October 20, 2006

MLB team Names I'd like to see

The last few days I’ve run rankings of the Major Baseball Team names. Someone pointed out I forgot the Washington Nationals. That’s what happens when you have absolutely no time to edit, and must scramble to get it posted. I had them in the first draft, but like Cowards who move to Canada, somehow they missed the second draft.

To fix that (and to entertain: always to entertain), I have created a top ten list of team names that I would like to see Major League Baseball use. If you have any influence with them, please: send it on.


TEAM NAMES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SHOULD USE


Honorable Mention: The Winners – This one is from my dad, who’s a fan of positive thinking. Plus, they could be sponsored by the Clothing store to draw in female fans.


#10 The Washington Lobbyists – The first time a team was in D.C. they were the Washington Senators, but if you want a team to radiate power, the Lobbyists would make a much better choice.


#9 The Florida/Arizona Geezers – Frankly, this flat out needs to happen. Old people are one of our most valued resources. If not the Geezers, how about the Snow Birds, or the Aarps?


#8 The St. Louis the XIVths – With baseball players’ infamous status as womanizers, one hopes none learn the history of this guy. (Look how he's petting that girl!)


#7 The San Diego Carmens/ Houston Whitneys – Where is Rockapella when you need them? For that matter, wouldn’t you love to see Rockapella and Bobby Brown team up for something.


#6 The Minnesota Fats – Greatest pool player of all time deserves a team named after him.


#5 The Atlanta Rocs – Here’s my theory: Atlanta has three other teams named after power bird: The Hawks, the Falcons and the Thrashers. (I have no idea what a Thrasher is but I’ve seen the logo: it’s a bird.) Atlanta could do them all one better, and pick the ultimate power bird. Rocs rule!


#4 The New York Nine – This just sounds cool and mysterious. (And to the unedumacated, nine baseball players take the field and bat.) Plus: Babe Ruth was #3 and Mickey Mantle was #6….Ooooooooh (The team is so mysterious, they don't even have a logo!)


#3 The San Francisco Switch Hitters – You know, because there are switch hitters in baseball, if you know what I mean. (And what I mean is players who bat from both sides of the plate. What did you think I meant?)


#2 The Miami Sound Machine – C’mon, you know the rhythm is going to get you! Or, even better (and I just thought of this): The Miami Vice! Can’t you just picture the pastel uniforms, sleeves pushed up, cleats with no socks? Me too.


And the number one team name trend baseball should adopt:


#1 The Boston Cream Pies/ Chicago Deep Dish – Who wouldn’t support a team with such tasty names? Nobody, that’s who! Can’t you just picture the mascot for the Deep Dish? (Note: The plural of Deep Dish is not Deep Dishes, but much like Fish, just Deep Dish.) Can’t you just hear the cheer? “Go Deep!” Come to think of it: that’s my own personal cheer, if you know what I mean. (And I mean I like Deep Dish Pizza. What’d you think I meant?)

October 18, 2006

MLB team names (the best)

Yesterday we looked at the worst MLB team names. Today we continue up that list, to get to the best


#14 Milwaukee BREWERS – Let me put this in terms you can understand: they make beer


#13 New York YANKEES – For many years I thought the Broadway Musical “Damn Yankees” was anti-Steinbrenner screed. Yankees is a fairly cool name, though, uniquely American and thumbing the nose at Brits and Southerners at the same time. That’s quite the accomplishment.


#12 Arizona DIAMONDBACKS – They are named after a venomous snake, which is good. (By the way, snakes are venomous, not poisonous). And, you play baseball on what is known as a “diamond,” so double points. There is a small part of me, though, that feels like they could have done more.


#11 Seattle MARINERS – Not quite as cool as swashbucklers, but Mariner does have a certain hoary dignity to it, as well as evoking the Hemmingway aesthetic.


#10 Minnesota TWINS – For the Twin cities, but I prefer to think of different kinds of twins, if you know what I mean.


#9 Kansas City ROYALS – For one, it’s always good to be the King. Also, it simply cracks me up that Kansas City is not in Kansas, so I give them a few more points for this.


#8 Oakland ATHLETICS – Athletics just sounds so…genteel, and there are great jokes to be made about team boosters, you know: Athletic Supporters?


