Hi, my name is D and this is my writings on subjects. I'm no rapscallion or anything at all. If you want to you can read my writings on subjects if you have free time. If you want to argue with me or call me names then please comment. Negative feedback is very welcome...I love dat shit. Me? I'm not even a noun, I'm a fucking verb, dude.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Rock the Hall 3


When the snow starts falling that means the Hall of Fame voting season is about to get under way. It's becoming sort of a winter tradition to promote Timmy Raines for the Hall of Fame.

2011 piece) The Hall of Fame is Incomplete without Tim Raines in it

2012 piece) On Tim Raines and the Hall of Fame (again) 

This year we're going to focus on some "what if" projections to showcase some flashy numbers. I love projecting using statistics ever since I first learned about it. You know that cross-multiplying business? I love that...I really honestly enjoy cross-multiplying. I cross multiply like a mad man sometimes. I cross multiply like a bat outta hell and don't even think twice about it. I like taking data of past trends to project future trends...it's really really fun. You can use it to quantify and project all kinds of stuff too not just baseball statistics.





Cross Multiplication






Alrighty, so in this year's traditional Tim Raines for Hall of Fame article, we shall take it simple and take two events from the past and apply cross multiplication to produce "what-if" scenarios.

First off, let's take a nice past event, like the 1981 season, which for Expos fans is like THE season of seasons. Here's Rock's stat line from the 1981 campaign:

Plate Appearances: 363
Hits: 95
Walks: 45
Stolen Bases: 71
Caught Stealin': 11

As many of you know, the 1981 Major League baseball campaign was a strike shortened due to labor disputes and it was not a standard 162 game season. In a standard season players, and in this case a leadoff batter, can get up to 700+ plate appearances. You know where I'm going with this right? If he stole 71 bases in 363 plate appearances...then how many would he have stole if the season was a standard 162 game season instead of a shortened one?

Enter now my homie...Mr. Cross Multiplication,

71 over 363...over a nice round number such as 700 would give us...137.

If he continued at that pace, the Rock would have stole 137 bases in 1981. That's 7 more than the 130 Rickey Henderson stole in 1982 which is the most all time. If the strike never happened Rock could have been the single season stolen base champion, it is very conceivable and highly plausible.

The second data set we shall take is the 1987 MLB campaign. The Rock's plate appearances were hindered in this season due to the collusion against free agents conspired against the players by the owners (see: 1987 collusion). He missed a full month of games due to the collusion and produced these numbers in that time:

Games: 139
Plate Appearances: 627
Runs: 123
Hits: 175
Walks: 90
Homers: 18
Steals: 50
Catched Stealin': 5

Okay let's get some numbers to work with...

1. 162 (games in standard season) - 139 =  23
2. Cross multiply PA with G and add 23 games worth would give us...103 extra PA to total 730.

Okay...so what would these numbers have been in a 730 PA season? Once again using our best friend cross multiplication, the hypothetical results are:

Games: 162
Plate Appearances: 730
Runs: 143
Hits: 203
Walks:  104
Homers: 21
Steals: 58
Catched Stealin': 5

Yeah...143 runs scored.

Without the collusion, Raines could have conceivably and very plausibly scored more than 140 runs in 1987...which is quite a lot. To me runs are what wins games, it doesn't matter to me if a player crossed the plate from a homerun or because he was wicked fast at getting around the bases. I know to most fans homeruns are the coolest thing ever and all but a run is a run and someone who can score that many runs in a year is pretty amazing.

For people or voters who think homeruns are the only important thing in baseball this projection also shows that Raines could have surpassed the arbitrary mark of 20 homers in a season as well. He had decent power too if that's what you want.

Conclusion

Just a short and brief Raines for Hall of Fame article this year. If you're a Hall of Fame voter some of these projection stats may stand out to you though. Without the strike of 1981 or the collusion of 1987 some pretty impressive stats may have landed in the columns of Tim Raines' baseball card.

137 Stolen Bases in 1981
143 Runs Scored  in 1987

Pretty intense if you ask me.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Small Retraction Concerning Statements about Ernest

In regards to my short dissertation on Ernest the other day, I would like to make a glaring and sweeping retraction.

Article in Question: The Greatest Debate Still Rages On...

