A Winning Streak, a Bad Inning, and a New Office

1. 3-Game Sweep: Co-ed softball went extremely well Monday evening. I am the pitcher on Jon Waldman’s team, Bowling Trophy. I started all three games, and we won all three thanks to outstanding defense and some really clutch hits. In the first game, we forced extra innings and won in seven. In the second game, we won handily, 14-1. And the third game was tough, but we pulled it out. Down 6-4 in the final inning with two outs and a man on second, our top hitter Matt Brinkman stepped up. He had hit several homers over the fence already on the day. As he walked to the plate, he turned around and told me he’d tie it up, but it was up to someone else to win it. So he did. He smashed a pitch well beyond the right field wall to tie it, and we won it on a Randy Morehouse double. As the pitcher in all three games, I collected three wins to improve my overall record to 4-1 this season. At the plate, I was 5-for-6 with a double, walk, and three three runs scored. The part I was happiest with was I only walked one batter in 17 innings of pitching.

2. Episode Countdown: We’re certainly nearing the end of my all-time top 50 episode countdown. Today, it’s time to reveal numbers 10 through 6.

#10 – Seinfeld, “The Sniffing Accountant,” originally aired October 7, 1993 – This is the top episode of Seinfeld on my list. I don’t think it will crack many people’s lists as the top Seinfeld, but I have my reasons. Elaine breaks up with a great guy because he doesn’t use exclamation points often enough. Kramer takes one of Jerry’s sweaters and wears it to the bar where he tries to prove he and Jerry’s accountant a drug user, and while at the bar downs a beer with a cigarette in mouth. George’s dad sets him up for an interview as a bra salesman, which of course he fails at.

#9 – The Wonder Years, “The Ties That Bind,” originally aired November 14, 1990 – As you may have guessed, this is the top episode of The Wonder Years. It for some reason gets me every time. Jack asks for a raise and gets it, but this means he has to travel all the time and is never home. The family expects him home for Thanksgiving, but he is stuck in Cincinnati and doesn’t make it, much to everyone’s disappointment. A seemingly ordinary episode, but it ranks very high for me.

#8 – Arrested Development, “Good Grief,” originally aired December 5, 2004 – Wow. Does TV get much funnier than Arrested? Not anything current, anyway. This episode from the second season nearly had me in tears from laughing so hard. George Sr. is hiding in the attic after escaping from Mexico unharmed, but hired bounty hunter Ice tells the family he was killed. So, the family has a wake for him in their house with George watching from the attic. Buster is not informed of his death, but rather is told it’s George’s birthday party. Gob tries to perform a trick escaping from a coffin, but Buster ruins it and Gob is buried alive as everyone applauds. Too funny.

#7 – The Office, “Training,” originally aired July 30, 2001 – If at least two episodes of The Office can top Arrested Development, you know they must be good. And it doesn’t get much better than David Brent’s guitar-playing during the office training seminar. David has brought in a speaker to help the company by doing some exercises, but David keeps trying to take control, and eventually the speaker’s session comes to a standstill as David plays his original song “Free Love Freeway.” I think Chris and Jason will agree this one belongs very high on the list.

#6 – The Office, “Charity,” originally aired October 28, 2002 – To conclude the second season, David Brent is made redundant (fired) after a tumultuous run as boss. And to make matters worse, it’s comic relief day at the office and everyone is doing funny things or wearing funny clothes. So when David find out he’s fired, he’s wearing a giant yellow ostrich costume. It’s another brilliant episode.

3. New Office Not Bad: After we watched the first episode of NBC’s American version of The Office, I think we were all horribly disappointed. After all, they were doing the very same jokes from the BBC version. But they have certainly picked things up since. I’d go so far as to say it’s my fourth favorite TV show right now, following Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and American Idol. Steve Korell does a very good job as the boss.

4. Preparing for Weekend: This weekend, Jason, Chris, Cooney, and I will make a trip over to Minneapolis for the Valleyfair training weekend. Chris is along for the ride and to see some of his old high school friends who go to the U of M. We’ll meet up with Jeff LaPlant and skip out of training Saturday afternoon to hopefully sign a contract with an apartment I found in Burnsville that sounds perfect for what we need. Of course, we’re sure to meet up with Patrick and Travis.

5. Profanity on Arrested?: I watched Arrested Development Sunday night and at one point, I thought I heard George Michael say “f&cked” to Maybey. Hmm… They couldn’t possibly swear on broadcast television could they? Chris and I watched the scene several times and realized that they actually did say it. We were pretty surprised that FOX would allow that, even with that parental discretion warning before the episode. And it really didn’t add anything to the flow of the episode. Very strange.

6. Mays Prediction: As I write this, I’m preparing to watch the Twins and Tigers on FSN. Joe Mays is making his first start since August 23, 2003 (I was at that game). Before the game starts, I’ll make my prediction. I think he will go 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, while striking out five and walking two. He’ll get a no-decision. …Let’s wait a few hours… Okay, the game’s over. The Twins won 5-4, and Mays went five innings, allowing three runs on four hits while walking four and striking out three. So I wasn’t off by much. He really did get the no-decision.

7. Possible Concert to See: I heard on the radio Tuesday that country star Josh Gracin is coming to Brookings in two weeks for a concert. His latest hit “Nothin’ to Lose,” I think, is the best new country song I’ve heard in probably five years, so I’d like to go see the concert. It’s only $5 to get in, so I think I’ll have to go if I can find a couple other people who would be interested. I called the only person from SDSU I keep in contact with–Kristin Olsen–to see if she was going, but she thought Josh Gracin was someone in my class at Willow Lake.

8. I Hate the First Inning: Oh my God. How horrible can one team be in a particular inning? Well, the Twins and the first inning are as bad as it gets. This season, in the first seven games, the Twins have just two base runners in the first inning. Joe Mauer walked against Jamie Moyer on opening day, and Shannon Stewart worked a leadoff walk against Mark Buehrle Sunday. That’s it. So, the team is 0-for-21 in the inning. No runs, no hits. That’s bad. But it gets much worse. The opponents are unstoppable in the first. They’ve scored 12 runs in seven first innings this year. Cut that one inning out and the Twins are pretty good. But when the fifth inning rolls around, watch out. Then the bats come out swinging.

9. Idol Hunt Continues: Who should get the boot after last night’s American Idol? I missed Bo Bice’s performance, so I can’t be sure, but I think it’s finally Anthony’s time to go. He was okay with his Hall and Oates song, but it was certainly unordinary. The last two weeks I voted for Carrie Underwood, but this time I went with Constantine after his great rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” So, in order, I’d rank them like this. Constantine, Carrie, Vonzell, Bo, Anwar, Nadia, Scott, and Anthony. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Scott get the boot, though, with his crime history being made public.

Well that’s all for Wednesday afternoon. I’m in class right now. Maybe I should do some work.

Glanzer. Out.