#7 Texas RANGERS – Be honest: who wouldn’t support them even more if they were Walker, Texas Rangers?


#6 Los Angeles ANGELS – I’m more than a little contemptuous of the place (they went from California to Anaheim to the Los Angeles Dodgers of Anaheim), but “Angels” is a pretty good team name. Maybe I’ll buy them when my Angel movie comes out.


#5 New York METROPOLITANS – How can you not love a team that is named after an opera house? Or possible a museum, which gives me hope that one day there might be the London Tates or the Paris Louvres. Who wouldn’t pay to see Frenchies play baseball? Nobody; that’s who!


#4 Philadelphia PHILLIES – Part of me wants to dislike them; after all, how creative do you have to be to use your city name as your team name? Part of me is hopeful that this refers to Philly Cheese steaks, which would well be worth naming a team after. But mostly I just like how it opens up possibilities. The San Diego Sandies, the Pittsburgh Pitties, the Chicago Chickies!


#3 San Francisco GIANTS – It’s quite simple: Hyperion was a Titan in Greek mythology, and Titans were giants. Beyond that, though, do you really want to root for the San Francisco Midgets? (Maybe if they were the San Francisco River Midgets….)


#2 Pittsburg PIRATES – C’mon: this is a no-brainer. Pirates! Argggggggh!


#1 Detroit TIGERS – How did a team that happened to be the first one I loved get ranked so high? Total coincidence. Actually, it’s entirely possible that my original love of the Tigers was partly due to the fact that tigers are just about the coolest animal ever. Did I ever tell you that when I rule the world I’m going to have giant all-black tiger, with matte-black skin and shiny black stripes? There pretty much is no animal cooler than tigers, and very few as cool. ‘Nuff said.

October 17, 2006

Major League Team Names

In honor of the upcoming World Series, I thought I would rank the team names, from worst to first. Note: I am not knocking the city, or the team itself, so keep ‘em from getting bunched up. What I am doing is objectively assessing how cool these team names really are:

Major League Team Names


#28 (tie) Atlanta BRAVES and Cleveland INDIANS - These two are here by default. I have written about this before and if challenged by some idiot am happy to do so again, but we are no longer in an age where teams like this are appropriate. Though not as offensive as the “Redskins,” both of these names need to be changed. The Braves are slightly better than the Indians, if only because “Brave” was a term of honor among Indians, and Cleveland’s horrible logo. (They should at least change it to a man in a turban.)


#26 (tie) Boston RED SOX and Chicago WHITE SOX – You know, we talk about how much things change, but it really makes me gape to think that there was a time in American history when naming your team after hosiery was cool. These two teams have so much history that I think we tend to look past just how lame their mascots are. If we did it today, I would insist on the Boston Spanx (those toe-less pantyhose thingies) or possibly the leg warmers from Flashdance and Fame. What were they called?


#25 Houston ASTROS – I get that the name was supposed to evoke Houston’s NASA ties, but Astro is just so…George Jetsony. Astronauts would have been better. Asteroids would have been cool. (Think of the Atari tie-ins.) Astrologists might have gotten more women in. Even Astro-Physicists would have some Geek cachet, but Astros itself is beyond lame.


#24 San Diego PADRES – I’m pretty sure the Separation of Church and Baseball is somewhere in the Constitution. Having lived in San Diego, I realize the name is to honor the men who founded that town, but if you really translate it, you’re looking at the San Diego Daddies. They can do much better.


#23 Los Angeles DODGERS – The only good dodger should be Roger Dodger and the Artful Dodger. This name—originally from New York—just evokes cowardice to me. I could think of 39 names better suited to L.A.


#22 Cincinnati REDS – I’m hoping this is not another Indian name, and I’m guessing it was to support Communism (or Marlboros, for that matter), but naming a team after a color is not very imaginative, especially when that color is a primary one, and can mean so many different things to different people. I mean, Red State, Red Blood, Red Rover Red Rover…all powerful dangers in our society today. (And if you think Red Rover is not a danger, you’ve never tried to break through the unholy strength of third grade girls locking arms.)



