Archive for April 2015

The Who Albums Ranked

April 27, 2015

For my money, The Who are the greatest band to ever live. They may have been overshadowed by The Beatles (and Rolling Stones and Kinks and Hendrix) in the 60’s, but they were just as influential (feedback, album construction, power chords, lyrical content, stage craft, and more) and the best live band, probably ever.

In honor of their 50th anniversary tour, which I will be attending this upcoming Saturday, I wanted to publish a few Who related articles over the next few days. Here I will give my opinion of their albums, from “worst” to first.

11) Endless Wire

This album was released a full 24 years after The Who “broke up”. As such, you shouldn’t expect much and you don’t get much. But after listening to this again recently, it is better than you think The Who minus Keith Moon and John Entwistle could give you. But it’s still a far cry from their hey-day.

10) Face Dances

This was the first non-Moon album put out by the band and there is an obvious decline of quality. You can tell that by this point Townshend wasn’t giving The Who 100% and the songs lacked any real type of meaning. However, the first side of the album does have some catchy tunes, especially “The Quiet One” which may be the best song Entwistle ever penned for the group.

9) It’s Hard

Both Face Dances and It’s Hard show the band at their worst with Townshend’s disinterest in doing anything Who related reaching a new high. This was the last album released before their breakup and it’s probably a good thing considering their downward trend at this point in time. However, this album does feature “Eminence Front”, a song showing Pete could still write if he wanted to and a song that became an instant Who classic.

8) Who Are You

Many people think the death of Keith Moon signaled the end of the band, but this album is the first album that really wasn’t that good, even though it featured Moon. Then again, his disease with alcohol was at an all-time high and he could barely play the drums on several tracks off the record. But even a “bad” Who album is better than most other albums and there are great tunes in “New Song” and “Trick of the Light”. Moreover, the title track “Who Are You” is arguably a top three of top five song that Townshend ever wrote.

7) A Quick One

I have a tough time putting this at number 7 because it is so good…but that goes to show just how good of a band they were! A Quick One is famous for the ahead of it’s time mini-opera, “A Quick One While He’s Away”. Pete was tiring of the two minute single and wanted to expand his song writing. Thus the 10 minute opera, which while light and funny on the outside, is a dark song about abuse on the inside. As such, it shows the potential Townshend had as a song writer and why his songs were so ahead of his time and influential for other artists. Of the remaining albums, this is the weakest mainly because it had the most collaborative effort within the group. But awesome songs include “Run, Run, Run”, “Heatwave”, “Boris the Spider”, “So Sad About Us” and “Man with Money”. This album could easily be ranked #4.

6) The Who By Numbers

Following a dynamic run of Tommy, Who’s Next, and Quadrophenia, many thought this effort paled in comparison, which it did. But those three albums are three of the best albums ever made! Of course it paled in comparison! But on its own, The Who By Numbers is a great album that you can listen to from start to finish. “Squeeze Box” and “Slip Kid” are the famous songs from the album, but other classics are “However Much I Booze” and “How Many Friends”.

5) My Generation

At the time of its release date, My Generation may have been the most progressive album to be released into the pop-rock industry. While The Who were using feedback and writing about their generation, insecurity, and inward personal problems The Beatles were still a relatively poppy band who hadn’t begun their Rubber Soul/Revolver revolution. In fact the title-track may have been the most influential song released at that point of time with its content, bass solo, and crashing feedback at the end. Other great tracks include “The Kids Are Alright”, “A Legal Matter”, and “The Ox”.

4) The Who Sell Out

This album is the transition album between “pop-art rock” Who and The Who that transformed the industry with “Tommy”. Some tracks sound like their old self with some songs giving you a preview of what was to come on their next album. The theme of the album was very unique, with the songs segued together with ads to make it sound like you were listening to a pirate radio station. The album features another mini-opera with “Rael” and the song that Townshend claims is the best song he ever wrote, “I Can See for Miles”. When the song didn’t become number one, Townshend officially gave up on the single and put all his work into the album. While it may not be the best song ever written like he claims, it’s still a top ten Who track that sounds so far ahead of anything from 1967- which is even more amazing when you release he wrote the song a couple years earlier and was holding it in his back pocket. Outside of this song there no song any casual fan would recognize, but to me, almost every song is a classic- from “Our Love Was” to “Relax” (which has a great middle section) to “Glow Girl”.