I concluded by suggesting that the Ernest character should be revived. Yet, after looking at wannabe Ernests attempt to emulate and employ the Ernest on the internet...I cannot honorably stand beside that conclusion any longer.

Example of a Pseudo-Ernest:



Ok, No. No, no, no, no, no. This man is not Ernest. This is an obvious disgrace.

I've come to the realization that there Can Only be One....Jim Varney is the only Ernest...I hereby retract my conclusion in the previous article, for it was wrong.

I admit, I was not correct, not in the least with that assessment. I feel a great deal of shame over the failure of my analytic abilities.

My new stance on the question is as so...

Let Sleeping Ernests Lie.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Greatest Debate Still Rages on...

So much in the news these days. So much to think about and have opinions on. I think as a society we must settle old debates before venturing into new ones. We must tie up these loose ends before biting off new and more difficult debates.


First on the docket is one debate which remains open and has never been resolved, this debate in question, of course, is the Joel vs. Mike debate. It is a question as old as time itself. Weighing all of the options, the correct conclusion to this question is:

Joel

Case dismissed. Moving right along, the next item on humanity's docket of unresolved dilemmas is what many refer to as "The Greatest Debate" and I must say I agree with the designation of this query being regarded as such. The Greatest Debate which has raged on for many years is... 

...what was the Greatest Ernest film ever made?

Now unlike the Joel vs. Mike debate which is easily decided with little thought or after-thought, the case of what was the Greatest Ernest film in the history of Ernest is a whole different can of worms, Vern.

Who Was Ernest?

Before we get knee-deep into this burning question on all of our minds, let's look into the phenomenon that was Ernest for those of you who may have either been living under a rock or not born yet in the era in which Ernest was Ernesting.

Ernest was a veritable amalgamation of heavily versatile yet good-hearted stupidity portrayed by the iconoclastic actor Jim Varney.

Jim Varney was an accomplished actor of the theater (seriously), and his first big television appearance was on Fernwood 2 Night hosted by Martin Mull (side-windered by Fred Willard),



Above, he's doing some variation of a "redneck" character. I know these sort of "redneck" characters are popular now a days with the likes of Jeff Foxworthy and that Fat Boy the Cable Fat Idiot...but there's a huge difference between the likes of Jim Varney and those talentless hacks. The key being that Varney's character(s) are funny whilst todays so-called "Blue Collar Comedians" lead by Jeff Hacksworthy are not. 

Varney first developed the character we know as Ernest for commercials for various southern United States companies (ads for milk, tape, meller yellers, etc., etc.).




At some point someone realized that his character was testing very well with children viewers and the Ernest phenomenon grew wings and took shape. Much in the vein of old time 1950s acts that kids loved such as Johnny Jelly Bean or Soupy Sales, the program Hey Vern! It's Ernest was one of the big three whacky kids shows which came about in the late 1980s era (the other two being Pee Wee Herman's and briefly Al Yankovic's Saturday morning programs).

The Ernestial Explosion was in full gear. Soon, Ernest had his own special, vhs tapes, tv show, and finally MOVIES! That Ernest made a slew of exciting and efficacious Ernest films. For example (but not limited to):

Ernest Goes to Vegas
Ernest Learns Karate
Ernest in Africa
Ernest at the Theme Park
Ernest Saves Christmas
Ernest gets Motivated
Hey Vern! Ernest just Joined the Navy!
Ernest Scared Stupid
Ernest Goes to Jail
Ernest at the Improv
Ernest in Funny Munny
Hey Vern, Win $10,000...Or Just Count On Having Fun!
Ernest Goes to Camp
Ernest Rides Again
Ernest Goes to School
Slam Dunk Ernest
Ernest in the Army
Hey Vern! How 'bout that Ernest!?
Quitting Smoking with Ernest
Ernest Goes to the Park


Yet Only One Ernest Movie May Reign Supreme

Look, I understand that a lot of people "don't get" Ernest...but those people are dumb. I'll go as far (and on record) as saying that anyone who doesn't like Ernest is a Bad Person.

Ok so, for us regular normal Good Persons, I would like now to present to whoever wishes to know of it, my opinion on this long raging debate. Which was the best Ernest film?

