This Week in Milford

August 8, 2022

Behind The Playbook Podcast Sponsored By UFS Canned Beverage

Filed under: Valley Tech, Where is Milford? — nedryerson @ 10:51 am

Marty Moon records a podcast at the studios of WDIG, the Behind The Playbook podcast to be specific. I have heard of some radio shows that are released as podcasts. Maybe Marty produces enough hot take content that he can put out a podcast seperate from his daily show. Maybe if his special guest Luke Hernnadez, the new sheriff from Valley Tech (hey, wasn’t that Luke Martinez? who goofed, the strip’s creators or Marty?), is as big a blowhard as we’ve seen so far, Marty can team up with him to make a real screaming freak show of a podcast. Dozens of people can download Playbook every week to hear new drunken ravings from goateed loudmouths.

So, what are Marty and Luke Martinez Hernnadez talking about? Well, Marty heard about the verbal sparring between Gil and Sheriff Luke at the Post Coach of The Year Hotel Bar Gathering. (Forget the award ceremony…THIS is the event of the year! Too bad it’s held at a secret location.) Where did Marty hear about the “stir”, from one of those two other guys in polo shirts or from the bartender that’s sweet on Gil? Who called the Marty Moon Behind The Playbook tip line (and what poor PA has to monitor the tip line and pull out anything useful among all the “Marty Sucks! Baba-Booey!” messages)? If this is the kind of content one regularly hears on the Behind The Playbook podcast, it wouldn’t surprise me if Marty just uses the studio to record it and puts it out on his own. I don’t think a radio station would want this going out under their name. Marty, what are you doing in there?!

Note that Luke Hernnadez states that he’s the young buck that this town needs. So, is Valley Tech actually in Milford? I’d always assumed that the Valley Conference was spread among many towns in a geographical area that includes Milford. That could be the case and Valley Tech could still be in Milford. It’s just weird that it has never been defined that way. But really, there have been and probably will be many liberties taken with things with the new writer and I’m not gonna harp on this stuff constantly. I gotta harp on something though, so why not a little more of the old Where Is Milford?

July 30, 2022

Leaving the Light On for Gil

Midday Saturday, I don’t see robmize’s post and I’m in between errands so I’m gonna do a twofer. Thanks for covering for me while I was island-hopping, rob.

July 29, 2022

It doesn’t look like Gil took the crazy bet from Hairy Hands Martinez. Why would he? If Martinez is new at Valley Tech, how has he been tired of watching Gil win the COTY award “every year”? We need a bit more backstory to buy anything Luke’s spouting. No doubt it’s the liquor talking, which is why Bethany the barkeep is cutting everybody off, including Gil.

As Gil saunters off through the bar’s doorway, Bethany gazes wistfully in his direction. In her tiny voiced farewell are traces of a desire to make something else stiff for Gil besides an old-fashioned. Nice tiny, dashed word balloon by the Chief there; can’t recall the last time I saw one of those from him.

July 30, 2022

Can’t recall the last time we saw the Thorp kids, either. Some posters on the ‘mudgeon suggested that it was in the Christmas 2008 strip. A lot can happen in thirteen-plus years (I’m still holding out for the convent and military school angle, myself) so this retcon better have them back as young adults and not preteens, is all I’m saying.

The Valley COTY award ceremonies weren’t held in Milford, apparently but somewhere where there’s an Embassy McCormick Suites Inn. Wherever it is, that’s where Gil’s been staying at least for the past night… plus? Emmett Tays drops in on Gil in the breakfast room to drop off the COTY golden butt plug he left on the podium the night before, gets the lowdown on the kerflulffle with Martinez, then opens the can of worms by asking about la famiglia Thorp. Sit back and order another round, gentle readers; we’re in for a whole lotta backstory next week.

July 27, 2022

Oh !#%@! He Went There!

“Nice speech up there, Thorp.

“Nice attempt at a burn, Cornelius.

“The name’s Martinez. Luke Martinez. I’m fixin’ to be in your damn face like my cousin Davey.”

“Martinez, huh. Thought you might be kin to my old pal Martin Luna.”

“Oh yeah? Well you’re full of !#%@, Thorp.”

“Damn, Martinez, you can’t even tell the joke right. You see flies on me? No? If you did, you’d either say I was full of honey or that flies are attracted to !#%@. Now step off before I break off that hairy paw of yours and stick it up your keister.”

So Martinez has been hired to replace the lump who whined about losing True Standish to Gil, then had his flies handed to him on a plate courtesy of True, John Pascoe & co. Or maybe to replace someone who replaced the lump. Dunno about y’all but between the goatee and the lavender top, I’m getting a Jesus Quintana vibe from Luke here. (Is lavender even a Valley Tech color? With this strip’s colorists, don’t bet against it.)

