Yasiel Puig is ready to bash Glenn’s head in

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig received a prop from the TV show The Walking Dead. It’s a replica of Lucille, the baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire used by Negan to kill Glenn.

I stopped reading The Walking Dead comic with issue #100. It was the issue that Negan killed Glenn with the barbed wire bat. I watched the TV show until I realized it suffered from the very same plot problems that plagued the comic book: characters are only there to be killed in gratuitous and meaningless fashion.

I found this problem to be worse with the TV show. Actors spent years crafting their characters into layered individuals, only to have them end up decapitated, stabbed, boiled, shot, or eaten.

In the comic, the characters were much more one-dimensional individuals. Also, because of the art style employed, they all looked alike. I never really cared too much when a character died in the comic because it never felt like too much of a loss. That wasn’t the case with the TV show.

Another problem with the TV show is the main protagonist Rick Grimes. He’s played by British actor Andrew Lincoln. The man cannot act. His performances come off as over-the-top and heavy. Think William Shatner with a bad southern accent.

I don’t understand the point of a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. The dangerous part of the bat is the head. That’s where all the kinetic energy is. I don’t see how barbed wire makes the bat more lethal. I guess it could be a defensive measure. The way you defend against someone with a baseball bat is to close the distance with your attacker. Get close enough and you can easily block a baseball bat attack by focusing on the area of the bat closest to your attacker’s hands. Wrap barbed wire around that area and it would make a baseball bat attack much more difficult to defend.

This wasn’t a concern when Negan killed Glenn. It wasn’t a fight. It was execution.

I don’t know what Yasiel Puig is supposed to do with this bat. He should try to sell it on eBay.

Vin Scully has no time for Socialism

If you were wondering who is the richest person in Venezuela, Los Angeles Dodgers play-by-play man Vin Scully dropped a knowledge bomb square on the subject at last night’s Dodgers game. When Milwaukee Brewers infielder Hernan Perez came up to bat, Vin Scully unloaded on the evils of socialism. Venezuela is a socialist country.

Wikipedia says that Venezuela is a Federal presidential constitutional republic. I think that’s Spanish for socialism. As soon as Vin Scully remembers his Wikipedia password, I’m sure he will log in and change it.

The ugliest hat I have ever seen

I was perusing the after-Christmas sale on Lids.com when I happened to stumble upon the ugliest hat I’ve ever seen. That says a lot because I’ve been all over the world, and I’ve seen lots of hats.  This hat, by far, is the ugliest hat I’ve ever seen.

Why in the world would New Era make something like this? If I didn’t know any better, I’d thing they just gathered up some remnant material from other hats and just threw this thing together. Needless to say, faux leopard skin, NATO woodland camo, and fluorescent pink don’t go well together.

New Era ought to be ashamed of themselves.

No-hitters are overrated and dumb

No-hitters are overrated and really kind of dumb. They’re celebrated far more than they should be. At no time in a baseball game is the outcome decided by the number of hits. Games are decided by runs. After nine innings of play, the team with the most runs wins.

Tim Lincecum of the San Fransisco Giants threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres last night, his second against the hapless Padres in less than a year. Only last week, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, threw a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies.

A no-hitter is when an opposing team fails to register a hit for the entire game. They can still get on base from a walk. That doesn’t break up a no-hitter.

No-hitters are overrated and really kind of dumb. They’re celebrated far more than they should be. At no time in a baseball game is the outcome decided by the number of hits. Games are decided by runs. After nine innings of play, the team with the most runs wins.

The most important statistic from last night’s Giants-Padres game is not the fact that the Padres were not allowed on base because of a hit, but that the Giants scored four runs and the Padres didn’t score any. The no-hitter wasn’t even the second most important stat from last night’s game. That would be that Lincecum was able to pitch nine whole innings without the need of relief from the bullpen. Granted, he threw 113 pitches last night, far more than he is normally allowed to throw in a game.

Does it really matter how Lincecum kept the Padres from scoring any runs?

Not really.

If a pitcher takes the mound thinking about the other team not getting a hit, he is doing his team a disservice. A pitcher’s intent should be to get 27 outs, using the fewest possible resources. By resources, I mean pitches thrown and the utilization of relief pitchers in the bullpen. The more pitches thrown, the more likely their arm will get tired, and the more likely they wont be able to complete the game, requiring relief from the bullpen.

Considering that Lincecum doesn’t normally throw 113 pitches in a game, how ready will he be for his next start?

I think way too much importance is placed on no-hitters.

Steve Ballmer signs deal to buy Clippers for $2 billion

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has signed an agreement with the Sterling family trust to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion.

The Clippers are the third most popular basketball ball team in Los Angeles, after the Lakers and then the UCLA Bruins. After the deal is completed, it will be the richest deal ever paid for an American sports team. The Los Angeles Dodgers sold for $2.15 billion, but that deal included Dodger Stadium and the massive, but dangerous parking lot. The Clippers don’t have their own arena. They share the Staples Center with the Lakers and the Kings.

I don’t understand this deal. The second-richest contract for an NBA team was earlier this year when the Milwaukee Bucks sold for $550 million.

Steve Ballmer is supposedly worth $20 billion, so I guess it’s not a lot of money when it’s put into context. Still, if the Clippers are worth $2 billion, what are the Lakers worth?

Los Angeles is a weird sports town. It can’t support an NFL team, but one of its two professional basketball teams, the least popular of the two, is supposedly worth $2 billion.

Bryce Harper benched for being Bryce Harper

Washington Nationals All-Star Bryce Harper has shown he’s more than willing to run his cranium full speed into the Dodgers Stadium out-of-town scoreboard, but not so much when it comes to running to first base on a groundout. Harper dogged it in yesterday’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and was benched because of it. Harper was removed from the game in the sixth inning and replaced with Kevin Frandsen.

When asked about the move, manager Matt Williams told reporters after the game that Harper’s “inability to run 90 feet” was the reason for the benching. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo later told reporters that he agreed with the decision.

Have they forgotten who Harper is? Anyone employing the baseball talents of Bryce Harper had better get used to him taking plays off. Anyone who remembers his time here in Hagerstown knows that Harper often lacks dedication. That’s putting it nicely.

If the Nationals wanted a player who always played hard and played with hustle, they should have taken a pass on Harper and instead drafted Manny Machado. The Nats had the first pick in the 2010 MLB Draft and the selected high school dropout Bryce Harper. The Baltimore Orioles had the third pick, and they drafted Manny Machado.

The Nationals should have drafted Machado.