More Unrelated Thingies

1) Spotted the following screenshot on the front page of the other day:

It’s for a fan translation of Glory of Heracles IV, for the Super Nintendo. Either my audience is bigger than I thought, or (more likely) that’s one hell of a coincidence. I wonder if I’m the only person who read this and can truthfully answer “Yes”.

2) This is probably the best thing I’ve read in months. Like few others, Joe Posnanski makes me want to break my keyboard and retire from writing forever.

3) I finally got my new HD TV all set up yesterday, and the difference is really astounding. It’s true what they say: You don’t know what you’re missing until you see it for the first time, and afterwards you can’t understand how you lived without it. Even a relatively primitive game like Cave Story looks orders of magnitude sharper and more detailed, never mind something like Muramasa: The Demon Blade or Kirby’s Epic Yarn.

Someday I’m going to carve out a niche for myself as the “raves about stunning new innovations five-ten years after they’re topical” guy.

4) Football is finally winding down. I don’t even watch football and I’m still sick to death of it. Isn’t it time for pitchers and catchers to report yet?

I did notice that baseball season starts in the middle of the week this year, instead of on Sunday, as it has for the past several years. That’s a little unusual, but I think I like it — I’ve never much cared for the “one game on Sunday Night Baseball, then everyone else starts the next day” schedule. For me, baseball season means sunshine and warm weather and weekdays, which means Opening Day.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how MLB is kind of missing the boat with its marketing in recent years, trying to sell itself as a football analogue, an event sport. That’s not really baseball’s appeal, though. Baseball isn’t about singular moments. It’s about the grind, the long season, the day-in, day-out consistency. That’s why the baseball playoffs are, at their best, uneven — you can’t force greatness in baseball. Throw two great teams against each other and you’re just as likely to get a 7-2 blowout as a 2-1 nailbiter. For every 2004 ALCS, there’s a 2004 World Series. MLB should be marketing the sport as a lifestyle, something you examine and appreciate on a daily basis as part of your normal routine, not something that you sit down and throw a party for. The best-case scenario for MLB is something like the 1993 NL pennant race, where you’ve got two superb teams fighting for their lives, and you wake up every morning to see what each did and what the standings are. Each team is fighting the calendar as much as each other. That’s a uniquely baseball tension, a slow burn.

Every other sport sells its regular season as a prelude to playoffs. Baseball’s the only one where the regular season is the entire point, but MLB doesn’t seem to realize that. (It’s twice as long as in every other sport for a reason, guys.) Baseball’s such a great marathon sport that it baffles me that MLB keeps trying to sell it as a kickass sprint. Yeah, add two more playoff teams, Seligula. That’ll make the postseason suck less.

5) Mirrodin Besieged spoilers are beginning to leak out. Someday I’ll have to write about the absolutely bizarre relationship between me and Magic: the Gathering. Suffice it to say that it’s almost offensively nerdy.


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