3) Tommy

Tommy is the bands most influential work- bar none. It was the first true concept album and full length “rock opera”. When played lived, The Who instantly became the best band in the world. For proof, one needs to look no further than Live at Leeds or Live at Isle of Wight. “Listening To You” is the most hypnotic song of all-time. You can go into the song thinking The Who are the worst, but by the end of that you subconsciously are nodding along to the music. Other great songs on the album include “Overture”, “Amazing Journey/Sparks”, and “Acid Queen”. My only qualm is that it sounds quiet, especially compared to how loud The Who are on stage. But in retrospect, that aspect has actually grown on me.

2) Quadrophenia

At the time Quadrophenia was a bit of a bust, but looking back on it, it is arguably the bands most impressive work. When compared to Tommy, the story is more sensible and concrete, it involved the personalities of each band member, and was their most well produced album. “The Real Me” is Entwistle at his best and a phenomenal way to start an album. “I’m One” is a great song, lyrically, and “The Rock” is the most complex thing Townshend has ever done in studio, with two different tempos playing at once as the four themes of the albums are played on top of each other. Moon’s drumming at the end of “Love Reign O’er Me” is the ultimate.

1) Who’s Next (1971)

It is no surprise this album is #1. It’s their first album to incorporate their stage sound and persona in a studio environment and it was based off Pete’s most challenging project, Lifehouse. While that concept failed, most of the songs he created for it made its way to this album. Unlike Quadrophenia, this album produced a bevy of singles for the radio and concerts. While people love to look at “Baba O’Reily” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” I love to look at “Going Mobile” and “The Song is Over”. Overall though, this is The Who at their best. Fast, loud, and profound with deep lyrics, complex arrangements, and bursts of energy.

Ballpark Review: Citizens Bank Park

April 23, 2015

Franchise: Philadelphia Phillies

Year Opened: 2004

Capacity: 43,651

Games Attended: Too many

Living close to Philadelphia, I have been to my fair share of Phillies games- both at The Vet and The Bank. To me Citizens Bank Park will always be in the top half of Major League ballparks. It doesn’t do anything great, but it doesn’t do anything bad either.

Aesthetics- 19/25

Exterior- 4/5

This is how a modern park should look like on the outside. Beautiful brick gives it a vintage look, yet you can still sense it is a new ballpark. It is also very compact, which I like.

Interior- 8.5/10

The Bank is a very cool place to watch a ballgame. There is the gigantic scoreboard in left, the funky wall in center with Ashburn’s Alley, and the Liberty Bell that lights up in right.

Backdrop- 6.5/10

The one minus is a lack of the city’s skyline as a backdrop, but the stadium is a bit too far away and it’s angled just off from giving you a good view of it unless you are in the upper deck.

2) Seats & View- 16.5/20

Sight lines- 8/10

Citizens Bank Park offers some really cool seats. The field level gives you a great view, however the further along you are towards the foul pole the more you will have to crane your neck. But being that close to the field is worth it. The outfield seats are prime home run territory and the vantage point from Ashburn Alley is one of the more unique center field/outfield views. In the upper deck, you have a bird’s nest view of the stadium and it is one of the better upper decks I have sat in. What is really cool to me is that the top of the upper deck has a chain-link fence all around, so you can look at the surrounding neighborhoods; it’s not much of a sight but something I’ve always found cool.

Best seat- Upper Deck anywhere from 412-419.

Proximity- 4.5/5

These are some of the closest seats in baseball. Especially in the upper deck.

Comfort- 4/5

3) Atmosphere- 13.5/15

Fan Participation- 5/5

Philly fans have a reputation for being loud and obnoxious- which makes watching a game here so great. When the team is good, this place is packed every night. Even now when the team stinks and the place is half full, those there are passionate and into the game. Unless you have a jersey of the opposing team on, you’ll fit right in. And I’ve been to several Mets/Phillies games here- it makes for a fun night.

Attendance- 4/5

This takes a dip because the team sucks and less people show. But from 2006-2013 this place was packed every night.

Fan Knowledge- 4.5/5

Philly fans might be brash, but they live for their teams.

4) Attractions- 6/15

Museum & Team History- 4/10

Despite being one of the longest operating franchises in history, there is little celebration of their history. While the park does celebrate Philadelphia history very nicely, I wish it celebrated their team as well. Ashburn Alley is in center and located there are plaques of Phillies greats. But Ashburn Alley is more of a gathering place for friends and an area to grab food.

