This Week in Milford

May 14, 2022

It takes two to lie: one to lie and the other to grow his sideburns.

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get today’s post up, but I’ve been at an absolute loss as to how to spin it. This has surely got to be the tipping point for this strip, right?

There are no adults coaching the Milford High baseball team, are there? There are just male chaperones who just sit back and let the kids do whatever they want, up to and including not practicing? You notice we almost never see practices at Milford except as they’re ending, when the players are standing around listening to to adults or going over to watch their opposite-sex counterparts play a game? I’d bet Whigrub have no clue what goes on in a practice.

This is just beyond the realm of stupid. This is so asinine it makes me not want to nitpick the usual lack of attention to detail, like the uncolored lights on the school bus or the long day’s journey into night from Valley Tech to Milford. I will nitpick this: there is no way you can wear a cap backwards sitting in a car seat with headrests without knocking the cap off of your head.

Have at it, gentle readers. The more I look at today’s strip, the more it makes my head hurt.

May 7, 2022

You, Reading Gil Thorp. Me, Trying To Snark About It.

Charis the tennis player (the only Milford High girl we’ve been introduced to this season so far) points out how ludicrous it seems to jump to conclusions about Papa Hamm’s camera-shyness. Since the witness protection program idea has already been thrown out, it can’t be the reason. Odds are it’s something really stupid he’s using as an excuse for ghostwriting books for business executives.

Smash cut to La Maison Du Jambon where we have another Milford athlete’s mom ticked off at that Milford athlete’s dad’s bizarre behavior. Shades of last spring, non? Mama Hamm’s appearance begs the question: If he’s the one trying to hide, why’s she the one who’s constantly changing her hair, clothes, and glasses? Mama’s confrontational speech reads like a lame Milford Mad Lib:

“You, fantasizing about Marjie Ducey. Me, indulging your fantasy by dyeing my hair blonde and putting on wire-rimmed glasses.”

“You, trying to live down the failed tryout for Colonel Sanders you lost to Norm McDonald. Me, suggesting you should be the one who dyes their hair.”

“You, thinking you can’t be seen. Me, thinking our son can’t see.” Wait, neither of them are thinking this. That’s how this plot has remained even remotely plausible.

Have at it with your own Milford Mad Libs in the comments, gentle readers, and stay dry this weekend.

May 4, 2022

From a Slick Stop to a Meal Stop

Time for a break from the Milford Witness Protection Program for some actual action.

Central tries to mount a late rally against the Mudlarks by putting on Milford’s uniforms and crowding the plate. This ruse fails as Gonzo Aceves gets the batter in disguise to ground into a game-ending double play. Surprising that Gil and Kaz left Gonzo in to pitch a complete game; maybe they were also too busy watching Mama Hamm take a bullet for Papa Hamm to pay attention to the action on the field.

Menawhile Marty’s in his crate, calling the game using the CB radio he pulled from under the dash of his car and taking notes using a carpenter’s pencil. Guess Marty got it from Heather that everyone’s calling Aceves “Gonzo” now. Though he and his butter knife are long gone The Mayor has left his mark, at least for the rest of this season.

Now it’s off for postgame junk food, either at Ricozzi’s or The Bucket. Will the Hammmmer walk into a pane of glass as he joins the rest of the team? Will Papa Hamm be stuffed in the trunk of the Hammmobile when Mama Hamm comes to pick Gregg up? Will Scooter be too busy bragging about the twin killing he turned to bore everyone to tears with baseball trivia? So much to anticipate for the rest of the week!

May 2, 2022

They Shoot Video, Don’t They?

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Brown Hair, Colorist Error, Heather Burns — nedryerson @ 3:44 pm

So, what have we got going on today? It’s still Heather Burns inexplicably shooting video for the Milford Star. That’s right. This dying media enterprise that dumped Marjie Ducey’s salary to hire this dolt is trying to stay relevant by putting video on its website. It’s also diluting it’s all ready craptastic prep sports coverage by replacing garbage reporting with a shaky video of people in the stands? Notice that Heather isn’t using a tripod and she’s holding that “beast” out in front of her. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Visitors to the Milford Star website have been clamoring for this kind of content. If you can’t get a video of a kid sitting in a tree*, the next best thing is randos watching the Mudlarks!

