Retro Relapse: Top 30 Manliest Sandwiches

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

Men like sandwiches. We like meat. We like sandwiches with meat.

Lettuce wraps are for hippies and baby rabbits.

The other day, my ex-girlfriend’s uncle, a true manly man, and I were debating manly sandwiches. One thing led to another and now, I have a list!

There’s nothing open-faced on this list!

1. An American as fuck burger!
2. Muffuletta
3. Italian beef
4. Porchetta
5. BBQ pork sandwich
6. A very large B.L.T.
7. The Primanti
8. Chicken biscuit
9. Cheesesteak
10. Chili dog (fuck you, it counts because it’s my list!)
11. Croque monsieur
12. Lobster roll
13. Italian sub
14. Monte Cristo
15. Fried alligator sandwich
16. Sausage & peppers sub
17. Fried oyster po boy
18. Cuban
19. Meat loaf sandwich
20. Frisco melt
21. French dip
22. Meatball sub
23. Reuben
24. Grilled cheese with bacon
25. A Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich
26. Beer battered fish sandwich
27. Hot pastrami
28. Gyro
29. Fried balogna
30. Tuna melt

Talking Pulp Update (10/8/2020): Blogging Ragnarök – The End Is Nigh For Talking Pulp

After my last pretty pissy update, not much has changed.

While I have found a way to edit in the Classic Editor, WordPress is still giving me serious issues when simply trying to create or edit posts, even though I’m the only user on this site and by default, the administrator.

Needless to say, the workaround with the Classic Editor will only be a temporary thing, anyway, as they seem pretty gung ho about phasing it out completely, even as a premium plugin. In fact, the plugin won’t be supported by the end of 2021.

Whatever.

My motivation to write or even give a shit is pretty nil. While I still have posts scheduled out for a few weeks, by the end of October, I’ll probably be done with this platform because it’s evolving like all tech/social platforms do in that it’s becoming less user friendly and more complicated, as a result of it going minimalistic.

Also, this is just a hobby. I never made this as a tool for income. Had it grown to a certain size, I may have but that was never the end goal. I’ve been down that road with other blogs and once shit gets monetized, it monopolizes your life. That is, if you want to continually make money and hope to see it grow. And frankly, money in blogging sucks and is never enough.

I had three goals with this site when I started it in November of 2016. I’ve outlined them before but here they are again:

  1. Review every film ever featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  2. Review every film from every major franchise or film series that I’m interested in (and some I’m not).
  3. Draw attention to lesser-known films that deserve more recognition.

Well, I’ve finished number one, I’m nearly done with number two and there will always be interesting older movies that I’ll discover, as time goes on, which makes completing number three an impossibility.

To be honest, the timing of WordPress turning to shit couldn’t have been better. I was already thinking about winding this down or posting a lot less frequently. My life has been changing and I need more time dedicated to the things that will take me to another level financially and professionally. This does, to a fairly large degree, take away from that due to how much time I put into Talking Pulp.

Truthfully, I don’t want to completely kill it. I want to keep it around for the occasional post or update. When new films come out in franchises I love, I’d still like to review them.

However, my free time has been minimal and professionally, I’m in a creative vacuum, which also effects this site, which actually used to boost my creativity because it allowed me to shift from doing art to writing and thus, helped refill the creative well in my brain.

I also have some side hustles that take up more of my time but I can’t turn my back on them because they make money, damn good money.

The era of pumping out four-to-six posts per day is coming to an end. In the future, posts may be as far as a few weeks apart or even months. I guess it all depends on my schedule, my motivation and whether or not I want to use this platform when they fully force their changes on me.

I guess only time will tell but I’ll probably give a more final update when my cache of scheduled posts run out in three or four weeks.

Retro Relapse: The Potential Overkill of Outdoor Hockey

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

Note: This was written six years ago but I still stand by it. However, now that we live in a COVID world, this might all be moot.

With the announcement that my Chicago Blackhawks will play the Washington Capitals in next year’s NHL Winter Classic, I am fairly ecstatic. Why? Well, my team will be featured in the biggest and most awesome regular season game of the year. While the Blackhawks storm Washington on New Year’s Day, millions will watch in awe, as real men take to the ice and level each other while fighting the elements and trying to score goals in much harsher conditions than playing in some random indoor arena. If the weather is anything like it was during the last Winter Classic, we are in for something special.

