Thursday, September 25, 2008

Note to Self...Invent Provolone Cake

We had to shut down the power in the office this afternoon to help out with energy conservation. (I'm still confused as to how turning off my 1997 HP printer is going to save polar bears from drowning, but whatever. It makes me feel like I'm going green, and it creates a good excuse to get out of the office.)

We took the opportunity to eat lunch as a group together, and as always, anytime we're all in a confined space for more than 5-10 minutes, uncomfortableness, awkwardness, and hilarity ensues.

From the Too Much Information department, here are some of the things I learned about some of my colleagues today:
  • Joyce can name several provinces in Germany, but cannot identify American icons Frank Sinatra, Oprah Winfrey, Candice Bergen, or Bill Cosby in the lopsided framed pictures on the walls at Applebees (she kind of knew who Elvis was, but answered hesitantly to that one).
  • Vlad enjoys a side of tilapia with his hersey's kisses. Who knew? Maybe it's a symptom of "chocolate fever."
  • Rebecca becomes enraged any time anyone mentions the word "trio" more than three times (her self-imposed limitation).
  • Joyce feels compelled to order three things and create a trio (trio, trio, trio, trio) even if she only plans on eating two of the three items (hey, more spinach and artichoke dip for me!).
  • Gary will eat anything. Lots of anything. And he like to combine weird things that no one else would consider putting on the same spoon or fork (or spork). He ordered a BLT. And a French Onion soup. And a Cobb salad. And mozzarella sticks. And a side order of fries. Then, he proceeded to dump his fries into his soup and mix it all together until it turned into some grotesque French Fry/French Onion Mush. When he ordered ice cream cake for dessert, he actually seemed disappointed to learn that they couldn't melt provolone on top of it (his personal favorite recipe from The Guido's Guide to Baking).
Anyway, while we were wasting time at lunch, we were saving the cheerleader energy, and saving the world. Hopefully, my time spent watching Gary engulf his 9-course meal means that a penguin or two will live to see another day.

-- Dave

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Battle Against The Old Boys

The undefeated Cyclones staff put another notch in the win column on Thursday, besting the Old Boys of Summer (a 65-and-over team) in an epic 13-12 battle. Some of the Old Boys were not actually so old this time around, but we didn't ask to see birth certificates (OK, well, we did ask, but they just kind of ignored us).

It was a back-and-forth struggle for the ages (no pun intended) that featured big hits (by both teams), poor defense (by us), great plays (by them), a near-ejection ("Turn your hat around!" "Shut your mouth!"), a collision at home plate (more below), and stellar pitching (by our guy...I guess their guy was pretty good, too, considering he just had heart surgery about two months ago). It was truly an exciting game. Not the kind anyone would sleep through.

And OK, even though my RBI triple (cough, cough, second one of the game) plated Rebecca with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 8th, maybe I did get a little carried away when I got into a rundown trying for home and then slid (crashed) headfirst into the Old Boy behind the plate in a move that simultaneously (and accidentally, I swear) injured their catcher and horrified/appalled/ashamed 99% of my teammates (Kevin M. was the other 1%...he actually thought I didn't go in hard enough).

Thanks to our second win of the year against the Old Boys and the trouncing of the interns we have now defeated all challengers -- ranging from 18 to 85 years old -- to keep our record unblemished. Next up is our annual trip to Aberdeen to face the IronBirds staff, our stiffest competition yet. We beat them last year on our turf, but the road team has yet to win a game in the series. (Plus, six hours with all of us in a van is usually a challenge unto itself.)

So stay tuned...the official Cyclones season may be over, but thanks to the front office squad, the thrilling exciting captivating interesting semi-interesting somewhat-watchable action continues!

-- Dave

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Offseason Is Upon Us

And that means a bit of a slowdown around the office, and the Blog. After taking a quick TO to catch our breaths, both mentally and physically, after three and a half months of high intensity, we'll be back at it again soon enough -- planning, plotting, scheming, brainstorming, ideating, and any other buzzword-ing you can think of to make the 2009 season our best ever.

