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Handicapping the Oscar Races for Baseball Fans Part Two

With Oscar Day nearing, here are the rest of our inane, wildly important comparisons between Oscar nominees and their MLB counterparts. As Stanley Kubrick once said, “The Oscars and MLB go together like…” Who knows what he said, but the connection was there!

The Supporting Actors

 

Alan Arkin

 

Above: Everyone’s Grandpa. A man meant for the movies, and good for everyone he encounters.

Arkin won his first Oscar in 2006 for Little Miss Sunshine, but he also received two nominations in the ‘60s. He’s never been the It Guy at any given time, but Arkin has been giving memorable performances like this one in Argo since the Millard Fillmore administration, give or take. A Hollywood kid from a Hollywood family, Arkin’s been one of the good guys in the business for half a century. Can’t imagine he has an enemy anywhere. Alan Arkin is…Kevin Millwood. Looks like a really nice guy, and there’s no evidence to suggest he’s otherwise. A long career of solid, and at times All-Star, performances. He even deserves more than what I’ve just written. Oh well, for another time.

 

Happy where he was, and the baseball world better for it.

Robert De Niro

He’s actually asleep in this picture. It’s just how his face relaxes.

 

With a legitimate chance at winning on Sunday, De Niro will be seeking his 3rd win. This marks his 7th nomination (7th!). As usual, De Niro seems to be right in the midst of the big race as well, as Silver Linings Playbook is a favorite to snag Best Picture. He’s been turning in iconic performances since he was Vito Corleone and even before, but his role in Playbook was filled with real, pure emotion, perhaps marking a difference from many of his bigger, louder roles. A man who would have been a HOF lock two decades ago, De Niro has not shied away from expanding his repertoire at any point, even allowing his role to become a supporting one so as to allow young stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper to shine. De Niro is…Todd Helton. He still delivers remarkable performances, but still he allows for younger stars to shine as the franchise/films shift towards the next generation of talent.

 

Helton reacting to finding out he made it onto our blog. Wonderful to see such enthusiasm from such an accomplished man. The privilege is ours, Todd.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

PSH releasing Andrew Garfield from captivity, it would appear.

 

With his nomination for his work in The Master, PSH has now received nominations in four of the past eight Oscar races, with a win in 2006 for Capote. He’s a quirky man, to say the least, but Hoffman has been doing it right for a long time, including 2008, when he received two Golden Globe nominations. A true student of the craft, Hoffman has shown in recent years the ability to jump from biography to political drama to romantic comedy (HOW DID HE NOT GET AN OSCAR FOR ALONG CAME POLLY?!?!) without sacrificing his effectiveness. He does have a baseball connection, having portrayed Art Howe in Moneyball despite looking NOTHING like Art Howe! Not necessarily a late bloomer, but he has received well-deserved praise—at least from the Academy—only in recent years, as his prime seems to be dwindling. PSH is…Roy Halladay. Somewhat of a late bloomer, at least late to become a certified star. Also, both men are certainly quirky fellows trending towards crazy, “method actors” in their respective fields.

Can’t deny his talent…or the crazy eyes.

 

Tommy Lee Jones

 

BUT I AM SMILING!

Jones won an Oscar for The Fugitive in 1994, and this year marks his fourth nomination. He has a good chance this time around (in case you haven’t noticed, this category is WIDE OPEN, with 5 worthy nominees), and maybe a win would even get a smile out of Agent Kay. A wily, stoic veteran of the trade, Jones has been frowning his way through hits since Fugitive and then some. Lincoln was fantastic, and in this “credible” critic’s mind, the Picture race should come down to it and Playbook. That being said, I don’t think Jones should be bringing home a trophy of his own. Nevertheless, he has cemented himself as a staple of the industry and a stabilizing force amidst the chaos that is Hollywood fame. Tommy Lee Jones is…Michael Young. The workman of baseball, pure consistency over the course of a career, all accomplished without controversy or smiles. Epitome of professionalism as well as stoicism.

I’M SORRY, OK? I’m just not used to doing this.

 

Christoph Waltz

Just wanted to make sure more people got to enjoy this laudable facial hair/armor.