I will only focus on five Ernest films (in the interest of time) and those Ernest films are in no particular order:

Ernest Saves Christmas
Ernest Goes to Camp
Ernest Goes to Jail
Ernest Scared Stupid

and last but least (well maybe),

Ernest Rides Again


1. Ernest Saves Christmas

Synopsis: Ernest is working as a cab driver to make ends meet this Holiday Season and picks up a man claiming to be Santa Claus in his cab. The purported Santa must find a successor to carry on the Santa torch before nightfall or Christmas will be ruined. Will Santa find a successor in time?

My Opinion: This film is not very Ernest heavy. The story focuses on other characters (Santa, the successor, and the runaway tween girl) more so than it does on Ernest. Ernest is almost a supporting actor in this film and it's a gross miscarriage of intelligence when that is the case. Making an Ernest movie which is light on the Ernest is not the right way to go.

Would you make a Yogi Bear episode without much Yogi in it? Would you make an A-Team movie without Mr. T in it (come on, why did they do that?)? Would you make an Evil Dead movie without Bruce Campbell in it (seriously why did they do this?)? It's like making a peanut butter sandwich but forgetting to put on the peanut butter is what it is and it's fairly unfathomable to operate like that, I must say.

2. Ernest Goes to Camp:

Synopsis: Ernest finally fulfills his life-long dream of becoming a camp counselor after working as a maintenance man at the camp for years. Sadly, he was only promoted because the other counselors didn't want to deal with a troublesome group of youths sent from the juvenile hall for rehabilitation. Ernest gets stuck with these inner city toughs yet he and the youths really develop an understanding and respect each other.

A villainous natural resource developer played by the always impeccable John Vernon attempts to force the venerable Chief Saint Cloud (portrayed by Iron Eyes Cody) to give him his land.

Faced with the under-handed tactics of the treacherous Krader Company...Chief Saint Cloud is left with no choice but to train Ernest and his gang of inner-city youths and instill unto them the ways of the Warrior. Can Ernest and his rag-tag troupe of diamond-in-the-rough youths act as the front-line defense against Krader, repel the intruders, and save Kamp Kikakee? Or will all be lost?

My Opinion: This movie came out around the time where I would go to Camp Jackson Dodds every summer and have zany adventures and a ton of laughs of my own. The whole camp atmosphere of the film was something I could really relate to as a youth.

The themes touched on within this film, such as Native American issues with the establishment and the difficulty under-privileged kids face in comparison to privileged kids, were a little deeper than the themes in standard Ernest films. It's a pretty deep movie, it has loads of character. Man, this movie is Punk Rock, it really is.

3. Ernest Goes to Jail:

Synopsis: Ernest is an up and coming janitor in a bank who's dream is to one day become a bank teller. He has eyes for his co-worker, the beautiful and charming Charlotte Sparrow and truth be told she has eyes for him as well.

Misfortune befalls our loveable hero when he gets called for jury duty for the trial of one Felix Nash, a dead ringer for Ernest, one might even say his doppelganger. In a flurry of confusion on a visit to the prison Nash pulls the old switcheroo on our best bud Ernest and assumes his place...while Ernest goes to jail.

What will Nash do while living as Ernest on the outside? How will Ernest cope with the harsh realities of prison life?

My Opinion: This movie is shakespearean in nature. People will tell you that the rawness of a play like Othello, with all the emotions flying everywhere, as the lead character feels fear, betrayal, jealousy and anger, amounts to an emotional roller coaster for the audience...yet Othello is not a very good play in comparison to Ernest Goes to Jail.

The emotions in this film are very raw. Rawer than Othello. Take for example when the evil Felix Nash lures Ernest's girlfriend to his nest of deceit and tries to convince her to commit the heinous act of adultery under the most unrighteous of pretenses. Jim Varney's portrayal of both the hero and villain displays his versatility as an theater actor. Many might scorn my comparison of Ernest Goes to Jail to Shakespeare but I honestly believe this to be true in all seriousness. Jim Varney is an unstoppable force of acting in this film.

4. Ernest Scared Stupid

Synopsis: Years in the past, an evil troll roamed around Briarville, Mississippi turning young children into wooden dolls and absorbing their energy. Ernest's ancient ancestor, the great Phineas Worrell, devised a method to seal the evil troll into a big ole oak tree.