But fear not, loyal Blog readers. We'll still give you the updates you crave on meaningless inter-office shenanigans (like Ricky dropping to the floor to do 20 push ups in the middle of Applebee's in an attempt to disprove public perception regarding his physical abilities -- he got to 19 before his arms started wobbling like Jell-O in an earthquake and he collapsed. Check out the video).

We're taking on the Old Boys of Summer (65-and-over men's baseball league) on Thursday in the continuation of one of sports' most storied rivalries (just after Red Sox/Yankees and Duke/Carolina), and soon we'll be traveling to Aberdeen to take on the IronBirds staff in softball, where we plan to avenge Fonzie and gain a small measure of revenge against the team that eliminated the '08 Cyclones from the playoff hunt.

So stay tuned to the Blog, and to will still be plenty of interesting stuff going on around the office this off-season.

(And if not, we'll just make something up!)

-- Dave

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pictures of Us

The cliché goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. I’ll try to keep this blog post under that (Rejoice!).

Hello all, I’m Brendan McKeon and I make videos. I’ve been enlisted to talk about the 2008 Brooklyn Cyclones Images of the Year, which debuted following Friday’s unfortunate loss to Aberdeen. For those who saw it, we appreciate your patronage. For those who didn’t, what are you waiting for? Check it out.

I’m not going sit here and write up a blog post on video editing techniques. (This would immediately pop into your head.) However, I’ll talk about a couple things about the video and give credit where credit is properly due.

First up, the song choice. The song is always the first thing that’s decided on, as everything else needs to be molded around it. For those who don’t recognize it, the song is called Pictures of You by The Last Goodnight. I’ve been mildly obsessed with it since it came out last summer. (It currently sits at #2 on my iTunes “Top 25 Most Played”… what’s #1? Umm… No Comment.) As a production guy, I have a list of songs that I’d want to make a video for, songs that perfectly capture an emotion (or have a kickin’ drum beat). This fit the bill.

The goal of the end-of-the-year video is to capture not just the 2008 Brooklyn Cyclones baseball season, but the entire experience a fan gets when coming out to KeySpan Park. It perfectly answers the question, “Who are the Brooklyn Cyclones?”

Thus we needed a concept. How we got picture frames from the song title “Pictures of You”, I’ll never know. But still pictures in a frame tell a story that sometimes even the best moving images cannot. So we printed out some pictures, “borrowed” a frame from the office, and went outside to shoot a still image (confession: not as exciting as it sounds).

Most (read: all) the credit for the final product goes to catcher/editor/wall hooky hero Tim Nelson. Anything you’ve seen on our video board that made you think, “wow that was kind of cool” probably came from him. Kudos also to the rest of the video staff for giving us the great great shots to use in it as well.

These are the types of videos every production person loves to make. It’s something that’s been in the works literally the entire year (we’ve had a cut of it since mid-July I believe). It may not be the funniest or most creative thing to come out of the Production Dept, but I think I can say with almost 100% certainty that it’s the most professional piece we’ve ever produced.

With that, I’ll sign off. Hope everyone enjoys the 2008 Brooklyn Cyclones Images of the Year, and that everyone will be back in Coney Island for what will surely be another memorable season of Cyclones Baseball. Cheers, see ya in June!

-- Brendan

Saturday, September 6, 2008

All Good Things Must Come To An End...

Well, it was a pretty amazing run. It came down to extra innings on the second-to-last day of the season, but the Cyclones were eliminated from the Playoff hunt on Friday night, after winning 11 out of the team's last 12 games to surge back into the race.

That the team was even still in the hunt was impressive enough, after battling injury after injury all season long. And that's not just rhetoric, or some kind of excuse...check out the list: Zach Lutz, Reese Havens, Josh Satin, Ike Davis, Matt Bouchard, Matt Smith, Jim Fuller, Mike Lynn, Tim Stronach, John Servidio...all impact players that suffered injuries (and that's just off the top of my head).

