There's a good chance I'm the first blogger to quote Mason Reese in 2005. Is there a prize for that? Or perhaps, more appropriately, a beating?
So Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandburg are headed to the Hall of Fame, making 2005 the year of the Dependable, Unflashy Infielder. Meanwhile, Jim Rice chokes back the tears, shuffles back to his house and mutters under his breath that one day, oh yes, they'll pay. They'll all pay. And speaking of deserving, oft-overlooked Cooperstown candidates, Jimmy Kimmel stumps for Steve Garvey over on ESPN's Page 2. I'm inclined to agree with him, too. The man has the numbers, and compared to the peccadilloes of other sports "heroes" both past and present, those paternity suits he was slapped with in the 80s aren't really all that damning, are they? No drugs, no steroids, no gambling, no rape, no murder - let's forgive and forget now, shall we? Rice and Garvey in '06!
On another baseball note which I somehow missed earlier, Red Sox centerfielder / Messiah figure Johnny Damon got married just before the New Year. Boy, do I know a lot of women who'll be sad about that, not to mention all the people who sell those pink "Mrs. Damon" babydoll t-shirts outside of Fenway Park on game days. Another bootleg industry bites the dust.
Over on Earth-Comics, DC has been making huge strides in trying to regain all the goodwill frittered away by Identity Crisis. First they announce Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely on All-Star Superman, then this week they officially announce Frank Miller and Jim Lee on All-Star Batman & Robin. Then, as if that weren't enough to make the fanboys out there need to change their undies (there's an image that'll haunt me for the rest of my days), they also announce that Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin are reuniting for a Batman mini-series. The trio's initial work in the 70s is considered by many to be the definitive Batman run, even though it only lasted about 8 issues or so.
I hope this means that DC plans on releasing a TPB of those issues as part of the support for this project. I've only read the few issues reprinted in the old Greatest Batman and Greatest Joker Stories books, and the only time the run has ever been completely reprinted, IIRC, was in that old Shadow of the Batman direct market, Baxter paper mini-series in the early/mid 80s, and how often do you ever find copies of those books kicking around these days? This is the sort of thing that needs to be in print, I think. And as for this new thing, I think that it's nearly impossible to capture creative lightning in a bottle twice (for example, can you imagine what a Claremont/Byrne X-Men would be like today? *shudder*), I'm kinda psyched this is happening and will definitely give it a shot. In fact, I'm probably more likely to pick these up off the rack than I am the All-Star books because, come on, look at the names on those? Do you honestly think DC won't collect those at some point?
And lastly, if you haven't checked it out yet, give The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson a try. It's not as clever as Conan, sure, but Ferguson is a funny guy and charming host, and you can tell he's really digging this opportunity. That sort of enthusiasm goes a long way in my book. Plus, the theme song is infectiously catchy, and people from the U.K. are just inherently cooler than we will ever be. Search your feelings, you know this to be true.