Oh, yeah, there’s a baseball game going on and Gonzalo Aceves is throttling Central. I assume panel 2 indicates that Central batters can only manage weak grounders against Gonzo’s dazzling stuff. Huzzah!

Of course, all this is mostly in service of our A plot, the mysterious Mr. Hamm, who is camera shy for some undisclosed reason. Ruth Hamm is even throwing herself in front of Ol’ Hamm to shield him just in case Heather manages to get a clear, in focus shot of the mysterious bastard. Ruth Hamm may be so afraid of being identified that she changed her hair color since the last game.

*Kid stuck in tree refers to a strip from many years ago where the storyline was about this kid Andrew Gregory who was running around Milford taking videos of exciting things (like a kid sitting in a tree) and selling them to the Star. I was going to try and embed the images from Jason’s posts back in 2008 as it might be more dynamic than just linking back to the posts, but it’s an ordeal to scroll back through fourteen years’ worth of images used in this blog. Links will have to suffice. I think Andrew had a better camera than whatever relic Heather found down at the Star.

April 13, 2022

Gregg Hamm, The Next Ryne Duren. Or Steve Dalkowski. Or Something.

Good grief, how many times is Gil gonna name-check people? Eventually, this strip will just consist of Gil spouting random names. Rubin, if you’re reading this, please know that you can just name check your friends (or pull names from LinkedIn) only so much. It’s as though the story takes a backseat to the shout-outs.

Now on to the story. Gregg’s problem seems to be a non-problem IMO. He wears glasses but can’t see the catcher’s digits? Get a new prescription, dumb-ass. Problem solved. Maybe if he hadn’t dyed his blond hair lavender, he could scrape up enough money for a cheap pair of specs. Wonder if Pranit Rock can lend him some of his gambling winnings?

The two most infamous fireballers with bad eyesight and worse control are called out in the post title. They’re both a little before my time but their stories are legend. Ryne Duren struggled in the minors until he was converted into a relief pitcher. He then went on to have a fitful career with the Kansas City A’s, Yankees, Angels, Phillies, Reds and expansion Senators. Struggling with alcoholism and the death of his infant child, Duren attempted suicide in Washington and was talked down from the ledge by Nats manager Gil Hodges. He was released soon after. After the breakup of his marriage and another suicide attempt, Duren eventually became an addiction counselor and managed to have a productive life after baseball.

Steve Dalkowski‘s story is even sadder. He spent many years in the Orioles’ farm system, never quite getting his act together to get called up to the show. While managing Dalko at AA Elmira, Earl Weaver determined that he was possessed of less than average intelligence. Weaver made it really simple for Dalko, telling him to either throw fastballs down the middle or sliders. Dalkowski’s stats improved but an injury in spring training 1963 effectively ended his career. His post-baseball life was even worse than Duren’s: his alcoholism led to his divorce and, eventually, alcohol-induced dementia. Sadly, he died from complications from COVID-19 almost two years ago to the day, when the virus was ripping through nursing homes in Connecticut.

Not all bespectacled pitchers are doomed to a horrible fate (WARNING: teenchy name drop imminent). Because of my location and my circle of friends, I got to know Walt Masterson fairly well in the final decade of his life. Walt was a workhorse, mostly for the original AL Nats from just before WWII into the early fifties but also for the Red Sox and Tigers. Walt’s glasses weren’t Coke bottle thick but they were tinted due to his extreme sensitivity to light. After his baseball career, Walt was a pitching coach for the Rangers and head coach at George Mason. He was instrumental in the founding of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and in getting the player pension program off the ground before passing at age 87.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. Gil needs to treat Gregg a bit like Earl treated Dalko. Put a little sense in his head and send him to an optometrist. Maybe Rubin can name drop one in an upcoming strip.

April 9, 2022

Barbarians at the Fence

I don’t know if Rob’s writing up a post as I write, but I have a concert to go to tonight so I’m going to double up for sake of continuity.

April 8, 2022

Hey look, Milford High has a girls’ tennis team! I can’t remember the last time there was a girls’ tennis plot in Gil Thorp. I don’t think there’s been one since I started blogging here, anyway.