Things to See and Do- 2/5

There are plenty of stores, but most of them are small and without great variety. The one exception is a store on the third base concourse. They have merchandise from all different players throughout the league. I almost bought a Roberto Clemente jersey once.

5) Food & Drink- 9/10

Hot Dog- 5/5

Citizens Bank Park has the best hot dog in baseball- bar none. There is nothing like a Phillie frank and Dollar Dog Night is a Citizens Bank Park staple that every Phillies fan must attend. Their dogs are short and plump- the best type of hot dog.

Best of the Rest- 3/5

As for other food, don’t worry, it’s Philadelphia so there will always be good food. There is cheese steak and pizza and other ballpark fare that is high quality for a ballpark. The beer prices and diversity is not great, but you can get a 25oz’er for an average ballpark price.

Bonus Point: Signature Dish- +1

Philly Cheese steaks

6) Game Entertainment/Presentation- 4.5/5

Two words- Phillie Phanatic. The Phillie Phanatic is legit and for those “purists” out there- you can have fun at a ballgame. The Phanatic does a great job making both kids and adults laugh without taking away from the product on the field. The Bank compliments this with their great use of the video board and you get top notch game entertainment. Also, the PA guy has a great voice.

7) Cleanliness- 3.5/5

It’s been over a decade now since The Bank opened so there is something withering, but overall it feels and looks like a clean ballpark. The seats are clean, the concourse is holding up, and I can’t remember having any issues with the bathrooms.

8) Local Scene & Location- 2/5

The good: The Bank is located next to all the other sport stadia (Lincoln Financial, Wells Fargo Center) and the Xfinity Live bar is supposedly a baller place to go, especially after a game.

The bad: Outside of the sports complex, there is nothing to do. You are in South Philly and if you want to enjoy some cheese steaks or go to a bar, you will have to drive elsewhere in the city.

9) Access & Cost- 3.5/5

The lower level seats will still cost an arm and a leg, even if the team is bad. Expect to pay at least $100 for good field level seats. However, you can find steals in the upper deck for $10-$20 and as I’ve mentioned, the upper deck is a great spot in this joint. As for food and drinks, the prices are run of the mill for a Major League park.

The complex is easily accessible. The local train drops off right the complex and if you are coming by car, it is easy to drive to and from- whether by PA or NJ.

10) Misc- 3

Stats & Info- 1

Out-of-Town Scoreboard- 1

One of the best in baseball, it spans the right field fence.

Concourse- 1

11) Personal Opinion- 4/5

As I mentioned, there is nothing bad I can say about Citizens Bank Park. I’ve been several times and have always had a great experience. It might not be scenic as PNC, as cheap as Coors, or have a local scene like other parks but it is a clean, beautiful stadium with good food and good fans.

Overall Score: 84.5/115

A Ballpark Review: Yankee Stadium

April 5, 2015

Being a baseball fan, it’s pretty much a life goal of mine to visit every ML stadium. At the time being, I haven’t even hit double digits. But hopefully I’ve got quite a few mores years to make the rounds.

To accomplish this goal, I’ve decided to visit a new stadium each summer to cross a park off the list, and take in the culture of that city on a weekend getaway. Last year was glitzy LA. This year is dreary Cleveland, Ohio!

However, when choosing parks to visit, I haven’t come across many reliable sites for information on the experience of each park. Some are outdated. Others have terrible opinions (so you’re telling me Minute Maid Park is the 24th best stadium, behind the likes of Globe Life and US Cellular?). So I figured I’d share my current experiences and future experiences so that more people like me have a good idea of what they’re getting themselves into with each destination.

