April 6, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals Win, Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field And ESPN Lose
Adam Wainwright, Jason Heyward and the rest of the St. Louis Cardinals started the 2015 Major League Baseball season about as well as they could have, beating the Chicago Cubs 3-0 at Wrigley Field. Wainwright threw six shutout innings, Heyward went 3-for-5 in his regular season Cardinals debut and Matt Holliday went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Wrigley Field was not ready for the season opener by any means. It was already known that as part of the Wrigley renovations, the bleachers wouldn’t be ready for the game. In fact, they won’t be ready until May or June and tarps were put over the construction there. For some asinine reason, only a very small portion of the bathrooms, none in the upper deck, were available to use at Wrigley during the game, which led to many Cubs fans just peeing in cups and leaving them in corners of the stadium rather than wait over an hour to use a trough. The concession stands also apparently ran out of everything except french fries midway through the game. The geniuses in Chicago have acknowledged they “missed the mark” in terms of providing even somewhat decent customer service and have promised to install portable bathrooms for games until the bathroom issues are fixed.
Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak was in the seats at Wrigley watching the game yesterday. Bernie Miklasz reports that “Mo” used the clubhouse bathroom rather than hold it in line.
The Cards-Cubs opener was televised on ESPN 2 and drew a 17.7 rating in the St. Louis market. That makes it the “highest-rated regular-season MLB telecast on any ESPN network ever in the market“. The number is even more impressive considering the St. Louis Blues played a very meaningful game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the same time.
ESPN Debuts Awful, Terrible, No-Good, Awful Terrible “K-Zone”
ESPN debuted what is probably one of its dumbest ideas ever last night with their first baseball telecast of the year. ESPN’s “K-Zone” is a rectangle that is super-imposed on the screen for every pitch that is supposed to give viewers a better idea of whether a pitch is a ball or strike. The “K-Zone 3D” is a “three-dimensional prism graphic” that is visible on replays. That graphic itself looks like it belongs on a crappy local access channel in the early 90s, not ESPN. Phil Orlins, a coordinating produced for MLB, ESPN recently told SportsVideo.org that the network is “absolutely, unequivocally committing to the K-Zone love on every game for every pitch of the season“. That statement may end up on Orlins’ pink slip from ESPN because everyone hates the K-Zone. The rectangle that is the K-Zone also doesn’t appear to move based on the batter in the batter’s box, thus giving an inaccurate representation of the strike zone.
Furious 7 Blows Away Box Office Expectations In Debut
It was a given that Furious 7 would run away from the weekend box office. The numbers it brought in still blew expectations away. The 7th film in the franchise brought in $143.6 million domestically in its debut and $384 million worldwide. The previous record for an April opening was held by Captain America: The Winter Solider at $95 million. This is by far the best debut for a film in the franchise. Fast & Furious 6 held the previous high-water mark with a $97.4 million opening in 2013. I saw Furious 7 on Friday and enjoyed it. It feels a little long but the ending is just phenomenal. Star Paul Walker of course died midway through filming and the cast and director James Wan had to find a way to finish Furious 7 without Paul Walker. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, don’t click on this link because it contains spoilers about the movie.
Home finished a distant second at the weekend box office with $27.4 million in its second weekend. Get Hard, which is really funny and features an awesome fight scene, fell 61.8 percent in its second weekend to $12.9 million. Cinderella earned $10.3 million in its fourth weekend of release while Insurgent rounded out the top five with an estimated $10 million.
I’ll have more on the weekend box office numbers on Thursday in the Weekend Movie Guide. I’ll also take a look at Ex Machina and The Longest Ride, which open this weekend in wide release.
Duke And Wisconsin Play For The 2015 National Championship Tonight In Indianapolis
Wisconsin and their cummerbund uniforms stunned Kentucky in one semifinal while Duke blew out Michigan State in the other semifinal of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Duke Blue Devils and Wisconsin Badgers will tip off tonight at 8:18 pm at Lucas Oil Statdium Indianapolis with the 2015 National Championship on the line. Duke-Wisconsin will be televised on CBS. Bo Ryan’s Badgers have faced the highest possible seeded team in each of their tournament games on their way to the championship which only three other teams have endured.
Edward Snowden Sits Down With John Oliver
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver took on government surveillance this week. Oliver informed viewers that the Patriot Act is set to expire on June 1 of this year and Congress has a decision to make on whether or not to renew the provisions.
John Oliver aired an interview he inducted with Edward Snowden, who famously leaked details on conduct of the U.S.’s National Security Agency. Oliver also went out into Times Square in New York to ask a bunch of random people if they knew who Edward Snowden is. The results were predictable because as The Intercept points out, a startlingly large percentage of Americans are oblivious to basic political news.
In other Edward Snowden news, a group of artists put up a statue of Snowden in Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn by dressing like construction workers and working during the early morning hours.
St. Louis Blues Beat Chicago Blackhawks While Ryan Reaves Pulls Out His Tooth
The St. Louis Blues also were in Chicago yesterday to take on a Windy City team. The Blues beat the Blackhawks 2-1 on goals by David Backes and Ollie Jokinen. Jake Allen made 38 saves in the win. Allen has been magnificent as of late and is making a strong case to be the team’s #1 goalie heading into the playoffs, as Jeff Ponder notes for InsideSTL.com.
A “highlight” of the broadcast was the Blues’ Ryan Reaves pulling out one of his teeth while on the team’s bench. Reeves took a vicious shot from the dirty Brent Seabrook on the previous play.
Kansas Now Allows Concealed Carry Of Weapons Without Permit Or Training
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill on Thursday that allows citizens of Kansas 21 years of age and older to carry concealed weapons. 36 states recognize Kansas concealed carry permit and if citizens want to carry in those states, they would still need the permit and required training.
Carly Rae Jepsen Releases “All That”
Carly Rae Jepsen recently released her latest song, “All That”. The ballad was made with Dev Hynes, who goes by the name “Blood Orange”.
Brought to you by Mills Properties