And that’s the thing, the Winter Classic is special. It isn’t a championship game and it really doesn’t mean anything to the record books other than a regular season win or loss for the teams involved. However, it does mean bragging rights for whomever wins the most watched game of the year. And even though bragging rights isn’t anything as big as a championship, this game does have a championship feel to it. Nothing vital is on the line but the Winter Classic still feels like the Superbowl of hockey.

As amazing, as successful and as watched as this event is, the NHL’s commissioner, Gary Bettman has taken the ball and ran with it: expanding the idea to what has become known as the NHL Stadium Series.

This passed year, due to the Winter Classic and the Stadium Series, we had 6 outdoor NHL events. We had the Winter Classic itself between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Then there was the Blackhawks hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins at Solider Field. The New York Rangers had two games at Yankees Stadium, one against the New York Islanders and the other against the New Jersey Devils. The Vancouver Canucks hosted the Ottawa Senators in what is known as the Heritage Classic. There was also the most bizarre of any hockey game I have ever seen, which saw the Los Angeles Kings play the Anaheim Ducks at Dodgers Stadium. It was steamy, sunny and just a strange sight to behold.

Truth be told, six of these things is way too many. The last Stadium Series game played was Vancouver and Ottawa and by that point, I didn’t give a shit. I think I watched about five minutes of it and I’m a pretty hardcore hockey aficionado at this point. Granted, the Blackhawks and Penguins matchup from Soldier Field took place the night prior but even though that one featured my team, it felt less special, as I had already watched four of these games in the two months prior. Luckily, the Chicago game had insane weather and a dominant performance by my team because that made it more than worthwhile and an incredible experience.

The problem here, is that there is just too much of this Stadium Series shit. The NHL and Gary Bettman should put all their eggs in the basket that is the Winter Classic. That should be the focus and should feature great match ups. Call me an old school hockey whore but I think it should always feature at least one Original Six team. I’d say it should feature two Original Six teams but I wouldn’t want shitty markets like Nashville and Columbus crying that I’m being unfair.

The thing is, stadium hockey in the NHL has already reached overkill, at least for me. It probably isn’t that far behind with others. It is a unique experience but if you shove it down our throats six times a year, it isn’t unique anymore. If the Superbowl happened six times a year, most people wouldn’t care as much about the big one in February. And at least the Superbowl is contested for a championship. I’m not saying that the Winter Classic should be a championship game, that’s kind of hard considering the time of year and the 7 game series in the Stanley Cup Finals, but it should have that Superbowl feel and maintain it. Watering down the stadium concept by having a half dozen games in two months is going to kill it. Which sucks, because hockey doesn’t thrive in America and the Winter Classic could change that.

Additionally, college hockey has caught the bug and are now having a bunch of high profile outdoor games as well. Outdoor hockey hasn’t been uncommon at the college level but it is a different ballgame when you see collegiate teams battling it out on the ice in front of the Green Monster at Fenway Park. As a fan of collegiate hockey, this is great for their game. It is bringing interest to one of the most ignored collegiate sports in America. On the flip side, this probably cuts into the glorious pie that is the NHL’s Winter Classic because the more outdoor hockey we get, the less special it becomes.

Will the NHL get rid of all the stadium games other than the Winter Classic? I seriously doubt it, at least in the near future. These games bring big money, big TV deals and lots of advertising revenue. I get it, they are making hockey a big business but like the housing crisis a few years ago, this is a bubble that can burst.

As far as regular season hockey goes, I’m talking about the hundreds of indoor games, what does this do to them? If we have a half dozen outdoor rock stadium-like games, does this kill interest in the casual viewer watching the other 99 percent of hockey games because they are played in some lame indoor arena? I could see this stadium overkill having that effect and that would be really bad for the sport. At its essence, hockey could become ignored, as casual fans only tune in for the dog and pony show portions of the season.

The NHL, as I’ve already stated, should focus on the Winter Classic. Put everything into that one special game and grow it over time. It is an amazing concept and experience that will sell itself and grow year after year. In this case, striking while the iron is hot will be good for the short-term but dilute the effects over the long-term. I’d prefer the sport to grow and thrive, not explode and quickly fizzle out.

Talking Pulp Update (10/2/2020): Fuck Your Editor, WordPress

So, I guess the time has finally come where WordPress is forcing its fucking awful block editor on me. It’s absolute shit, looks like shit and is so minimalistic and wonky it reminds me of my last alcoholic ex-girlfriend.

Also, now it is saying I am “not allowed to edit this post.” Yet, I’m the admin and the only user on this site. Whatever. I guess if you are reading this, I was at least able to post it. But this interface is such a fucking mess that my eyes hurt just typing this rant.

