Oh hi. It's that time of year where I go, "Hey Matt, time to update your website." Let's get this rolling with some music that I've been enjoying over the spring and summer. Let's see how long I can keep this blog updated but I'll probably talk to you again in November.
I wouldn't count myself as a fan of Run the Jewels but I pretty blown away by the recent convo between Killer Mike and Bernie Sanders that made the rounds this week.
The talk covered a wide array of important issues - race, poverty, pot, guns, Trump, "bomb shit."
I'll fully admit that while I believe in 95% of what Senator Sanders says, up until recently my overly pessimistic tendencies and thoughts believed Bernie had zero shot of winning this race.
I feel like over the last few months, I've read everything I could find about the man and just watching convos like this interview further solidify my beliefs that Bernie Sanders is the President America needs right now.
It's a honest, refreshing, fascinating, and essential. Check it out here.
I was a registered Independent for nearly 14 years. That changed this year. #FeelTheBern.
Football is such an aggro, machismo-fueled sport and one that can really hard to support at times because of the issues that seemingly stem from playing it (see: domestic violence, child abuse, brain trauma, etc.).
I know that not everyone in the NFL is a Grade A Dodo like Adrian Peterson but sometimes it's nice to get reminded that there are players like Connor Barwin of the Philadelphia Eagles.
ESPN E:60 did a great piece on the All-Pro outside linebacker who truly tries to give back to community through charity and also remains a vocal supporter of gay marriage in a time when most players seem too chicken shit to actually stand up for what's right.
Although, really ESPN, you had to get the dig in old "racist" Chip Kelly, huh?
Also, here's another great video from VICE about Barwin's efforts to raise money to renovate a park in South Philly. Maybe I'm just impressed by a football player who likes Kurt Vile too.
While the dust is starting to settle in the Washington Nationals' clubhouse, there has been no shortage of analysis about the showdown between Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon on Sunday in the aftermath of their disappointing season.
The next few weeks and months will be interesting to observe and to see how Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo ultimately handles this embarrassing melee, which was the cherry on top for a true disaster of a season.
Out of all the articles I've seen though, perhaps the most interesting was Fox Sports' CJ Nitkowski's poll of a handful of baseball players, which showed support for Paps reaction.
This “he got what he deserved" kind of mentality isn’t really surprising. The antiquated baseball credo of “playing the right way” has always seemed super vague. When exactly does a young player "pass" into the terrain where he is ALLOWED to think or act like he's the best in the league?
Harper has been in the crosshairs seemingly ever since his helmet perfectly flew off his perfectly coiffed hair as he hustled around the bases during his rookie campaign. Where the players stand on whether or not Papelbon's actions were justified, based on this article at least, seems to come down to tenure.
Whether it's Harpers general attitude, or even a Yasiel Puig bat flip, there seems to be this invisible rule with baseball. This, you-have-to-earn-your-cockiness mentality with players that frankly I just don't understand. Some former players think there should be more physical intimidation and attacks. For example, Gregg Zaun, who provided as example of what Cal Ripken and several Orioles teammates did to younger players back in the day.
I'm not necessarily justifying what Harper did. Should he have run the ball out? Sure. Did he possibly pop off to Papelbon after he made the comments as he was walking back to the dugout. Looks like it. Honestly, nobody should really be popping off at him at this point though. I think accusing Harper of not trying is ridiculous.
As a young baseball fan, I was raised to hate showboats. Barry Bounds and his one-handed catches were anti-team and pure self promotion. In time, my attitude toward cocky players has somewhat changed. Baseball and it's players can be a bit dull at times so I have no problem with some youthful energy being interjected into this game.
Also, Papelbon clearly knew what he was doing. It really just seems like this whole thing stems from him being upset over Harper’s comments over the Machado incident and when he had a moment to pounce, he hopped into the spotlight. Hence, the altercation on the steps in front of everybody on the team (except, of course, manager Matt Williams who apparently was too busy working on his resume to notice his players fighting).
If Papelbon really is this player that other players defended, the one who was standing up for how the game SHOULD be played, why wouldn’t he just take this into the clubhouse or wait until after the game to make a balanced and composed assessment of Harper's effort?
My guess, it's because he loves always being the villain. I mean, does anybody believe he was really fixing his jock in Philly last September and not telling the crowd to fuck off? The dude thrives on this crap. It just seems like he couldn't take a young player showing him up with the media about his dumb antics throwing at player's head.
I mean, his reaction after the fight says it all:
Back to Pap throwing at Manny Machado last week, which it appears got this whole thing started between the two of them in the first place. Fine, intentionally throwing at a batter after he admires a home run is "old school" but it does seem a bit tired to me as well, so I have to agree with Harper here. Not to mention, again, Papelbon’s "old school reaction" was to throw at Machado’s HEAD. This wasn’t a fastball to the back or thigh. Papelbon’s high-and-in pitch could have done some serious damage.
So is that old school “respect your elders” baseball? If so, then give me a Yasiel Puig bat flip any day. Good luck Mike Rizzo and thanks again for taking this ding dong off the Phillies' hands.
Playoff baseball is just around the corner and while my beloved (and incredibly awful) Phillies sit in the MLB dungeon, awaiting the #1 draft pick, I am getting pretty pumped to watch some October baseball.
An article that has been making the rounds the last 24 hours is the Kansas City Star's Andy McCullough's take on the 2014 Wild Card match up between the Oakland A's and the Royals.
McCullough's article reads like a Roger Khan novel and beautifully and meticulously details the peaks and valleys of one of the greatest baseball games in recent memory.
Just in case you need a reminder of the atmosphere at Kauffman Stadium that night...
So, who will recreate this kind of playoff magic this year? I'm banking on the Cubs but a part of me is thinking, and believe me, I'm terrified to say this, that it might be.....the dreaded Mets. Ugh.
I remember why I dream in black and white.