This Week in Milford

October 10, 2020

Oh.

Time for everybody’s favorite game, Monday Morning Saturday Night Quarterback.

Previously on TWIM, the consensus was that Gil was completely in the right for punishing Rapson for ignoring his play calls not once, but twice. In fact, many TWIMers thought that this punishment is too light – that Rapson should see the bench permanently if not be kicked off the team altogether. Instead, Gil’s just giving him a bit more in the way of conditioning.

Gil’s laid out his reasons and they’re sound ones, but let’s play Marty Moon for a minute, though, and poke some holes in that Thorpian logic.

Going back to Tuesday, there was 2:49 left (very precise of Rubin, no?) in the fourth quarter after Rapp’s TD pass put the Mudlarks up 28-13. Thursday before last they were up 21-6 when Thayer muffed the exchange. The Ballard Bruins marched right down the field to make it an eight-point game, 21-13, sometime in the fourth. How much time was left in the game when Ballard scored? There must have been enough for them to believe they’d get the ball back at least once, hence not going for two.

The Milford offense goes back on the field with Rapson under center and directions to get “a couple of first downs, and then… head to The Bucket.” Why did Gil yank his starting QB with his team only up by one score? Nice vote of confidence there, Gildeaux; one miscue and you’re on the bench. As for the “ball security” angle, if you’ve been doing nothing but running the ball all night, doesn’t that make your offense extremely predictable? The Bruins could load up the box, stuff the run, get the ball back and march down the field on the Mudlark defense once again. We didn’t hear anything about that sieve.

First play, Rapson calls his audible and Dallas George’s number on an end-around (which is NOT the same thing as a reverse, Gil!). If Gil’s so quick on the trigger with his signal callers, why didn’t he bench Rapp right then and there? I get that you want to keep things vanilla in the non-conference part of your schedule, but does Gil really have only one trick play? The excuse that you’re saving your trick play for a conference game makes about as much sense as not putting miles on your car so you’ll get more money when it comes time to trade it in, or as not having sex with your wife so that there aren’t as many miles on her for her next husband. Did it ever dawn on him that he could still use that play as a decoy later in the season, for example faking the end-around and running a draw or play-action pass?

Let’s move on to the next play. The Mudlarks picked up a first down and ran some time off the clock. We only know in hindsight that there were probably more than three minutes left in the game. We have no idea where the line of scrimmage was when Rapson threw the pass, nor do we know how many timeouts each team had. Giving Gil a little credit for restating the obvious, Curtis Charles scores the touchdown because the Bruin defender slipped (and Curtis danced a little jig over his body). Why does Gil assume that the pass would’ve been incomplete or picked off if the defender hadn’t slipped? Look at P1 in that last linked strip. Charles is bigger and taller than the Ballard player and has gotten inside of him. Who’s to say Charles doesn’t make the catch and bull over the Bruin into the end zone? Even if he makes the catch and gets tackled immediately, it’s still another first down and time to start taking knees. Who’s to say if Charlie Roh had run it up the gut again, he wouldn’t have gotten stuffed or stripped of the ball? The play worked, but it might not have, and if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

So have at it in the comments, TWIMers. Let’s enjoy the pissiest of pissy Gil faces we’ve seen in some time and hope that smug look on his face doesn’t cause him to trip over that coffee mug he set down behind himself. Gil has made it clear he calls the shots, but what he doesn’t do is instill confidence in his players.

September 25, 2020

I Thought Only Steve Luhm Handled the Mops in Milford

Hey everybody! Joan Rivers here for robmize. Can we talk?

Seriously, I don’t know what Rapson’s beef is here. The game plan with him under center is no different than the game plan with Thayer under center. What did he expect Gil to do, let him air it out and run up the score? The Mudlarks aren’t Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators, fuhcripessake. It’s already been established that Milford’s gonna be The Chance and Charlie Show this fall.

Rapp’s probably upset that Gil wasn’t making eye contact with him when he was giving him his marching orders. Wearing mime makeup under your helmet is bound to be a bit disquieting to even the most stoic of coaches, Terry. Then again, he might’ve been taking Gil at his word a bit too literally and is miffed that Gil didn’t let him drive the Milford activity bus back from Oakwood. (Who drives that bus, anyway?)

Terry just needs to relax on the ride home and get ready to see his quarterbacking rival get shot down by Corina at The Bucket. What, you weren’t missing another strip of Corina being a jerk to everyone? Yeah, me neither.

metapost: Like robmize, I will actually be away this weekend too. Hoping Ned, tdrew or maybe even the sorely missed timbuys will step up and take my Saturday post. Okay? Okay!

August 8, 2020

Low-mileage Arm, High-mileage Character

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Note to Corina: if you’re on the clock, it doesn’t matter if you’re catching balls or not. So relax.

Note to True: if you’re paying your catcher by the hour, you might want to have her actually catch rather than stand around and listen to your spiel.

Note to Gil: Don’t you have some hooch to drink kids to teach golf? Stop wasting True’s and Corina’s time.

True throws heat, fans a lot but give up a lot of taters. So who does he turn into in the future? Robin Roberts? Max Scherzer? Aroldis Chapman? The guy dropping your Amazon package off on your doorstep? Lay minister at Milford First Baptist? He’s pretty good at eulogies and, after all, he is a Deacon. >rimshot<

metapost: It’s been a little over a month since my mishap in the mountains and, after follow-ups this past week with my GP and cardiologist, I’ve been given a clean bill of health – at least as far as the mishap is concerned. Still got a long row to hoe to get back in shape and I’ve gotta remember that I’m no spring chicken. My thanks to all you TWIMers for the kind thoughts and words. Here’s hoping I’m around for a few more seasons to come.

