I recently re-watched the first season of ‘True Detective,’ a show I enjoyed last year as it was airing, but a show I didn’t appreciate nearly as much as the pundits seemed to be. On re-watching, ‘True Detective’ was easily one of the most impressively-constructed, and beautifully-executed stories I’ve received in a very long time. I was absolutely blown away by what the show was able to accomplish, and the layers of story it told. I’ve re-watched every show I’ve ever enjoyed, but I don’t think there was ever a more significant leap in my appreciation of a show than this time.
So, what happened? What was it about ‘True Detective’ that made the re-watch so special? Honestly, I think it was mostly my own fault the first time I watched, when I was clearly looking for the show that ‘True Detective’ wasn’t. Being immersed in a national conversation that was mostly about the “mysteries” of the show, I was going week-to-week looking for clues, and trying to piece together what was happening before it happened. That was never what the show was really about (even if I’d argue the show-runner didn’t quite do enough to stamp out that perspective, either as it was developing in the discourse about the show, or within the way the episodes unfolded early on). The show is simply the story. ‘True Detective’ is best appreciated as an incredibly deep, interesting study of these two guys, and a particularly notable storyline in their lives. Once I was stripped of all the “mystery guessing” and obsessive “clue sniffing,” I could just enjoy the show. And I missed so much to enjoy the first time I watched it.
Long story short: if you didn’t watch ‘True Detective’ last year, do so. It’s as good as anyone said it was.
- This past weekend, we discussed the unfortunate circumstances of Ernie Banks’ remains, and the dispute about what to do with them. The fight is getting worse, and deeper, as Banks’ family, his estranged wife, and the woman who claims to have control over his estate are battling about not only what to do with his remains, but also what to do with his assets (Chicago Tribune).
- Patrick Mooney rightly points out that, despite the influx of big names and big talent, Starlin Castro will still be under the microscope this Spring. It was a tumultuous offseason for Castro, whose bounce back 2014 season was cut short with an ankle injury. The Cubs will need all the offense they can get from their veterans, and, despite the fact that he’s not yet even 25, Castro falls into that category.
- Mooney’s piece, by the way, includes insightful, complimentary thoughts from GM Jed Hoyer, who, among other things, mentions Castro’s burgeoning power by the end of the year (before the injury). That got me itchy to watch some long bombs, and here was Castro’s final homer of the year, which came in St. Louis:
- Yeah. That was a bomb. There was also this one a few weeks earlier in Colorado:
- The first over/under on the Cubs’ win total for 2015 was at 81.5 – just barely better than .500 – and the next, from Bovada, is a touch higher at 82.5. That seems like a reasonable range, and it puts the Cubs about 13th in baseball.
- Cardinals righty Michael Wacha might be as important to the team’s 2015 success as any other pitcher on the team, and, so far, his shoulder is feeling good. I’d add, though, that the 23-year-old will also have to get past the memory of his manager leaving him out to dry and lose the NLCS. (OK, so Wacha’s probably over that by now. Mostly I just wanted to remind you of the moment the Cardinals’ 2014 season ended.)
- We talked about the naming process for the South Bend Cubs’ mascot, and it is indeed down to Stu and Colfax.
- I could get behind this recurring theme:
A recurring theme I hear from Latin scouts: Of the young Cuban hitters, they love Jorge Soler most of all. #cubs
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 16, 2015
- A FanGraphs analysis of offseason Twitter activity by each of MLB’s teams.
- Cespedes Family BBQ’s uniquely-styled 2015 Cubs preview.
- Obstructed View looks ahead to the Cubs with a ‘Frozen’ – and surprisingly positive! – bent.
- I was on the Disciples of Uecker podcast to talk Cubs and the NL Central.
- Today is Michael Jordan’s 52nd birthday, and I will therefore remind you that what he did on the baseball diamond was unbelievably impressive.