This Week in Milford

May 10, 2021

The Zane Clark Show With Special Guest Bobby Bittman

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Gil Thorp, Tilden — nedryerson @ 6:40 am

This strip might be the most whiplash inducing actual action strip ever. We start with two panels from last weeks game at Crockett (with no final score or hint of a win or loss) and the final panel is from three games later against Tilden. Clearly, the center of attention for this four game stretch is Zane Clark with his ups and downs. The other pitchers in the starting rotation and the outcomes of games take a back seat to the Zane Clark story.

Does Gil coach first base? Is that him in panel 3, high fiving awkwardly? Why does he have a jersey with an M on the back and not a number. I can’t remember if coaches jerseys have had numbers in Gil Thorp or in high school ball in general. I just think the M looks weird, whether it’s Gil or somebody else. Whoever he is, he’s pretty small compared to Eldrick Boston.

Since this strip covers four games, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to hang around at the Milford Public Library and the Milford Library Board meetings.

Say, speaking of libraries, here’s a word from one of our old TWIM favorites, Bobby Bittman, on the value of libraries, or libarries if you will:

April 21, 2021

Off the Road, On to Home Cooking

As Ned alluded to in his comment to his Monday post, GoComics has switched to the color version of the strip, so we’ll be in living color from now on, most likely.

This of course will allow us to snark on inconsistencies in hair or skin color as well as the on the absurdity of coloring an already dark uniform red. Low hanging fruit. I preferred the b&w version myself as it left more to the imagination.

We start today’s strip with some exposition. Presumably Zane Clark got through another inning and “Gonzo” Gonzales closed the door on Nottingham and got the save. Zane then gets the hold and gets to hold Katy’s hand before she’s off to the Milford Activity Bus for a road trip.

The Lady Mudlarks have traveled to Syracuse, NY to face Henninger, a team whose home unis look a lot like the Padres’ road uniforms of the early 2000s. Maybe that’s not “sand” but “khaki” and, along with the nickname, a nod to the Black Knights of the Hudson. In any event, the colorists actually got it close to right on this one.

Tomorrow will bring us another Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? moment, one that will probably revolve around the use or lack thereof of the Milford Public Library. In the meantime, let’s just appreciate that today’s strip answers the question “Which Corina is best Corina?”: the one that is neither seen nor heard.

April 19, 2021

Very Pointedly Not Looking

Zane Clark’s relief appearance is off to a bad start. He walked Nottingham’s first batter and now he has given up a sharp single to right. The tension is rising in the Milford dugout! Kaz’s sideburn thinks maybe Gil should stroll out to the mound and settle Zane Clark down. Gil’s forehead wrinkles dismiss Kaz’s sideburn’s notion. Gil’s turkey neck adds that Gil is not even going to look in Zane Clark’s direction. It’s way too early in the season to start coaching. Everybody knows that showing up for a game and filling out a lineup card is really the most Gil can expect to contribute. To be fair, and we’re always fair here, Gil could be playing it casually because he doesn’t want to coddle Zane or because he doesn’t want to hit the panic button too soon and rattle Zane. Whatever the case, this game is The Zane Show and we are all along for the ride.

We see that Zane is giving himself his own talking to. Maybe Gil is playing this right. Maybe Zane has a good head on his shoulders and despite his disheveled home life, he has the mental fortitude to pull his own head out of his ass.

Here’s a pointed question for our readership: Do pitchers typically have the index finger sticking out of their glove? I did a quick search and looked at some images, but that was boring. It does look like the artwork has Zane’s index finger sticking out of his glove but the colorist colored over it with the brown of the glove. Maybe I’m just seeing it wrong or maybe Zane has a discolored finger. Maybe it will fall off.

While we’re talking Gil Thorp in color, I’ll report that today’s strip image is from the GoComics site, which has typically always used the non-colored strips, but today surprised dozens of people by using a colored strip. What the hell is going on here?!

April 17, 2021

That Cavalry Must Be Custer’s 7th

Filed under: actual action, Bad Jokes, baseball, Coach Kaz — teenchy @ 4:02 pm

No deep analysis today, just the kind Marty Moon might do between pulls off his sippy cup of power.

Kaz’s gratuitous finger-point makes zero logical sense as he’s pointing in no particular direction. Maybe it’s just a general “up,” as in “You ready to get lit up, Zane?” Oh, Zane’s ready alright. He’s been tossing simulated games to his kid brother in front of nobody for the past two years.

Our cliffhanger: Will Zane blow the save? Will Mark indeed become “Fear of” Godleski if Zane loses his W? Will Gil apply his infallible Thorpian logic to explain Zane’s meltdown to Mark and the team that the only losses that matter are conference losses? Or can Zane find his stuff, recover and enter his relief pitcher period? Or will the Bulldogs suffer the same kind of screw-ups the Mudlarks typically do?

Nice early spring weekend out there. Baseball is back, and a little closer to the pre-pandemic version. Crowds are coming back to the ballparks. Now get out there and enjoy yourselves.

April 16, 2021

From right field to blown save

Filed under: actual action, baseball, freak hands, Gil Thorp, Marty Moon — robmize2013 @ 8:12 pm

And we get introduced to the starting lineup which includes RuhRoh, Munch, Macy, and Zane. Half the guys played football for chrissake. Same bums. Its like nobody else can play sports except the same guys. By senior year theyve played 12 seasons. No wonder Zane took a couple years off.

