2016 MLB Rankings Recap

Here are the rankings I posted in the preseason of 2016, the parentheses mark where the team actually finished in the MLB. I was wildly inaccurate for the most part.

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30. (22) Milwaukee Brewers
I thought this team would be the worst in baseball, but they weren’t. Jonathan Villar broke out and led all of baseball with 62 SBs, while other Jonathan (Lucroy), a player long time tenured with the team and a fan favorite, was traded midseason to the Rangers. 31 year old rookie Junior Guerra put together a surprisingly solid year and the team still managed to hold on to superstar Ryan Braun, someone I thought for sure would have been traded away during the season.
29. (26) Atlanta Braves
After pulling off the Dansby Swanson trade 2016 could already be considered a success for the Braves. Freddie Freeman had his best year and Julio Teheran bounced back from a down 2015, which helped them finish not quite at the bottom of the standings.
28. (16) Colorado Rockies
A Rockies’ hitter has won the batting title 3 out of the last 4 years, and DJ LeMahieu was the newest member to achieve it. Offensively the Rockies were one of the best teams, again, but pitching wise they were lackluster, again. There were at least some promising signs that the rotation is moving in the right direction compared to years before. Trevor Story was making the NL ROY race honest before going down with an injury. They always had a good offense and I underestimated how far it would carry them. I also expected them to trade away some of their star players, but they stayed pat. Continue reading

Cursed Child Review

cursed jk rowling.pngA screenplay is essentially an unfinished product, the blue prints for a movie or a play, but unmistakably not a book. A screenplay is meant to be read by an actor or a director, and then adapted, but by selling it as a book, Cursed Child feels like an incomplete work and a desperate cash grab by the publishing company. My expectations were pretty low coming into it yet I was still disappointed.

Cursed Child has positive reviews as a performance, but numerous subpar reviews as a “book.” It’s understandable that the response to the screenplay would be so negative though, nobody chooses to read the screenplay for Fast and Furious when they can watch the physics defying car stunts. It’s refreshing to read about Harry and the gang, even if it wasn’t a story that lived up to their past adventures, but honestly I think it was the way the book was framed as the next installment by JK Rowling that may have set many fans up for disappointment. The high price certainly didn’t help tamper expectations either.  Continue reading

Game of Thrones Recap: Blood of my Blood

meera's reaction to Benjen was basically mine too

This episode is called blood of my blood most likely because there were lot of family related storylines, Sam meeting his family again and the entire King’s Landing storyline involved family confrontations. I can’t spoil too much new information because most of the characters’ storylines have progressed further than their book counterparts. There will be spoilers for this episode though, duh.

Meera struggles to pull Bran through the forest, a direwolf would have really come in handy here, as Bran downloads the past couple seasons and some spoilers. Honestly I’m impressed she pulled him this far before the wights caught up to them. Before all hope is lost however, a mystery knight, who’s 100% Benjen, comes to their rescue with a fire chain mace and basically takes out 10 wights easily. I’m surprised a bunch of Night’s Watch brothers don’t come out and stab Bran, this is not a drill, Benjen is back.

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Game of Thrones Recap: The Door

littlefinger and 2 ladys

This episode is titled The Door…and we know exactly why. I can’t spoil too much new information because most of the characters’ storylines have progressed further than their book counterparts. There will be spoilers for this episode though, duh.

Littlefinger has already arrived at Molestown. I’m honestly not sure if this is an abandoned town after the wildlings raided the place 2 seasons ago.
Littlefinger – “Sansa!”
(All my planning has been for this moment, I love you Sansa!)
Littlefinger – “Lady Brienne…”
All his planning yet he didn’t expect Sansa to be mad at him.
Littlefinger – “When I heard you escaped Winterfell I feared the worst…I am so happy to see you unharmed.”
He feared the worst when Sansa escaped Winterfell? Why, was it because she wouldn’t have her husband to protect her?
Sansa – “Did you know about Ramsay? If you didn’t you’re an idiot, if you did, you’re an enemy.”
Why can’t he be both?
Littlefinger – “I made a mistake.”
Before Sansa arrived here, Davos recommended a justifiable punishment for Littlefinger that would make his nickname quite  ironic.
Sansa – “I don’t believe you anymore, I don’t need you anymore. Why shouldn’t I tell Brienne to cut you down now?”
Well look at that, I can’t think of any reason either. Fetch that block girl.
Littlefinger – “If you want me to beg for my life, I will do it.”
But he doesn’t do it. Not even a little.
Sansa – “You freed me from the monsters that murdered my family and gave me to different monsters that murdered my family.”
The Lannisters killed her dad. The Bolton’s killed her mother, brother, and sister in law.
%22half brother%22Littlefinger – “A time will come when you may need an army loyal to you.”
Like the Knights of the Vale? Killing him would probably gain their loyalty, does anyone actually like him?
Sansa – “I have an army.”
Meh, they have some wildlings.
Littlefinger – “Your brother’s army?”
Stop letting him influence you!
“Half brother.”
Stop it! You can still kill him! Maim at the very least.