Fast forward to the present and poor bumbling Ernest P. Worrell unwittingly releases the seal of the oak tree and unleashes the troll once again. The dastardly troll recommences turning defenseless children into wooden dolls and after he absorbs the spirits of 5 children the troll can unleash his army of lesser demon trolls to begin a reign of terror. The only thing that stands in his way...is Ernest and a wise Haitian woman.

My Opinion: A standard spooky monster movie, but the threat to the kids is made to feel real to the viewer. The troll is very successful at turning innocent children into lifeless wood carvings of their former selves. It's a movie that despite Ernest's antics would genuinely scare a very young child and give them some cool-ass fever-dream nightmares too. Ernest does a lot of heroic mano-y-mano fighting in this film and pulls off a sort of Buffoon Bad Ass character...once again displaying his immense range with the Ernest acting style.

5. Ernest Rides Again

Synopsis: The crown jewels of the Royal Family of England get stolen and transported in a cannon and Ernest and some geek have to do something about it.

My Opinion: My family had this cool Zenith converter cable box when this movie was out that let me see pay-per-view all the time...and I must have watched this movie like 100 times...and it sucks. I don't know why I watched it so much but I guess there was never anything else on.

The geeky doctor was played by a guy named Ron James, who's a popular Canadian comedian now. He speaks normally in this film though which is odd because in his present day act he talks like how a retarded Canadian guy would talk.

This movie is proof that the voice Ron James uses in his act is not his own voice and he's trying to "hose-it-up" so to speak to appeal to Canadian audiences. I think Ron James is going Full Hoser though and it's kind of an over-done act. I understand that Canadians have to hose-it-up to sell (even the brilliant Canadian director Christian Kole made a hoser movie once) but Ron James shouldn't go Full Hoser, and if he wants to he should put on a tuque, drink some stubbies, and send Bob and Doug a royalty cheque.

All in all, Ernest Rides Again isn't an Elite Ernest picture.

The Greatest Ernest Movie of All Time is...

Ernest Goes to Camp.

La crème de la crème of Ernest is the one where he goes to camp. There's no doubt about it.





Gee I'm glad it's rainin'
There's always something to be thankful for.
I'm awfully glad it's raining
Cause no one sees your tear drops when it pours.

And no one knows the thunder
Is your heartbreak in disguise,
They think the rainy nights
What put that sad look in your eyes.

Sure am glad it's rainin'.
The gentle rythmn soothes the pain inside.
I'm glad the stars aren't shining.
A wounded warrior needs a place to hide.

I thought I had found someone
I could count on til the end.
What they wanted was a hero,
All I needed was a friend

Gee I'm glad it's rainin'.
I hope the morning sun won't come up soon.
As long as it keeps raining,
No one knows my heart broke right in two.

I thought I had found someone
I could count on til the end.
What they wanted was a hero,
All I needed was a friend

Sure am glad it's rainin'.
I'm awfully glad it's rainin'

Passing the Torch

For those of you living blissfully unaware lives, Ernest died in 2000 of cancer. Yeah, on February 12th of the year 2000...the earth stood still for a moment as Ernest had to say goodbye to us.

People may not have realized it yet, but Ernest's passing has left a hole. The universe is incomplete without Ernest. We need Ernest.

I'm calling out to everyone in Hollywood to listen up. I'm calling out to every artist, stand up, and preformer to put down what they are doing and listen.

Someone out there has to become Ernest. Someone has to step up and accept the torch. Someone has to put on the grey t-shirt, dawn the jean-vest, and adorn themselves with the grey cap. It's not a joke anymore...Universe needs Ernest.

Now I'm not talking like when Hollywood re-booted The Three Stooges with three horrible lame-wads. That 2012 Three Stooges Movie is a punishable crime, it's almost blasphemous in terms of its mockery of comedy. Taking something as good as the Three Stooges and turning it into shit is the absolute worst thing that could to be done to bring Ernest back.

No, I'm not talking about a money-making horrible reboot. I'm talking about someone becoming Ernest. I'm talking about someone accepting the responsibility of being The Ernest. Putting the three holy vestments of The Ernest on some unfunny bozo and releasing a movie with the Ernest name is not the plan.

The Plan is to do it right. The plan is for the New Ernest to dawn the vestments and be proud of them...to put on the Ernest uniform and WANT to make COMEDY proud. I'm talkin' to you.

You, YEAH YOU! Step up! Put it on! Become ERNEST...