Monday Recap: A Sporting Fox

Last night I was finally able to see Wes Anderson’s feature, “Fantastic Mr. Fox”. It was a new endeavor for Anderson considering all of his other films are live-action and “Mr. Fox” was done in stop motion style. The movie was a wonder adaptation of the children’s book by Roald Dahl and is perfect for the family. There are plenty of familiar faces, well voices; from other Wes Anderson films though the new additions fit the mold perfectly. Anderson’s style shines through so fans should not be disappointed. The music matched perfectly with the film and nothing was forced or cliché. I’m on a streak of good movies and I hope that doesn’t stop anytime soon.

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The baseball landscape has been busy changing, as it does this time of year every year. The Red Sox beefed up their line up by trading for Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Carl Crawford. The Carmines should give the Yankee’s a run for their money next season, and I hope they take the East. They were also in the mix for starter Cliff Lee; but I’ll get to that soon enough. The White Sox were busy bringing back Paul Konerko and AJ Pierzynski while also adding free agent slugger Adam Dunn. As the advertising campaign says: “We’re All In”; and I’m glad they are. This is what it means to be a White Sox fan: seizing the opportunity when you can and never settling with second best. Apparently it’s a lot to demand of your franchise to win and be of some quality, considering how many teams fail to make the additions or grow the players or have a killer instinct. I give Ken Williams a lot of credit for his moves and I’d like to thank him for embodying the spirit of the team.

The bids were entered last week and the decision has been made. Cliff Lee will be returning to the Phillies for the next 5 years. Lee turned down more money in order to return and add to one of the most potent pitching staffs in the league. I’ve heard this signing being compared to the LeBron James fiasco, and anyone that dares make a comparison should be stripped of any sporting credentials. I’m not even going to justify that pundit buffoonery by comparing and defending Lee. The Phillies have outsmarted some of the best in baseball and are securing the NL East. At this time last year, Lee was traded for a package of prospects to the Mariners and brought in Roy Halladay. Now their staff is set and talks of trading Joe Blanton are swirling. If I was a Phillies fan, I would most certainly accept the loss of Jason Werth for the re-acquisition of Cliff Lee because pitching is what wins in the playoffs.

The Yankees have lost out on the real fruit of this free agency period and only hurt their image in fighting with team captain Derek Jeter. They didn’t sign the best slugger, the best pitcher or the two premier outfielders. Why they’re in this weakened state is beyond me though the rest of the league got stronger and that’s good for baseball.

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The former home of the Minnesota Twins collapsed, too bad it wasn’t during a previous baseball season, and that forced the Vikings to play in Detroit against the Giants. The Vikings lost big and bad. Ole Grey Wang lost his streak and the conspiracy theorist in me believes that the NFL is set to suspend him for his illicit photos sent to a Jets employee now that his streak is over. Their season is now over and hopefully he sulks into the shadows and away from the game for good this time. I won’t miss him. Good riddance to old and bad rubbish.

I’ve dubbed the Bears good enough, meaning that they’re good enough to win in a week. With Aaron Rodgers concussed and heading into the belly of the beast in New England, it doesn’t bode well for the Packers (my pick to go to the Super Bowl). With a Packers loss and a Bears win, the Bears will clinch the NFC North; though that’s depending on where the Bears and Vikings will play on Sunday.

Houston almost won a great comeback game against the Ravens and it was spectacular to listen to on Westwood 1. Their announcing team did a great job and makes you appreciate what good football commentary can add to the game. Unfortunately the Texans have taken the express elevator to the basement of the AFC South. In a division that could have sent 3 teams at mid-season to the playoffs, looks like they’ll only send their division winner.

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The Blackhawks lost in stupid fashion. Most importantly, fans were able to see that Marty Turco is a garbage goalie and the defense needs an overhaul. I maintain that every player on the ice has to know how to play defense, that’s why the Blackhawks were so good last year. The Bulls make quick work of the Pacers and are set to go up to Toronto for their next tilt. They’re doing exactly what I said they should be doing at this point in the season/schedule and take out the garbage that is in the division. They’re on a 5 game winning streak and Derrick Rose, even with a now sprained wrist, is quickly rising to become an elite player in the league. Just imagine where the Bulls would be if the Vinny Del Negro experience never happened.