Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Adam Dunn, Gossip Girl, and Friday Night Lights

There is absolutely nothing sports related that is even remotely interesting to talk about right now. Sure, I guess I could chime in on the Adam Dunn pure speculation which I will in a second, but beyond that I'll leave with you a few completely non-sports related thoughts to grapple with.

Adam Dunn

Adam Dunn sounds great on paper. He is durable and consistent. Over the past 5 seasons has played no fewer than 152 games in any season and has hit 40+ home runs and walked 100+ times in each of those seasons.

However there are some negatives on him. For starters, everybody seems to agree that he is an atrocious defensive player whether that be in the outfield or first base. Then there were the comments made by the Blue Jays GM - who never met a microphone he did not like BTW - last year about how teams would not touch him because he "really didn't like playing baseball that much", a statement which while controversial did not seem to be met with much resistance. And then of course you have the matter of his strikeouts which ranged from 164-195 a year during the aforementioned 5 year span and his batting average which ranged from .234-.266. Both of those ranges could be construed as troublesome.

I'll tell you what worries me about bringing on an Adam Dunn. For one thing, the whole not liking baseball thing does not seem like a good fit in Boston. Call me crazy but if he has a 1-15 homestand against the Yankees with 8 strikeouts I don't know how he'll react to the fans getting on him. Could it result in a Keith Foulke like implosion? I am not sure and what's more I am not sure that I want to find out. That of course is completely arbitrary and impossible to predict so we'll put it off to the side for now.

Now I'll tell you what really worries me about Dunn; the fact that he may get his playing time jerked around on account of being a super-1B/OF/DH-sub. While I have advocated bringing in a Bobby Abreu type for this role, I do not like the idea of Adam Dunn for this because he is incredibly streaky - he had two monster months last year, three below average ones, and one average one - and because it does not seem like his skill-set would mesh with being a part time player, even a frequently used part time player.

It seems to me that in order to get everything that Dunn brings to the table if you are a good team you need to stick him towards the bottom of your lineup everyday, let him collect his 0-4s here and there but then reap the rewards of the 40 homers and 110 walks you will receive as well. This is actually the exact thing the Yankees did with Jason Giambi last year and they were rewarded with 32 home runs in the 145 games he played, not to mention a 128 OPS+. Not too bad. I'd take that from Adam Dunn. If the Red Sox can get him those 145 games and figure out a set rotation for him so that his confidence does not get crushed after a couple of 0-fers then I'd be all for bringing him on board. I really think they could make it work too and lord knows they need another bat. However, if he can only get himself sporadic playing time and maybe 120 games or so, I'd worry that he may crumble under a situation that was not ideally suited for him to begin with.

Funny TV

OK, I think it is official; The Office is just not that funny anymore. Yes, it is entertaining and yes it can have it's moments but right now if I get a legitimate laugh out of the show as opposed to the occasional snicker then I consider that a success. And then there is 30 Rock, which keeps on cruising along. Sure it tends to stumble when they rely too much on the guest star gimmick or Kenneth, but when they step back and let Jack, Tracy, Jenna, and Liz do their thing, the show is great. I definitely laughed more in last week's episode than I probably have throughout the entire season of The Office.

More Serious TV

If you want to know the two TV dramas that I find myself enjoying more than anything else on a consistent basis these days, then those shows would have to be Friday Night Lights and Gossip Girl and in that order. FNL is just an all around great show. Millions of critics/bloggers have already sung it's praises countless times so I won't rehash. Just know that I love it and save for a bit of a lull in the early stages of last season (the second) it has pretty much consistently kept me engrossed/entertained since day one.

As for Gossip Girl, well you are probably laughing at me now. I guess it is a guilty pleasure, but for me it really is not because the show is actually really good. Real World is a guilty pleasure for me. Gossip Girl is just a good show. It's like the creators used The OC to figure out what worked and what did not and then took all they learned from that experience to really step up their game for GG. Amazingly, even the girls are hotter.

If there is a downside to GG it is probably that it can take itself a bit too seriously from time to time and needs some more of the humor that made The OC better than it probably deserved to be. Also, some of the brattiness can go over the top to the point of annoyance. Plus Dan Humphrey and his dad who may or may not be gay lovers on the show - a TON of flirty banter between the two - are just plain awful. Serena is annoying too and would probably seem a lot worse if not for Dan. Luckily, Blair and Chuck more than compensate for all the other short-comings. I won't turn this into a Gossip Girl post so I'll stop there. Just know that this show is actually good and not just teeny-bopper drivel like the new 90210 which is pretty much terrible.

Girl Debate

One other thing I did not mention in the FNL/GG debate. Cast member for cast member they probably feature the most smoking hot girls on television. Who has the hotter girls? Not sure, so let's settle this breakdown style.

(And yes I know Bill Simmons has done stuff like this in his mailbag before...just want you to know that I recognize the similarities here and can't think of a better way to do this.)


Mrs. Van Der Wutsen/Bass (GG) vs. Mrs. Taylor (FNL)

This one is not close. If we were talking Kirstin Cohen then Mrs. Taylor may have some competition but we are not. Mrs. Taylor wins this in a landslide.

Illicit Hot Daughter Whose Not 18:

Jenny Humphrey who is 15 in real life (GG) vs. Julie Taylor who is 19 in real life (FNL)

OK so I did not realize that the actress who played Julie Taylor was that old. I guess I'll take solace (?) in the fact that she was 17 in the first season. Anyway, this is another romp for FNL. Jenny Humphrey was pretty strong but the whole half hipster/half goth look she's been running with lately just is not flying. Meanwhile Julie Taylor continues to more than keep it real as the hot daughter of the football coach and the principal. Plus she dates the quarterback! Sorry Jenny, I gotta go with Julie here. Go back to the preppy/stylish New York look you were rocking before and we have much more of a ballgame.

Leading Young Female:

Serena Van Der Wutsen (GG) vs. Laila Garrity (FNL)

Laila Garrity is really, really hot but Serena Van Der Wutsen is so hot she makes me forget how annoying her voice/character is. That is saying something because as much as I try I cannot totally warm up to Laila. While on paper, this should be a lot closer, the fact of the matter is that Serena wins this one in a blowout.

Token Harlequin/Sexpot:

Blair Waldorf (GG) vs. Tyra Collette (FNL)

Tyra, Tyra, Tyra...you had this won up until this season. You made a furious comeback with some of those outfits you wore in the most recent episode. But - and this pains me - you started curling your hair. And that look aint working for you my friend, especially in a category this tight where Blair Waldorf brings it like Uma Thurman's "The Bride" in Kill Bill on a week in and week out basis. Against anybody else, Tira wins this with relative ease. But again, this is not anybody else. This is Blair Waldorf. And against Blair Waldorf you can't even take a minor step back.

Final Tally:


Well that was counter-productive. Bottom line, know that at the very least, all of the girls on both of these shows are smoking hot. And the shows are good too.

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