2015 Topps Baseball is pretty awful

2015_topps_jeterI picked up a jumbo pack of 2015 Topps Baseball at Walmart the other day and it turned out to be a waste of five bucks. These cards are terrible looking. I haven’t seen such awful looking cards since the late 1990’s.

The basic base design is messy and confusing. Instead of having crisp white boarders, each card is framed with an annoying speckled pattern that is heavy at the bottom and then fades towards the top. Base cards should not have design gimmicks like this. If it has to be done, save it for variant insert cards, not the basic base cards.

Then there’s the Derek Jeter thing. Even though he finally retired at the close of last season, Topps included him in this year’s set. In fact, his card is the first card in the series, #1.

If you’re going to include him in the set, why not put him at #2? That was his uniform number.

I don’t understand why Topps has such a love affair with the New York Yankees. Don’t they understand that most baseball fans hate the Yankees?

The Birds!

The Birds!

The way fandom normally works is that people generally have a favorite team. They root for this one team above all other teams. When given a choice, they will watch this one team before they will watch any other. With me, that’s the Baltimore Orioles. Though I grew up in southern California, I’ve lived her in Maryland for 20 years. I’ve watched Orioles games since the week I visited Hagerstown to look for a place to live, in the summer of 1994.

Fans then have a number of teams they feel neutral about. They may not root for these teams, but they don’t wish them any ill will. They might watch one of their games if given the opportunity, or they might not. With me, I’m neutral on the Phillies, Pirates, Braves, Mets, Twins, White Sox, and a few others. I don’t go out of my way to watch them or root for them, but I don’t have any negative emotions towards them.

Then there are teams that you hate.  You may hate a team for one of four reasons:

  1. They are in the same division as your favorite team.
  2. They have a history with your favorite team.
  3. They have a certain type of fan base.
  4. They have a player you dislike.

I hate the New York Yankees for all four of these reasons.

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

I don’t think I’ve ever known a fan who was neutral on the New York Yankees. People usually either love them, or they hate them. I’ve never understood why Topps acts like everyone loves the New York Yankees. Even now, they don’t produce a #7 card out of respect to Micky Mantle. They “retired” his number. Major League Baseball has only one number that’s retired across the league. That’s Jackie Robinson’s #42. MLB retired Robinson’s number because he broke the color barrier in 1947.

Did Topps retire #42? No, they sure didn’t. This year’s set has Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds as card #42. He’s a white guy with a career bating average of .258.

Someone at Topps must have looked up Jackie Robinson on Wikipedia and discovered he never played for the Yankees.

Topps should realize there are 30 teams in Major League Baseball. Not everyone is a New York Yankees fan. I hate the Yankees and I’m beginning to hate Topps.

Charles Barkley is an idiot

Charles Barkley is an idiot - Bent CornerDaryl Morey, owner of the Houston Rockets, took to Twitter to fire off a dig against Charles Barkley, former NBA power forward and current TNT analyst. Here is the Twitter tweet:

Barkley responded on TV by saying that Morey was “one of those idiots who believes in analytics.” He also said that proponents of analytics were “a bunch of guys who have never played the game, and they never got the girls in high school.”

Analytics is the practice of looking for meaningful patterns in data, more or less. It’s become accepted and widespread in baseball, and is just now, finally becoming more accepted in basketball.

A true analyst would be all over analytics

Barkley is really the opposite of analytics. He not only doesn’t believe in looking for patterns in data, he doesn’t really believe in data. He’s a former player who, although in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, never won a championship, and was infamous for how undedicated he was. Although his title on TNT is that of an analyst, he’s not much into analysing. He’s more concerned with saying outlandish things for the sake of entertainment than actually analysing the game of basketball. Plus, analytics is a lot of work. It’s far easier to just open your mouth and let stupid words spew out.

The instant someone says that someone else never got the girls in high school, I stop listening to what they have to say. It’s clear they don’t have anything meaningful to share.

Alison Rosen shares details over the financials with Carolla Digital Network

Alison Rosen explains former financial arrangement with Adam Carolla - Bent CornerAlison Rosen, former “news girl” for The Adam Carolla Show podcast, discussed on her podcast allegations made by Adam Carolla. The pretend contractor, pretend boxer explained on a recent podcast episode why he fired her.

One of the many reasons he gave for letting her go was that she refused to give her Amazon affiliate earnings to his patent troll legal defense fund. It turns out Alison Rosen was already giving Adam 50% of her Amazon affiliate earnings.

