It's starting to seem like that calculus concept, where the tanθ curve gets closer and closer to the line θ=90 degrees, without ever touching it. (I can't believe I just wrote that. I blacked out.) While I've never actually taken Calculus (in a not so brilliant scheme in college that landed me in some ridiculously hard upper level discrete math section, solely to sidestep taking Calc), the off-season impels feelings of getting closer and closer to something without ever touching it.
This is why I hate math. In real life, this would never happen. I think the mathematicians and actuaries just gave up on figuring out this trigometric principle--they probably just THINK the line will never intersect the axis, because they're inpatient. I empathize, MIT geniuses. But if I can hold out another 21 days for pitchers and catchers to report to camp, you guys can figure out a way for your TI-83's or whatever's being used these days, to wait out the seeming impossibility of said calculus functions to beat the system.
NEVER SAY NEVER!
That said, I'm approximately 4 days away from this.
In the meantime:
The more I read about Ken Burns' sequel to his 1994 baseball documentary, the more I hate him. I suppose the second clause of that sentence could be also be replaced with "the more irrational I become." I guess since he's a filmmaker he can do whatever he wants, and if an unabashed Yankee fan wants to come along and make a comparable documentary outlining the storied history of the Most Successful Franchise in Sports History, then he's more than welcome to.
Yet at the same time, this doesn't stop the legions of critics from spitting vitriol at Michael Moore, and I feel like it's for the same reason: you can make a film about your biases if you want. It's your right. But perhaps you have a certain degree of responsibility when you're putting something like that into the world. Frame it as such. What I know about politics is remarkably nonexistent, so I can't really speak intelligently about the matters in most of his movies.
But as a employee of the healthcare industry, I patently refused to endorse "Sicko." (In fact, my coworker asked me to go see it with him when it was out in theaters, out of morbid curiosity, and I believe my exact words were, "I'd rather spend 6 months in hell.")
Sure, Moore's got his opinions, fine. Everyone does. Millions of people take issue with the pharmaceutical empire. But don't shove your beliefs down society's throat under the ruse that it's simply documenting the facts.
And more importantly, don't make a sequel to the Baseball documentary in which you prominently feature the 2004 Red Sox as if your Boston loyalty is merely incidental. If you're going to craft a story about the rich history of baseball, remember the words of New York Times writer Dave Anderson:
"The essence of the Yankees is that they win. From in front or from behind, they win. And that's why the history of the New York Yankees is virtually the history of baseball."
To be sure, I will NOT be checking out Mr. Burns's new project.
In moral quandary news:
I took a CPR class on Sunday, and after sufficiently terrifying friends and loved ones with my Facebook status, a bigger question was posed by one of my favorite readers, Deron:
(Although my sister did contest, "Oh, come on, Kris. I would certainly hope that you would give mouth to mouth to a Red Sox fan.")
Wellll, not that I would want him to DIE or anything, but think about it, the Sox aren't the good, classic, cleancut Yankees. They put pine tar on every available surface space, they pride themselves on being idiots, and they basically emulate a myriad of other less than desirable traits that wholly suggest unequivocal "Rough Around the Edges." (At best. Though I'd say "dirty, crass, crude, and slimy" is a bit more in line.) So I could theoretically see some reluctance on jumping into a mouth-to-mouth situation, but ONLY BECAUSE there is a way to perform CPR that doesn't need mouth-to-mouth. You can revive someone by just doing the chest pressing part.
As I explained to my friends, the woman running the class was trying to broach this point by calling out some people in the class. "Would you give Hilary Clinton mouth-to-mouth?" "Would you give Tiger Woods mouth-to-mouth?" (Everyone answered yes, some people emphatically yes.)
So, when she points me out and asks "You in the Yankee hat. Would you give a Red Sox* CPR?" I kind of felt like I had to say "No," just so she would have a segue into saying, "Well, that's ok, because you don't need to!"
So instead I just avoid the question altogether.
And continue to lie awake night hoping I never have to see Jonathan Papelbon in need of medical attention. Well, outside of this anyway.
In "Today in History" news:
January 26, 1989...The rules initiated last season to make balk calls more uniform throughout baseball are rescinded and are replaced by the pre-1988 rules. The wording change from 'a complete stop' to 'a single complete and discernible stop, with both feet on the ground' had caused umpires to call an unprecedented amount of balks in both the American and National League.
And yet despite this clarification, I'm still just as confused as ever about what the hell constitutes a balk. I'd say I'm more than pretty well-versed in baseball, and I am convinced umpires call balks the way the traffic police in my small southern college town, distributed parking tickets. "Hey, how many have we given out in August already? 6? Ok, spread out a few over the next week, make it an even 10, and call it a month."
If nothing else, though, the term "balk" is unassailably awesome.
In Johnny Damon news:
The Cubs pick up Xavier Nady. Nady will get a $3.3 million base salary from the Cubs, with performance bonuses that could bring his deal to $5.35 million, a source told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
(On a side note, I'm not sure Nady is what the Cubs should be in the market for right now, per se. This is like old school Yankee signing: ignore the egregious shortcomings of a once-stellar pitching rotation, in favor of a decent fielding big bat. Eh, it's the Cubs. Like it matters.)
The only thing that makes it matter from where I'm sitting is the fact that this means the Yankees' options for their own outfield are dwindling down, making a Damon return more and more likely, as rumors fly the blogosphere over, about the alleged low-ball 1-year offer on Damon's table.
What's left, really? It's Damon or Reed Johnson. At this point, I couldn't care less if they signed the little actress in My Girl, I just want a warm body in there. Damon, Reed, Damon, Reed. Honestly, are we really losing our heads over this? (Or is it really just a case of "We-haven't-had-anything-t0-get-hyper-about-since-the-Granderson-and-Javy-deals-so-we'll-take-whatever-offseason-excitement-we-can-get" syndrome?)
I'll take whatever outfielder we can get.
And I feel like somewhere Scott Boras is singing some obnoxious iteration of the Oompa Loompa song, a la Andy Bernard.
And in "Ok, I'll Throw the Mutts a Bone" news:
My buddy "Ollie" makes me want to retract every negative thing I've ever said about the Mets. Not because he's such a nice guy, (because he's really not), and not because we're the bestest of friends (again, we're not), but because he is certifiably insane. Like, more so than me.
And his "relationship" he has with Oliver Perez is one for the books.
So, there you go, Mets fans. Consider this somewhat of an olive branch after I suggested (JOKINGLY, FOR LOVE OF GOD, JOKINGLY) that the Amazins disband.
(And this goes out to you too, Mets fans students in NYC schools...one in particular happens to be around the corner from my office, and in effort to avoid incurring a high school's wrath--once was plenty for me in my own HS years--I should probably go a bit easier on the Mets. Sort of. Either that, or walk to work in cog nito.)
*SEE HOW AGGRAVATING IT IS TO NOT HAVE A SINGULAR FORM OF THE TEAM NAME. I HATE THEM.