For my criteria, I’ve chosen ten categories, yet I have rated each category differently, based on what I value the most. For example, how beautiful a park is #1 for me, so I will value it at 25% of my total valuations. In fact, my Big Four factors are aesthetics, seats/view, atmosphere, and attractions. I like a beautiful stadium, with great seating options, a fun atmosphere, and things to do before the game such as visit the team museum or look at unique attractions on the concourse. My overall factors are

1) Aesthetics- 25

Exterior- 5

Interior- 10

Backdrop- 10

2) Seats & View- 20

Sight lines- 10

Proximity- 5

Comfort- 5

3) Atmosphere- 15

Fan Participation- 5

Attendance- 5

Fan Knowledge- 5

4) Attractions- 15

Museums & Team History- 10

Stuff to See and Do- 5

5) Food & Drink- 10

Hot Dog- 5

Best of the Rest- 5
6) Game Entertainment/Presentation- 5
7) Cleanliness- 5
8) Local Scene & Location- 5
9) Access & Cost- 5
10) Misc- Bonus Points

11) Personal Opinion- 5

Franchise: New York Yankees

Year Opened: 2009

Capacity: 49,642

Games Attended: Too many to list

So…here is the review for Yankee Stadium, a stadium I’ve been to about about 10 or so times now.

1) Aesthetics- 18/25

Exterior- 5/5

Yankee Stadium has a magnificent exterior design which excludes elegance and royalty, which is what you should expect when you enter New Yankee Stadium. The smooth brick design replicates the original Yankee Stadium (1923-mid 1970’s) and it is a perfect tribute.

Interior- 8/10

The new Yankee Stadium is a beautiful ballpark and I say so because I love how they pay tribute to the original, pre-1970’s Yankee Stadium. The Grand Hall is a wonderful addition, with banners of past players hanging up and allowing for an open walkway before you get to the main concourse. I also really like the video board and advertisement structure in center field. Some people aren’t a fan of the big ads in stadiums, but it’s a part of the industry and the Yankees did as good a job as they can do making the advertisements fit into the feel and look of the stadium. And the facade is arguably the best interior design feature of any ballpark.

Backdrop- 5/10

The only negative points here is the lack of backdrop- but what do you expect when you build a park in the Bronx? Another mistake was hiding Monument Park in center. That should have been apart of the stadium dynamic, much like it was in the old stadium.

2) Seat & View-  16/20

Sight line- 8/10

Yankee Stadium has some of the best seats and sight lines of any park I’ve been to. I’ve sat in the upper deck several times and it still feels like you’re right on top of the action. Moreover, there is an open concourse so you can still catch the action going to grab a bite or use the restroom. The second and third levels are also great spots that give you a fantastic vantage point of the park while still feeling really close to the field. The bleachers, however, are the one downside. The closer you get to the Mohegan Sun Bar in center, the worse your view is. On the right field side, you can’t left field and vice a versa. The upshot is that these are cheap seats and you’ll get to mingle with the most passionate, die-hard fans at the park so you will still have a fun time while saving some money.

Proximity- 4/5

As mentioned above, you feel close to the action here whether on the first, second, third, or fourth level.

Comfort- 4/5

I have never had a problem at Yankee stadium. The seats allow for sample space between seats and offer good leg room.

Recommended seats:

Section 428/414: Sit in the first few rows and this is the biggest bang for you buck. Cheap(er) seats and it feels like you are right on top of the action, with a view of the whole field.

Bleachers 203: Home of the Bleacher Creatures

Section 206: Catch a home run in the overhang on the second level in right field.

Sec. 414

Sec. 414

3) Atmosphere- 13.5/15

Fan Participation- 5/5

It should come as no surprise that the Yankee Stadium atmosphere is one of the top few in baseball. The fans care and know a lot about the game. The Bleacher Creatures are the most famous fan section in MLB, but the majority of people in attendance are just as devout. The only knock comes from the fact it’s not the old stadium. That stadium would rock it was so loud. Now with all the corporate suites and luxury boxes, the field level is quieter with suits occupying those sections (if they even show up) and many of the passionate fans have been priced out of attending games. But on weekends and against good teams the place will still sell out and remind you why attending baseball in the Bronx is a pilgrimage all fans need to make.

Attendance- 4/5

As alluded to above, this place doesn’t fill up like it used to, especially on week nights. But they still sell out or come close to it quite often and will be among the league leaders in attendance.

Fan Knowledge- 4.5/5

The little knock is that there are some jack off fans. But people know the game, know the latest baseball news, and ready to cheer from the first pitch.

4) Attractions- 13.5/15

Museums & Team History- 10/10

With the rich history of the Yankees, it’s no surprise that the Yankees do it big when it comes to honoring the team. Monument Park is the coolest tribute of a team’s past in all of baseball. However, if you want to visit you need to get there right when gates open otherwise you won’t get in because of the long line. In addition to Monument Park, the Yankees also have a team museum for people to get their Yankee history fix.