Funny, the Ace Man forgot to mention that fact.

Furthermore, because her podcast, Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend, was on the Carolla Digital Network, Adam Carolla was also getting about half of her podcast revenue and a fee for each podcast episode. In exchange, she was able to record her podcast at Adam Carolla’s podcast studio.

In other words, Adam Carolla was making more money from Alison Rosen’s podcast than Alison Rosen was. That’s fine. They were in business together and that was their business agreement.

The problem is that Adam Carolla never explained the entire financial business arrangement when he told his listeners she refused to contribute to his legal defense fund. When he complained that she was unwilling to give her Amazon affiliate earnings to his legal defense fund, it sounded like that’s all he was asking from her. He failed to point out that he was already getting about half of all her podcast revenue, half of her Amazon money, or that she was paying him for each episode she recorded at his podcast studio.

According to Alison Rosen, her part of the Amazon affiliate earnings represented a couple of thousand dollars a month.

To tell the listeners that Alison Rosen refused to give her Amazon affiliate earnings to his legal defense fund, without explaining their full financial arrangement, or how much money it represented, Adam Carolla was being less than honest.

Why does it matter that Brian Williams is a liar?

Why does it matter that Brian Williams is a liar? - Bent CornerThere’s been a controversy as of late over things Brian Williams, anchor of NBC Nightly News, said about an experience he had during the Iraq invasion in 2004. Evidently he lied about his experience aboard a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Not only did he lie, his lies about the experience have mutated and changed over the course of time.

I fail to see what the problem is.

Brian Williams is the anchor for NBC News. Lying is what they do. This is the same organization that lied about the safety of General Motors trucks and rigged footage to make them look far more dangerous than they really were. This is the same organization that doctored the audio recording of George Zimmerman speaking to a police dispatcher immediately after he killed Trayvon Martin.

NBC News lies. It’s what they do.

Brian Williams is not only the anchor of NBC Nightly News, he’s its managing editor. It’s pretty safe to assume that anyone connected with NBC News is a liar.

Being surprised to learn the anchor of NBC Nightly News is a liar is a lot like being surprised to learn an Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan is kind of a racist. You know how you can tell when Brian Williams is lying? When his crooked mouth moves.

Brian Williams is a liar? Big deal. It’s not like he’s a blogger or a Wikipedia contributor. He’s an anchor for NBC News.

Is the ‘Respect Our Women Passengers’ sign real?

There’s a photo floating around the Internet that was supposedly taken on a Los Angeles bus that urges men not to do all sorts of terrible things towards women. These things include masturbating and unwanted conversation.

Is the sign even real? Was it actually sanctioned and authorized by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority?

I thought it was fake the first time I laid eyes on it. I still think it’s fake. I think it’s an elaborate photoshop prank or somebody just made the sign and posted it on a bus themselves, making people conclude that it was posted by someone in an official capacity. Of the two, the latter is much more likely.

Here are the reasons I think it’s fake:

  • The sign is only in English. I find it hard to believe that any sign posted on a Los Angeles bus would be published in only one language and that one language would be English. At the very least, this sign should be in English, Spanish, and probably Korean.
  • The priority of the egregious acts is all wrong. Of all the things men shouldn’t do while riding a public bus, masturbation is by far the most egregious act. That said, it appears as number two on the list, right after staring. Shouldn’t masturbation be listed first? If it was a real sign, and men are masturbating on the bus, I’d think that would literally be at the top of the list of things to squash, not staring.
  • The grammar and capitalization isn’t consistent. The sixth bullet point has the contraction “They’re” instead of “they are”. Then, in the bottom sentence, it reads, “If you are” instead of “If you’re”. Why would official signage use a contraction and then not use contraction for the same two words? Also, in the first five bullet points, every word begins with a capital, uppercase letter. In the sixth bullet, they do not.
  • This seems to be the only photo ever taken of this sign. Every time I’ve seen someone post a photo of this sign, it’s always been this specific photo. That seems suspicious to me. If this sign truly appeared on Los Angeles buses, I would think there would be photos all over the Internet showing them.

It’s completely possible this “Respect Our Women Passengers” sign is real. Stranger things have been known to happen. I’m just not buying it. I think it’s as fake as trickle down economics or those stupid looking taxidermied rabbits with the tiny antlers.