What happened to style, to nuance, to beauty, to choices and customer satisfaction? Tech companies don’t give a shit. They’re business model is all about, “Look at our cool new shit!!! Don’t you love our cool new shit?!!!” *no answer* “Ah, well, whatever… you’ll get used to it. Oh, by the way, once you do, we’ll just pull the rug out from under you because… Look at our cool new shit!!!”

I’ve been a premium member across multiple blogs for at least a decade and a half. To go back to the classic style editor, I need to download and install a plugin. However, I’m only allowed to do that if I upgrade to a business account. Well, this isn’t a fucking business and I’m already paying a lot for the type of account I have.

Furthermore, the classic editor, even as a plugin, will no longer be supported by the end of 2021. So I’m not going to pay hundreds for a temporary fix when WordPress could just allow us the option we’ve always had of using the classic editor.

But hey, I was seriously considering slowing down with Talking Pulp because I’ve now achieved two of the three major goals I had for it and the third goal isn’t really one I can complete.

If anything, I guess this horseshit helped make my decision easier. While I do have content scheduled out till almost the end of October, that might be it for me. Unless, there is some satisfactory resolution to these issues.

However, if I’m having difficulty just posting this, let alone saving drafts as I type, what’s the fucking point?

I’ve been a loyal WordPress user since the mid-’00s, using it for personal blogs, business websites and many other side projects and side hustles. But I guess in the end, it’s the snot-nosed, Silicon Valley dweebs that will shape the world in their lame, sterile, unimaginative image.

Retro Relapse: That NFL In London Project

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

Today was another day where we got to watch an NFL game in London. Sorry, I am just not impressed.

Look at that photo there (*now replaced by an unrelated GIF). That is a photo taken of the crowd at today’s game. Today’s London game was between the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons. You wouldn’t necessarily know that though by looking at this picture as almost every person is wearing gear from a different team.

I’m not criticizing the Londoners per se but this just feels like a group of people that went out and bought a ticket to see this strange sideshow and out of respect and wanting to embrace the experience, they ran down to the closest sports store that just happened to sell NFL shit and they bought whatever jersey was available in their size. Kind of like when I see some random American person going to watch a soccer match in a bar for the first time in America, only to stop off and buy any random British football a.k.a. soccer shirt that they can find.

The American sports media has a tendency to piss me off. This is really no different, as the idiots in my idiot box love pimping out this NFL in the UK idea. I mean if you watch a game, they spend more time selling the idea of the UK than actually calling the action in the damned game. And why? Well, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made it no secret that he wants an NFL team in London. This project is an experiment leading to that eventual goal.

I think that goal is a pretty asinine one. As far as I can tell, the British people really don’t give two shits about the National Football League. In fact, most of the ones I have ever met or talked to, hate the fact that Americans call their big barbaric sport “football” and refer to true football as that weird word “soccer”. To every sports-loving Briton that I have met, they love their football. Again, their football. Sure, some may casually watch our football but you aren’t going to get the passion you see at a Chelsea game embody the fans at a Jaguars game.

I use the Jaguars as an example because that is the team that has been most rumored to be the one to eventually relocate to England. Yes, what a gift that Roger Goodell wants to bestow upon the United Kingdom by giving them the worst team in the National Football League! How mighty generous of you, sir!

And while this NFL brand building in the UK is being pushed down the British people’s throats, as well as ours, the league can’t sell them on how awesome the product is if they keep sending them teams like the Jaguars, the Dolphins, the Raiders and the Falcons. At least the Lions and the Cowboys have had good seasons thus far. If you want to sell the game to the Brits though, send them really good match ups. Send them the Broncos and the Seahawks. Hell, just send them a real rivalry game – not just some random match up.

This year they played three games in London. Next season they are expanding it to five. This is ludicrous.

To start, it isn’t fair to the teams that participate. Now, I know that many teams and athletes are game for the adventure and the chance to play in London because it is a new and unique experience but what happens when it is no longer new and unique. Honestly, like the overabundance of outdoor stadium hockey, the novelty will wear off.

And why is it not fair to the participating teams? While like today’s game, the Atlanta Falcons, even though they are on the road in London, were considered the host team and thus, lost one of their eight home games. While the game counts as a home game, they are really playing seven at home and nine on the road, giving them a disadvantage to the other teams in the league. To Detroit, it is just another road game, as had they played in Atlanta, they still would have been on the road and they still get the even eight at home, eight on the road schedule. To a team like Atlanta, who are struggling so far this season, this is a big wrench in the machine that could prevent them from squeaking into the playoffs if they are able to pull a good run together to end their season.

