Monthly Archives: April 2016

The 500’s MLB 2016 Predictions aka “The Still Not Getting Any” Preview

One hundred years ago, the Chicago Cubs played their first game in Wrigley Field, beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 on April 20, 1916.  A century of baseball later and there is yet to be a newly minted World Series pennant flying over the bleachers on the North Side.  Other baseball goings-ons in 1916 included:

  • The cessation of operations for the Federal League, the last time the omnipotence of Major League Baseball would be challenged by a rival baseball league.
  • George Herman “Babe” Ruth continuing his young career dominance…as a pitcher.  The Babe notched his first 20 Win season (23 to be exact) and led the American League in ERA at a 1.75 clip.  He also was not a Yankee.
  •  Walter Johnson continued to be the best pitcher alive at the moment, albeit a down year with only 25 Wins,  a 1.90 ERA, 369.2 IPs, 228 Ks, and an ERA+ of 147.  Deadball era or not, Walter Johnson is still the best player to wear a Washington uniform, just don’t expect anyone at Nats Park to know who the hell he was.
  • Speaking of deadball, Pete Alexander of the Phillies led all of baseball with 33 wins.  Which would be amazing if it wasn’t a season sandwich in between 2 other 30+ Wins campaigns.
  • Still speaking of deadball, we had a three way tie for the homerun title…at 12 dingers a piece.  Needless to say, the New York Sun wasn’t investigating PEDs at the time.
  • The Babe’s Boston Red Sox defeat the Brooklyn Robins in 5 games to notch back-to-back World Series titles.

Oh what a Dodgers fan would give to have the success of the Brooklyn Robins.  In 2016, MLB seems to be in the midst of a multi-year transition from the stars of the post PED era, the likes of Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki, Miguel Cabrera, CC Sabathia, and Justin Verlander, into an era of the $400m young super-star.  In the 2015 All-Star game, only 10 out of 79 players on both rosters had appeared in more than 5 All-Star games.  Compare that to 41 of the players that considered it their first or second appearance at the Mid-Season Classic.  The league belongs to Trout, Harper, Giancarlo now.  Even guys like Buster Posey and Joey-Bats seem like again stars even though they’ve only been in our baseball consciousness for about 5 years.  So we’re in a bit of transition, both on the field and off as the game continues to defy logic with dueling media narratives about the slow death of the sport versus the astronomical piggy bank that is MLB.  After the exciting playoff run of 2015, the confluence of young talent and teams flush with cash with the outside chance to make even the Wild Card playoff, personally I think baseball is here to stay.

To the predictions!

REGULAR SEASON PREDICTIONS

AL East

1. New York Yankees – y

2. Toronto Blue Jays – x

3. Baltimore Orioles

4. Boston Red Sox

5. Tampa Bay Rays

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TV Golden Age’s “Oh-Sh#t” Moments

Oh, spoiler alert.

We here at The 500 only respect those that respect themselves enough to respectfully spend every waking minute of free time scouring Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, network television (just kidding), and bootleg internet downloads for the best the now decade long Golden Era of Television has to offer.  By 2016, we’re already winding down from the heights of said, media created era, with high brow and high entertainment shows like Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, and Lost having come and gone.  But the coming of winter, along with snippets of Soviet intrigue and weirder White House intrigue, have kept the second era of this age moving at a nice, bingy speed.

The Netflix-ization of TV has allowed for many stories to be told that would never have made it on the air in the ancient days of three network domination, but the plethora of storytelling hasn’t diminished the quality of the art either.  TV (and film) can be our go to escapism for our stories, but plot alone doesn’t keep us glued to the auto-credit of $7.99 a month.  Despite the existence of a script and spoiler filled internet, we the audience still revel in the moments of the unknown, caught off guard moments that TV and movies can provide.  Its the reason many screenwriters and TV show runners recognize as their most valuable tool to wield: timing.  After LOST and Reddit gave birth to the concept of internet water cooler talk for TV conspiracy theory and fan guessing din, those making television drama realize the timing of already assumed plot points is their best weapon against this off screen experience.  So, what better way than to pick out our favorite TV moments that intentionally, completely, and successfully caught us off guard, blindsinded our expectations, and sent us reeling and aghast that such a thing could happen to our investment in people that don’t actually exist.  We might hate expecting the worst to our favorite characters, but it’s actually what keeps us coming back every Sunday/clicking “next episode”.  A chance to share in that moment of simultaneous anticipation and surprise.  Its pretty much like watching baseball, minus the 3 hours of preceding boredom.

On to the “OH SH#T” Moments!

5. LOST – Season 2 Episode 1 “Man of Science, Man of Faith” [Season Premier] aka Desmond in The Hatch

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