Barajas has given us a Gil with a touch of the ol’ leatherneck from the strip’s inception. He’s also given us a bewhiskered antagonist to give Gil !#%@, at least through the summer if not through the rest of the year. Will Henry give us enough backstory to find out what Martinez’ beef with Gil is? If he’s playing the long game, I reckon we TWIMers can too.

July 4, 2022

That’s One Inspiring Monkey!

Filed under: baseball, Chunky Bracelets, Just Plain Awesome, shadow figures, Valley Tech — nedryerson @ 1:00 pm

I guess I was wrong last Monday. We did see other pitchers contributing something to what has turned out to be a notable baseball season. Gonzo Aceves pitched the final game and the Mudlarks have captured the Valley title. Hold the phone! There’s a state tournament? How much more time will that take?

Milford High students are asking the same question: Why are we still going to school in freakin’ July? Can’t these guys just have these expositional conversations at The Bucket so we don’t have to contemplate bagels in the cafeteria? (That’s what the girl in Panel 2 wants to know!)

Now that the media embargo has been lifted, the stories about Gregg Hamm are going to start multiplying until…oh, that story has run its course and we’re moving on to “monkeys on tricycles”. Yeah, that sounds about right.

I know we still have a week of Rubin’s strips left, but I feel he really should have saved that last panel for his last strip as a fitting exemplar of his storytelling. Just kidding, Neal. Thanks for the memories.

Have a happy Fourth. Have fun and don’t do anything stupid. Keep your monkeys in check.

May 11, 2022

“Know Who Else Had Trouble Handling Balls? My Mom!”

Filed under: actual action, Bad Jokes, baseball, talking hand, Valley Tech — teenchy @ 9:03 am

Today’s baseball history lesson is the story of Bert Shepard. Bert Shepard’s major league career lasted all of one game, a relief pitching stint for the Nationals/Senators on August 4, 1945 against the Red Sox. It was his journey to the bigs that made Bert’s career all the more memorable.

Shepard, a lefty, had played semipro and was playing sandlot ball when he was discovered and signed by the White Sox in 1939. He struggled with control problems, was released, finished high school, and then signed another pro contract in 1941, this time with the Cardinals. In their famed system, Bert again showed flashes of talent at the C and D level but still struggled with control. At the beginning of 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he attended flight school, earned his pilot’s wings and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant. In early 1944, Shepard joined the 55th Fighter Group in England and was soon flying P-38 Lightnings over the continent.

On May 21, 1944, Bert was flying his 34th mission over Germany when, after having destroyed a train and an oil tank on a strafing run, his P-38 was taken down by flak. He was knocked unconscious when a shell grazed his chin and his plane hit the ground at full speed. Miraculously, Shepard wasn’t killed, but soon faced another threat when the angry German farmers who found him turned their pitchforks on him. A Luftwaffe doctor, Ladislaus Loidl, and two armed soldiers soon arrived at the scene and held back the farmers at gunpoint.

The Luftwaffe doctors amputated Shepard’s leg 11 inches below the knee. He was later transferred to a prison camp where a Canadian medic fashioned an artificial leg for him. Shepard began playing catch with a cricket ball and then resumed pitching a baseball. In February 1945, Bert was involved in a prisoner exchange and returned to the US. He began practicing baseball with some players from a local semipro team. Realizing that he was still able to throw his familiar pitches, Shepard became determined to resume his professional baseball career. Shepard went to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington to be fitted with a new prosthesis, where he was visited by Robert Patterson, the Undersecretary of War, who presented him with a commendation for his service, valor, and courage. Patterson asked Shepard what his goal was, and the former flyer replied he wanted to play baseball. Undersecretary of War Patterson called his good friend Clark Griffith, owner of the Senators, who then offered Shepard a tryout.

Griffith signed him to a major league contract, but had no intention of using him in a regular game, figuring to keep him around to serve as coach and batting practice pitcher. In addition to pitching BP Bert visited veteran’s hospitals, offering encouragement to other wounded veterans, and made a training film for amputees returning from the war. Finally on August 4, with the Nats down 14-2 in the top of the fourth, and the Red Sox with the bases loaded and two out, Washington manager Ossie Bluege brought Shepard in to try and stop the damage. The Nats were playing their fourth consecutive doubleheader, and an already thin pitching staff was getting battered by Boston. Shepard struck out the first batter he faced, George “Catfish” Metkovich. He stayed in the game and, for the remaining five innings, gave up only one run on three hits.

With the Nats battling the Detroit Tigers for the AL pennant in 1945, Bluege was reluctant to use Shepard again. His only other on-field highlight occurred on August 31 when he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross between games of a doubleheader. Washington released him on September 30; he was resigned in 1946 but, with the return of so many pleyrs from the war, Shepard failed to make the team and would never play in the majors again. He would, however, meet Ladislaus Loidl, the Luftwaffe doctor who saved his life, at his home in Austria in 1993.