Stuff to See & Do- 3.5/5

A cool thing the Yankees do is hang posters and quotes of famous players throughout the park. To a non-Yankees fan this may seem excessive, but to me it’s awesome. My favorite concourse item the Yankees have is the retired numbers fixed to the wall behind the bleachers.

As for team stores, with the Yankees being the big money franchise they are, have numerous store locations throughout the ballpark.

Retired numbers on the bleachers concourse

Retired numbers on the bleachers concourse

5) Food & Drink- 5.5/10

Hot Dog- 3/5

A Yankee dog (Hebrew National) is one of my least favorite in baseball- I’d give it a 5/10 rating. They also have Nathan’s foot long dogs, which people love, but I am not Nathan’s fan.

Best of the Rest- 2.5/5

The chicken fingers are simply okay and everything else is out of budget. As for the drink selection- it’s Bud or Michelob Ultra for way too much water and it tastes like water. The only redeeming quality is that there are a lot of different food choices- from pulled pork to steak sandwiches to a fruit market- but it’s just expensive and usually not worth the money.

6) Game Presentation & Entertainment- 4/5

The Yankees have a reputation for being a no-thrills organization, but they still have a solid game entertainment package. Before the game, their video board shows highlights of famous players and famous moments in Yankees history. During the game they will still do the same “find the ball in the cap” and “pick the winner of the race” videos which fans of all ages always enjoy. In addition, the Yankees still employ an organist which is really cool for something as “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and regularly play “God Bless America” in the 7th. And of course- win or lose they still play Sinatra’s “New York, New York”, something Yankee and non-Yankee fans alike can take comfort in after a fun day at the park.

7) Cleanliness- 5/5

This should get a high rating because the park is still pretty new, but this might be the cleanest stadium I have ever been to. It might be the one thing that stands out the most to me. The concourse is clean, the seats are clean, and everything is still in mint condition. The old stadium was gross, cramped, and foul smelling. The new stadium is much, much improved and makes for a better game experience.

8) Local Scene & Location- 2/5

At the old stadium, this might have gotten a 1. But where the old stadium once stood is now a beautiful athletic park with ball fields for the local community. However, the stadium is still in the Bronx so outside some local pizza joints and unofficial team stores there isn’t anything to do other than hop on a D or 4 train back to Manhattan.

9) Access & Cost- 2/5

As we all know, Yankee Stadium is the most expensive ticket in baseball. It also has the most expensive food and it costs money to get to the stadium (train or exorbitant parking fees). However, there are ways to enjoy Yankee Stadium without draining your bank account. Find an upper deck or bleacher seat and come stuffed so you don’t find yourself needing to eat at the game. And while transportation can be expensive, all you need to do is take the subway right to 161st St and River Avenue. No need to drive and spend a fortune on limited parking.

10) Misc- 3

Stats & Info- 1

Yankee Stadium does a great job showing the stats real fans like to process during the game. It is not only easy to spot on the mega-video board, but it is on the LED panels lining the different levels of the park.

Concourse- 1

Yankee Stadium is an open concourse, so it earns the bonus points.

Traditions- 1

Very few other parks have traditions like Yankee Stadium. The Bleacher Creatures’ “Role Call” might be the best tradition in baseball, and playing Sinatra’s “New York, New York” win or lose is something all fans look forward to.

11) Personal Opinion-4/5

I love Yankee Stadium. I also hate it. But the good outweighs the bad by a mile. This stadium is cleaner, nicer, has better seats, and looks beautiful. Yet it’s not as loud and more corporate. Despite that, it can still be a rocking stadium and the beauty of it has sold me enough to enjoy it more than the old stadium.

Final Score: 85.5/115

A must see stadium for any baseball fan.

Hasty 2015 MLB Predictions

April 4, 2015

Between work and life the beginning of the 2015 MLB season has snuck up on me. So here are my (not entirely thought out) predictions for the upcoming season!

AL East

1) Boston Red Sox (92-70)- Despite what could be a poor rotation, I am all in on Boston their offense/defense.

2) Toronto Blue Jays (88-74)- Finally start to win some games with all their acquisitions. Donaldson is a big grab.

3) New York Yankees (84-78)- I had them in last place all season. But with their defense and pitching, they could pull a 2014 Royals. Although they are an injury away from a 70-75 win season.

