This Week in Milford

May 15, 2021

How ‘Bout Them… Well, You Know

Do y’all get the sense that Rubin is finally acknowledging that his catcher with no filter has a character flaw? Can Corina just not go through a season picking out a person or people to publicly take down a peg, whether they need taking down a peg or not? Or is this her way of projecting the pressure she feels now that Mimi has tabbed her as a college prospect? It amazes me that Rubin thinks the students at Milford High would take this treatment from someone who’s still the new kid in school lying down.

Funny how the kids cut her such slack; it’s as though Maureen at the diner told them all about her problems at home before she ever set foot on campus. With that kind of leeway you’d think Corina might, you know, take the time to learn a little more about someone else’s backstory before ripping them a new one. If she had she might have known that making it back to the diamond is an accomplishment in itself for Zane. Was the object to win when she and the Valley Mod kids were snarfing down free eats compliments of the Coaches Thorp?

Thank goodness for Katy Brito. A decent player in her own right, Katy can recognize not only when an adult is being a redass but also when a kid just needs to let his hair down. The obvious joke is that Zane’s channeling Elvis Presley but he comes off more like Futurama‘s Richard Nixon.

May 14, 2021

Corina Has Skin In Every Game?

Filed under: huge earrings, Ricozzi's Pizza, shadow figures — nedryerson @ 8:38 am

Hey gang. I just noticed that our regular Friday correspondent, robmize2013, won’t be posting today. So I thought I’d step in and Joan Rivers this sucker. (Rob reports that he’s heading for Detroit, so maybe he’ll track down Neal Rubin, and if not Neal, then a couple of cold ones at the ballpark. Cheers, Rob!)

I know, I know. The TWIM readership has mostly had it up to here with Corina. She’s pretty smug for a Patty Come Lately and her Valley Modified roots suggest that subtlety is just not her bag. I suppose my stance on CK is more along the lines of, what are ya gonna do. I’ve seen all kinds of head scratching characters and plots in Gil Thorp and if they weren’t frequently absurdly annoying, I probably never would have applied for this gig. It really does feel like I’ve been going through the motions of late, barely able to summon up much in the way of humorous takes or even mildly amusing cheap jokes. A few weeks ago, I read back through the story of Gil and the wrestling match with the Herkelsheimers. I can’t believe how engaged I was with that story! Ah, memories…now back to Corina.

It looks like Corina is channeling Tommy Lasorda here. No, I don’t mean she’s trying to see how many Riccozi’s breadsticks she can jam into her mouth at one time. She’s trying to build up Zane Clark using the exact strategy Lasorda used on Orel Hershiser. (Herkelsheimer? Hershiser? Let’s call the whole thing off.) Lasorda even used the same verbiage, nicknaming Hershiser Bulldog, trying to infuse mild mannered Orel with some competitive spark. Hershiser dominated for a time there and Tommy told that story over and over like he molded a Cy Young winner out of clay (or gnocchi, which I would think would be Lasorda’s preferred medium). So let’s see if Corina can turn Zane into the next Bob Gibson. (If you ask me, I think Zane is the next Zane Smith.)

Here’s Tommy, telling the story.

I’ve always thought Lasorda was an overrated windbag

Hey, does anybody mind if we make this rock and roll Friday? Here’s Guided By Voices performing Bulldog Skin on MTV’s Oddville. (My, what a quirky show that was. MTV seemed to be mining cable public access shows for programming back then. If you book GBV, though, you’ve got my attention. Plus, the cohost, Melissa, was super cute.)

Not a great performance, but a glimpse at classic Bob Pollard stage moves

ETA R&R Bonus: I can’t believe this one didn’t occur to me:

May 12, 2021

Duck! No, Pizza!

Sorry for the late and brief post: my laptop crashed and I lost my draft. At least Zane didn’t take the L thanks to his teammates’ bats, but thanks to Morton Levi he didn’t take the W either. (No idea who this Levi kid is, but Levi Morton was a Republican congressman from New York and Vice President of the United States under Benjamin Harrison. Here he’s a kid who came close to taking a comebacker to the head.) Those runners were inherited from Zane so a no-decision for him and a blown save for Morton.

Cut to the bleachers where once again we have a Milford team that’s been practicing in their game unis unless, like the boys, they just got done playing multiple games off-panel. Katy Brito unnecessarily points to herself and to – who? what? where? the general direction of Ricozzi’s? – while inviting her teammates to go get pizza with Zane and her. The two girls at far right look a bit taken aback by the proposition. They know The Bucket is the traditional post-game hangout and besides, they don’t want to watch Katy and Zane in another PDA. Corina on the other hand cocks an eyebrow in interest; she’s all about free eats and she must know about Zane’s backstory so she must figure this one’s on Katy. Wait ’til Abel finds out Katy’s been picking up the tab for not one but two freeloaders! That Milford Library Board job doesn’t pay, dontchaknow.

