So You’re Angry at Javier Baez’s Actions Again. Now What?

So You’re Angry at Javier Baez’s Actions Again. Now What?

Monday night, current Cub Javier Baez hit a long fly ball that drove in the winning run. The pitch was from Amir Garrett, who has a sordid history with Baez. Javy sauntered toward first, using his bat to mimic a broom while shouting at Garrett. It ruled. Yeah, I’m biased. I love Javy. But the attention the clips of the moment have received is objectively great for baseball. Still, there are many of you who are mad at Baez for his actions. I am here to help.

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I Liked Space Jam 2

I Liked Space Jam 2

Author’s Note: I’m calling it Space Jam 2. I know it’s called Space Jam: A New Legacy, but I’m just gonna call it Space Jam 2.

Welcome to the age of Space Jam 2, a movie that was more inevitable than death and taxes. Yes, after 25 years, the Looney Tunes gang is back to do roughly the same thing they did last time. I enjoyed it. Others didn’t. It’s okay to like or not like a movie. What I don’t understand is the utter disdain for this movie when its predecessor is not a good movie either. Maybe it’s time to take a long, cold look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “when did I get so old?”

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The Notches in the Door Frame

The Notches in the Door Frame

Parenthood is strange. For the first few decades of life, you’re led to believe adults have all of the answers. They did, for better or worse. The subjective nature of finding the ‘right thing to do’ is the divine outcome of being alive and getting hurt. We endure pain on every plane of human experience and try to keep our children from bearing it as well, knowing full well that heartbreak is, in fact, an education. Most times, the answer is merely being there. But what comes of that when we’re gone?

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Crust: the Past, Present, and Future of Pizza’s Most Controversial Inch

Crust: the Past, Present, and Future of Pizza’s Most Controversial Inch

A few years ago I took my wife on a weekend getaway in Michigan wine country for her birthday. We stopped in the Dollar General located in the town of Bridgman for a few snacks between wineries. While waiting to check out, a man pointed to a product beside the register and said to his friend, “Chili flavored sunflower seeds. Now I’ve seen everything.” It has stuck with me since then. That was it. That was the top of the mountain. He had seen it all. But yet, my coastal Michigan friend, you had not. For just like the eternally prescient Bob Dylan once said, “oh the times they are a-changin’.” Change they did, as DiGiorno brought forth the croissant-crusted frozen pizza just this past year. It was a new frontier, but eventually the land Lewis and Clark explored just becomes a gas station. Innovation becomes blasé. So where do we go from here? The answer lies in our past.

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America’s Secrets: The History of the Kentucky Derby

America’s Secrets: The History of the Kentucky Derby

Every year, thousands congregate, participate, and millions view the Kentucky Derby. But the question on everyone’s mind is the same- how did this happen? For nearly a century and a half, the Commonwealth’s signature event has been one of America’s great pastimes. Though the race only lasts a few minutes, the tension could fill a Safdie Brothers movie. There have been changes to the race, and there are plenty of mysteries surrounding it, and I am here to uncover it all for you on this sacred Saturday in May. Come along. I might just teach you something.

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Baseball, Art out of Time: Under the Circumstances

Baseball, Art out of Time: Under the Circumstances

There’s a warm static over the ballpark on Chicago’s south side. Typically by this time in late July, the weather is overbearing. Today, however, is unlike most days before it. An unseasonably cool stretch had this game begin in weather echoing late spring, and the giddiness that annually comes with that was palpable as well. Through eight innings, the Tampa Bay Rays have brought twenty-four men to the plate. None have reached base. Mark Buehrle, the White Sox’ quick-working ace is inching closer to one of the rarest feats in professional sports- the perfect game. Manager Ozzie Guillen, a White Sox folk hero in his own right, has made a defensive substitution to start the final frame. He is pulling Carlos Quentin from left field, sliding centerfielder Scott Podsednik into his place, and bringing DeWayne Wise into the game to play center. The move is to shore up the defense for two-thirds of his outfield ahead of three consecutive right-handed hitters to end the game. The first of these, Gabe Kapler, fouls a few pitches away, takes a ball high out of the zone, and stays alive. The next pitch will be remembered forever in the Windy City.

