Update. No idea who. Just a gut feeling.
-Some horrible recurring sketch is going to pop up this week. I can't figure out which. I assume MacGruber is dead with Will Forte's departure, so I'm going to say the Lawerence Welk Show. Have we had one of those yet?

I'll be back at 11:30!

Sketch 1- An Obama sketch, a rally for Sen. Reid. Apparantly Mr. Smulders is Harry Reid. Unless that is the other new guy. I really don't know. Armisen's Obama continues to get worse, every week. Reid stressing disagreements with Obama to distance himself. Oddly in background of extras, black newbie and female newbie are standing in the middle. Not terrible, but not all that funny. And unfortunately, relatively realistic. C.

Monologue- Why is Emma Stone dressed like she's 35 and going on a job interview? She's a hot 22 year old... She's going off on how all her films involve her getting with nerds. Now Moynihan and Mr. Smulders as Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, who costarred with Stone in Superbad. Actually funny. The ending saved it A-.

Sketch 2- A parody ad to make your fat baby fit. Baby Spanx. Relatively funny. A-.

Sketch 3- A Dream Home Makeover with Wiig knocking on someone's door to tell them they won. Stone is the woman. Wiig is excited. Stone couldn't care less. This would be fine at 12:45. At 11:40? Oh boy. Ok black newbie jumping up and down pixelated was kind of funny. Not a scene saver. But a neighbor comes with hard boiled eggs and she gets excited. Alright. Whatever. Then Wiig gets knocked down by a plank of wood. C+.

Sketch 4- Local News. Nasim Pedrad is anchor, "Dangerous Teenage Fad: Souping" Hader reporting. Kids drinking expired canned soup. Stone an interviewed teen who says its not a real thing. Wiig an interviewed mother. "For more information about souping, go to our website and no others." Now trampolining- boy sits on roof and receives oral sex from a girl on a trampoline. If she does it 10 times she gets a silliband. Now skyping- 2 teens jump out of plane attached by genitals. Are teens taking turns hiding Osama bin Laden to get lip gloss. Oh my. D-.

Sketch 5- Digital short. Emma Stone singing about breaking her arm by slipping and falling. Then she does it again. "Sign my cast, sign my cast." Now a broken leg. Now she completely deconstructs. Now the grape jelly she slipped in sings. That may have been the next hit digital short. A.


Commercial Break: Looks like a View sketch. Not a huge surprise after the O'Reilly incident this week.

Sketch 6- The View- Did Whoopi get new glasses? So what, who cares? Our guest today- Lindsay Lohan, on loan from the Betty Ford clinic, played by Stone. Does Elisabeth actually repeat syllables on the show? That was fine. Nothing special. B.

Sketch 7- Brett Favre ad for Wrangler Open Fly Jeans. Brilliant. And Sudeikis is pulling off Favre really well. A+.

Music 1- I'm not going to pretend I know anything by Kings of Leon besides "Use Somebody." This isn't that, it is presumably something newer. Fine. I'm sure their fans enjoyed it. According to Wikipedia it was called "Radioactive." B.

Weekend Update- A more you know spoof on the Clarence Thomas story. And Kenan as Jimmy McMillan aka Rent Is 2 Damn High. I was at that debate, this is amazing. This is dead on. I don't know who is doing this "I love it" thing. Seriously who is this? He's not in the cast, is he? He's not famous, is he? Either way, moderately funny. And damn, its city correspondent, Stefan, the flamboyant guy. I was hoping for the travel correspondent, Judy Grimes. Hader completely losing it. Still, the rent is 2 damn high! A.

We literally have this same American Idiot ad every single week during SNL.

Sketch 8- A French tv show. In French. WTF? Now there's some sort of dance off. Now they're sculpting. I have no clue wat is going on. Now a man walked by with a cane and they all stopped. And then he passed by and they started again. Balloons fell. I have no idea what happened to the last few minutes of my life. F.

Sketch 9- "My Brother Knows Everything" 11 year old Morgan (Pedrad) tells us all the stuff her 15 year old brother Erik (Samberg) tells her. And her best friend Meredith (Stone) is cohosting. Freaking means Grinding. Grinding is when you freak. You have to freak 7 times to have a baby. Now "Let's Bro to the Movies" where they review Jackass 3D based on what they overheard Erik say. Erik'an Idols: Top 5 countdown of cutest guys on posters on Erik's wall. #1- Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider. Not terrible. A few chuckles. B-.

Sketch 10- Ad for Sex Ed, Ed Vincent a sex instructor. Blah. C.

