Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2021

no sweat
I haven’t seen the ad, but according to today’s Stuart Elliott email column (no link for it on the New York Times), there was something interesting in Alex Rodriguez’s latest deodorant commercial:

A Reader Asks: There is a commercial for Speed Stick deodorant starring Alex Rodriguez. He’s talking about how tough a town New York can be. But at the end, there is something that I noticed that I don’t think was really part of the message.

The product is shown in front of a backdrop of a baseball stadium at night. You can clearly see the light fixtures. Some bulbs are missing but the lights are on. In the main fixture, it appears that the bulbs that are on are in the configuration of the characters “E5.” Was this on purpose?

Stuart Elliott: “E5″ means error on the third baseman, and since Mr. Rodriguez is the third baseman for the New York Yankees, it seems highly unlikely for the bulbs to spell that out. But that is indeed what viewers see in the commercial.

However, “it was entirely unintentional,” says Allison Klimerman, a spokeswoman for the Colgate-Palmolive Company in New York; the Mennen division of Colgate-Palmolive makes Speed Stick. “It ran that way for many months and no one noticed,” she adds.

Until now, that is.

Unintentional? That’s no way to fuel a conspiracy theory.

Could there have been a disgruntled Yankees fan among the production crew for the commercial, pulling a fast one? Or was it in fact intentional — implying that Rodriguez committed an “error” by taking so long to get with the right anti-stink stick?

I’m sorry I missed out on the original version. I have no interest in seeing it now, with the potential subliminal message edited out.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/10/2021 09:08:24 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Baseball | Permalink | Feedback

Thursday, May 05, 2021

outplay, outlast
Which disgraced player achieves redemption by getting into the Hall of Fame: “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, or Mark McGwire? Gary Shelton presents the choice, reality TV-style.

Although the column presents some good information — for instance, I wasn’t aware that Jackson’s overall hitting stats are relatively weak, even factoring in the era in which he played — overall it’s not a particularly strong piece of writing. I actually agree with the selection of Rose as the worthiest scoundrel to get in, based solely on his career as a player. But Shelton’s overall delivery here could have been better.

The column includes a voting poll for you to chime in. As of this writing, with around 750 votes tallied (that should peak at a couple thousand by day’s end), Jackson and Rose are neck-and-neck as the fan favorites to get a plaque.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/05/2021 09:25:39 AM
Category: Baseball | Permalink | Feedback

Wednesday, March 09, 2021

rays by the bay
As part of the St. Petersburg Times’ retrospective on 10 years of Devil Rays baseball (I warn you, don’t click unless you can stand the ugliness), columnist Gary Shelton files from the Spring Training 2010.

It’s a time when Cal Ripken is MLB commissioner, Jose Canseco and his wife J.Lo have a hit reality TV show, and, predictably, Tampa Bay’s baseball squad has taken out a multiyear mortgage on the AL East cellar.

Shelton does the whimsical future/alternate reality schtick ala the sporting world every so often. He’s quite good at it. I wouldn’t want him to do it to death, but still, I wouldn’t mind seeing it more often.

I still have fond memories of sitting at the kitchen counter and reading his 1993 Tampa Bay Giants home opener report. It was a bittersweet way to put the whole Bill Lurie affair behind us.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/09/2021 10:11:57 PM
Category: Baseball | Permalink | Feedback

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

curses
Can’t miss tonight’s total lunar eclipse, the last for North America until 2007. I know someone who’s looking forward to it, with voodoo-like anticipation.

And yet, I see a problem:

This year, superstitious baseball fans are wondering whether the eclipse will be a dark omen for the supposedly cursed Boston Red Sox or bad luck for the St. Louis Cardinals. The teams are scheduled to meet in Game 4 of the World Series tonight.

Yes, BoSox fans know firsthand that 3-0 leads are not sure things. And winning eight in a row is daunting for any team.

Still, the way Boston is playing, it’s looking mighty likely that they’ll win tonight. Meaning Boston kills the Curse, and brings home it’s first World Series win in 86 years.

So, combine that with the eclipse, and it means the world ends tonight. No getting around it: All signs point toward Armageddon.

It’s been nice knowing all of you.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/27/2004 07:19:57 PM
Category: Baseball, Science | Permalink | Feedback (1)

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Oh yeah: The Red Sox reversed the curse last night, at least part of the way (let’s see if they can beat the NL Champ).

Coming back from the biggest of holes, 0-3 in a 7-game series, is damned impressive, and the BoSox deserve the accolades. But as Eric at Off Wing reminds us, they weren’t the first in major professional sports to do it. They were the first to do it off the ice, though.

And of course, one team’s comeback is another team’s collapse.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/21/2004 08:11:58 PM
Category: Hockey, Baseball | Permalink | Feedback

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

I loathe spam as much as the next person. But I have to admit a certain fondness for the celebrity-endorsed variety.

So when I saw an email from retired Minnesota Twin Kirby Puckett in my inbox this morning, I couldn’t help but open it. Surely, the nicest guy in baseball wouldn’t waste my time.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a pitch for cheap online medications. I guess a Hall of Fame career doesn’t take you as far as it used to.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/12/2021 09:43:48 AM
Category: Internet, Baseball, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

adieu sa-wing batta
This is probably the first time I’ve ever used the Montreal Expos logo, either here or on the old blog. It’s also likely to be the last, as the ‘Spos aim to depart la belle provence for greener fields in Washington, DC (la belle district??).

It’s big news in baseball, where a major league team hasn’t relocated since 1971. I know two bloggers in DC who are duly excited.

Naturally, this is Major League Baseball, so the deal’s not completely done yet. And because of that, I have to say this is an awfully backward way of moving a team:

With the announcement made, the process of selling the Expos starts. A group that includes former Rangers partner Fred Malek has been seeking a Washington franchise for five years. In addition, several baseball officials have said in the past week that Stan Kasten, former president of the Atlanta Braves, Hawks and Thrashers, might be trying to assemble a group.

These days, a major sports league goes through a rigorous process of selecting a legit ownership group before it plants a team in a new city (through either expansion or relocation). This move to Washington feels like putting the cart before the horse. But I suppose there’s enough confidence that a group can be found in a relatively rich metro area like DC.

While the major details are being worked out, the cosmetic ones are being addressed too. Chief among them: A new name. Dragging out the old Senators moniker would be traditional, but probably hokey, and not worth bounding several hurdles to get it. Fortunately, “Washington Grays” is available, just as traditional, and a very nice tribute to the old Negro League team (and by extension, the entire Negro Leagues).

Talk about more cosmetic details: Yahoo! Sports has already cleared out an empty locker for the new Washington team.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/29/2004 08:15:39 PM
Category: Baseball | Permalink | Feedback

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