Still, there were some pretty special performances. Brad Holt seemed to strike out 10 every time he took the mound. Kirk Nieuwenhuis put himself of the map by leading the team in just about everything, and getting big hits in clutch situations. Scott Shaw, Chris Schwinden Jimmy Johnson, Roy Merritt, and the entire pitching staff kept up the Brooklyn tradition of excellence on the mound, leading the league in ERA for the second straight season. 17-year-old Wilmer Flores became the youngest Cyclone ever, and showed glimpses of the talent that makes him a top prospect. 18-year-old Jenry Mejia wowed everyone with his high-90s fastball. The list literally goes on and on.

Just about every player did something this season, both on and off the field, to endear themselves to the Brooklyn faithful, and take their place in Cyclones history.

It was a pretty amazing run. It's too bad it had to end. But as the saying goes -- for longer than some Brooklynites care to remember -- Wait 'Til Next Year!

-- Dave

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Playoff Hunt

OK, you ready for this?
Entering play on Friday, three teams are still in the mix for the NYPL Wild Card – Brooklyn (45-29), Batavia (44-28), and Jamestown (44-29). Batavia and Jamestown are also battling for the Pinckney Division crown. Brooklyn and Batavia each have two games remaining on their schedules, while Jamestown has three. Winning percentage is the determining factor for a playoff berth, if records are uneven.

BROOKLYN (two games remaining)
If Brooklyn wins both games, it would finish 47-29 (.618)
If Brooklyn goes 1-1, it would finish 46-30 (.605)
If Brooklyn loses both games, it would finish 45-29 (.592)

BATAVIA (two games remaining)
If Batavia wins both games, it would finish 46-28 (.621)
If Batavia goes 1-1, it would finish 45-29 (.608)
If Batavia loses both games, it would finish 44-30 (.595)

JAMESTOWN (three games remaining)
If Jamestown wins all three games, it would finish 47-29 (.618)
If Jamestown goes 2-1, it would finish 46-30 (.605)
If Jamestown goes 1-2, it would finish 45-31 (.592)
If Jamestown loses all three games, it would finish 44-32 (.578)

The first tie-breaker is head-to-head record. Jamestown holds the tie-breaker over Brooklyn.
That means if we win both games and one of the other teams loses, we're in. If we go 1-1, we need one of the other teams to lose three games. If everyone wins all their remaining games, we are out, because of a tiebreaker. If Hurricane Hannah comes in tomorrow, this could all change for everyone.

I don't even know if this is all correct anymore. My head hurts, and I'm seeing stars. It's been like this with numbers and me ever since fourth grade, when Mrs. Levine introduced long division.

All I do know is that we have to keep winning. The rest of it is out of our hands. Scott Shaw on the mound tonight is a good way to get things going, with Brad Toy Holt waiting in the wings tomorrow. Sounds like a pretty good 1-2 punch to me!

Let's go Cyclones!

-- Dave

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And Down the Stretch They Come...

Whew! The '08 Cyclones sure are making it exciting, aren't they? As of this morning, the team has won nine games in a row to surge into the lead for the Wild Card spot.

Nine in a row!

And they've been doing it in thrilling fashion, thanks to things like:

  • A 17-year old shortstop hitting .400
  • A switch-hitting catcher belting home runs from both sides of the plate
  • A fireballing closer striking out four batters in one inning
  • A leadoff man who also leads the team in virtually every offensive category
  • An All-Star pitcher who leads the league and set a new franchise record with almost 100 strikeouts
  • A league-high 27 one-run games
If you don't know the names of the players described above, you're not paying close enough attention (or you work in the Ticket Office). You should really make sure you come to the last three games of the season and catch up on what you've been missing!

School's back in session, and that means the kids need a pick-me-up. I can't think of a better way to hang onto the last days of summer than by bringing the family to see a pennant race that features great baseball and great entertainment. The way this season has been going, you may even be seeing a piece of history. It seems like something incredible happens, both on and off the field, at just about every game!

And who knows? This team just might keep on winning all the way to a championship! Stranger things have happened. Either way, you can be sure of one'll be a thrilling ride worthy of the team's namesake, and one you don't want to miss!

-- Dave