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Game of Thrones: Book of the Stranger

another redhead? really?The 4th episode of the season is named after one of the Seven. The Stranger represents death and we can infer that the show runners are calling this episode the Book of Death. Honestly I thought it should have been named “Sister Power” after all the motivational talks they did for their brothers. I can’t spoil too much new information because most of the characters’ storylines have progressed further than their book counterparts. There will be spoilers for this episode though, duh.

Jon plans on heading south to, presumably, retire. He’s seen enough of the North for one life time. Jon Beach Resort has a better ring to it than Jon Snow.
Edd – “I was with you at Hardhome, we saw what’s out there. How can you leave us now?”
Winter is coming, better head south to warmer shores.
Jon – “I did everything I could and they killed me.”
And now he’s given a second chance!
“You want me to stay here after they killed me?”
I mean…he did kill those guys right? So what’s the problem? Too many bad memories?
Before he can leave, Sansa arrives at the Wall and Jon has yet another touching hug. Edd must be thinking, really? Another redhead? Deep down, I bet a small part of Jon wishes she was Arya.

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Game of Thrones Recap: Oathbreaker

ghost was not expecting this

I’m not entirely sure why this episode is called Oathbreaker. It’s the name of Brienne’s sword, but she wasn’t in this episode and I can’t place a single scene where an oath was broken or someone uttered the phrase. Brienne’s sword is Oathkeeper. Is Jon leaving the Night’s Watch what this refers to? Because technically he didn’t break his oath. I can’t spoil too much new information because most of the characters’ storylines have progressed further than their book counterparts. There will be spoilers for this episode though, duh.

Ghost looks like he’s seen a ghost! Jon Snow White awoke without needing his Prince Charming, apparently he’s his own prince. His stab wounds aren’t bleeding, so I’m not entirely sure if he’s a zombie.
Davos – “What do you remember?”
Pain? A sexy redhead giving him a haircut?
Jon – “They stabbed me… Olly, he put a knife in my heart.”
Both figuratively and literally.
“I shouldn’t be here.”
What are things surprisingly said by Jon and not Davos.
Melisandre – “After you died, where did you go? What did you see?”
Is her perception of heaven our perception of hell? Probably.
Jon – “Nothing. There was nothing at all.”
He knew nothing, and his afterlife reflected this.
“I did what I thought was right…and I got murdered for it.”
He truly has Ned Stark’s blood.
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Game of Thrones Recap: Home

ned and caitlin used to watch Bran like this
I think this is the shortest name for an episode yet. I can’t spoil too much new information because most of the characters’ storylines have progressed further than their book counterparts. There will be spoilers for this episode though, duh.

The three eyed raven two eyed old man and Bran watch past Winterfell. Young Ned and Benjen are dueling, and Rodrik Cassel started growing his mutton chops early it appears.
Bran – “They were all so happy.”
Our chances of seeing Sean Bean again via flashback are pretty decent.
Bloodraven – “So were you once.”
When Bran could walk and talk with his family.
Lyanna makes her appearance, as well as a young Hodor, but Old Nan doesn’t let Hodor practice fighting because he’s a stable boy. Because stable boys can’t ever become knights? I don’t hear of any stable men, am I right ladies?!
Bloodraven – “Time to go.”
They go back to the future? In their minds, but technically they never left.
Bran – “You finally show me something I care about, and then you drag me away!”
He’s speaking directly for the book readers here.
Bran – “Willis, I saw you as a boy. You could talk, what happened?”
Hodor – “Hodor.”
I’m not sure what Bran was expecting.
Bran – “…where’s Meera?”
Hodor – “Hodor.”
Whatcha talking about Willis?! I didn’t shoehorn that in at all!
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Game of Thrones Recap: The Red Woman

not grenn and pyp mourn
Season 6 is no book 6, but it’s good enough. I’ve read the books, but I can’t spoil too much new information because most of the characters’ storylines have progressed further than their book counterparts, but I will try to make references to the book. There will be spoilers for this episode though, duh.