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Baseball, Art out of Time: High Into The Night

Baseball, Art out of Time: High Into The Night

It’s October, something unfamiliar to the Detroit Tigers. The last time they won a playoff series was the 1984 World Series, twenty-two years in the rear view mirror. They’ve already won one this year taking three straight games over the dreaded Yankees after dropping the first. Tonight, they could sweep the perennial postseason participant Athletics. The game is tied at three as it turns to the bottom of the ninth. The first two Tiger batters went down quickly, Marcus Thames on a flyball to center and Curtis Granderson, in his first full season, on a liner to right. Craig Monroe singles. Placido Polanco follows suit. The pennant-clinching runner is in scoring position. In steps Magglio Ordoñez, the ten-year veteran from Venezuela. His opponent is the 2005 Rookie of the Year, Huston Street. They had only met twice before, the first time back on July 4th of the current year, when Street got Ordoñez to strike out swinging on four pitches. The second, three days earlier that ended in a groundout. But every at bat is another chance to undo a previous mistake. Comerica Field is shaking in anticipation of a World Series berth. Magglio steps into the batter’s box, grinds his front cleat against the dirt to get a strong foothold. Street gets the sign, winds and delivers.

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From Then Til Now, Don’t Ask Me How

From Then Til Now, Don’t Ask Me How

It’s 11:35pm on a cool Thursday night in April, 2015. Hustle Bankroll, the opening act for the night has just completed his second set, having been asked to fill time. The headliner, nearly three hours late, is Earl Simmons, the now late DMX. The Vogue theater on the north side neighborhood of Broad Ripple is packed full of people. Near the sound booth is a contingent from a sorority, a pack of AKA women dressed in their unmistakable pink and green. By the bar, a group of twenty-something men in tieless dress shirts and jackets. On stage, a man in an oversized Pelle Pelle jacket starts to make an announcement and is stopped by a tall man in a long Ruff Ryders t-shirt. “What?!” He exclaims, pulling the mic away. He’s shocked. Both men rush off stage. Despite reassurance from promoters that he’s coming, DMX is nowhere to be seen. A man two rows from the stage says to his friend, “how much you wanna bet his ass got arrested?”

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Baseball, Art out of Time: The King’s Gambit

Baseball, Art out of Time: The King’s Gambit

It’s a clear, cool night in Anaheim. The season is not yet a week old, and trends from the prior year linger like cirrocumulus clouds dotting the sky just west of the ballpark. The Seattle Mariners have lost four of their first five games. They’ll lose this one too, despite beginning the game with a pair of runs off of Angels’ pitcher Ricky Nolasco. It’s April 8th, 2017. The Mariners’ starter is Felix Hernandez, King Felix to the Seattle faithful. He’s in the twilight of a career that included a Cy Young award, a perfect game, and not a single start in the postseason. Hernandez gets Angel hitters Yunel Escobar and Kole Calhoun to ground out to start the bottom half of the first inning. Into the box steps the best player on Earth. His name is Michael Nelson Trout, Mike for short, and he’s the reason many people are watching this game.

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Back Home Again: Your Guide to Picking a Team in the All-Indiana NCAA Tournament

Back Home Again: Your Guide to Picking a Team in the All-Indiana NCAA Tournament

When I say that I love basketball, I say it with all of the conviction that Senator Sheev Palpatine claims to love democracy. Basketball, most basketball played, is just a means to an end. That end being the NBA, where the game is played at its highest level. Still, there is an undeniable charm and magic to the amateur game, especially here in Indiana. For the better part of the 20th Century, Indiana held a massive, all-inclusive high school tournament called Hoosier Hysteria. It meant that teams from around Indianapolis, Terre Haute, and Chicago burbs (aka The Region) could play against teams from towns with populations smaller than the aforementioned schools’ graduation classes. It was something special, but for the last quarter-century it has been absent, reformed as tournaments for each separate class of schools. This year, all 67 games of the NCAA’s signature event will be played in the state of Indiana. In some way, for at least one year, the Hysteria has returned.

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