4) Baltimore Orioles (82-80)- I just don’t see the overall offense/pitching/defense needed to win. Going to be a very average year in Baltimore.

4) Tampa Bay Rays (77-85)- I really wanted to pick them as a sleeper team and I love their outfield potential, but they are the weakest team in the division.

AL Central

1) Cleveland Indians (91-71)- I am jumping on the bandwagon.

2) Detroit Tigers (89-73)- On paper you can make argument for them beating out the Indians.

3) Kansas City Royals (84-78)- Still love the bullpen and defense, but rotation doesn’t have depth and offensive is mediocre.

4) Chicago White Sox (81-81)- Jose Abreu is an MVP candidate and their pitching is underrated, but elsewhere is lacking.

5) Minnesota Twins (70-92)- Will fight for the first pick in the draft.

AL West

1) Seattle Mariners (90-72)- Going into this I thought they would be really overrated this season. But rotation has the potential to the best in the AL.

2) Los Angeles Angels (88-74)- Mike Trout is their hope of winning the division.

3) Oakland Athletics (85-77)- Will be better than expected.

4) Texas Rangers (80-82)- Might surprise people. But probably not.

5) Houston Astros (74-88)- That defense looks…non-existent.

NL East

1) Washington Nationals (93-69)- Offense might but weak but every SP could be an All-Star this season.

2 New York Mets (84-78)- Harvey could be make or break piece for them.

3) Miami Marlins (83-79)- I could see them being pretty good. But odds are they’ll just be okay.

4) Atlanta Braves (72-90)- This is going to be ugly.

5) Philadelphia Phillies (60-102)- I think giving them 60 wins is generous. Utley and Hamels are still there (for now) but if either is traded we can be looking at 110+ losses.

NL Central

1) St. Louis Cardinals (91-71)- Year in and year out you can pencil them at the Central favorites

2) Pittsburgh Pirates (88-74)- I love their depth, they have an MVP candidate in McCutchen, a potential star in Blanco, and an ace in Cole. But I think the rest of their rotation is too unreliable to help pull off a 90 win season. As a baseball fan, I hope I’m wrong and the Bucs can finally raise a division flag.

3) Chicago Cubs (85-77)- Really wanted to pick Cincinnati above Chicago, but Chicago has more upside.

4) Cincinnati Reds (82-80)- I expect a big year from Votto.

5) Milwaukee Brewers (80-82)- Could be a sleeper team but probably not.

NL West

1) Los Angeles Dodgers (100-62)- They are the best team in baseball. They have a superstars, every bench player is a legitimate backup, and the rotation goes five deep.

2) San Diego Padres (86-76)- I am not on the bandwagon whatsoever and was expecting to place San Fran ahead of the Padres, but the Padres just pack a little more punch on paper as I expect a big year from Myers.

3) San Francisco Giants (85-77)- It’s going to be their pitching that carries them.

4) Colorado Rockies (73-89)- The offense and defense isn’t bad. But their pitching (in Coors) might be the worst in baseball.

5) Arizona Diamondbacks (69-93)- They have Paul Goldschmidt and little of much else.

AL Playoffs

Wild Card Tie-Breaker: Toronto Blue Jays over Los Angeles Angeles

Wild Card Game: Detroit Tigers over Toronto Blue Jays

ALDS: Boston Red Sox over Detroit Tigers (3-2); Seattle Mariners over Cleveland Indians (3-2)

ALCS: Boston Red Sox over Seattle Mariners (4-2)

NL Playoffs

Wild Card Game: Pittsburgh Pirates over San Diego Padres

NLDS: Los Angeles Dodgers over Pittsburgh Pirates (3-0); Washington Nationals over St. Louis Cardinals (3-1)

NLCS: Los Angeles Dodgers over Washington Nationals (4-2)

World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers over Boston Red Sox (4-3)

AL MVP: Mike Trout

NL MVP: Yasiel Puig

AL Cy Young: Sonny Gray

NL Cy Young: Steven Strasburg

AL ROY: Francisco Lindor

NL ROY: Jorge Soler

AL Comeback Player: Chin-s00 Choo

NL Comeback Player: Joey Votto

AL Hank Aaron: Mike Trout

NL Hank Aaron: Paul Goldschmidt

AL Platinum Glove: Josh Donaldson

NL Platinum Glove: Juan Lagares

A Non-Baseball Post

April 3, 2015

Okay, so I am a very opinionated person. Despite that, I try to keep this blog baseball/sports related at almost all times. However, I just read an article about Ann Coulter, who said something that finally pushed me over the ledge.