There's some sort of SNL Women special next Monday, with women throughout SNL history. Could be interesting, but probably won't liveblog it, pending HIMYM rerun.

Music 2- Oops, Stone's mic doesn't work. Fine performance, again. B.

Sketch 11- Kenan doing some sort of Halloween store promo. For partionally destroyed Halloween costumes. Random. Not great, not terrible. B-.

Overall, not a strong performance. Final Grade: C.

I Was On a Break

Law school has been busy, as it will be for the next week, but I've neglected the blog for too long:

September Sitcom Rankings: I underestimated how difficult it is to find tv ratings and viewership numbers, so from here on out the monthly rankings will be opinion based only, and the statistics will be done at the end of the year (and maybe midseason). The September rankings have been available on the Monthly Rankings page for a few weeks, but I will make a post later tonight, and the October rankings will be out promptly at the end of next week.

SNL 36x3 Jane Lynch/Bruno Mars: I was never able to write a retro-blog, but disappointed by no cameos, loved Glee/Gilly, enjoyed Lynch's monologue, thought the Sunday Night Football theme parody was brilliant, and enjoyed the Christine O'Donnell ad. Nothing else was worth writing about.

SNL 36x4 Emma Stone/Kings of Leon: The liveblog will be back tonight, so stay tuned!

Later this week, there will likely be a Mets post, a political post, and of course the weekly football picks tomorrow morning.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week 6 NFL Picks

Week 6 picks below. I went a dreadful 6-8 last week, putting me at 40-35 for the season. I also got knocked out of the suicide pool. Again, picks are for the win, not against the spread.

Here we go (home team in CAPS):
BEARS over Seahawks
PACKERS over Dolphins
Chargers over RAMS
Ravens over PATRIOTS
GIANTS over Lions
Falcons over EAGLES
STEELERS over Browns
Saints over BUCCANEERS
TEXANS over Chiefs
49ERS over Raiders
Jets over BRONCOS
Cowboys over VIKINGS
Colts over REDSKINS
Titans over JAGUARS

Friday, October 15, 2010

MLB Postseason Predictions, Attempt #2

I'm sorry I haven't updated in a week, but I want to get these baseball predictions out before ALCS game 1 is too far underway:

Rangers over Yankees in 6
MVP: Josh Hamilton

Okay, I'm cheating a bit, as Hamilton just hit a 3 run HR to put the Rangers ahead 3-0 in the 1st. But I had the Rangers in 6 from the start. Quite frankly, Burnett can't win and Lee can't lose.

Giants over Phillies in 7
MVP: Tim Lincecum

I picked the Giants to win the NLCS (albeit over the Reds) last week, so might as well stick with it. I think 3 of the 4 wins will be by Lincecum, making him an easy MVP choice.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Some Random Thoughts About SNL 36x3 Lynch/Mars

Tonight, Emmy-winning Glee star Jane Lynch will host SNL for the first time. She is the first Glee cast member to host. Bruno Mars makes his SNL musical guest debut as well.

Here are my predictions:

-There will be a Glee sktech.

-There will be no Glee cameos.

-Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, Lynch's costars in several Christopher Guest films, and former SNL cast member themselves, will make cameos.

Due to personal conflicts, I will not be liveblogging this show. Instead, I will retro-liveblog it as I watch it on Hulu, probably on Monday.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Week 5 NFL Picks

Week 5 picks below. I went 10-4 last week, putting me at 34-27 for the season. Again, picks are for the win, not against the spread.

Here we go (home team in CAPS, the starred game is the one I have selected in my suicide pool):
Jaguars over BILLS
*BENGALS over Buccaneers*
Falcons over BROWNS
Rams over LIONS
COLTS over Chiefs
Packers over REDSKINS
Bears over PANTHERS
RAVENS over Broncos
TEXANS over Giants
Saints over CARDINALS
Chargers over RAIDERS
COWBOYS over Titans
49ERS over Eagles
JETS over Vikings

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How I'd Fix the Mets- A Second Look

In late August, I wrote this post about what I would do to fix the Mets for next season. Since then, a lot has happened.

-Omar Minaya was fired, and is now unlikely to remain with the organization. Jerry Manuel was fired as well.

-Don Mattingly did, in fact, receive the Dodgers managerial job. Larry Bowa has been offered a job with the organization as well.

-Carlos Beltran got hot, to the point where he had potential value to other teams. And then he reinjured himself.

-Jeff Wilpon announced no player is untouchable, and that ownership would be willing to cut a player like Oliver Perez or Luis Castillo if that is what the new GM wanted.

