Periodically, I like to remind you that Amazon.com is awesome. I am currently (well, not like this second, but currently in my life) watching ‘Friday Night Lights,’ the little series that could, thanks to Amazon Prime. It is frequently cited by folks as the counterargument to my “‘LOST’ is the best show in TV history in part because of what it accomplished despite being a network show,” and offered up as a better example. I’m nearing the end of the 4th of 5 seasons, and, while I can definitely see why FNL was special and regarded as “different” among typical network shows, it is not quite up there with ‘LOST.’ Sorry. It’s just not.
If you’d like to be super cool like me and watch some of the great shows of the Golden Era of TV, you should sign up for Amazon Prime.
And, when you shop at Amazon.com, you should use this link (heck, you can make it your bookmark), which will take you to the exact same Amazon.com you know and love, but it will tell Amazon that I sent you, and they can credit BN appropriately.
- Each of Rick Renteria and Jake Arrieta say the righty didn’t have his best stuff or command yesterday, which really showed in the first inning (Cubs.com). But he still managed to go six innings, giving up no other runs after the first, and finishing with a game ERA/FIP/xFIP of 3.00/1.64/2.49. Once again I say: if that’s “bad” Jake Arrieta … oh man. It could be a really fun next few years. More on Arrieta’s start here from Sahadev Sharma.
- Also: if you read a headline about Jake Arrieta as trade bait, you can ignore it.
- Rick Renteria emphasized that sending Neil Ramirez to the minors yesterday was just about giving him a break, and has been planned with respect to a number of young arms for quite some time (Cubs.com). The fact that it ruffled so many fan feathers remains a mystery to me, given that protecting young arms in a season like this should be a top priority. Absent an injury replacement, you can’t call a guy back up after you option him for 10 days, but Renteria said it is the expectation now that Ramirez will be back as soon as those 10 days are up.
- Lots from Justin Ruggiano at CSN, talking about what it was like coming up with a group of talented youngsters back when he was with the Rays. I also like hearing that the clubhouse atmosphere has remained positive this year, in spite of the losing and turnover. That’s probably not all that easy to maintain.
- Far be it from me to chastise a writer or a fan base who covered or followed Manny Ramirez back when he was causing issues for a big league team – because we didn’t have to experience that – but this Bill Plaschke column is a frustrating effort. I suppose I understand that he’s writing from the perspective of a disappointed Dodgers fan base (hey, man, how do you think Cubs fans feel about Dodger-era Ramirez? 2008 looms large in our memory), but the piece is entirely about Ramirez’s embarrassing venture into minor league baseball, and trying to keep a dying career alive. There is barely any mention of what Ramirez is actually doing with the Iowa Cubs, and certainly no plaudits for the kind of mentor and leader we’re hearing about regularly. It’s a shame that this is the piece that emanated from an interview with the now 42-year-old player coach.
- An awesome collection by Jeff Sullivan of lawn dart throws, in honor of Ryan Raburn’s recent oops. I think my favorite is the Shane Victorino one. But, yeah, that Ryan Sweeney one is pretty bad.
- The Colorado Rockies made an unthinkably grand mistake yesterday, handing out Troy “Tulowizki” jerseys to their fans on Troy Tulowitzki Night. At least they were prompt and thorough in their apology (giving replacement jerseys to anyone who wants to swap out, together with a free ticket). I kind of want one of the misprints. In fact, I’ll take an Anthony Rizo jersey or a Starlin Catros or a Pedro Stop.
- MLB.com is unveiling its midseason prospect list updates tonight on MLB Network, with the focus being the new top 100. The top 50 will be discussed, starting at 8pm CT. The rest of the updates – the full top 100, new team top 20s, and new positional top 10s – will be published online at some point tonight.