After a busy few days in San Diego, it's time to tally up the scores.
In today's sports scene, it's not enough for there to be winners and losers on the field. Our culture is so competitive that we must keep score not of just the sporting events themselves, but of the period between seasons as well. So here, to satisfy your thirst for competition, are the winners and losers of the 2014 baseball winter meetings.
Adding Jeff Samardzija and David Robertson to a strong nucleus that includes Chris Sale and Jose Abreu suddenly makes this team legitimate contenders in what should be a four-team AL Central race. That the best player they had to give up was solid infield prospect Marcus Semien to get Samardzija easily makes the south-siders slam dunk winners.
Signing Jon Lester to headline a rotation that also includes 2014 breakout pitcher Jake Arrieta was a major step towards making the Cubs relevant again, even if they had to overpay to land him. Solid veteran Jason Hammel was signed to a reasonable two-year deal, while catcher Miguel Montero was smartly acquired from Arizona in a salary dump. With their new-found rotation depth, as well as an exciting young stable of hitters, the Cubs are set to make some noise in 2015.
No one was busier than Andrew Friedman, who basically transformed the Dodgers overnight from contenders to...even better contenders. Essentially flipping Dee Gordon for Howie Kendrick was an upgrade at the keystone, although the Dodgers may regret trading Andrew Heaney, who they had just received from the Marlins, down the freeway to the Angels. The addition of Jimmy Rollins fills the hole at shortstop vacated by Hanley Ramirez, while trading Matt Kemp netted them catcher Yasmani Grandal, as well as salary relief to potentially upgrade their pedestrian bullpen. And while four years and $48 million may seem like a lot for a guy who had never reached 200 innings until last season, the addition of Brandon McCarthy helps strengthen an already talented rotation.
No, he didn't sign a contract yet, but considering that Jon Lester received $155 million over seven years, Scherzer may be in for an even bigger payday than most people expected.
Before the winter meetings, the Mets were not expected to find many suitors for Gee. In reality, there were rumored to have been several teams interested in acquiring the 28-year old. Although nothing has materialized yet, it's always flattering to find out that people are interested in you.
Billy Beane should still have quite a bit of good will among Oakland's fan base, but he is certainly testing their patience this offseason. After jettisoning Josh Donaldson, who many pegged as their franchise player, the A's continued to dismantle their playoff roster by shipping away Brandon Moss for unheralded second base prospect Joe Wendle. But the trade that generated the most negative buzz among A's fans was the deal that sent Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox for Marcus Semien. While Semien actually looks like a good young player who could fill their hole at shortstop, he is not considered to be in the same league as prospect Addison Russell, who was dealt alongside others to acquire Samardzija last season. For a fan base that has had to watch their Bay Area neighbors celebrate championships in three of the past five seasons, this could be a long and trying season. At least the Raiders just beat the 49ers?
How exactly does Kendrys Morales's .218/.274/.338 line from 2014 scream two-years, $17 million? That's a lot of money for a guy who has not been worth more than 1.7 fWAR since 2009, while being worth negative-1.7 fWAR last season.
Losing out on Jon Lester hurts, but swapping Yoenis Cespedes for Rick Porcello was a smart way to deal from strength to improve a weakness. Justin Masterson at one year, $9 million is a solid, low-risk signing, though there is no way to know whether they'll be getting the guy who was an All-Star in 2013 or the guy who was abysmal in 2014. Wade Miley is an innings-eater who has averaged exactly 200 innings per season over his three-year career, but Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster seems like a lot to give up for an unspectacular mid-rotation arm.
Acquiring Mat Latos to be their #2 starter without giving up any top prospects is a nice move, and he should take well to his new, pitcher-friendly environment. Where the Marlins may have erred was in trading Andrew Heaney, their top prospect, for a player who has regression written all over him. Dee Gordon gives them game-changing speed at the top of the lineup, but his breakout season came along with an unsustainable .346 BABIP and a well-below-average 4.8% walk rate.
It was not any move in particular that made this a frustrating winter meetings for the above teams, but rather the moves that were not made. Both the Yankees and Giants watched divisional rivals improve their teams while players they were looking to sign ended up elsewhere. The Yankees saw David Robertson and Brandon McCarthy depart while watching the market for Chase Headley balloon. The Giants missed out on Jon Lester despite a full-court press to sign him, and have yet to fill the hole left when Pablo Sandoval bolted for Beantown. Of course, there is plenty of time for these two teams to address their needs, but ours is an impatient society in need of snap judgments.
really sick of seeing so much hate directed towards the police on here. look, we get it, you prefer sting’s solo work, i like it too alright? that doesnt mean ‘every little thing she does is magic’ and ‘can’t stand losing you’ arent awesome jams. ‘roxanne’ and ‘don’t stand so close to me’ are classic, don’t even get me started on ‘spirits in the material world’. just stop ok?