December 7, 2019

Good Ol’ Blow Top


Mudlarks chowin’ down on sloppy joes
Runnin’ the two-a-day drills
Then Sam Finn passed out and had to go
Whose fault? Sure wasn’t Gil’s
Junior Mudlark tailback Charlie Roh
Had the job in his hat
Got showed up by some old sophomore
That was the end of that
“Blow Top, you’re gonna be
Totin’ the rock for me
Good ol’ Blow Top
Blow Top Chance Macy
Blow Top Chance Macy”
Charlie’s dad tried to derail Blow Top
Diggin’ for bones in his past
The trail he left, they didn’t need a cop
It bit him in the ass
Chance’s fits of rage called “Blow Top”
His backstory is weird
Livin’ with his gram and grandpop
So-called parents? Disappeared
Blow Top, you’re gonna be
Treated by Charlie
Good ol’ Blow Top
Blow Top Chance Macy
Blow Top Chance Macy
Ballard’s in the doghouse with his wife
Didn’t have to make it so hard
Now his credit’s gonna take a dive
Charlie’s got his gold card
“Blow Top, Can’t you see?
Tonight’s tabs are on me!
Good ol’ Blow Top
Let’s hit Ricozzi’s
Let’s hit Ricozzi’s
Let’s hit Ricozzi’s!”
(apologies? No apologies; this song makes me want to throw something sharp)

metapost: Dunno what’s gone wrong with my spacing, or why the YT clip isn’t showing. Maybe it’s time for me to hang it up.
Fixed!* – TimP
* Well, not the line breaks. Not sure what’s going on there. 

July 15, 2019

Careful With That Pizza, You Could Put Somebody’s Eye Out


Brief observations:

The pizza at Ricozzi’s is nice and stiff. It has dry, yellow cheese. Yes, color is at the mercy of some hacks at the syndicate, so that’s not all on Whigham. (The colorist used Zippy the Pinhead‘s mumu for reference when doing the pizza.)

The colorist is also not sure what to do with Hadley’s hair.

Yes, Hadley wants to do some lawyering while she’s hanging in Milford.

Panel 3 appears to be a scrimmage. Maybe a seven on seven. I don’t think we’ve seen schools competing in scrimmages.

July 13, 2019

Guess Who’s Thorping to Dinner


I kept wanting to drop the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner reference in the past but I was really trying to shoehorn it into a plot. This week probably has been the most appropriate time to do it to date, what with Ed Asner V. Baxendale putting potential son-in-law Jaquan through the wringer. Granted Ed’s wringer is as dated as the one grandma had on the washing machine on her back porch, but having gotten a hand stuck in one of those once I can attest that they can do some damage.

Speaking of damage, check out Hadley going all Malory Archer on that glass of wine at Ricozzi’s. Girl’s got some pent-up hostility working there. Don’t check her out as much as Mimi’s checking out Jaquan, though. That would be awkward. Hadley manages to steer the chat toward something Gil’s more comfortable with… sportsball. Here comes the pivot to the tale of Tiki Jansen – the one we’ve all sussed out will be about Hadley doin’ some fierce lawyerin’ to get the Jansens into Trey Davis’ house, open a satellite office of her firm in Milford, and convince the Memphis Grizzlies New Orleans Pelicans Charlotte Hornets team Jaquan plays for to move there as well.

Summer’s in full swing here. Break out your beverage of choice, sit back, relax and see how this all falls out.

Added the Ricozzi’s Pizza tag, will apply it retroactively as time permits.

April 10, 2019

The Bases Are Loaded: Is the Artist Loaded Too?


Okay, could all y’all who said you were going to sleep please wake up and help me figure out the bizarro details in today’s strip?

Panel one starts out okey-dokey. Nice detail on the batting gloves, Chief and, uh, nice effort on using words that a softball player might use, Rubin.  Jocelynn Brown must be part of the Brown-Hiatt family ’cause she’s making things happen.

We get to panel two and what the hell is going on here?  Is this a Milford baserunner, base coach, or someone standing on a bag about six feet from the outfield wall?  Did she get her arms from an all-you-can-eat Alaskan king crab leg buffet?  Is she wearing Japanese tabi cleats?  Isn’t 410 a deep wall for high school softball?  (With this perspective, kinda makes you think that should read 4/20.)  Finally, is that a smaller Ricozzi’s Pizza billboard on the fence?  How funny would it have been had big money BRobby Howry kept buying ad space ripping Gil on his own playing field?

On to panel three.  I know that ideally a home plate umpire doesn’t line up directly behind the catcher, so as to have a better view of the outside corner of the plate.  I can’t recall ever having seen an ump line up that far off center – nearly perpendicular to the catcher – even with an unseen left-handed batter up.  Maybe someone who’s been to a softball game more recently than I can confirm this is legit.

Oh, and someone please tell me Benson uses this cheer:


Okay, everybody back to sleep now.

March 9, 2019

Papered Over and Out


Well, that was abrupt.  I though we’d get at least one more trip to the hardwood (since it was Valentine’s Day when we last saw any game highlights) or a word with Mike Filion (since it was two days before that when we last saw him and we don’t know if Gil ever let him back into practice).

Thanks, Rubin, for not giving B/Robby a backstory to make him the least bit sympathetic. The time to do that was when he was hitting on Liesl Ishii.  So much got papered over in this arc, from where B/Robby went to college and whether or not he was still going, to how he was bankrolling his billboards.  We never did connect the dots between B/Robby’s “I work cheap!” to Mimi’s deduction that he was after Marty’s job.  (At least someone found that ladder Andre Ruffin forgot.) Maybe that last panel gives us a clue – if not to Howry’s current line of work then, perhaps, to his future.

You gotta go a long way to get to the best pizza in the Valley.  There are 117 miles to Ricozzi’s Pizza, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of Nutboys, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it!

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