Jon Snow lays in a pool of his own blood in the snow, Ghost howls in the background. There’s a chance he’s only sleeping with his eyes open and Ghost is trying to wake him up.
Davos, not even a member of the Night’s Watch, is the first to find him. They then bring Jon’s dead body inside because they don’t want him to get stabbed again.
Edd – “Thorne did this.”
There’s a chance Jon tripped and fell on a dozen invisible knives.
Davos – “How many brothers do you think you can trust?”
Well there’s Sam, Maester Aemon, Grenn, Pyp…so zero.
Ed – “The men in this room.”
There’s no one else? Maybe a brother who slept in?
“Is the wolf not here?”
Step 1: GET THE WOLF!
Mel – “But I saw Jon fighting in Winterfell…”
Maybe some elaborate Weekend at Winterfell scenario? She still sees Stannis as king, so maybe she should stop looking at the flames, it’s causing her to lose her vision.
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Top of the MLB: 2016

12. Los Angeles Angels – The team with a once in a generation talent doesn’t really have too many supporting players around him to make a dominant team. They have the worst farm system in the MLB and I can’t see them making anymore trades; so no reinforcements are coming, this is the team they’ll have all season. After Trout the two best hitters on this team are Albert Pujols, a first ballot hall of fame career but with his best years behind him, and Kole Calhoun, only an above average hitter and a name spelling nightmare. This team doesn’t have any depth and I have trouble seeing anyone on the current lineup breaking out or improving too much on their previous year, but the rotation is where I see the most room for growth. Garrett Richards wasn’t 100% percent last year and he was worth double the WAR just the year prior, I still see ace potential in him. Andrew Heaney has the pedigree  and showed enough promise last year that it wouldn’t surprise me to see him as a top of the rotation starter soon. Jumble together the rest of the potential starters the Angels have available and I see something resembling a strong rotation. It should help that they have one of the best defensive shortstops now in Simmons. Mike Trout hasn’t been talented enough to carry this team to the playoffs every year, but he should be good enough to carry them within shooting distance, again. If he ever got injured this team would be in hell.

angels in the infield

That Scioscia player sure looks out of shape…he’s surprisingly tall

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Middle of the MLB: 2016

21.Minnesota Twins – Well this team came out of nowhere last year and I think we can thank skipper Paul Molitor for that, but with the improvements that the Tigers and White Sox made I think this team got pushed back to the bottom of a tough division. Phil Hughes actually matched his record setting low walks issued with 16, but his K rate fell off in a Hughe way… hopefully he can rekindle some of his 2014 efficiency again. Joe Mauer hasn’t been good since he lost his bromantic partner Justin Morneau, but clearly it’s all his fault the Twins suck now because of his big contract and it has nothing to do with his concussion like symptoms. In the year of the rookie Twin fans have to be a little disappointed and cautiously optimistic about Byron Buxton, who couldn’t figure out major league pitching at all and struck out in almost a 3rd of his at bats. I know Mike Trout struggled initially, but Buxton struggled with a 31% K rate and his stats look much worse than Trouts ever did. Maybe I’m setting the bar too high, but I expect great things from Buxton. Speaking of rookie studs, Miguel Sano smashed 18 HRs during his rookie year yet still somehow managed a K rate worse than Buxton’s at a whopping 35%. Those HRs though, real sexy, and he had some of the best hard contact in the majors. The Twins still have a ton of talent waiting to be called up, but for now they’re in an awkward phase of having veteran players fading out of their prime and young guys not quite ready to pick up that mantle. And they’ve lost ace Mike Pelfry, they have no chance this year.

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