 

Having won a fully deserved BSA Oscar for Inglorious Basterds, Waltz has a good chance at making it two wins in two tries, thanks to his unique work as Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained. We naïve Americans unfortunately did not know of this Austrian treasure—the anti-Schwarzenegger—until recent years, but I for one am glad we have the chance to see what we can. A delightful presence onscreen and off, and a solid SNL host if you didn’t see, Waltz is a late bloomer to our country but is making the most of his time. Tarantino knows he has a keeper, and don’t be surprised to see Waltz lurking in this category a couple more times before he’s done. Christoph Waltz is… Ichiro. As soon as he got here, his presence was felt with MVP caliber performance and sustained excellence. We wish he had been here longer, but we should enjoy the time we have to admire his unique brand of individual brilliance.

Shame he has to wear that jersey, but still a talent to be enjoyed by all.

 

  

The Supporting Actresses

 

Amy Adams

 

I’ll be yah Doug!

Only 38 and now four Oscar nominations with her work in The Master? Damn, girl. Four nominations in eight years is quite the run. Adams also has a baseball tie, but we as a site have decided to deny the existence of Trouble With the Curve, shockingly not nominated for any Oscars. She’s been always entertaining for about a decade now, whether as a nun, Chahhhhhhlene, or Princess Giselle. Side note: I am not ashamed to admit that Enchanted is and always will be wildly entertaining, and I can only hope the rumored sequel will soon become reality. A talented and adaptable performer with plenty of time left to fill up her trophy case, Amy Adams is…Prince Fielder. The fact that they look like siblings aside, both are winners who we often neglect when considering the finest in their generation. Overshadowed by other talented people at times, both continue to deliver impressive work. Princess Giselle and Prince Fielder? You’re welcome, future lovers.

 

I I do NOT eat meat! ‘Cept for steak, ham, bacon. You know how it is.

Sally Field

Oh sweet, Sally Field. You’re just so casual.

 

Can’t say I’m a huge fan in general or of her performance in Lincoln itself, but I cannot deny that this is her third nomination, with two wins in her first two tries. Still find her a little annoying, and her barely bearable Oscar victory speech (NO, I will not provide a link. I’m not an enabler.) is, well, barely bearable. She’ll be remembered as a talented, successful actress who was recognized for her notable performances. Still, Sally Field, I really don’t like you. I really, really don’t. Sally Field is…Alex Rodriguez. He was great then he bottomed out, was sort of great, then plummeted again. He is a member of the I Could Have Been One of the Best Ever Without PEDs But Now My Career is Forever Tarnished group. Field has no known link to PEDs, but for me her career was tarnished when she seduced her way to earning Forrest Gump a football scholarship.

Which half is the ass?

 

Anne Hathaway

She can be happy! Be happy, girl. You’ve earned it.

 

The probable winner in this category, Hathaway now has two nominations for uber-depressing performances, for Les Miserables this year and Rachel Getting Married in 2009. A somewhat polarizing actress since her breakthrough in 2001’s The Princess Diaries (everyone loves it, so don’t be ashamed), Hathaway has confirmed her place among the elite performers of her generation, and she will undoubtedly be found on A-lists and Oscar lists for years to come. Forgetting Bride Wars, as I’m sure she has, Hathaway has built up an impressive body of work, including her great performance in last summer’s blockbuster Catwoman Rides the Batpod. She has her prime before her at only 31, and her talent is apparent. Anne Hathaway is…Ryan Braun. An electric young talent with nearly limitless potential, generally admired but with some polarizing feature. Hathaway perhaps acted with a chip on her shoulder following personal troubles. Braun’s middle finger to the world of a 2012 season was fun to watch and underappreciated.

He don’t look like he’s done proving himself quite yet.

 

Helen Hunt

Helen Hunt? Jodie Foster? Yes.

 

Real talk: no one saw The Sessions. No disrespect, and it’s nice for Hunt to receive a second nomination (she won for As Good as It Gets), but she will not be taking home the statue this year. She was in Twister, so there’s that. Certainly talented and respected by most everyone (me included, despite this mean take), Hunt is enjoying the ride as she nears 50. She had a solid ‘90s run as a go-to big name, but now Hunt is a solid performer winding down an All-Star, but probably not Hall of Fame career. She is… Edgar Renteria. He had some memorable moments around the same time of Hunt’s peak (see his 1997 World Series heroics), and he got a win as his career dwindled (2010 with the Giants), but in all truly a somewhat typical career. Sorry, you two.

Just happy to be here. Thank you. Red Sox fans wonder how he won two World Series.

