Monday, September 19, 2005

I have seen the future, and his name is Craig Hansen.

Hansen pitched his first game for the Sox tonight. He was their number one draft pick out of St. John's in the June draft. Hansen hadn't given up a run yet in his professional career, most recently pitching with the Portland Sea Dogs, until their season ended a couple of days ago. He was activated by the Sox today, and brought into pitch against the Devil Rays tonight.

And what an outing he had. A 1-2-3 inning. He throws a fastball in the 95-97 MPH range and a nasty slider. He could easily be the Sox closer in a year or two, especially if Keith Foulke doesn't regain his form in 2006.

Hats off to Theo and the front office for drafting this guy and getting him signed. It's amazing that the Sox continue to be competitive and have rebuilt the farm system practically from nothing. They haven't had a crop down on the farm like this since the early-mid 1980's, when they had guys like Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Marty Barrett, Bruce Hurst, Oil Can Boyd and John Tudor coming up through the system.

Of course, that does us very little good tonight, as the Sox are down 8-6 to the Rays in the last of the 8th and the Yankees have already won. Unless the Sox come back in the 9th, they'll be tied in the All Important Loss Column.

Speaking of the future, I watched the Firefly complete series boxed set over the last week or so. Firefly was a short lived science fiction series created by Joss Whedon, best known for his TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Firefly was poorly handled by Fox and was contantly pre-empted and moved around before it was canceled after 11 episodes. The box set includes three unaired episodes, as well as the ones shown over the air.

Firefly focuses on the crew of the spaceship Serenity. Without getting into a lot of detail, the crew lives on the fringes of the galaxy. Serenity is a ramshackle ship, and the crew takes on whatever work comes along, legal or illegal. The captain, Malcolm Reynolds, is a veteran of the losing side of a galactic civil war. His main aim in life seems to be keeping out of the way of the Alliance (the winning side) and keeping his crew happy and healthy. Reynolds isn't afraid to kill someone when the situation calls for it, but he has a basic morality that drives him to do the right thing whenever he can.

The writing and acting are really brilliant. You are quickly drawn in to these people's lives and care about what happens to them. Even though you don't get complete life stories on the entire crew in 14 episodes, they are very much fully realized characters that you are compelled to watch.

Naturally, I compare every science fiction show I see to Star Trek. While they both focus on a relatively small group of main characters, the similarities end there. As Joss Whedon said in a video interview I saw on the 'Net, the crew of Serenity are the people the Enterprise goes right by. The various Star Trek crews are flying around the universe in their gleaming, state of the art starships, representing truth, justice and the Federation way and dealing with the Big Picture issues.

The crew of Serenity, on the other hand, are shuffling though day-to-day. They are watching out for their own and their universe doesn't expand much outside the walls of the ship, unless the universe intrudes on them in some way. Like most of us, they are taking care of their family and friends, and trying to do some good along the way.

To me, that is the key difference between Firefly and Star Trek. The various Star Trek crews are the heroes we'd all like to be in our imaginations. The Firefly crew is a lot closer to where most of us really are.

The good news is that the Serenity crew isn't done yet. As a result of the solidarity of the Firefly fan base and the excellent DVD sales, a movie starring the original crew is coming out on September 30. Several previiews of the movie sold out almost instantly, and the word is that it maintains the quality of the series. Even if you never saw the TV show, you should go check out the movie - you apparently don't need to have seen the show to understand what's going on.

OK, I've gone on long enough tonight. Back to work tomorrow, at least for part of the day. I'm still getting tired pretty easily, although I'm improving every day.


At 2:45 AM, Blogger The Hey said...

YES!!! Another convert!!! ;-)

Hope to see you opening night!!!

At 12:35 PM, Anonymous John said...

Good to see you back again!


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