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Snake Bytes, 10/25: Lawlar gets collared

Bad news from the Arizona Fall League

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Syndication: Visalia Times-Delta Ron Holman / Visalia Times-Delta / USA TODAY NETWORK

Team news

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks prospect Jordan Lawlar’s fall league season ends with fractured scapula - Diamondbacks prospect Jordan Lawlar suffered a fractured left scapula when he was hit by a pitch on Friday, an injury that brings an early end to his Arizona Fall League season. “He’s going to be out six to eight weeks,” Diamondbacks farm director Josh Barfield said. “It just hit him in the wrong spot.” Barfield said the injury will not require surgery, adding that he did not believe it would cut far into Lawlar’s ability to train and prepare for next season.

[] 2022 Season Review: Arizona Diamondbacks - Heading into 2022, expectations for the Diamondbacks were abysmal, as they were projected to fall flat and finish last in a competitive NL West division that didn’t appear any weaker than the previous season. However, they had optimism with plentiful youth on the roster and more on the way. They started their season off strong, finishing the first month of the season with a record of 16-14 backed up by solid starting pitching from frontline starters Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly.

[SI] Diamondbacks 2022 Season Player Reviews: Humberto Castellanos - Castellanos, who will be entering his final pre-arbitration season, will likely miss all of 2023. If he does make it back, it will probably be just a couple of relief outings in mid-late September. That would be just 13 months after surgery. If he requires the longer period of 15 months to recover then he would not see major league action again before 2024. If Castellanos is to have a future with the organization at all, it’s likely to be out of the bullpen.


[] Could Betts move to 2B if LA signs Judge? - According to sources, the Dodgers could become serious players in this offseason’s Aaron Judge sweepstakes, a move that would potentially result in a position change for Betts, a six-time All-Star outfielder. Should the Dodgers decide to let the likes of Trea Turner, Justin Turner (club option), Craig Kimbrel and Joey Gallo (among others), leave as free agents, they could have roughly $100 million coming off the payroll, giving them ample space to make a bid for Judge.

[CBS Sports] Why sixth-seeded Phillies’ shocking World Series run shows there’s nothing wrong with new MLB playoff format - In the first year of the new 12-team MLB playoff format, a No. 6 seed has made the World Series. The Philadelphia Phillies were 87-75 in the regular season, finishing in third place in the NL East and 14 games back of both the Mets and division-winning Braves. In glancing around social media, this appears to be a big problem for baseball, according to some fans. I'm here to tell those people why are they mistaken. Let's run through it and dispute their nonsense.

[ESPN] Houston Astros superfan Mattress Mack can’t lose, no matter who wins the World Series - McIngvale’s original furniture promotion — and the epic sports bets behind it — have quintupled in size to what is about to be a record-breaking $75 million World Series squeeze play. By the start of the Fall Classic on Friday, McIngvale says he’ll have around $10 million (at an average 7.5-to-1 odds) riding on the Astros. In other words, the exact kind of nerve-frying, death-defying stakes Mattress Mack, 71, has been drawing aces his whole life.

And, finally...

Next Monday is the most wonderful day of the year...

Halloween (1978)

Rating: B-

Dir: John Carpenter

Star: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Nancy Loomis, P.J. Soles

The problem, I find, with watching Halloween from a modern perspective, is its template has been copied by, literally, hundreds of movies since - good, bad and (mostly) indifferent. Inevitably, this leaves you feeling jaded about the original. It’s like going to Salzburg and seeing Mozart plastered over tea-towels, chocolate boxes and T-shirts. Makes it easy to forget, he wrote some damn good tunes. The same goes here. Horny teens, smoking weed, drinking, and being slaughtered for their sins, by an unstoppable, masked killer? All such a horror dead horse now, it’s impossible to imagine a point where this was a novel concept. No matter how well-executed - and there are few complaints on that score, pun not intended - it can’t help feeling like a procession of tropes.

At the time, however? The film certainly owes a debt to Black Christmas, not least by opening with a scene from the killer’s point of view. Though Halloween was actually made on a considerably smaller budget, around half the cost of its predecessor. Carpenter received a mere $10,000 for writing, directing and composing the score to the film, which seems remarkably good value for money. However, he did also get 10% of the profits. Considering Halloween grossed $60-70 million, around two hundred times the budget, seems safe to say Carpenter did not find himself short of a sandwich from this agreement. On the other hand, if what I’ve heard of Hollywood accounting is true, the movie may not yet officially be in the black.

What stood out for me on this viewing is how curious car-centric it is in the early going, with Michael Myers cruising around the Haddonville neighbourhood in a stolen vehicle. I was distracted by the question of how he learned to drive, having been cooped up in an asylum since he was six. The film does at least acknowledge the question, Loomis spitting at asylum colleague Dr. Wynn, “Maybe someone around here gave him lessons!” It plays almost like a public information film, about the dangers of accepting lifts from strangers in cars: they certainly don’t come much stranger than Michael Myers. I’m almost disappointed when he parks up and continues on foot; the idea of a fully committed auto-slasher remains unfulfilled.

It’s likely a toss-up between this and Night of the Living Dead as to which has been the most influential movie in horror history. The sheer number of films to take inspiration from them can hardly be counted. Like Night, most of the descendants of Halloween don’t come up to the same level, here particularly in the areas of characterization and camerawork. Now, these aren’t areas particularly required for horror, to put it mildly. However, they are what help lift genre entries to the level where even those outside fandom can admit to its qualities. It’s all the more impressive that Carpenter manages to do this, without abandoning the more visceral elements: make no mistake, this is not “elevated horror” or any such guff. Part of its strength is its purity. “It was the boogeyman!” sobs Laurie at the end. “As a matter of fact, it was,” replies Loomis. Horror stories do not get much more simple than that.

Want more? Check out my 31 Days of Classic Horror.