Saturday, October 27, 2012

World Series thoughts, some of which
are about baseball

Max Scherzer, trendsetter
Every time Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer is interviewed on TV, I can practically hear the internet clog up as people rush to their computers to Google what the heck is going on with his eyes. Scherzer has heterochromia iridum—his eyes are different colors. But not just a little different, as is the case with Jane Seymour and Mila Kunis and Christopher Walken, all of whom (yes, I Googled this) have the same condition. Scherzer’s eyes are wildly different colors—one brilliant blue, the other dark brown. They’re mesmerizing and exquisitely beautiful to look at, and they contrast with each other so drastically that the only similar examples on the Wikipedia page are white cats and Malamutes. I predict that, thanks to Scherzer, mismatched eye color will soon be the hot new fashion trend. Contact lens moguls are watching this World Series, rubbing their hands in greedy glee.

The magic necklaces are back
A few years ago, I ridiculed the Texas Rangers for wearing ropey magnetic necklaces during the playoffs. They lost anyway, and I had fun immaturely taunting the TV—“Where are your magic necklaces now?” But the necklaces are back with a vengeance: More than half of the players in this year’s World Series are wearing them—sometimes two or three at a time, as if they had sailboats tethered to them, bobbing around just offscreen. The magnetic necklaces are said to improve circulation and help players recover more quickly from injury, and I know these guys have to do everything they can to stay healthy and make enough money to last them the rest of their lives. But every time I see one of those necklaces, I wonder if, under his socks, the player also has those Kinoki “detoxifying” pads stuck to the bottoms of his feet.

What we look like at 5,000 frames per second
In this year’s postseason, Fox Sports is debuting its new toy: a super-slow-motion camera that takes an astonishing 5,000 frames per second. This is not the first time this year we’ve seen that technology—NBC trotted out a couple of super-slo-mo cameras at the Olympics. But NBC used them for evil, often to show—and make fun of—the contorted faces of gymnasts and divers as they torqued their bodies into unnatural twists. But Fox has managed to make their baseball slo-mo shots beautiful: the rippling muscles of a batter’s arms, the flex and bend of the bat as it contacts the ball, and that fantastic, iconic shot of Giants pitcher Sergio Romo yelling in the rain just after he closed out the final game of the NLCS. Of course they have to occasionally show us grotesque shots of pitchers practically breaking their elbows while throwing fastballs, but that’s nothing new. All I can say is, thank God these cameras weren’t around when Joe Theismann broke his leg.


Go, Sleet!
There are no tigers in Detroit (zoos don’t count), and I’m pretty sure there are no giants in San Francisco. So these team names are wrong and show no civic pride. I think teams should be named for something that’s actually in their city, something the locals know and love, or at least ruefully acknowledge. I’ve never been to Detroit, so I’m not sure what to recommend there—the Sleet? The Chryslers? The Bridge to Canada That I Can Never Remember the Name Of? But San Francisco, which I know well, offers a lot of tantalizing choices. There’s the Homeless, of course (could lead to some sort of reform or awareness, or maybe just a lawsuit). The Hospital Curves. The Dirty 30. The Cranes. But I’m going to go with…the Peets. Because they’re everywhere. (But their apostrophe must go.)

The Panda protects
In closing, here’s one of my favorite clips from this past week: newscaster Paul Robins getting pooped on by a seagull at McCovey Cove. The bird must have pegged Robins for a Tigers fan; notice that Bethany Crouch, in the Panda hat, makes it through unscathed.

No comments:

Post a Comment