 

Jacki Weaver

Heeeeeeeeeeere’s Jacki! Yes, she is actually that short.

 

Two nominations in three years ain’t so bad, and as you may have noticed, I unabashedly loved Silver Linings Playbook. She probably won’t win, but Weaver helped make a film that should not only be recognized as this year’s best, but as one of the best works in recent years. I’m not being mean about this one; Weaver actually hasn’t done that much work that anyone will remember. At 75, she seems content with the excellent performances she’s turned in the past few years. With great talent that most of us have only seen for a brief time period, Jacki Weaver is…the inverse of Rocco Baldelli. He came up as the prospect to watch and then burned out for reasons out of his control. She came to the forefront late but made an impact. She’s a little old for Rocco, but their careers kind of complete each other. Sounds like a movie waiting to be made…

HOW did I end up on your blog again?

Well, that concludes our biting Oscar commentary. Enjoy Sunday night and what is sure to be a memorable performance by Seth MacFarlane. Some have been alluded to, but here are our final predictions for the big ones:

Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis

Actress: Jennifer Lawrence

Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz

Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway

Director: Steven Spielberg (although David O. Russell would be a worthy victor)

Picture: Silver Linings Playbook

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The PED Scandal in Baseball No One Wants to Talk About

The Backyard Baseball Banned Substance Scandal: A DotP Exclusive

Backyard Baseball is/was a beloved institution among cartoon sports enthusiasts.  Now the world must deal with the shocking revelation that many of the players were enhancing their performance with illegal substances.  After a lengthy investigation and the cooperation of a handful of sources, DotP has learned a large number of Backyard Athletes boosted their performance using everything from something called ‘Juice,’ to doctored baseballs, to drugging the other team, causing them to think the ball is dancing around laughing at them.

The allegations are widespread and shocking.

May I remind you that Backyard Baseball really hit it’s groove in 2001.  That game is one of the finest of all time, up there with NBA Jam and Tecmo Bowl.  But there is a dark, dark history there that no one wants to see the light.  Here’s a sampling of some of the MLB players featured in that game:

Jose Canseco.  Juan Gonzalez. Alex Rodriguez. Jason Giambi. Ivan Rodriguez. Barry Bonds. Sammy Sosa. Mark McGwire.  And Marty Cordova.

As you can see, all but one of those guys is filthy with drug use, implicated every which way from Sunday (One of these guys is Marty Cordova.  I don’t think he’s a former steroid user, it’s more just funny that the Twins were so boring in the early 2000’s that their representative was Marty Cordova.).  My sources are reporting this interaction resulted in a slew of the Backyard Baseball gang succumbing to the allure of performance enhancing drugs.  Forced to compete with the aforementioned ‘roided up MLBers, it is no wonder many players resorted to PEDs – but it is also no excuse. What follows is the list of players we can confirm as cheaters in the Backyard League and their documented rule-breaking:

Kiesha Phillips

Ms. Phillips leads the list due to her recent admission that she was, in fact, too old to be playing in the Backyard League at the time.  Documentation further proves Phillips regularly consumed a cocktail of drugs meant to mask PEDs.  Receipts have been shown that Phillips had a standing monthly order for large, large doses of Human Growth Hormone supplements, a fact that is obvious in hindsight due to the fact that she was double the size of any other Backyard athlete.

Kenny Kawaguchi

In one of the most shocking revelations of the Backyard report, Kawaguchi was cited as utilizing a wide variety of performance enhancing substances.  A hero to millions, Kawaguchi served as an inspiration for his play despite a disability.  Evidence now points to Kawaguchi using a variety of blood thinning agents, bull extract, the now-infamous ‘deer-antler spray,’ and amphetimines to maintain his solid play and remarkable upper body strength.

Ronny Dobbs

A solid player before 2001, Dobbs saw a tremendous spike in power production following that season.  He is repeatedly found in documents linked to shocking amounts of testosterone supplements as well as anabolic steroids such as Boldenone, a horse steroid.  While his power surged, evidence of the steroid’s side effects can be seen (well, heard) in Dobbs’ extreme high-pitched voice and disproportionate head size.