Terry Blinds knows just how important a lair is for your favorite Superhero or Supervillain. From underground vaults, to playboy mansions, to simple apartment rooms, learn how to live like your favorite comic book characters in this fun infographic below. Just make sure to keep the location a secret!
(This also works for Facebook videos and SoundCloud, you type: “Magic” between ‘Face’ and ‘Book’ and in between ‘Sound’ and ‘Cloud’. For more details about this, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fc5hJjSlSY)
I never fucking get tired of this post.
This is a fantastic movie and a D'Ambra family holiday staple.
“Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat?
Drive you into the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”
No patriarch can guarantee a more rocky Christmas than Clark Griswold. He has a knack for trouble of all kinds. Close encounters with sexy lingerie saleswomen while Christmas b̶l̶o̶u̶s̶i̶n̶g̶ browsing. Sleazy, leisure-suited relatives who need a place to stay. Squirrels... indoors. Twenty-five thousand imported, Italian twinkle lights. A turkey as dry as the Sahara desert. It's always waiting for you On Demand or Netflix when you're duly traumatized by the December crowds and need to look at a comically dysfunctional Christmas to put things in perspective.
I've included some clips from this old holiday favorite; see the rest here. (Warning: NSFW, language.)
"It's a bit nipply out -- I mean nippy out! Hahaha! What did I say? Nipple? Ah, there is a nip in the air, though..."
"JPS vs. Banksy"
The following is a Bored Panda user submission:
"My name is Jamie Scanlon and I am the UK-based street artist JPS.
I got into street art in 2009 after visiting Banksy’s excellent museum exhibition which inspired me to face up my problems with drinking and drugs.
I replaced all that buzz with illegally painting, although the greatest part is people liking my work and being able to feel as though I’m giving something back to the world. Here is a selection of some of my works."
Neatorama has featured work by JPS before, but it didn't include the inspirational story he revealed above. See more of Scanlon's posts on his Facebook page, and check out his recent Bored Panda post for more photos of his work.
"Raising the Bar"
"Roll With Trash"
I've never been to New York City, but I hope to visit someday. I've already picked up some of the rules of etiquette, such as to keep walking while you're on the sidewalk and don't try to start conversations with strangers.
Before I go, I'll also re-watch this helpful guide. What does it mean to ride the subway? Johnny T, one of the puppets on the Glove and Boots show, explains:
Think of the subway as going to a party at a stranger's studio apartment at 7 in the morning with 800 other people who all hate each other.
It's the worst party ever. But people go to it every day without killing each other by getting it over with as quickly and as quietly as possible.
-via Daily of the Day
Sandro Engel and Holger Michel are interaction design students at HAWK University, a college in Hildesheim, Germany. They wanted to discourage people from running across busy streets. So they found a way to make waiting at a traffic light fun, rather than annoying. Their solution was to build a simple video game into a traffic light.
Engel and Michel call the game STREETPONG. It only works when the crosswalk is closed. Players on opposite sides of the street use a touch screen to maneuver boards back and forth, bouncing the ball toward each other.
This will always be my favorite gifset. Ever.
The odds of this happening are akin to successfully navigating an asteroid field, but it’s just so fun we had to pass it along. One site is reporting that Warner Bros. has offered Christopher Nolan the opportunity to direct Ready Player One, Ernie Cline‘s pop culture-infused sci-fi adventure, adapted by Zak Penn.
Recently, we reported that Penn’s script had been turned into the studio. If they like it, the timing is right to go out to directors. However, you have to think that Warner Bros. offers Nolan every single movie they have. If he wanted to direct Justice League, Wonder Woman, another Batman movie or The Hobbit, he could. So the question is, if this happened at all, would Christopher Nolan ever direct this film? Also, what does the offer say about the state of the property? Read more about Christopher Nolan Ready Player One below.
The Tracking Board (via Collider) posted the Christopher Nolan Ready Player One rumor. Again – the timing works out, but the odds of Nolan actually doing the film, if he even was offered it, are miniscule. Ready Player One just seems a little too manic, a little too rooted in pop culture and technology for the more humanistic director.
So let’s assume this did happen but he turns it down. For me, if Warner Bros. felt comfortable offering Ready Player One to Christopher Nolan, it says more about Zak Penn’s latest script than anything else. Multiple writers have tried to adapt Cline’s complex, visually rich book and the instant another writer gets hired, it’s pretty obvious the previous one failed. However, taking a script to one of the biggest and most influential directors in Hollywood means that even if Christopher Nolan doesn’t direct, we’re getting close to someone interesting making this movie. Penn obviously nailed it.
Nolan has yet to settle on his next project. He’s never someone who rushes though, taking his time and carefully considering what he wants to do and what he can bring to it. If by some crazy miracle he actually did this movie, Nolan would likely dissect the script and make it his own.
Do you think Christopher Nolan would actually direct Ready Player One?
Here’s the Amazon description of Ready Player One, a truly entertaining, awesome novel:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
The post Rumor: Warner Bros. Approaches Christopher Nolan for ‘Ready Player One’ appeared first on /Film.