Both teams are also effected by the travel. London is across the ocean. While you could look at an east coast-based team and compare it to a New York team flying to California for a game, it is much further than that to any team not located on America’s eastern shoreline. How long would it take the Seattle Seahawks to get there and once they got there, how tired and jet-lagged would they be?

Now imagine putting a team in London permanently. How tired would the London-based team be after having to travel back and forth to the United States every other week for eight road games over the course of the season? How fair would that be to teams on the west coast of the U.S.? There are several reasons why no professional sports leagues have expanded worldwide. This is probably the biggest of them.

With a schedule like the London team would have to have, who the hell would want to play there? Sure, if a player gets drafted, he doesn’t have much choice but why would he ever re-sign? How would they build a franchise and develop franchise players? Maybe the press should really ask the players about their thoughts on this but ultimately, I can’t see anyone wanting to voluntarily sign-up for this task.

Now imagine if there is a team to pop-up in Hawaii or further out than the west coast. As a team, you’d have to practically fly half way around the world and back to play a hard-hitting game just to rush back home for the next one.

I mean, the NFL could send the London team to America for three or four games in a block and then send them home for three or four, to lessen travel but the point is, they would still be on the road, far from home and not near their own practice facilities. Plus a schedule with big chunks of games at home and away, also isn’t really fair to a London team.

Remember NFL Europe? That shit crashed and burned and the league held on to it for way too long. No one in Europe really supported it and no one cared. And that is the thing. If the United Kingdom really wanted an NFL team, then let’s talk about it. I just don’t see anyone in the UK that really cares, at least not on the level of justifying a team to move there.

Now you could counter and say that the games in London attract more fans than any other American team that isn’t Dallas. While that fact is true, no American stadium other than Dallas is as big as London’s Wembley Stadium. It has the advantage of having more seats. Secondly, games are much rarer there but now that it is expanding to more games per season, it won’t be as unique of an experience as it has been to the British. Thirdly, despite the huge crowds for just one-to-three games per year, the London-based sports press never gives it more than a small blurb in their sports section. Reason being? Because it doesn’t care about the sport en masse. Don’t let the American press and the commentators selling you on the idea fool you. In fact, SB Nation’s Kristi Dosh had a great article about this last season (see here).

You know what they care about in London? They care about football. The kind of football where helmets and pads aren’t required and they aren’t subjected to a Taco Bell or a Bud Light Lime advert every twelve seconds.

Retro Relapse: The MLB to 7 Innings Idea

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

Recently, an unnamed high-ranking baseball executive discussed trimming MLB games down to 7 innings (story here). Homeboy is probably unnamed because he doesn’t want millions of boots up his idiotic ass.

It seems that this executive feels that limiting games to 7 innings would enhance the sport. He pointed out that MLB’s audience is aging and that younger people want shit faster and faster.

Well, fuck that argument. The executive is assuming that baseball is boring and slow. It is a common argument usually broadcasted by baseball naysayers because they have the attention span of mallards in heat. The fact of the matter is, there are other ways to speed up the game, as opposed to shaving off two innings. Additionally, if kids today don’t care about baseball because the pace is a bit more relaxed than basketball or football, it just means that their parents failed them. These kids should have had certain things instilled in them like the fact that baseball is the greatest thing America has ever produced.

He also talks about how teams are having a hard time finding good pitching and that pitchers are getting injured more frequently. Okay, well how is a 9 inning game to blame? Major League Baseball has always consisted of games that went 9 innings (or more in the case of a tie after 9). The problem here is obviously something else other than the game being 9 innings. That’s like saying, more car accidents are occurring so it must be this 70 MPH speed limit, even though it has always been a 70 MPH speed limit. Yeah, ignore all other factors and single out the one thing that has always been a constant. Additionally, haven’t they already altered the game, on numerous occasions, to benefit the hitters? So bad pitching means better batting. I guess logic and consistency are in short supply.

With two less innings, games would finish at around two and a half hours as opposed to three hours. This executive is high up on that idea. Personally, I think this guy is stupid as hell. Maybe I’m a true baseball purist because I want three hour baseball! Hell, I get really fucking excited when games go to extra innings. Granted, 17 innings are probably way too many but extra baseball means more bang for your buck! Why would you want less? And why even watch baseball at all if you want short ass games? Just watch highlights like a fucking tool.

