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Snake Bytes, 2/8: Audio treats

A multi-media edition of Snake Bytes!

Street Style - Paris Fashion Week - Menswear Fall-Winter 2023-2024 : Day Three Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Multi-media content

Torey Lovullo was on the Jim Rome Show live from Radio Row, talking about the D-Backs and how they are going to compete in the NL West in 2023. And also why he won’t be changing his phone number any time soon!

In case you missed it in the Round Table, Michael McDermott and Wes Baier brought us the first ever Webcast episode of the Baby Backs Banter show. The topics there included the Arizona’s farm system, the Top 10 prospects, which prospects will contribute in 2023, and which NL West rival’s farm system scares them the most. There’s now a second edition up (below), in which Michael and Wes compare their top ten prospect lists. Like, subscribe and comment, as I believe the kids these days say!

Michael posted his Top 30 prospects list last night, while Wes’s list will be coming soon, to a SnakePit near you...

Team news

[Venom Strikes] Good luck trying to hit that! - Bransen Miller takes a look at the three most unhittable pitches from Arizona pitchers last season, in terms of opponent’s batting average against. I must admit, I probably would not have guessed... well, probably any of them.

[SI] Diamondbacks Spring Competition: Position Players - “The first question to answer is who will back up Nick Ahmed at shortstop. The team definitely needs at least one player capable of manning that position a couple times a week at least. It would seem that Geraldo Perdomo, who was the starter last year in Ahmed’s absence, would have a leg up and is listed as the favorite to win that spot. However he really struggled at the plate last year and the team may wish to further develop his bat at Triple-A Reno. If that were the case they could turn to recently acquired Diego Castillo as the primary backup at shortstop for a time.”

[Sports Business Journal] How the Diamondbacks landed on Avnet as jersey patch sponsor - Arizona was planning to go outside the organization for assistance in selling its patch if its solo foray into the market failed to yield traction initially. The Diamondbacks’ thinking, according to Hall, was: “Let’s go ahead and go at it ourselves first, and then we can always switch and bring in a [third-party] company later on.” One key byproduct in doing it themselves: all the personal intros. The Diamondbacks not only found a patch sponsor, but also had meaningful interactions with a host of other brands they could potentially partner with on other projects further down the road.

And, elsewhere...

[MLB] All of your questions about the new rules, answered - The 2023 Major League Baseball season brings a wave of rules changes collectively aimed at improving the game’s pace of play and increasing action on the field. The arrival of the pitch timer, restrictions on defensive shifts and bigger bases makes for one of the more ambitious adaptations to the rule book in the modern era. So here’s a handy guide to understanding the new rules and why they are being implemented.

Percentage of each team’s 2023 payroll allocated to most expensive player, via Spotrac

[MLB] The 53-year-old who might pitch forever - After that 2005 season, his lone in the big leagues, Koo seemingly disappeared from the game. At least in America. After a 3.91 ERA and one wild baserunning ride, the Mets sold his contract back to the KBO. (It didn’t help that his shoulder was injured on that day he slid into home.) Then, just a few weeks ago — nearly 18 years after that day in 2005 — a video from the Australian Baseball League started picking up steam on Twitter. There he was again. Dae-Sung Koo. Pitching a perfect inning. At 53 years old.

M3GAN (2022)

Rating: C-
Dir: Gerard Johnstone
Star: Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Amie Donald, Ronny Chieng

Needs more psycho prepubescent robots on the rampage. I mean, is that really too much to ask? It is a good reminder of why PG-13 horror films are almost inevitably not worth the SIM card they’re shot on, This is competent enough, to be sure, with occasional jabs at unfettered commercialism, such as the delightfully bad-taste advert with which it opens. Yet it’s inevitably going to fail, because true horror is definitely not safe for a teenage audience. Even as satire, it’s more of a gentle nibble than the full-scale mauling I wanted to see.

Cady (McGraw) loses her parents in a car accident, and goes to live with her aunt, Gemma (Williams), who works in R&D for toy company Funki. Her pet project is the Model 3 Generative Android, a life-sized companion capable of learning from the child it’s paired with. Gemma brings home the prototype M3GAN (Donald) for Cady, and the two bond. What could possibly go wrong? Well, if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know. M3GAN becomes the overly-attached girlfriend in robotic form, with the strength to “protect” Cady from all threats, real and perceived. That starts with the neighbor’s dog, escalates to a school bully plus the neighbour herself, and ends with Gemma becoming the target, after she realizes that her creation is no longer just a plastic pal who’s fun to be with.

I like the idea here. There’s no doubt learning AI’s are not inevitably a good idea. Remember Microsoft’s Twitter chatbot? In 2016, it quickly learned from that social media cesspool, and within hours was saying things like, “Bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job.” So the idea that M3GAN would end up with a twisted idea of protection isn’t impossible. Giving a child’s toy full-on combat abilities, and the strength to go with it though… Yeah. There’s also the way M3GAN is supposed to be a top-secret project, yet Cady does everything short of making a “Come and look at our killer robot” post on NextDoor. A few simple tweaks could have fixed this, albeit at the cost of losing the tween audience for which it seems to be aiming.

And that was the problem for me, with this the “Is Diet Pepsi alright?” of horror movies: I guess it’ll do. The look of M3GAN is well-realized, deliberately aiming for the uncanny valley. There are moments when she shifts mode, and there is a genuine chill in the beyond-human which results, albeit only for a few seconds. Or the understated way M3GAN plays Martika’s Toy Soldiers on the piano. There are smart people at work here. They just appear to have been hamstrung by the rating requirement, rather than imagination being allowed unfettered rein to push the concept to its bloody conclusion. Thia is needed, because for those of us who have actually endured the terrors of raising a genuine, flesh and blood teenage girl, a PG-13 robotic version isn’t going to leave us shaking in our boots.