#21 Chicago CUBS – I have to imagine they came before the Bears; why not take that name? New York had a football and baseball team with the same mascot. Cubs is just so…unmanly. They aren’t full grown bears, they are little cute ones. I mean, why not be the Teddy Bears, and just get it over with?


#20 Colorado ROCKIES – Oh, I get it! How clever. When they were trying to name this team back in the early ‘90s I suggested the Colorado Mountain Goats, and was shot down. And by the way (since this is the first time it has come up), why name the team after an entire state? Who are you fooling? Anyway, I guess it could be worse, they could be the Himalayas, but I am not impressed.


#17 (tie) Toronto BLUE JAYS, Baltimore ORIOLES and St. Louis CARDINALS – Bird names feel kind of lazy to me, but if you are going there, why not pick cool fierce birds? Have any of these birds ever killed anyone?


#16 Florida Marlins – Again, what’s up with the whole State? They are in Miami; act like it. (In fact, this inspires me. When this list is done I’m creating a list of names I’d like to see.) A Marlin isn’t all that bad—being a pretty fierce fish and all, but what about the Leopard Shark?


#15 Tampa Bay Devil Rays – I like the idea of an aquatic creature that sounds this scary, but their logo is scaring nobody. Actually, now that I think about it, it would have been much cooler to put Ray Liotta, Ray Charles and Norma Rae on the logo with horns and scary eyes. In fact, they should still do this. Somebody send them this suggestion.

Up next: the top 14 Team names in Major League Baseball

October 12, 2006

Martin Scorsese Films

thought we'd take a look at the best Martin Scorsese films, in honor of last week's THE DEPARTED


#10 GOODFELLAS - I do not care for this film, never have, but if I don't put it on the list Ajax (and possibly Kapgar) might die of aploplexy

#9 THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST - I remember when I first saw it I was shocked at the clever subversiveness. I now think it was a well-intentioned effort that just did not quite come off.

#8 MEAN STREETS - Powerful in its simplicity

#7 THE AVIATOR - Stunning visual work, a powerful film, but just not...I don't even know what I'm trying to say. There was some spark missing. Still, probably the best film of '04.

#6 CAPE FEARE - I rate this much higher than anyone else. Maybe it was a THAT TIME/THAT PLACE kind of experience for me, but De Niro, Nolte and Lange are so good, and the weird sexual tension triangle between De Niro, Nolte and Juliette Lewis just got me. (That scene with De Niro's thumb? I can still see it perfectly.) I love this movie.

#5 GANGS OF NEW YORK - I picked this for my Best Picture winner in '02, for its ambition,although there certainly are flaws. I love Scorsese's understanding of Tribalism, and Daniel Day-Lewis's performance is legendary. This is such an ambitious film, unmakable by any other filmmaker in the world.

#4 THE DEPARTED - I'm leery putting THE DEPARTED here on only one viewing (have seen the others all at least twice), but this is my initial assessment. I cannot think of one single flaw in the film, which takes it above some of the others, which might have been more ambitious. The cast fit perfectly, each scene moved into the next with ease, and I was absolutely rivited.

#3 TAXI DRIVER - I heard this described once as "The City as a living Night Mare." What a perfect description. Jodie Foster rocks. So does Cybil Shepherd. But Robert DeNiro showed us why--even though he may not always care--he has more talent than anyone in his generation.

#2 THE AGE OF INNOCENCE - This movie gets absolutely forgotten because it came out in the most monster year for movies ever. (EVER!) But get past that and get past the lack of blood: this is some of Scorsese's best work. He makes upper society matter to me in a way it rarely does, and seem as important as life and death. I fell in love with Daniel Day-Lewis here, and Michelle Pfeiffer--never a big favorite of mine--has never ever (EVER!) been better.

#1 RAGING BULL - 20 years from now it will be one of the 2 or 3 best films of the decade. It is sheer perfection, and movie-making on a scale most of us will never glimpse, let alone work in. It breaks my heart every time I see how good DeNiro is to think he is capable of that, but instead is now satisfied with shit like MEET THE FOCKERS and SHOWTIME. One of the 5 greatest acting performances in history, and a film so beautiful it takes my breath away.



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