My in-order binge of the MCU movies continued this weekend with ‘Iron Man 2’ and ‘Thor.’ Good and fine flicks in a lot of ways, though you can definitely tell the series overall was still kinda finding its footing about how to present these stories. The second Iron Man requires considerable more leaps in logic (I mean even within the universe you’re asked to accept), which is a little distracting, as are the over-the-top, one-note villains. Moreover, the handling of Tony Stark’s evolution and how a guy with his personality deals with what’s going on around him … it just could have been better. Robert Downey, Jr., however is just incredible in that role.
‘Thor’ was a lot better than I remembered from my first viewing many years ago, though again, it’s almost humorous how far the characters have come. Is it just me, or are Stellan Skarsgård and Kat Dennings the only people in that movie who play into their roles in enjoyable, believable ways? Even the great Anthony Hopkins is somehow reduce to “meh.” That said, the story bones they had to work with in the movie are, in my opinion, some of the best in the MCU. Consider the HUGE leap they had to take in sending viewers into other worlds and somehow tie it credibly to Earth? Not bad at all.
If you are also a huge nerd and want to binge the MCU like me, note that almost the entire collection is on Disney+, so sign up here for your free trial. It supports BN when you do, so that’s cool, too.
- We’re getting a lot more information on the plan to eliminate upwards of 42 minor league teams, which would result in a massive loss of affiliated pro teams across the country, and minor league spots associated with those teams (necessarily shrinking the draft to just 20 rounds, and likewise changing fundamental aspects of player development). The New York Times reports the 42 teams that would be eliminated from affiliated ball:
Affiliated ball across the region is at risk here: Hagerstown and Frederick, Maryland… Williamsport, Erie and State College, PA… the Mahoning Valley… all over West Virginia.
This is not how your grow baseball. This is how you kill it.https://t.co/IRlBuh55aJ
— James Santelli. All-in. Pitt Volleyball. (@JamesSantelli) November 17, 2019
These are the 42 minor league teams that would be contracted under MLB's realignment plan…
…which was reportedly developed by the Astros, Orioles, and our Brewers. pic.twitter.com/axCgGL5d8m
— Kyle Lesniewski (@KyleL_Brewers) November 17, 2019
- You’ll note that no Cubs affiliates show up, presumably because they have some of the best facilities in the country. But that doesn’t mean the Cubs wouldn’t necessarily lose affiliates: after the elimination of those 42 teams, you would see leagues changing completely, and you would also very likely see some affiliations change organizations.
- I do understand that there are needs to improve what is happening at the minor league level (mostly, PAY THE PLAYERS MORE and IMPROVE THEIR FACILITIES), but this point is also my biggest concern with this particular plan:
Over 40 million fans attended minor league games in 2019. I wish the conversation was about finding ways to improve the existing structure of minor league baseball (paying players more, improving facilities, etc.) rather than tearing it down to try and save money.
— Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) November 18, 2019
- Here is a sharply critical read on the plan, but one that also provides some more background information:
Rob Manfred’s plan to destroy minor league baseball – New York Daily News https://t.co/cguQ0Inqak
— Lou DiBella (@loudibella) November 16, 2019
- A note from that article that’ll make you ticked: “I’m told that when Manfred presented this plan to the owners a few months ago, the vote was unanimous 30-0 to move forward. It was the Luhnow, the godfather of analytics, and the Astros who first conceived of it, and they were quickly joined by the Brewers and Orioles, whose GMs — David Stearns and Mike Elias — both worked under Luhnow with the Astros.”
- The Astros: the villains the sport needed?
- Not that you needed more corroboration at this point, but:
What we were told: Astros set up a monitor between dugout and clubhouse to watch a camera feed & relay signs
What we know: they had a monitor in that spot, that they broke down and took away as soon as games ended. A banging sound paterns perfectly with off-speed pitches. pic.twitter.com/ssXd85ezQ4
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) November 17, 2019
- Boatload of great Deals of the Day at Amazon today, including pet supplies and beds, toys, MacBooks, knives, blenders, headphones, and more. #ad
- This is the Cubs’ new director of hitting:
— Justin Stone (@elite_baseball) November 18, 2019
- Anthony Rizzo has a new doggo, and it is instantly one of the most popular Cubs:
Move over Woody, there's a new Sheriff in town and his name is KEVIN! pic.twitter.com/KQ21HGwVXi
— Anthony Rizzo (@ARizzo44) November 17, 2019
- I had to get the dog thing in the headline, too, because otherwise it would’ve just been so sad.