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Snake Bytes, 12/6: Hot stove warming nicely

Some big moves took place. Just not by the Diamondbacks.

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Ann Undesser loads a wood burning stove Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

Another day, another place for Winter Meeting chit-chat, rumors and - if we are very lucky - maybe some actual moves made by the Diamondbacks. But if all else fails, there’s the first ever MLB draft lottery tonight! Woo-hoo!

Diamondbacks rumors

[AZ Central] If Diamondbacks trade an outfielder, who is most likely to move? - The Diamondbacks believe that moving one of their outfielders would help them arrive more quickly on a path toward contention — that is, as long as a trade from their depth would allow them to plug one or more holes on their roster. But which of those outfielders — Corbin Carroll, Jake McCarthy, Alek Thomas and Daulton Varsho — is the most likely to be dealt? tl;dr: Alek Thomas: 3/1 odds.

[SI] Mike Hazen at the Winter Meetings Part 1 - Asked if the team was right handed enough, he responded: “I still think we’re probably shooting for more balance just because in the organization as whole too we’re more left handed. It may get a little more right handed as time goes on, but that time is not here yet. I still think looking for ways for us to become a little more balanced is something we’re looking to do. But we’re not just chasing it to chase it , but we definitely prioritize it.”

[SI] Is Xander Bogaerts a Possibility for the Diamondbacks? - He would not get into specific things that may involve free agents. But he made clear the Diamondbacks are looking at any and all areas they can to improve their ball club. ”We are exploring every avenue to make the team better, and just because something may look on the surface that it’s not a fit, doesn’t mean we’re not engaged in that market”.

And, elsewhere...

[ESPN] Source: Phillies, SS Trea Turner reach 11-year, $300M deal - Shortstop Trea Turner and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed on an 11-year, $300 million contract Monday, sources told ESPN, adding the best power-speed player in baseball to the National League champions’ already-potent lineup.

[FOX] Justin Verlander, Mets agree to two-year, $86 million deal: report - The New York Mets have reportedly reached a deal with AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. Days after reportedly meeting with the team via Zoom, the New York Post reported Monday that Verlander agreed to a two-year, $86 million deal with a vesting third-year option.

[SB Nation] The MLB draft lottery, explained - Tonight is going to be a potentially franchise-changing night for at least one of the teams looking ahead to that event. The first-ever MLB draft lottery. As part of the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), MLB is instituting a draft lottery. In the past, the draft order was determined by each team’s record, but now, the league has moved towards the lottery model.


[Newsweek] One of the Biggest Rattlesnakes in Arizona Found Slithering Around Backyard - Bryan Hughes, the owner of Rattlesnake Solutions, told Newsweek. “This size, which we’d estimate at somewhere around 4.5’, is not especially rare, but larger than the average rattlesnake in Arizona and among the biggest we’ve captured this year of over 1,000 rattlesnakes. If I were to relate it to human sizes, this snake would be about 6’6,” Hughes said. "Rattlesnakes are routinely reported to us as being 6’ or more in length. But, when we arrive, we capture a snake that is only 2 or 3 feet long. Fear does some interesting things to our brains."

Jaws of the Shark (2012)

Rating: B-

Dir: Gustav Ljungdahl
Star: Elsa Storgärds, Christoffer Vedin, Paul Willers, Jesper Danielsson

I knew this was potentially a match purely from the synopsis, which I quote verbatim: “Two scientists genetically engineer a shark with legs, which escapes their captivity, and goes on a murdering spree wielding a chainsaw.” It would be quite difficult for any film to live up to that sentence. However, this manages to deliver exactly what you would expect and not only live down to my expectations, it went below and beneath them. Words cannot truly express how utterly inept, feeble and incompetent this movie is, in ways both big and small. Yet, at least for the first fifteen minutes, it has been a very long time since I have loved a movie, so damn hard.

There’s not much to add to that synopsis. The shark (Danielsson) escapes, and attacks a group of friends celebrating a birthday with a camping trip, leaving two sisters (both played by Storgärds) the only survivors. It picks up a chainsaw from a forester doing a spot of tree-felling, in the middle of the night, for some reason. Shark hunter Bror (Vedin) teams up with brunette sister to capture the shark, only for the scientists to let it escape again, after equipping it with cybernetic enhancements: “It was very irresponsible of us. When I think about it, it was actually pretty goddamn stupid.” Bror sets a trap for it, reasoning that “Serial killers just can’t resist young people in a cabin,” and brunette sister lies in wait with a big gun. A really big gun.

It all feels very much like a low-budget knock-off of The VelociPastor, though came out six years earlier. It is also worse across the board, not least in the shark costume which is little more than bits of foam, stapled together into an approximately shark-shaped configuration. Though Swedish in origin, it’s all in English, even if some actors appear to have skipped that class at school. The acting seeks to make up for in enthusiasm what it lacks in talent, and the results are variable, to put it mildly. Storgärds’s dual role works pretty well, but Vedin is terrible – and in a bad way – the film grinding to a halt whenever he’s on screen.

This middle, Bror-heavy section stops it from being a true classic, since he significantly overstays his welcome, even though the whole thing runs barely an hour. That’s likely for the best overall, as it helps avoid the laws of diminishing returns. The gore is energetic, and as crap as every other element, while the lack of nudity is disappointing. The closest is a babe sporting a Norwegian flag bikini, which may be some kind of sarcastic social commentary on their Scandinavian neighbours. In that area, there’s also an identity parade where the murder suspects are Leatherface, Michael Myers, Ghostface, Jason… and a black guy. Yeah, nah. However, if you ever wanted to see someone decapitated by a shark driving a sports car through the air, consider that achievement unlocked.