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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

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Tuesday, 13 February 2018 18:05

Sweet stanzas of spring (training)

“People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” – Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby

 

Sitting within winter's chilly deep-freeze

Our brains cry out for the spring's warming sun.

We search for signs that put our minds at ease

Like the sharp crack of a well-struck home run.

An eager anticipation rises;

Whose legend begins with the year's first pitch?

Which unknown becomes the face of the sport?

This game will not run out of surprises.

It's the time when fans become truly rich;

The time when pitchers and catchers report.

 

Florida swamps, Arizona deserts,

Hosting leagues named for grapefruit and cactus.

Players damp from the efforts they exert

Sprinting and swinging their ways through practice.

Veterans trying to play out the string,

Superstars at the height of their powers;

Faded prospects getting one final shot

And hotshot rookies perfecting their swings.

And we, the fans, can while away hours

As the game consumes our every thought.

 

From Williams to Rice to Papi to Betts,

From Ruth and Gehrig to Jeter and to Judge;

The raw youngsters that acknowledge their debts

And the old-timers nursing their grudges.

Spring training's arrival heralds the season

Better than flowers or showers or grass -

The truest of our spring rites is baseball.

Our hopes and feelings overrule reason;

Everyone is first and no one is last

And your team could wind up winning it all.

 

“Spring training means flowers, people coming outdoors, sunshine, optimism and baseball. Spring training is a time to think about being young again.” – Hall of Famer Ernie Banks

 

(Note: Versions of this piece have appeared in previous editions of The Maine Edge.)

There are always obstacles when it comes to putting a real-life occurrence onto the silver screen. Mining the truth for drama while still maintaining that connection to what really happened is a delicate balance, one that isn’t at all easy to consistently strike.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 17:54

Bunny buffoonery - ‘Peter Rabbit’

Bringing beloved characters to life is a tricky business. You have to balance respect for the source material with the necessity of new energy. You can’t tell the same old story, but you also bear a certain modicum of responsibility to that story.

The works of Beatrix Potter have been beloved by generations of children. Her books have delighted kids for decades, creating characters that inspire fond memories in young and old alike.

So if you’re going to make a movie about Peter Rabbit, well … be careful.

One could argue that the idea of a world where magic works has been done to death in the realm of fantasy fiction. Whether you’re talking about urban fantasy set in the present day or fiction with a more historical bent, it’s a creative vein that has been pretty thoroughly mined.

And yet, when it works, it REALLY works. And Tom Miller’s “The Philosopher’s Flight” (Simon & Schuster, $26) REALLY works.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 17:00

Celebrity Slam - Shade and the City

So we’re going to need to talk about Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 16:31

Weird National Briefs (02/14/2018)

Gown renown

WILLOWICK, Ohio - An Ohio woman has been reunited with her wedding dress 32 years after a dry cleaner mix-up.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 16:29

Criminal Mischief (02/14/2018)

Rockland standoff

ROCKLAND —A Bangor man face multiple charges following a several-hour standoff at a Rockland hotel armed with a walking stick.

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 15:08

Pro Football Hall of Fame announces 2018 class

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio just got a little bigger.

Five players – linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, receivers Randy Moss and Terrell Owens and defensive back Brian Dawkins – were tapped for induction by the modern-era committee. Joining them will be Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile via the senior committee and personnel executive Bobby Beathard as a contributor.

The list of finalists was trimmed from 15 to 10 and then to five, with those five being subject to a simple yea-or-nay vote – all five ultimately received the thumbs up.

The trio of first-time nominees that made the cut is an impressive bunch.

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 15:05

It’s alive! – ‘Making the Monster’

Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus” was published in 1818. In the two centuries since, it has taken its place as one of the most iconic works of science fiction and gothic horror in the history of Western literature. It has become a cultural touchstone, a familiar landmark for anyone navigating the realm of popular culture. When you say “Frankenstein,” everyone knows to what you’re referring.

But while the novel is a work of pure invention, it came about in a world where many of the ideas it put forth were viewed as plausible. The environment in which Shelley lived at that time was an ideal breeding ground to give birth to such a tale.

“Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” (Bloomsbury Sigma, $27) is author and scientist Kathryn Harkup’s effort to give a sense of perspective on the world into which Shelley’s iconic tale was brought, to shine a light on the scientific conventions and societal mores that served as the foundation upon which the classic story was built.

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 14:55

Ice ice baby - 'I, Tonya'

There are relatively few truly shared experiences anymore. The proliferation of the internet has led to a cultural splintering that largely prohibits the grand-scale zeitgeist moments that we all witnessed together.

To anyone possessed of even a modicum of awareness in 1994, the name Tonya Harding was a familiar one. She was at the center of one of the most bizarre incidents in sports history when she was involved (or not involved) in the planning of an assault on Nancy Kerrigan, her fellow figure skater and major rival in the 1994 Olympic Games.

“I, Tonya” means to tell that story. And it does, after a fashion, by embracing the strangeness of the situation. Rather than trying to piece together the truth from a collection of wildly differing accounts, director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Steven Rogers lean into the disparities, bouncing from POV to POV and producing a story that is utterly compelling even as it utterly lacks consistency.

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