Sunday, February 06, 2005

Bullet Point Bowl Day

As we approach football's blessed exit from the American Stage, a few notes on a much better sport, Baseball:

  • Tyler Kepner has a nice profile of Brian Cashman up at the Times. It fits right in with Will Carroll's GM projects, in which he's called out to his public to 1) identify the qualities possessed by the current Major League GMs, and 2) speculate as to whom in the blogging or baseball writing arena might have the right stuff to get those jobs. If you have two cents to add to that conversation, drop a comment over at Will Carroll Presents...
  • The Yanks have given Buddy Groom a Spring Training NRI. The best quote on this came from Brian Cashman, who was definitely able to curb his enthusiasm: ``I just compare him to what we have,'' Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. ``Is he better than some of our insurance? Yes, he is.'' (AP).
  • On Super Bowl Day, naturally the story is going to be about baseball. According to Michael O'Keefe of the Daily News, Canseco's busy outing everyone he's ever played ball with in his new book, "Juiced". I'm kinda curious about the chapter that covers his cup of coffee with the 2000 Yankees, when he was acquired as a defensive move, and the team really didn't want him, at all.
  • Saw "Hotel Rwanda" last night, and it's the best 2004 movie I've seen (bumping "Before Sunset" off the top of the list). Mind you, I haven't yet seen any of the big contenders. "Sideways," "Ray," and "Finding Neverland" are on the list of movies I want to see, "The Aviator" and "Million Dollar Baby," I'm not likely to see--the former because La Chiquita hates Leo DiCaprio, the latter because I've simply heard too many negative reviews of it.
Back to "Rwanda," the movie does a great job of taking a story we've seen before--"connected" guy with a conscience protects folks from genocide--and not making it seem like a "Schindler's List" derivative. The movie does a good job by not going into the root causes of the Rwandan conflict, instead focusing on the genocide itself: neighbors suddenly turning against each other, radio shows coordinating murderous militias, the international community standing to one side and letting the whole thing happen.

The movie hinges on the lead performance, and luckily, Don Cheadle nails it. Cheadle's the best-kept secret in Hollywood, a phenomenal actor strong enough to carry a lead role, with a character actor's resume. Cheadle's perfect as the manager of a four star hotel, a master of Western amenities, who comes to realize that the Western powers he idealizes will not save him from the hatred inside of Rwanda. He definitely deserves the Best Actor nomination, and Hotel Rwanda definitely deserves your attention.

As I've said before, the Super Bowl's a great day for me. It marks the end of football season, creates the lead-in to Spring Training, which is a little more than a week away. Enjoy!

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