Tony Delvecchio

In another shocking turn, seeming everyman Tony Delvecchio is named in the report for using a wide variety of stimulants to aid his workout routine.  The report further suggests that Delvecchio tested positive for an exceedingly high rate of the amusingly named Bromantane as well as Pentylenetetrazol, both workout stimulants.  Known for his strong throwing arm, Delvecchio appears to have taken a variety of substances to maintain and bolster his arm strength.  Documents also insinuate that Delvecchio’s famous lollipop was, in fact, a hybrid stimulant for in-game use.

Luanne Lui

Ms. Lui repeatedly shows up in listings for orders of amphetamine blends and for masking agents for the drug Amiphenazole.  The more concerning aspects of her drug use, however, stem from documentation that she regularly consumed enormous amounts of MDMA prior to games.  The combination of stimulants and MDMA undoubtedly gave Lui her loopy disposition, but also allowed her to run incredibly fast for extended periods of time due to the fact that she rarely felt connected to the ground.  DEA officials have confiscated her teddy bear as it is still unclear whether or not the stuffed animal was in any way distributing any or all of these drugs to Ms. Lui in-game.

Mikey Thomas

Thomas tested positive for elevated levels of Ephedrine and Androstanediol in 2003 but had suspension overturned when he won an appeal.  Claiming a mishandled sample, Thomas alleges his elevated levels were due to a cold medicine he was taking at the time.  While this story has held for some time, as Thomas continued to be a boogery mess, these new reports point to Mr. Thomas using cold medicine as a cover for routine widespread juicing.

Ernie Steele

Steele is listed as taking a schedule of Human Growth Hormone, Fluvestrant, and Zeranol regularly starting in 2000.  These drugs have been tied to bone growth, and inside sources report they may have contributed to Steele’s intensely bizarre long limbs, as well as his girlish physique and vocal patterns.

Pete Wheeler

In what is likely the least surprising aspect of these reports, Pete Wheeler is said to have routinely failed drug tests for Cannibus, starting his first year in the league.  However, due to his All-Star status, the league regularly swept these failures under the rug.  Between 1997 and 2009, it is said Wheeler failed no fewer than 30 tests.  However, as one source said to me, “he maintained an incredibly high level of play, despite what seems like staggering, rap-posse-esque marijuana usage.  Also, the kid rarely seemed to know what sport he was playing, so I’d imagine the fans have suspected for some time and simply didn’t care.”

webers

Ashley & Sidney Webber

The Webber sisters, since retiring from the game, have gained some notoriety for their hard-partying ways and inclusion on the short lived Celebrity Twinz reality series.  While they report has them linked to heavy mood enhancers and several stimulants (including Fenbutrazate, a psychostimulant used as an appetite suppressant), sources also report the Webbers would routinely spike opponents coolers with everything from low-grade LSD to bath salts, often to horrific effect (recall the under-grounder incident of 2006). The Webber sisters have recently been linked to a cocaine ring in their home town, separate from this PED report.

The Masterminds: Dmitri Petrovich & Jorge Garcia

Behind every scheme, there are the ultimate schemers – someone pulling the strings.  In this case, the Backyard Sports World lay at the mercy of two black market drug kingpins.  The Backyard Athletes behind a rampant drug culture throughout the league were intelligent, seemingly mild-mannered gentlemen.  Both with bookish, shy exteriors, Petrovich and Garcia masked a devious and dangerous system, weaving its way throughout the league.  It appears Jorge ran the business and distribution side, while Dmitri was the brains behind the science of the drugs – often experimenting with new ‘drug cocktails,’ emboldened by the success of such substances in other leagues.

Due to lagging testing policy in the BBL for many years, the duo appears to have operated unchecked since 2002, supplying clients across not only the BBL, but other Backyard sports leagues as well.  Our sources assure us this is the tip of the iceberg, and that the culture in Backyard Sports was one of drugs, lies, and deceit.

Neither a superstar in the league, the pair seemed content to lay in the shadows, bit players in a game of their own making.  Both declined to comment for this expose.  Commisioner Clanky plans to release a statement sometime next week.  An official within the Backyard League informed me, “We have no comment at this time.  The league is conducting an investigation into these allegations and will be open and forthcoming in the days to come.”

It should be noted that Superstar Pablo Sanchez, long suspected of PED usage, has not been found to have any connection to Petrovich and/or Garcia.

This story is still developing, and I urge any reader with further evidence to come forward.  The silence in the face of such cheating has tainted a beloved game for long enough.

We apologize for any childhoods that have been ruined.

-W

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