Today I'm going to update what I think the mets should do with their front office and coaching staff. When the actual new GM and manager are in place, I will go back and update what I think they should change on the field:

Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations: Terry Ryan
General Manager: Paul DePodesta
Assistant General Manager: John Ricco

Ricco will remain Asst. GM, this seems to be the unanimous view. I think they need 2 people to right this ship, a veteran guy who has done it before, and a younger, more moneyball/sabermetrics guy. Ryan helped build the Twins. DePodesta was a John Hart and Billy Beane disciple who was briefly GM of the Dodgers and has worked in the Padres front office the past few years.

Manager: Bobby Valentine
Bench Coach: Wally Backman
Hitting Coach: Mike Piazza
Pitching Coach: Joe Kerrigan

1B Coach- Mookie Wilson
3B Coach- Chip Hale
Bullpen Coach- Randy Niemann

Backman, Kerrigan, Wilson, Hale, and Niemann remain from the last list, so no need to reexplain. I think Valentine is the best manager available, and while he certainly won't come cheap, he may just take a bit less to come back to the team where he is so beloved. As for Piazza? The Yankees did it with Mattingly, the Cardinals with McGwire, and the Astros with Bagwell. I think Mike would love to come back to Flushing, work with the manager he thrived under (like McGwire in St. Louis), and teach hitting. He has an interest in coaching- he's the hitting coach for Italy's WBC team. I think it makes sense. We'll see if it happens.

MLB Postseason Predictions

I made predictions before the season, and while I'm sure they weren't accurate, I would be taking accountability for them if I had them on me. Unfortunately they are on my old laptop, so that will have to wait a couple of weeks. With the playoffs now set, here are my postseason predictions:

Twins over Yankees in 4
Rays over Rangers in 5

Reds over Phillies in 5
Giants over Braves in 3

Rays over Twins in 5
MVP: Evan Longoria

Giants over Reds in 4
MVP: Tim Lincecum

World Series
Rays over Giants in 6
MVP: Carl Crawford

As for the managerial openings:

Mets (more on them later tonight): Bobby Valentine
Cubs: Ryne Sandberg
Mariners: Joey Cora
Braves: Fredi Gonzalez
Marlins: Tim Wallach
Brewers: Willie Randolph
Pirates: Mike Quade
Blue Jays: Eric Wedge

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Team, The Time, The Failure

Omar Minaya's reign in New York was not an unequivocal failure.

He traded mediocre talent for Johan Santana and Carlos Delgado.

He got all-stars Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez, and Billy Wagner to come to the 2nd team in New York, after predecessor Jim Duquette's big successes were a well-past-his-prime Tom Glavine and the return of Roger Cedeno.

He helped transform the faces of the Mets from the traded-for Mike Piazza and Al Leiter to the home-grown David Wright and Jose Reyes.

He found cheap free agents and bargain basement trades who went on to success in Flushing, like Omir Santos, R.A. Dickey, and Angel Pagan.

He drafted top young players Ike Davis, Jon Niese, and Mike Pelfrey*, while signing international free agent prospects Fernando Martinez and Jenrry Mejia.

*Fun Fact #26- Niese, Pelfrey, Bobby Parnell,, and Josh Thole all came from Minaya's first Mets draft class. 2006 featured Daniel Murphy, Joe Smith, and Tobi Stoner. 2007 starred Eddie Kunz, Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, and prospect Robert Carson. 2008 had Davis, and top prospects Reese Havens, Brad Holt, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mark Cohoon, and Kyle Allen. The past 2 years have yet to blossom into well known prospects, but 2009 did feature a guy with the first name ZeErika.

And he got the Mets to the playoffs. Actually to within a curveball from the World Series. Had Wainwright missed for ball 4, the Mets could have won game 7, and likely would have beat the ice cold Detroit Tigers for their first World Series in 20 years, and their 3rd in team history. Willie Randolph would still be the Mets' manager, Omar Minaya would still be GM, and John Maine and Ollie Perez would be hailed as postseason heroes, and be overpaid for the next 4 years for their performances in the 2006 postseason.

But only one of those things occurred. Wainwright struck out Carlos Beltran. The Cardinals won the World Series. A year and a half later Willie Randolph was fired. And now Omar Minaya has been fired as well. Partially because Maine and Perez were in fact still hailed as postseason heroes, and were overpaid for the next 4 years for their performances in the 2006 postseason.

Actually, that isn't totally true either. Oliver Perez will actually be overpaid for 5 years when all is said and done.

Omar was fired for 2007, when the team led the NL East by 7 games with 17 to play, and suffered one of the worst collapses in MLB history, letting the Phillies clinch the division after Glavine got bombed by the Marlins on the last day of the season.

