The first week of the baseball season is in the books so I take a look at three of my favorite teams – my fantasy baseball team, my MLB team, the Angels, and then I read another issue of Fantastic Four. With good weeks for both baseball teams, I’d say the superhero team left a lot to be desired.
As I mentioned before, I’m in 2 Scoresheet baseball leagues – one is a Root league in which most of my players are from the Angels and the rest are from any team in the American League, and the other has players drawn from both AL and NL – I call this my MLB league.
This morning, I received my weekly newsletter from the league with my results and stats and basically how my team performed over the past week. Scoresheet uses an algorithm to integrate how a player performs in real life into a simulated game and then gives you a box score/scorebook for each game. It’s really cool how they portray batter-by-batter, inning-by-inning performance throughout a game. Here’s what the basic game looks like for a match I had this week.
You can see how each inning breaks down and how the team’s performance depends on batting order and what each player does. For instance, in the 4th inning, Braun started off with a HR and then Alonso and Dozier followed with singles (1B). After the catcher, Barnhart, flies out to center field (O8), Hechavarri knocks in a run with a single (1B) and the top of the order comes up. Dozier scores on a sacrafice fly (SF) by Rendon and Markakis hits a single before Mazara makes the third out. Pretty cool simulation of the game and it’s one of the things that makes Scoresheet a fun format and also kinda hard.
Recently, as in since the last time I was a regular Scoresheet player a few years ago, they started incorporating a play-by-play replay of the game that will actually show you what the game looks like if it were played at “Scoreheet Stadium”. Here’s a look at how they portray that.
This goes into a bit more detail for the inning – I captured the announcer text from that same 4th inning – and you can see how it’d be almost like reading a twitter or text feed of the game plays. Sure, you don’t get the pitch-by-pitch breakdown, but I love how they give you each play – that’s the important stuff.
In any case, my team went on to win that game 5–1 and I had a good week as well, going 5–1 in all games. Sure, it’s early in the season…one week…but I’m tied for first place in my division and I’m happy to have started off so well.
Sweep of Seattle
In real life baseball, I’m happy to report my team is on fire as well. The Angels swept the Mariners outta town with wins of 5–1, 5–4, and an incredibly fun to watch (at least the last inning) 10–9 walk off on Sunday. The team scored 7 runs in the bottom of the 9th in that last game and really put an exclamation mark on the series. In that inning, Pujols not only smacked a home run, but he came up again to knock in the tying run with a two-run single. The 3 game sweep behind them, the team heads into Tuesday’s home game against the rival Texas Rangers with a 5–2 record and a bunch of momentum. With that winning streak and revenge in their eyes for the $26 million they are paying Josh Hamilton, hopefully the Angels are encouraged to crush the Rangers and make an even stronger statement at the start of a long season.
Fantastic Four Issue #7 – Prisoners of Kurrgo, Master of Planet X
This was not my favorite of the 7 I’ve read so far, actually, this was probably my least liked of all the Fantastic Four I’ve read. The story is presented in 5 chapters but it basically has 2 parts. In the first part, Kurrgo sends a robot to Earth to bring the FF back to Planet X by using some kind of “hatred” ray that makes everyone dislike the team. With everyone on Earth hating them, the Fantastic Four gladly jump on the robot’s space ship to head to Planet X where they meet Kurrgo. He’s got a problem – an asteroid is headed to his planet and no one can come up with a solution. Reed jumps into action and creates a shrinking gas that miniaturizes the population of the entire world so they can go on a space ship to escape doomsday. That’s basically the story but there is a twist at the end where Kurrgo decides he’s not gonna give the shrunken people the enlargement gas so he can rule them wherever they end up, but he trips and fails to make it off Planet X. We then learn that Reed never created an enlargement gas.
I think my biggest issue with this story is Reed. In the 6 issues so far I’m pretty sure he’s been characterized to not only be a great scientist, but he also seems to be a nice guy. Shrinking down the population of a planet without a way of enlarging them again sure doesn’t seem like something a hero would do. He seems like a really big jerk and I don’t like that in my heroes. Sure, there are heroes who are not very nice, but the Fantastic Four are supposed to be real good guys – this was not a good guy move in my view.
On the positive side, this story was good even if it seemed like a Twilight Zone episode and this is the first issue I enjoyed Kirby’s portrayal of the Thing.
One thing I noticed as I ran through the titles of the previous issues, this is the second “Prisoner” issue outta 7 total. For a group of superheroes, they sure are captured and made prisoners a bunch in the first year of their existence. But regardless of everything, I still give this the lowest FF score I’ve handed out so far…a C.