July 29, 2020

That’s No Catcher’s Mitt, That’s Our Waitress

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Alright TWIMers, I think we can start connecting some dots here. Corina has been casing set her sights on Milford as a place to go commit crimes to school next year. If that happens, she’ll end up another in a long line of talented Mudlark athletes the Coaches Thorp didn’t have to coach to end up that way. The fact that she’s doing this opens things up for a lot of exposition that we may or may not get. Is going to Valley Mod a sentence that a student has to serve, and that student is free to go to whatever school in the Valley s/he chooses once time has been served?

She’s already trying to fit in by donning the Milford uniform of chunky bracelets and huge earrings – the same earrings as her waitress, Maureen – after sporting demure studs previously. She’s also trying to fit in by eating mass quantities of greasy diner food. I mean, look at the size of that burger! Wait, that’s not a burger but a catcher’s mitt? Who puts a catcher’s mitt on the table they’re gonna be eating from? And why, if she’s talking about said catcher’s mitt, is Miss Pointy Fingers Phoebe pointing to her left and not down and in front of her where the catcher’s mitt is sitting?  Maureen’s fourth wall-breaking glance says it all. Nobody expects waiting tables at a diner in Milford to be glamorous, but she certainly didn’t sign up for this kind of insult. I mean, come on! She may not be very pretty now, but she was someone’s baby once.

I’d be much more interested in learning about the path Maureen took to end up waiting on Corina and Phoebe. Something tells me she’s been around the Valley a time or two.

July 22, 2020

Les Expos(ition) sont là, part deux

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Called it! Well, kinda sorta, except for the wearing one’s employer’s uniform in public part.

Phoebe has a habit of pointing at everything and everybody a lot, even by Milford standards, so pointing to the diner door to call out True seems a bit belabored. Corinna’s words say “big whoop” but her rapidly swelling hands say otherwise. Careful, Ms. Karenina: sassy, athletic girls who get involved with True come to bad ends.

Corrina’s zinger in P2 pretty much sums up every summer Gil Thorp arc ever and, in a more normal world, should’ve been today’s post title. But nothing is normal these days. Major League Baseball is getting ready to kick off its regular season tomorrow evening, with a 60-game schedule, new rules straight out of the sandlot, and no fans in the stands. Anything and everything that happens in the game this season will be forever tagged with the mother of all asterisks. Besides, it also gives me an excuse to post this, again, something that every wise NL East scoreboard operator should play when the Nats come to town:

Now let’s sit back for the rest of the week and wait for True to explain how he went from being Wake Forest’s QB of the future to a potential future playing in front of sparse crowds in the worst stadium in the majors, and somehow giving Gil credit for it.

July 18, 2020

Thirsty Week in Milford

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Look out, Milford! Corina and Phoebe are off to do some crimes! Will they go get sushi and not pay?

Not at the Milford Diner, they won’t! They’re gonna get coked up first. Is all this talk of crime and confrontation getting Corina thirsty for more than just a Coke?

Perhaps this chivalrous gent in the Tampa Bay Rays cap can slake that thirst. Alert TWIMers (i.e., most TWIMers) have speculated said gent is unicorn in cleats True Standish. True left for Wake Forest in the fall of 2016 where he was slated to compete for a quarterback spot. He did wow some scouts during his brief stint as Mudlark bullpen ace, but was that enough to lead him down the path of a baseball career? Even if it was, True was shown not to be the kind of guy to call attention to himself by wearing gimme gear, even if it’s from his employer.

So there’s your Saturday cliffhanger, gentle readers. Comment away and don’t be like me  – stay safe, cool and hydrated.

July 15, 2020

Bizarre Love Triangles?

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Oh, to be in the Valley in the summertime, where time stands still, no one wears a face mask and no one practices social distancing. How else could you get away with sticking your pointy finger up in the grill of someone you barely recognize? (Then again, if Milford is in Michigan, I understand that might be a thing there, and that’s all I have to say about that.) Is Corrina Corrina in town to hook up with Hiawatha or, better still, to pay a call on The Mayor before he leaves for State U? Either way it’s none of Phoebe’s damn business and she’d better ease up before Corrina sticks that finger somewhere else.

Quick cut to some eatery where a young man is being served a full breakfast without the benefit of a conspicuous knife. Who is this guy with Gil’s face and True Standish’s hair? Does he mind that the waitress’ thumb is in his egg? Will he end up a summer love interest for one of these girls, or is he here for some other duller and more contrived purpose? All will be revealed in time, maybe by the week before Labor Day.

June 17, 2020

This Plot Finally Gets Its Much-Needed Crutch

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P1: Don’t look so surprised, Mimi. You knew her ankle looked sketchy. Where was Trainer Rick Scott when you needed him? Does he only train for the football team?

P2: Having once again failed to develop any pitching depth (see Radley, Boo and Hobson, Carrie), Mimi resorts to strategically planting land mines along the basepaths. Unfortunately the mines aren’t very powerful and the Madison runner still scores. An eye for an eye and an ankle for an ankle won’t cut it in the Valley, Mimi. As if you care.

P3: Ah yes, back to the perspective we’re used to in this strip: Girls watching boys. At least I think that’s a girl. Maybe it’s Phoebe and she’ll help Mike and the Misfits hone their skills to beat the Mudlarks. After it’s all done she’ll say it was her way of protesting the draconian zero-tolerance policy that went unchallenged and sent Mike down this path of pathos.

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