Friday, March 03, 2006

Now With Extra Bite! 

Even though I didn't post for four months, I still got a small stream of traffic, primarily the result of web searches. Nothing particularly weird or obscene, I suppose.

Yesterday I got one of the weirdest searches -- somebody reached me using the phrase "alex cintron teeth".

Yeah, I don't get it either. Is this some sort of advancement in sabermetric analysis that I missed out in my sabbatical -- percentage of cavities? Molar retention strategies?

In any case, Cintron has joined the Puerto Rican team for the World Baseball Classic. We should be rooting for him to do well, because it is long past time for the Diamondbacks to trade him and a strong performance might in that regard. It's not necessarily because he's a bad player (his usefulness is debatable), but because the Diamondbacks now have approximately 4,392 middle infielders on the 40-man squad, and it's clear that Cintron is much closer to #4,392 than to #1. Trade him already (Counsell's shoulder notwithstanding), give him a fair chance at making another squad, and move on. I have no reason to believe that the Diamondbacks aren't trying their best to do so, but I just want the process to end. It's like a bad visit to the dentist.

In other news, it was reported today that Miguel Batista has rid himself of the "u" in his last name after his trade from the Toronto Blue Jays back to the Diamondbacks. Batista was required to call himself "Bautista" while living in Canada.

(Admit it, you've sort of missed my bad jokes.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Exclusive: Interview with Reclusive Random Fandom Proprietor 

Now that Random Fandom is back (sort of), we here at Random Fandom thought it was a good time for an exclusive interview with the uni-monikered proprietor of Random Fandom, Stefan. We sat down with Stefan recently and chatted with him about his time off, his return, and his future.

Random Fandom: Stefan, thanks for sitting down with us today:
Stefan: Sure, no problem. Happy to be here.
RF: First off, how did you spend your time away?
S: Working on my golf game, har har. [Chuckles in self-satisfied manner.] No, really, I just needed to take some time for myself.
RF: So what did you do?
S: Well, I took some time away from the [makes two cutesy little curvy motions with fingers] blogosphere [stops cutesy motions]. Didn't really read any blogs at all. For awhile I was obsessed with Photoshopping competitions at Woot, but that passed when I realized that I didn't actually own Photoshop. Then I was inspired by my fellow UNC alum, Michael Jordan.
RF: You, uh, tried out in the minor leagues?
S: No, but you've got the right idea. He wanted to apply his competitive instincts to another related field. I wanted to apply my blogging instincts to another field, so I worked on my other blog, Zooglobble. Children's music reviews and news.
RF: You gave up blogging about the Diamondbacks during another incredibly interesting offseason so you could write silly reviews about Barney and the Wiggles and Raffi? Whew. At least Michael Jordan had a few hits in his minor league stint.
S: Hey, the early Raffi work is highly underrated.
RF: Whatever. [Huffy breath] So what made you think about giving Diamondback blogging another shot?
S: Well, you know, it's why Roger Clemens is thinking about coming back again -- he's just a super competitor. He just has to weigh his desire to win and compete with his desire to spend time with his family. Just like I'm trying to do.
RF: Did you just compare yourself with Roger Clemens?
S: Yes.
RF: Are you completely deranged? You're a blogger, and an inconsistent and analytically challenged one to boot, not some freakin' future first-ballot All-Star.
S: I know what you are, but what am I.
RF: Good luck, fool.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Daft Punk Is Playing At My House 

Daft punk is playing at my house, my house
I’ll show you the ropes, kid, show you the ropes
Got a bus and a trailer at my house, my house
I’ll show you the ropes kid, show you the ropes
I bought fifteen cases for my house, my house
All the furniture is in the garage
Well daft punk is playing at my house, my house
You got to set them up kid, set them up

You got to set ‘em up, ooh ooh yeah (x2)
You got to set them up, set them up

You got to set ‘em up, ooh ooh yeah (x2)
You got to set them up, set them up

[Cow bell solo]

Well everybody’s lined up in my house, my house
And Sarah’s girlfriend is working the door
Got everybody’s PA in my house, my house
All the robots descend from the bus
There’s a freak out brewing in my house, my house
In the basement
‘Cause daft punk is playing at my house, my house
You got to set them up kid, set them up

You got to set ‘em up, ooh ooh yeah (x2)
You got the set them up, set them up

You got to set ‘em up, ooh ooh yeah (x2)
You got the set them up, set them up

And never, never let them go
No never, never, never let them go
Never, never, never let them go
Let them go

-- Complete lyrics to "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House," by LCD Soundsystem

A "freak out" indeed. When I'd been thinking about how to write this entry, the first in nearly 4 months, I'd originally intended to use lyrics from the Counting Crows' "A Long December," whose lyrics have personal meaning to me.

And then I read Bill Simmons' Now I Can Die in Peace, which includes a post of his that leads off with, yes, lyrics from "A Long December," whose lyrics have great personal meaning to him.

So back to the drawing board for a post that was already way overdue. And since The Rapture's "House of Jealous Lovers," whose lyrics I repeated here, was appreciated so much by the fine folks at Google, I thought I'd use the lines above, penned by James Murphy, mastermind behind LCD Soundsystem and also the producer of The Rapture's CD.

And yes, Daft Punk is playing at my house. Not literally, of course, but I love the giddiness and "oh my goodness it's really happening" tone of the lyrics. My wife and I recently welcomed a second child into our home, and it's been fabulous. The older sister adores the younger brother, and we do, too.

But for those of you with more than one kid, you know how it's the second child that turns everything upside. One kid, you read the papers every morning. Two kids, you're lucky to glance at the front pages of each section. One kid, you sometimes get "work" done while the child's awake. Two kids (especially a very young one), and you can forget about doing anything on your own without explicit permission from the other spouse while the kids are awake.

And, yeah, it sort of seems like our furniture is all in the garage. Or strewn about the office.

One of the interesting things to watch is the older sister's reaction to her new brother. Thus far, it's been full of love and help and kindness. He is her new TV. With time, I suppose that could change, probably will change. James Murphy pens a gleeful 6-minute homage to one of the big electronica, club/dance bands, but he's also trying to make his own name in the scene, and there are only so many "star" slots to go around.

Which brings, finally and not a little painfully, to Your 2006 Arizona Diamondbacks.

There aren't 5 or 10 or 25 storylines with this year's squad. There's just one -- the old guys versus the young guys. From the top (will Josh Byrnes be more adept than Joe Jr.?) to the bottom (will Terry Mulholland pitch some meaningless mop-up innings, or will some guy nearly half his age?), it's whether the new guys will push out the old.

In general, this offseason was the inverse of last offseason. On an individual basis, the moves this year aren't necessarily stellar (Glaus and Santos for Batista and Hudson? Estrada for Cormier and Villarreal?), but as part of an overall worldview, they're far ahead of the deals the team has done the past couple years. They're enough to keep me intrigued in 2006 and very much looking forward to 2007.

Finally, whither this blog? Well, I'm going to give it a shot for the upcoming season. Rest assured that if you're looking for timely analysis or in-depth previews you're best served reading the usual suspects, who've plugged along in my absence. But I do hope to continue to provide you, the loyal reader, with occasional thoughts on this team and my cultural life.

Now, if you'll forgive me, it's time for my cow bell solo.