Sunday, November 25, 2012

MLB World Series Film Narrators

The above video is the closing part of 2012's MLB World Series Film, which premiered last Tuesday (November 20) at the Castro Theatre. The attached film clip features San Francisco Giants players Matt Cain, Jeremy Affeldt, Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito, Buster Posey, Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan, and Pablo Sandoval. They have been asked to do their best impersonations of right fielder Hunter Pence's motivational speeches during post-season play.

What you may miss in the opening credits is that the narrator of the film is San Francisco native, longtime Giants fan and actor, Benjamin Bratt. After hearing Giants president Larry Baer mention other well-known actors that have narrated in previous years, I found out they are also avid, longtime fans of the teams featured in other World Series films.

Here are a few:
2004 - Denis Leary, Boston Red Sox
2006 - Billy Bob Thornton, St. Louis Cardinals
2007 - Matt Damon, Boston Red Sox
2008 - Terrence Howard, Philadelphia Phillies
2010 - Rob Schneider, San Francisco Giants
2011 - Jon Hamm, St. Louis Cardinals

MLB Network has been re-airing many of these films this past week.  For me, it makes the films much more fun to watch. A famous, well-known actor who's just like us. An excited fan talking about his favorite team playing in the World Series.

Taking advantage of MLB's online Black Friday specials, I ordered the DVD yesterday. Can't wait to see it. Over and over again.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hostess with the Mostest

image source: Financial Press

Unless you were in an alternate time line for the past 2 days, it was sadly announced that Interstate Bakeries, aka, Hostess Brands declared bankruptcy, seeking permission to close business and sell its assets.

As reported in countless news stories, there have been mobs of people emptying store and grocery shelves across the country to stock up on what may be gone forever. For me, it's not a bad thing. It'd wipe out any temptation I'd have to buy a box of creamy, sugary so-bad-for-you-goodness.

My fondest memories of Hostess snacks came as a kid in grammar school. Mom used to buy boxes of Ho Ho's and Ding Dong's to eat for breakfast. I personally preferred Ho Ho's. Neatly wrapped in foil, small, portable, and like M & M's, didn't melt in your hands. The cupcakes always looked so pretty on TV and in magazines, but when it came to eating them, my hands always ended up in a crumbly and sticky mess.

Twinkies, the most well-known Hostess snack cake (and seemingly the biggest loss for most people since bankruptcy was declared), cast its own magic spell on Dad. He often had a box of Twinkies, cans of Coca-Cola's Mello Yello, and/or Nabisco's Nilla Wafers on the TV tray next to his favorite recliner.

Last but not least, the end of Hostess also means the end of the fruit pie (famously encased in red or green wax paper). We also don't want to forget Donettes or Sno Balls. The Hostess Brands closing also means the end of the Peanuts comic strip favorite, Dolly Madison Zingers, Wonder Bread, Nature's Pride, Home Pride Butternut, and Beefsteak.

What I will miss "mostest" about Hostess is the reason why classic food never gets old. It brings us back fond memories of a life and time that may not have been easier, but certainly was a lot less complicated.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Baker System Format - Bowling

A few days ago, the PBA announced the formation of an 8-team league (5 players per team) to begin in January 2013 in Detroit, MI. These are the 8 bowlers selected to lead these teams: Chris Barnes, Norm Duke, Bill O'Neill, Mike Fagan, Pete Weber, Osku Palermaa, Jason Belmonte and Sean Rash. Team owners include Chris Paul, Terrell Owens and Jerome Bettis.

All PBA league (PBAL) matches will bowl under the Baker System format. Rather than 1 player bowling 10 frames, it is a team of 5 players bowling 1 game, 2 frames each. It is most commonly seen in college bowling matches.

Bowler 1 - frames 1 and 6,
Bowler 2 - frames 2 and 7,
Bowler 3 - frames 3 and 8,
Bowler 4 - frames 4 and 9,
and Bowler 5 (often referred to as the anchor) - frames 5 and 10.

To give you an idea of what the matches will look like in January, here is a YouTube clip of 2011's Weber Cup (USA vs. Europe). You'll see most of the players featured from this match bowl on their respective teams in January..

Sunday, November 04, 2012

European Champions Cup Bowling 2012 - Women's Final

From Dutch Bowling TV (commentary in English), here is video of this year's European Champions Cup, Women's Finals. Bowlers: Birgit Poppler (Germany) versus Daria Kovalova (Ukraine).

What impressed me most was their fluid releases. I also noticed was that neither of them were afraid to bowl from the outside part of the lane, something many women don't do (me included). As I've mentioned in previous entries about bowling, I watch female bowlers a lot more closely. Check to see if there's anything from their game that I can apply to mine.

Daria Kovalova lost game 1 and came from behind to win the next 2 games to defeat Birgit Poppler. The final 3 frames of the last game featured some of the best women's bowling I've seen all year. More about the match can be read at