Before I begin, I want to say I don’t care about religion. I don’t mean that in a negative or apathetic way. I just don’t care if one practices or not. I don’t, but others do and all the power to those that do. The idea of religion promotes good morals. The problem is that so many people are ignorant of these morals and terrifyingly misinterpret a lot of what they read, hear, and are taught.

One such person is Ann Coulter. Apparently, on The O’Reily Factor she said:

“It’s Christianity that the left hates most of all because that is the foundation of our country and all of our freedoms come from that. The rest of the world is a cesspool of violence and atrocities. This is the most consequential nation on Earth and the fact that these Christians would rather get praise from the New York Times and Nicholas Kristof by changing bedpans of Ebola patients in Nigeria, rather than stand up to the New York Times and fight against abortion and fight against these bullies, and I don’t think it’s gay bullies, I think it’s as you call them, secular progressives or liberals. The media, they’re the ones who are trying to tear down this country by going directly at the heart of America which is Christianity.”

WOW. Where to begin?

First, let’s tackle the gay issue. Why do Christians (at least those in the media and congress) seem to dislike gay people so much? The biggest excuse I’ve heard is a religious one. They say they have gay friends, but due to religion can’t accept their lifestyle. Bullshit. If god was the all-loving creature Christians say he is, why would he have it out against gay people. So instead of progressing with the times and realizing gay people, are yes, people too, they are turning it around so the gay community and their allies are bullies, not ignorant Christians. Which is ridiculous because 1) there is no war on Christians. Christianity still makes up the overwhelming majority of America and 2) turning this around and portraying the gay community as bullies is the same as southerners in 1960 turning around and proclaiming Civil Rights protestors as bullies against “Ole Dixie”. As we all know, being gay is not a choice, much like it’s not a choice to pick your skin color or gender. So why are gay issues not being treated the same as color and gender issues? The misunderstanding of religious doctrine.

Going in hand with the above point, Coulter says it is ridiculous that people are fighting ebola opposed to fighting the gay community. Is she drunk? High? Insane? Fighting ebola, a deadly disease, is a very noble and worthy cause. Fighting the gay community is evil- something I would associate more with satan’s work than god’s work. Was it not Jesus who cured the Leper’s? Was it not Jesus who said not to judge others unless you want to be judged? Coulter’s “Christian” opinion goes directly against the teachings of her prophet. I put Christian in quotations because Coulter and those like her are not real Christians (just as terrorists are not Muslims- and I say that with no intent of comparing Coulter to a terrorist. As bad as she is- she’s not that bad). If Jesus were alive today, he’d be one of the first person volunteering to cure ebola and he’d be one of the many people championing gay rights.

Finally, she contends we’re a Christian nation and that’s why we rule and the rest of the earth drools. Again- wow. So essentially non-Christian nations are savages who turmoil in war while America is the best. Where to start? Well, while the Founder’s were Christian, we weren’t necessarily founded on Christianity, otherwise there would be no First Amendment and Christianity would be a government sanctioned religion we had to practice. But if she wants to say we are Christian nation because the Founder’s practiced it, then I guess we’re also a slave-owning, racist nation (which, sadly, has been true throughout our history up until the present day) because that’s what the Founder’s were as well. Despite her remark, the true fact is we are a nation founded upon the principle of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and that is a principle that should extend to all people- including the gay community. So yes, it’s not okay for a business to not serve a gay couple. Unless you think it’s okay for blacks or females to not be served as well. And to suggest the non-Christian is a bunch of war-hungry savages is beyond human reason I can’t even begin to process what was going through her head and how she got this f—-d up in the first place.

The takeaway is this. Religion can be great. It’s ideal goals are to make us better people. However, some people misinterpret religion and use it for evil. One such example is denying gay people equal rights. No god that I can imagine would ever be that cruel. It’s time for these “Christians” to progress and realize that if they want to live in a truly free America and abide by their religious convictions, it’s time to accept the gay community.

Amen.

PS- I am not attacking all Christians. Most people I know that practice the faith are very level-headed and would agree with the message of the post. This is mainly directed towards the religious media, congress, and the couple nut jobs that everyone knows.