A new name, Charis Tompkins. Charis isn’t a very common name; the only one that springs to mind is Charis Wilson, model and one-time wife of the famous photographer Edward Weston. Charis Tompkins IRL appears to be Canadian.

St. Casilda of Toledo was born a Muslim princess, the daughter of the ruler of Toledo, who showed kindness and charity to Christian prisoners. She appears to be the patron saint “against sterility.” Her feast day is today. I cannot find any record of a St. Casilda High School on the North American continent.

There’s no cheering during points in tennis, but wouldn’t it be more interesting if there was? Same goes for golf. There are also no tennis balls that color. That thing almost looks like an Osage orange.

April 9, 2022

Know what else is cute? How the Milford teams always show up to watch their opposite number play after their own practices are over. I’ve long suspected they only do it to check one another out wearing less clothing than they typically do in school. Today they might’ve gotten more than a glimpse as Charis went from Milford red to green and black in the blink of an eye.

Know what’s not cute? Charis’ boyfriend. Is it Scooter? The mind boggles at the thought. What strangeness brought these two together? Will it keep them together through the spring? Reckon we’ll find out.

March 14, 2022

Maybe He’s On The Potato And Grease Diet

Filed under: Colorist Error, The Bucket — nedryerson @ 4:14 am

Pranit Smith is spending his post basketball free time hanging around basketball games, loitering near the locker room. I guess he’s addicted to the smell of sweaty socks. I’m surprised Captain Talley (if that’s her, lots of assumptions about who’s who today) would allow herself to be seen talking to the deposed shooter Smith. Isn’t the Air Force Academy Secret Police watching her to make sure she doesn’t fraternize with the wrong element? She could just say she was shoving him out of the way so he didn’t get trampled by the squad of giant hoopsters.

Haha, Pranit said BET instead of BED! Oh boy, this suspension and expulsion from the team have got Pranit seriously confused.

Speaking of serious confusion. I don’t know who is at the bucket ordering water and French fries. I guess it’s supposed to be Pranit, being grilled by Tevin (probably) about his lack of cash. Um, Tevin, have you been keeping up with the story. Pranit was really BAD at funding his betting endeavors because he was taking everybody’s bets with no cash upfront. Sheesh, kid, we spent two months hammering that home.

March 11, 2022

Who wants some playing time?

Filed under: actual action, basketball, Colorist Error, Madison Time, Mimi Thorp — robmize2013 @ 8:24 pm

Oh I just knew there’d be unrest on the team over a Coaches Decision. Playing time is dictated by ability and matchups. You play more when you face a team that cant handle your skill set. Doh.

But number 40 is worried about 3 other girls PT instead of worrying about Her game. Even better, she does it while she’s playing. P2 is weird to begin with, 2 players arent even looking at the ball as its being passed to someone off-panel, and Hollis’ arms are oddly placed as if she’s waiting for the Madison player to jump into them to lift her up like a cheerleader mount. And that basket right behind 40 better be Milfords, otherwise she’s passing up a chippie, and Hollis should be running the other way down the court instead of doing the cheerleader thing.

Then in P3 Hollis turns back into the forward she really is by going to the basket and (see above) using her skill set to make a play. Yeah I know guards go to the rim too (Exhibit A: Michael Jordan) but any defense with a brain would quickly switch assignments near the basket and defend Hollis more easily then this little guard is.

I read a book years ago about how girls basketball used to be played. It seems they used to play 6 on 6, but the guards could only play defense, and the game was basically a series of 3 on 3 matchups, with the half-court line being a divider that couldnt be crossed by anyone; you stayed on your side of the court the whole game, and a guard in those days would graduate with a lifetime scoring average of 0.0. It was in the days where it was thought too much exercise was bad for girls, so they mimimized running that way. Such primitive thinking that I’m glad has long been abolished. Anyone else remember that? Or was it just in certain states? Just some food for thought..

So we’ll see how Madison adjusts to the big guard going to the hole, and if Hollis isnt a forward, whoever is in her old position has to be shorter right? Then go at Milfords weakness.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.