Stick to baseball, 6/10/17.

I’ve been busy this week, with a top 100 draft prospects “Big Board” up for Insiders, and a free article profiling top draft prospect Hunter Greene, who gave me some really thoughtful answers on the topics of preparation, being a two-way player, and baseball’s declining African-American audience. I also held a Klawchat on Friday afternoon.

I’ll have a new mock draft up tomorrow (Sunday) and my editors and I will update that file until the draft begins Monday evening. I’m also planning to do a chat Monday afternoon as the draft gets closer.

In non-baseball content, BBC America asked me to to rank the main clones on the show Orphan Black, which returns for its fifth and final season tonight on the cable channel. The first four seasons are all available on Amazon Prime, and I highly recommend it.

Over at Paste, I reviewed the cooperative puzzle game Unlock!, which is actually a series of modules that mimic the escape-room experience by asking players to solve riddles on cards and enter codes into a free app on their phones. The publisher sent me four of the modules; I played three before the review, and they’re all difficult but worth playing. The fourth, The Island of Dr. Goorse, was too abstruse, and that’s not just my opinion but the opinion of all five of us who played, including my father, the (retired) electrical engineer and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.

And now, the links…


  1. Jeez, I read the second bullet point and I immediately exclaimed, “Are you fucking kidding me?”

    I absolutely shudder to think of ANY episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus to be edited.

    When I read the Forbes article on the Eric Trump charity earlier this week, I was actually taking a somewhat sympathetic position regarding Eric, as I was under the impression that dear old Daddy was forcing him to pay up. Then it got to the end of the article with his refusal to respond in any meaningful way, and then he opened his mouth after the publication, and I realized that, naturally, he’s just as much of a degenerate creep as his father and brother.

    • RE: MPFC, isn’t the Summarize Proust episode somewhat edited? I think one of the contestants says his three favorite things are strangling animals, golf, and masturbating, with self-abuse being edited out, at least when Comedy Central was showing the episodes. I am working on memory from 20+ years ago.

    • It depends on where you see it, I guess. I know on the home video releases I’ve owned on both VHS and DVD it’s unedited. I could see why it would be edited on TV airings. The funniest thing about that line, though, that I think most people miss, is that after Chapman’s contestant lists those three hobbies, Idle as the voice-over announcer for the sketch says, “He must have let himself down a little on the hobbies. Golf is not very popular around here.”

      The Pythons themselves talked about that sketch at their Aspen Comedy Festival reunion in the late 90’s. The relevant part begins at 7:11 of this clip:

  2. Besides Venezuelan baseball players, Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter’s dad was arrested, and later released, in Turkey this past week. Kanter has been a big critic of Erdogan.

  3. Oh man, that blockchain piece is strong. The mystique associated with Bitcoin is down largely to “not properly understanding how it works.” I’m probably over-simplifying, but it seems like the simpler and more transparent the currency, the better?

  4. I talked to my wife, who is Filipino and a food blogger, and in-laws about food appropriation. Earlier this week, I saw an article about Anthony Bourdain proclaiming that Filipino cuisine will be the next big thing. On the surface it makes sense. Most other Asian cultures (Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian) have all had their time as the current big thing and there are a lot of Filipinos in the US. I asked them how they would feel if in 10 years Filipino cuisine was big and if the biggest name associated with Filipino cuisine were non-Filipino. Small sample sizes and everything, but all three said it would depend on how enthusiastic they were about Filipino culture. Bayless is the most famous chef cooking Mexican cuisine in the world today, but he is also very enthusiastic about Mexican culture so people don’t care too much that he is not Mexican. They also said it would be great if it was a bridge to more people learning about Filipino food/culture. There is a big Filipino grocery store here in Chicago called Seafood City. Whenever we go, I am one of the few non-Filipinos there and the other non-Filipinos are probably there with friends and family as well. They thought it would be great if in 10 years there were non-Filipinos there on their own.

  5. My sister is a (white) college student at Portland State, and is trying to organize protests against restaurants that ‘appropriate’. She calls it ‘imperialism’.

    I teach 10th and 11th graders at a high school south of Portland that happens to be 80% Latino. They thought the idea of cultural appropriate with regards to food was among the dumbest ideas they had ever heard.

  6. That was a great read on bitcoin. THank you for posting it.

  7. Yes, of course food faces cultural appropriation. Because of how shallow white people tend to engage with other people’s “cultures,” food is probably the cultural aspect most subject to appropriation.

    • Or *attempted* cultural appropriation, as the Kooks backlash (and the earlier one for the Bon Appetit pho farce) show

    • Do you see any irony at all in the fact that your comment makes a gross generalization about an entire ethnicity?

  8. Aaron B.,

    I’m just gonna say this straight out. If cultural appropriation of a breakfast burrito is a significant concern in your life right now, you are the “whitest” person on this particular forum.

    • Aaron’s not white, and I don’t think he said it was a significant concern in his life. He just said it exists.

  9. A link for next week’s STB? 538 has an article on how to convince people to vaccinate their kids and themselves.

  10. I’m honestly asking this, so please keep flames to a minimum.

    Is it bad to eat food from another culture, or just to make it? Or is it making money off of it?

    I always thought that trying new things, and exposing those around you to new things (food, games, books, shows, etc) is what brings us all together. If it takes a white guy (finally) opening a pho shop in my midwestern town to expose people to it, is that bad?

    • In the linked piece, variations of the word “authentic” came up. I think that’s the real issue. People obsess over whether or not something is “real” Mexican/Thai/whatever food. I think it would solve a lot of the trouble if people would just accept that cuisine mutates constantly with time, place, and different chefs.

      A friend who is a very good white chef of southeast asian food likes to use Italian housewives as an example: Over a century ago they came over as immigrants and discovered meat was cheap over here, so they started adding more meat to dishes. But now it’s diverging from what’s served in Italy, so are they “authentic” Italian cooks or not?

  11. Sorry to deviate from the appropriation theme, but regarding Orphan Black:

    Maslany is brilliant; what she does on that show has to be the hardest ‘degree of difficulty’ performance of any TV actor ever. I’ve been a fan of hers since she starred in the first Ginger Snaps sequel as a teenager. And I like the the first season of OB in general. But the writing seemed to become unfocused in season two, like they didn’t what to do except rely on an ever-expanding conspiracy for new reveals.

    I stopped watching after that, but now I’m wondering, with all the praise the show is belatedly getting, if seasons three and four became more coherent. Did it get stronger after two?

    • Season 4 had the best writing since season 1; I thought 3 was the weakest, with the male clones storyline costing them the focus on the Leda clones.

  12. Keith, thanks for highlighting the, ahem, “partnership” between the Royals and the anti-abortion group. Leaving aside anyone’s opinions about abortion, do you think the Royals would agree to “partner” with Planned Parenthood if the latter group came to them and wanted the same opportunities as the anti-abortion group?