Of course the ball finds Zane just as Marty is announcing his name.

No baseball cap for Gil the manager? And only 4 innings for your ace workhorse, even though its only opening day? I know they play at least 7 innings, so the bullpen needs 3 innings; plenty of room for 2nd guessing if they blow this lead, especially if Gil chooses the right fielder.

And I predict thats what will happen.

April 12, 2021

Pitching Therapy

Filed under: baseball, big arms, Coach Kaz, Gil Thorp — nedryerson @ 6:35 am

Zane Clark has been pitching to his little brother. That’s how he’s maintained his stuff. In today’s strip, we also find out what’s been up with Zane Clark (who we didn’t know before, but no biggie). Zane’s Dad has been having a series of strokes and has been unable to work. That’s why Zane goes to the library, I guess. This really doesn’t sound like it adds up to a scenario where Zane absolutely couldn’t play ball, but there must be more going on that we don’t need to be troubled with, so Zane’s back and let’s all go nuts. Let’s also get Zane’s little brother in for a tryout. Great catchers are just falling off trees in Milford so what are you waiting for, Gil?

First thing is first though, so Gil has to go lift with Kaz to stare at those sweet biceps fill Kaz in on Zane’s dramatic story. Careful with that barbell, Gil. If you lose balance, you’re gonna crash through that window!

April 10, 2021

In Milford, Settling Is a Way of Life

Filed under: actual action, baseball, exposition comics, softball — teenchy @ 7:41 pm

Well butter my ass and call me a biscuit. Now this makes two posts in a row where I can actually relate to something in a Gil Thorp strip. Last time out it was going to the public library after school to study before practice. Today it’s knowing when to hang up the tools of ignorance.

I was once a good-field, no-hit catcher (well, not quite no-hit but a spray line-drive hitter without much power) who could handle pitchers okay and didn’t mind the occasional home plate collision. I was also slow as molasses so there really wasn’t any non-catching position other than maybe first base where I wouldn’t be a liability. Along came a kid two years behind me who could do all of that, run the bases and mash taters like it was Thanksgiving. Didn’t take me long to see that I would be relegated to bullpen work at best so I quit the team and confined my catching to church and industrial league softball from then on. At least that kid went on to make All-State so I didn’t feel that badly for leaving the team in the lurch.

Despite only having seen Corina catch twice, at the Valley Mod – Milford pickup picnic and with Ray-in-waiting True Standish over last summer, we’re being told she’s Pudge Rodriguez in a bra. This is exposition par excellence. If we hadn’t had a True Standish in this strip already, I’d go so far as to call Corina a Mary Sue. By finding a place for her in the field, Mimi hints that she hasn’t completely forgotten that Jocelynn Brown has some impact on the lineup. Thanks to Jocelynn having led the rout against Tilden year before last, Mimi and the Lady Mudlarks didn’t have to settle for second in the Valley yet again. Maybe Mimi will ask her to knit a hat for Corina.

Seems like one of you faithful readers commented yesterday to the effect that in the Thorpiverse, players don’t work on their games in the offseason. Well here comes Zane Clark to disprove that theory. He’s been working on his game for the past two offseasons, and the past two seasons for that matter. Wonder if he was playing pickup games with the Valley Mod kids? (edit: Speaking of catchers, what’s up with Boba Fett catching Zane there? No catcher puts their hand that far down to throw signs; if they did, everyone at the game could pick them up.)

If I don’t wrap up this post soon, y’all will have thoroughly commented this strip in yesterday’s comments section. This is what I get for waiting so late in the day to get a post up. Mea culpa.

April 2, 2021

Zane the friendly ghost

Filed under: baseball, hideous scar faces, softball — robmize2013 @ 4:57 pm

Our new, old face is none other then Zane Clark, who is a pitcher, hasnt played in 3 years, and is bigger. Well shit. Show me someone who isnt bigger as a senior then he was as a freshman. I was 5’2″ and grew to 6 feet by senior year, putting on about 55 pounds. And I couldnt play baseball, save for a brief career in little league.

How the hell does Gil just put him on the team after not seeing him throw in 3 years?? Yeah he’s well rested, but dude– there’s something called TRYOUTS that you need to attend, whether youre Dizzy Dean or Dazzy Vance. Even has a damn uniform already. Freshman baseball is a world different from varsity as well. Im sure he loves those red unis — 99% of the world uses white or gray pants with a red top. Not Milford. And who wears their uniform to practice for the thousandth time?? Well– no numbers on these dreds so maybe thats the difference. I can see he has the same mitt he did 3 years ago– it barely fits his hand. My first practice in t-ball one of the kids came up, looked at my pint sized glove and said -“Here– want a bigger mitt?” So I can relate.

So if ol Zane gets lit up in Game 1, dont say I didnt warn you Gil!

Zane 2018 aint Zane 2021. Good thing he waited til 7 weeks before graduation to show up. Almost burned up his eligibility dicking around for 3 years. Put him in the bullpen until he shows he can come to practice every time, let alone walk in and grab a uniform.

Meanwhile we find out Katy Brito and Zane are seeing each other. Or were. Love the use of ‘ghost’ as its a fairly modern slang term for ghosting– not responding to messages or texts etc. Rubin certainly has been around the kids lately to be using that word. I guess the spring storyline will be about these 2 lovely folks. Methinks the Ghost is the one who turns out to be the weirdo of the two.

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.