The Rundown: Tiring of TV Reruns, Marquee Improving Broadcast Schedule, Len Kasper Misses Baseball

I hope an end to coronavirus is near, not just because I miss baseball, but because I have now lost all motivation since self-isolating 18 days ago. Most of you have only recently sequestered yourselves, so heads up: When you enter week three, you are going to start feeling virtually imprisoned. I don’t even know what day it is anymore and I almost forgot that my birthday is just four days away.

That said, we must all soldier on and do our best to flatten the curve. The layoffs are real and unemployment numbers are surging into uncharted territory. Many of my friends lost their jobs yesterday. If you feel like you are living a real-life science fiction movie, it’s because you are. Natural selection has always been a part of the human cycle, and though there are numerous diseases that cause sweeping deaths, including the flu, none are as unpredictable or as scientifically baffling as COVID-19.

It was nice to see everybody enjoy the rebroadcast of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series yesterday evening. I didn’t watch it because I am in the middle of a chronologically sequenced MCU binge, but that’s only because I am starting to feel like everyday is Groundhog Day. All that’s missing from my life is Ned Ryerson. Besides, after multiple viewings of that historic game, the impact starts to feel a little diluted.

I’ve seen Ben Zobrist hit that tie-breaking 10th inning double off of Bryan Shaw so many times that I can mimic both the television and radio play-by-play. In fact, in the same way that I view Titanic (boat hits iceberg, I stop watching), I pretty much go into white noise hypnosis after David Ross hits his home run to give the Cubs a 6-3 lead. I still don’t know why Jack had to die in the epic movie and I still can’t figure out how the Indians blew a three-games-to-one lead in the ’16 series. Is it any wonder a video exists of the Cubs victory played against a similar soundtrack?

Everything is better with Celine Dion I suppose, unless you are Jack Dawson, or the Indians.

The breakdown of Grandpa Rossy’s performance in that game is now more interesting to me than the game itself.

After 18 days, I’m tired of reruns on TV and in real life and I can’t wait for the season to resume, if it ever does. Life can become one big suckhole once you start to tire of baseball replays, even the greatest one. That pales in comparison, however, to the 3 million-plus Americans who don’t know when they’ll get their next paycheck. I hope the nightmare ends soon, for everybody.

Cubs News & Notes

Odds & Sods

I still love Dexter Fowler even though he plays for the enemy, but honest to God dude, it’s much easier to have a savings account when you make $16.5 million annually. Most of the now-jobless had been living paycheck-to-paycheck, which is a fact of life for about 78% of the entire country [raises hand]. This could have been communicated a little better, but, at least Fowler is doing his part to help.

Apropos of Nothing

I wonder how front offices will value free agents like Mookie Betts if there is no 2020 season. I imagine a veteran like Jon Lester could theoretically be forced into retirement if no games are played.

MLB News & Notes

MLB and the MLBPA struck a deal in which players will receive a full year of service time even in the event of a canceled season.

Joel Sherman of the NY Post wrote a great piece on the traditions of Opening Day.

Alex Speier of the Boston Globe wonders if baseball can justify Tommy John surgery during the coronavirus crisis.

Fans flooded the Astros’ Opening Day at Home game on YouTube with a number of cheating hot takes and jokes.

MLB number crunchers see the Cardinals as a mediocre team in 2020.

Bradford Doolittle of ESPN offers ways to fill the emptiness of the suspended baseball season.

Angels outfielder Mike Trout is just as bored as the rest of us.

Bill Bartholomay, who moved the Braves from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966, died yesterday. He was 91.

Extra Innings

Something cool to brighten your morning.

They Said It

“Typically during the baseball season, I can’t speak for [Jm Deshaies], but I’m guessing he knows what I’m talking about, we’re around the ballpark all the time. I read a lot, I love finding a book or two that I’m diving into, but it’s very rarely a baseball book during the season because I’m so overwhelmed by baseball. But I have found myself on YouTube almost every night watching old games, I’m reading a baseball book right now. I really miss baseball. More than I anticipated. It just feels like since we started, kind of the way my body clock works, we should be waist-deep in baseball right now. It’s very surreal to me that we’re not.” – Len Kasper

Thursday Walk Up Song

I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry

What went wrong? The song was actually dated from the moment it was released, and even Perry admitted the song’s lyrics were somewhat problematic and stereotypically over-the-top. Miley Cyrus claims the song was written by her.

How does it play today? The MTV Unplugged version, included here, plays much better than the original, because it takes a more serious tone. The pop-centric original almost seems like it is making light of those stereotypes.

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