Omar was fired for 2008, when the team struggled to begin the season, rebounded to take first place in September, and then collapsed. Omar was fired for causing drama while making a move everyone wanted and expected, when he fired Willie Randolph and a couple of coaches at 3AM after a win in Los Angeles.

Omar was fired for 2009, when he failed to build enough depth for the Mets to continue competing when starter after starter went down from injuries. Nobody expected them to compete once the entire rotation and lineup were on the DL, but losing Brian Schneider or Tim Redding or Ryan Church should not cause a team to fall out of the race. Omar was fired for whatever actually took place with Tony Bernazard, and more so how Omar handled the Bernazard press conference and resulting Adam Rubin situation.

And Omar was fired for 2010, when the team showed the flaws of each of the years before it. The collapsing, after the pre-All Star Break surge. The lack of depth, as one by one Beltran, Reyes, Santana, Murphy, Maine, Perez, and Jason Bay went down with injuries.

Omar's reign as GM of the Mets was not the worst in Mets history. They were above .500 in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, and only a few games below in 2010.

But while other GMs were attempting to make their teams more flexible and more athletic, Omar was giving multi-year deals to Fernando Tatis, and Alex Cora, and Marlon Anderson, and 47 year old Julio Franco. While other teams were getting younger, Omar was signing Gary Sheffield, and Moises Alou, and Shawn Green, and both Livan and Orlando Hernandez.

Omar brought "meaningful games in September." He created "the NEW Mets." And in 2006, it was "the team, the time, the place." But by this season, the "NEW" Mets were much like the Mets from right before Omar signed on. They were playing meaningless games in an empty stadium, with a GM and Manager who already knew their tenures were over.

Omar's tenure was not an unequivocal failure. But it was a failure nevertheless.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quick update on Sitcom Rankings

Really quick update- Rankings from here on out will be posted no earlier than the first Tuesday after the month, as that is when the Nielsen numbers are available. You can see where the sitcoms will rank by clicking on the page link on the right, but the full post won't be up until later this week.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Some Random Thoughts About SNL 36x2 Cranston/West

Tonight Bryan Cranston hosts SNL for the first time. He is most well known for his role as the father on Malcolm in the Middle, and his 3-time Emmy winning portrayal of a meth dealer on Breaking Bad.

Kanye West comes back to be the musical guest again, the first time since his song Power called out SNL and the cast. He chose not to interrupt Taylor Swift's hosting gig last year, but he did make fun of himself in promos this week, and did the same with Mike Myers on SNL after his last televised controversy. It will be interesting to see if either Swift (or Beyonce) stop by to make fun of the now infamous VMA occurence.

My predictions for this week:

-The interruption is utilized in a What Up With That sketch, where Kanye interrupts the always interrupting DeAndre Cole.

-There will be a Malcolm in the Middle sketch of some sort, or it will be the focal point of the monologue.

-The opening sketch is Andy Samberg as Rahm Emmanuel, adressing the people about his decision to leave the White House.

Be back at 11:30!

Sketch 1- As predicted, Samberg as Rahm stepping down, but with Armisen's Obama doing an intro. Also Moynihan as Peter Rouse. I don't know if that impression has anything to do with Peter Rouse. Samberg, who is not on SNL for his impression skills, has gotten Rahm down to a tee, which at this point is unfortunately useless. How many Bill Dailey sketches have you seen? Utterly predictable, but relatively entertaining. B.

Monologue- Cranston discusses his career. Shows the wide variety of roles he's played, all with him appearing in briefs. "It's nice to leave that meth and come to NYC where you can still find some good old fashion crack." And we've got a musical monologue! The backup singers don't know his name. All about how he's not a household name. Ending with "he's the guy from Dexter!" Well done. A-.

Sketch 2- Ad for Pepto Bismol Ice featuring Pedrad and Samberg. Actually pretty funny, and the first time I remember Pedrad as the star. B+.

Sketch 3- We introduce The Miley Cyrus Show, starring the new girl as Miley, and Cranston as Billy Ray. Mediocre impression from new girl, very solid from Cranston. She tells a not funny joke that only BR laughs at. Her guest is Johnny Depp, as played by Paul Brittain I think. Pretty solid. "Tim Burton and I are working on a haunting adaptation of Goodnight Moon." Now a clip from a movie with Miley and Samberg as some departing soldier. This is a bad, bad sign for the rest of the episode. D.