The reason I’m posting the Bert Shepard Story is because, unlike Gregg Hamm, Shepard could field bunts.

Of course, you need to see bunts to be able to field them but, once fielded, you should be able to make the throw to first. Why Valley Tech baserunner feels the need to share his insights with Scooter is beyond me; he should have saved them for the bench. Now Scooter will have to come up with signals for the Milford infielders to play in for the bunts. His Nolan Ryan reference implies that the Hammmmer will start striking out a bunch of Techsters but still lose the game anyway.

Today’s post title, of course, a reference to Regular Show‘s Muscle Man, who never was able to get the mom joke format down pat.

May 9, 2022

Big Floppy Hats Are SO 2016

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Pantheon of Mysterious Objects, Valley Tech — nedryerson @ 6:14 pm

Remember when we thought we were going to get way more Scooter Borden than we could handle and possibly want to stab ourselves in the eyeholes with rusty farm implements? Well maybe I still feel that way, especially if Scooter’s going to use terminology like compadre, fired up and on the bump. But Scooter’s stupid jibba jabba has so far been nothing compared to the sheer, unrelenting monotony of Gregg Hamm’s old man, Mr. Incognito.

It looks like Ruth Hamm is getting tired of her husband’s crap, too. She’s clearly snarking at him about the measures he’s taking to avoid being identified in public. That would suggest that she doesn’t think it’s a matter of life and death if someone spots him watching his half blind kid on the bump. Maybe after another couple weeks of big, flappy hat talk, we’ll find out what the big mystery is, but I’m bored with it. I’d rather deliberate on the mystery of what the heck the thing is on the Hamm’s counter. Is he packing a lunch in a customized Bento box? Maybe he is going to put on a mask that he keeps in an old Steak & Shake carryout box.

Let’s watch some baseball, shall we. One would presume that we’re looking at a Valley Tech player attempting to lay down a bunt, but the colorists never know which end is up, so we can’t be sure. If it is a Valley Tech player at the plate, will blind Gregg kick the ball all over the infield or will one of the other infielders commit an error because he’s too distracted by Gregg’s dad in the stands sporting a big, floppy hat?

All I can think about are big, floppy hats.

March 16, 2022

“Coaching”? Bwahahahaha! >snort<

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to post today’s strip but I can’t stop laughing at it. Will update directly. >snort<

Phew! That took longer than I thought.

Of all Milford’s rivals Valley Tech is always the chippiest, and the girl with the blue ponytail does her best to keep up that tradition. First with the reach-in, which begs the question: If someone fouls Hollis, does that make her a Talley whacker? Then, having heard all the on-court talk about Hollis being a selfish, bossy snitch, VT girl fires off a sarcastic fascist salute. Heil Hollis!

All that pales in comparison to the chef’s kiss that is the last panel. Acquiescing to a player’s request to change positions and, well, letting her succeed there is considered “coaching”? Pretty low bar to clear in Milford to be sure, but that’s no bar at all. Maybe Gil agrees and he’s the one being sarcastic.

Oh, and when was the last time you saw anyone play racquetball? For me, I think it was during Poppy Bush’s administration. Even then, everybody’s racquets had strings.

December 8, 2021

Stumblin’ In

It didn’t take long for VT’s Matt Hasselbeck Jr. to eat his words. Milford draws first blood, but isn’t it kinda chancy (see what I did there?) to have your star tailback returning punts? Oh, what’s that? Maybe he didn’t return the punt and just ran in for the touch on a play from scrimmage? Either way, I hope he ran an extra ten yards through the end zone once he crossed the goal line. Gotta get ready for that Canadian ball, dontchaknow.

On to the next drive and Milford scores on another explosive play, as Tevin goes left while everyone else goes right. Classic misdirection. Pity it’s gonna get called back for holding on the Mudlark that’s got VT #51 tied up. That might be Tommy “Jamón” Serrano, who previously succumbed to Boyd Spiller’s fake juice but hasn’t completely recovered from learning that it was fake. In fact, to the untrained eye (or maybe the eye that was trained half a century ago, give or take) those two look like an electric football Backer figure locked together with an All Purpose figure…

…which would make perfect sense if we revert back to one of our original Gil Thorp tropes: that all of this action is playing out in Marty Moon’s crate in his parents’ basement.

Speaking of Marty, how nice of him to show up to broadcast the Mudlarks’ season finale. How do we know this is the finale? Look at the calendar, and the deus ex machina Rubin’s dropped in our laps. Milford’s gonna drop the Valley title to Goshen – the same Goshen they blew out by 24 not quite two months ago? Doesn’t make any sense unless the Milford loss is the only one Goshen’s suffered all season. If both teams end up tied in conference play, the Mudlarks take the title based on head-to-head. None of that matters when you have a plot to wrap up and you’re you’ve wasted on hooch most of your time on details that didn’t really advance it.

Post title refers to how Goshen will make the playdowns.

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.