1. The National League looks as though it might actually win an All-Star Game tonight.
2. Speaking of baseball, Sports Illustrated, in an article entitled “Not A Pretty Picture,” recently documented the plight of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Even to a fan well-acquainted with their futility over the past seventeen straight losing seasons, I (Ben) was still shocked to read passages like this one: “In ’02, for instance, the Bucs used the first selection [in the draft] to take pitcher Bryan Bullington instead of B.J. Upton, Prince Fielder, Cole Hamels, Scott Kazmir, Nick Swisher or Jeff Francoeur. Bullington never won a game for Pittsburgh. Those six players that the Pirates passed on? Three have combined for four All-Star Game appearances.”
3. Elsewhere on the sports front, Utah gets Al Jefferson from the Timberwolves. This starts to replace the Carlos Boozer-sized hole in the paint. (It does nothing, however, to replace Boozer’s taco meat chest hair presence in Utah’s locker room.) The fact Al Jefferson doesn’t play defense may not go over well with Jerry Sloan. Also, Kosta Koufos — Koof, to Jazz fans — is now gone, leaving behind a legacy in Salt Lake that is, despite certain draft day predictions back in 2008, somewhat short of Dirk and Memo.
4. A.O. Scott weighs in with the first review we’ve seen of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Here’s the Nic Cage money quote: “If he has not quite approached a Christopher Walken level of sublime self-parody, Mr. Cage has at least established himself as the heir to Al Pacino in the crazy mentor pantheon.”
(In the next sentence, Scott hastens to add that “while Mr. Molina and Mr. Cage supply a measure of well-compensated eccentricity, their labors ultimately serve to emphasize the grinding mediocrity of the enterprise.”)
5. Meanwhile, at the Stylelist, Mark Marino reports a “trend alert!” that “Cage debuted his fiery new hue” — red hair — “at the New York City premiere” of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Cage — “allegedly!” — “also added a bit of ginger to his graying beard, giving it a salt-and-paprika effect.”
6. The Brueggemanns recently loaned us the first three seasons of “Weeds.” After starting the show together last week, Ben learned this evening that Erin is now fourteen episodes ahead of him.
7. In an e-mail with the subject line “sorry,” Chris Tolles reminded us that even though Ohio no longer has LeBron James, it does still have a building shaped like a giant basket.
8. From what we’ve been told about newborn babies, they are, generally speaking, inconsiderate of your daily routine. Since blogging is one of those things we attempt to do on a daily basis, we realized it might be good to have a back-up plan, as it were, once Baby Vore arrives.
So, starting tomorrow, we’ll begin occasionally featuring guest posts from our parenting friends about their experiences as parents. You’ll hear their advice and their stories. Jill Van Himbergen will kick us off with a post entitled “Linda McCartney Did a Lot of … Breastfeeding?” We hope it’ll be the first of many you’ll enjoy reading in the coming weeks. We’ll be taking notes.