Sketch 4- Midcommercial- Looks like What Up With That. And it is What Up With That, tonight featuring Morgan Freeman and Ernest Borgnine! Forte replaced by a featured newbie. They've now gotten Oscar winners, sitcom stars, and a former US VP to come to 30 Rock to film silent cameos. That always impresses me. And as always, Hader as Lindsay Buckingham as Fleetwood Mac. (Fun Fact #25- Buckingham's costume in every ep matches what he wears in his Wiki Pic.) Freeman looks like he's actually in disbelief. And now Cranston and Pharoah as some sort of odd educational entertainment combo. And now Elliot and one new white guy as Mary Kay Lechildmolestor and her former student/now husband. Freeman looks disturbed, Borgnine like he's enjoying the show. And we have to cut Buckingham as always. Some people hate this. I've grown to find it one of, if not the best current recurring sketches. A.


Sketch 5- A basketball sketch with Shanna, which I assume is Wiig's attractive yet disgusting character. And it is. Elliot takes over for whoever used to be the jealous girl (I think Casey Wilson). I hate this sketch. I always have. I always will. It isn't funny. It is just idiotic. And disgusting. As always, the host (this time Cranston) remains attracted to her after he disgusting behavior scares the others away. Predictable, boring, not funny, and overdone. F.

Sketh 6- Digital Short. Can they make up for last week. Someone breaks into Samberg's host and he uses his iPhone to call 911 on a 911 app. It has an obsession with film Rescue Dogs 3D (starring Helen Mirren?) Keenan and Armisen are the robbers. And then the rescue dog comes and bites off Armisen's arm. This was actually a more lame laser cats. Comeon Samberg, you're better than that. C-.

Music 1- No presong sketch, Cranston intros Kanye who is performing Power on some sort of all white set. Now it is covered in girls with white unitards. Also Kanye is in an all orange suit with and orange tshirt and orange shoes. I actually think some of Kanye's music is pretty good, but I have no idea what this performance was, although I'm certain there will be a lot of people who call it brilliant and artistic. I found it over-the-top, which is saying something compared to Katy Perry last week. C-.

Weekend Update- "On Friday the White House released Rahm Emmanuel back into the wild." Rick Sanchez fired! It wasn't even funny, it doesn't have to be. Second-hand news correspondent Anthony Crispino (sp?), I guess a character we've met before. "They want to show the Jim Carrey's The Mask at Ground Zero, and that Pastor in Florida wants to burn Koreans." I'm not gunna lie this is actually making me laugh a bit. LeBron joining Miami Vice because he wasn't "cartoony" enough for The Cleveland Show, Tiger divorced Ellen Degeneres because she's Lebanese...not bad. And now, about the end of the run of the print comic Cathy, Samberg's impression of Cathy. Aaack! Not a great WU, and seemed a bit short. B.

Sketch 7- Midcommercial- Looks like some sort of game show. And it is Kid Smartz on GSN. Cranston hosts a quiz show for kids, "kidtestants" are new girl as Vicky, Elliot as Sandy, Samberg as Roger, and Keenan as Janelle. Cranston is some sort of child molestor who has the kids kiss him, Janelle is the one actually seeing what is going on. WTF was that? D.

Sketch 8- Armisen and Cranston as some sort of soft rock duet. The most interesting thing this ep might be that Cranston can sing moderately well. The only lyrics of this song are "I sent a bottle of sparkling apple juice to your house, did you get it?" sung over and over. And yet, and I can't believe I'm saying this, I find this amusing. At least they are trying something that doesn't involve just Wiig playing a quirky character with some strange defect. They should never do it again, but nothing lost by going for it there. B.

Music 2- This time featuring Pusha T. Again, on some random all white stage. Is he actually at 30 Rock? Oh I remember this song now, Runaway, he closed the VMAs with it. I hated it then. This time? Less screaming. Sure, I'll have a toast for the douchebag. B.

Sketch 9- My summary got erased. Pedrad was a little boy who was very similar to her as the girl obsessed with her parents. Her dad was Cranston, a green beret teaching her self defense. I forgot it was going on as it was going on. D-.

Sketch 10- An ad with Keenan for iSleepPro, now featuring Black Noise. Quite clever actually. A-.

I guess Kanye was there, or at least showed up for the Thank Yous.

Has anyone else in the NY area watching this noticed that every commercial break has had an ad for a different Broadway show?

Also it is a shame Jason Sudeikis couldn't get a speaking line today. Just a bit of running man.

Overall, quite mediocre, and a huge letdown from last week. Still some promising sketches, and Nasim Pedrad looks like she really brought it this season. Grade for episode 2: B-.