Don’t worry, Yankees fans; Hank Steinbrenner has declared that he’s personally scrutinizing and rearranging the entire Yankees organisation from the ground up, including creating an "advisory committee" to make baseball decisions. If that’s not a guaranteed 2009 championship, I don’t know what is, since history demonstrates that every time Hank meddles, it works out wonderfully. Remember when he insisted on sticking the Yankees’ ace setup man in the rotation? Who wouldn’t trade stability in the eighth inning for a starter with a 4-3 record over twleve starts and a few trips to the DL? Idiots and fools, that’s who.
Everybody’s Hero Felix Pie has returned from his stint in the minors, and he went 1-2 with an RBI and two walks. Can’t complain about that .750 OBP! And, hey, the Cubs won for a goddamn change. But most importantly: PIE
PIE PIE PIE
When we last saw my Inquisitor, he looked like this:
Since then, he’s come a long way. In fact, I’m declaring this model finished (except that I still haven’t sealed it because some asshole forgot to buy a can of Purity Seal while he was at the store today). Today, he looks like this:
Again, excuse the shitty photography. I’m working on it. And if you think these shots are bad, you should see the ones I DIDN’T use. Anyhow, this picture shows you an overall — as you can see, he’s not massively different from how he was before, just a whole lot more refined. Oh, and the base and flames are actually done, which they weren’t before.
Here you see a close-up of the front of the model (per usual, I totally forgot to take any pictures of the back — I’ll remember someday!), and, as you can see, it’s much more detailed than it was before. The shading is a lot more sophisticated, since I’ve added highlights and inks where appropriate (and, let’s face it, a whole lot of places where they’re not appropriate, too). I’ve done a lot of detail work also, such as the purity seal on the left breast area, and also on the face. Not that you can tell from this angle. Another change is the colour of the coat — it’s not immediately apparent looking at it in a vacuum (which was what I wanted), but instead of being flat black like it was in the first picture, it’s now a very dark grey accented with heavy black inking. The end result is something that looks black no matter how closely you stare at it, but is actually a more visually interesting and deep scheme.
This shot gives a clearer view of the sword and the base. You can see from the picture (I realise the focus isn’t right, yes) that I’ve added both a bit of gold and a bit of green to the blade of the sword; the intention was to give it something of a magical look, since it’s a force sword. For the base, I coated it with bog-standard painter’s putty and then cut rock shapes into it with a hobby knife.
Here’s a closer look at the base. I painted the whole thing grey and then washed it black, then I picked out the individual stones for highlighting, washing, and drybrushing. I then added a bit of scorched grass in the cracks here and there to make it look overgrown, and then painted and washed the grass a bit browner to make it look… browner.
I put a whole lot of work into this model, and I used a tremendous number of different paints on it (22 paints, 3 inks, and 6 washes). I wish my photography skills were up to the task so you could see him a bit better, but overall I’m very satisfied with this model. I just need to get to grips with the fact that I can’t put this kind of work into all of my models or I’ll never get the whole army done.
The Cubs had an off-day today, so I spent it in quiet reflection. Maybe, I thought, the Cubs are in a slump because I haven’t been doing enough. I may have been letting the team down! So today I had two all-dressed hot dogs and said a silent prayer to the honorable Richard J. Daley, so I’ve now done my part.
Tomorrow: a post that isn’t about baseball. I promise.
Ten years ago today, Mark McGuire hit his sixty-second home run. It was the event that got me interested in baseball again, after the strike and the canceled World Series and all the other bullshit from the early nineties. Curiously, I was watching the game at the time, and I saw Mac slowly rounding the bases, and I saw the whole game stop and the field become a media event in the middle of an ongoing game.
The Cardinals were hosting the Cubs that game, which was ironic, since Mac’s closest competitor was Slammin’ Sammy himself. I thought it was a great moment, when McGuire finally finished his tour of the bases; as he crossed home plate, Sammy Sosa was headed that way too. He met McGuire a bit past the plate and shook his hand, and then gave him a giant bear hug. That was the day that, for me and for many other people, baseball was reborn.
People nowadays want to look on it with cynicism, through a sort of steroid-coloured glass. I suppose that’s understandable. But for me, the spectre of steroids can’t ruin the moment. The only substance either of those men has ever been linked to that was banned by MLB at the time is cork, if you catch my meaning, and I don’t really see the need to dig up the past. It doesn’t matter to me.
What I’m saying is, hey, Jeff Passan? Keep the angst to yourself, please.
Hey look, the federal government bought out Fanny and Freddie! I was just saying to Dave the other day that what this country really needs is an official process for redistributing wealth. I mean, a new one. So besides the ones that we have already that take money from honest people and give it to drug dealers, racketeers, and mobsters, now we have a new one that gives our money to people who are bad at math.
Unsurprisingly, the Cato institute has had a bit to say on the subject.
O’er there on the right you’ll see a new sidebar — the list of teams that are officially dead. As in, teams that are cut off, either through math or acts of God, from the glory of a World Series win. Teams that had a losing record at time of death will be listed in red, so you know they’re extra stinky and necrotic.
If you’re reading this post in the archives at some future date, no doubt you won’t find this sidebar. That’s one of the penalties you just need to accept as a time-traveling alien.
I’m officially declaring this a Cubs Moment — we’ve now lost five in a row to rotten teams. Our offense has been completely MIA during this last week; what is up with no runs scored tonight with Houston starting (and never relieving) a pitcher with a 4.47 ERA? Poor Ryan Dempster took the loss, but really it should be split evenly among every position player on the team.
As if the offensive dirt nap weren’t enough, we also have the Mystery of the Missing Zambrano, as Big Z has been utterly ineffective over his last six starts and now has a Mysterious Ailment in his arm that for some reason he left the hospital without having MRIed. I mean, sure, anybody can get injured, but it takes a special kind of player to forget to have the MRI done before he leaves the hospital so it can drag the whole process out that much longer.
It takes a Cubs player.