However, apart from all of that, what would this do to the history of the game? Every record from this day forward would have an asterisk because to compare records over 7 innings against records over 9 innings just won’t work. It’s as if you would have to close the book on baseball history and start the record books over from scratch.

For instance, it’d be much easier for pitchers to pitch no hitters, as there are less innings. It’d be easier for batters to maintain higher batting averages, as they’d be taking less at bats. This would also effect on-base percentages. Additionally, it’d lower the amounts of strikeouts a pitcher could get. It’d also lower the amount of homeruns a player could get over the season considering games are now 7 innings instead of 9, which for a whole season of 162 games adds up to 1,134 innings instead of the current 1,458. The same issue arises for stolen bases, hits, RBIs and everything else you could think of, really. Furthermore, it’d be damn near impossible for anyone to ever beat Barry Bonds homerun record of 762. Same goes for all-time records in hits, strikeouts, stolen bases, RBIs, innings pitched and so on. This is why we couldn’t compare new stats and records to old stats and records.

Being a traditionalist for the most traditional sport, the thought of this 7 inning idea is beyond baffling. Truthfully, this idea is fucking madness. Fortunately, this most likely will never happen. It is a horrible proposal but that doesn’t mean that this idiot exec couldn’t convince other idiot execs and thus, gain some traction with this insane weirdness. Still, I doubt enough people would be this crazy but at the same time, enough people had to think that the DH rule was a good idea.

Retro Relapse: The Death of Chinese Food

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

Chinese food is dying a slow and horrible death.

While it is probably still okay in bigger cities, real Chinese restaurants have been run out of most towns by massive buffets and the overabundance of Chinese take-out cubbyholes.

Sure, the Chinese cuisine in China still exists and always will but I am specifically talking about American Chinese food or New York style or whatever you want to officially label it.

If you don’t know, we don’t make the same stuff as China. America’s Chinese food is a Western bastardization of real Chinese cuisine but it fits our sweet-obsessed palates better and we probably wouldn’t be super keen on the authentic food. Besides, from what I hear from Westerners that have gone over there, it really isn’t something to write home about.

This shit is pretty tragic though.

When I was a kid, I had a few different Chinese restaurants near my home to choose from. They were nice sit-down establishments that served high quality cuisine. You got hot tea, those little fried strips of wonton, that spicy as hell hot mustard, some nice egg rolls, fried rice that was actually fried rice and a nice big meal of some crispy fried chicken bits covered in a stellar sauce – usually sweet with a touch of spice. Yes, there are several types of entrees but they are all just slight variations of a handful of dishes.

Somewhere along the line, corners started to be cut, ingredient quality went down the shitter and we were bombarded with Chinese buffets almost everywhere. Many were good in the beginning. Who could resist the allure of all-you-can-eat Chinese food? Plus you just walk up and make your own plate. No looking over menus, no ordering, no special requests, no waiting! Just straight up instantaneous Chinese food orgy for a few bucks! It was like getting a hand job while smoking a joint under the bleachers before fourth period algebra. To a Chinese cuisine connoisseur, such as my thirteen year-old self, we were able to try a little bit of everything, not break the bank and leave in an MSG-laced coma only to be hungry for more in two hours.

As time continued to pass, the quality kept dropping. In a few short years, we were all eating shit but we kept doing it. Truth is, many people still fall victim to the phantom pull of the Chinese buffet. Hell, it still grabs me sometimes when I’m hungry, lazy and just need a spontaneous romp through crappy food, overeating and hours worth of dehydration and self-hatred.

I convince myself it is good because I am nostalgic for what Chinese food used to be. It isn’t good and I’m an asshole lying to myself. The problem is, I have a need and that need can’t be fulfilled. So a craving that should be squashed in one meal becomes a craving that hasn’t been quenched in years. I really love Chinese food. Damn it, writing this fucking article is making me hungry.

Anyway, as these Chinese buffets took over American culture like some sort of edible Beanie Babies, they still felt the need to produce food cheaper and faster. As some Americans grew exhausted of the buffet experience, these Chinese take-out hole-in-the-wall joints started popping up in every suburban and rural strip mall. Now you could walk in and walk out in less than five minutes with a $6 dinner combo or a $4 lunch combo. And now, these places are everywhere.

The Chinese cubbyhole take-out takeover compounded with the buffets has pretty much changed the American Chinese food industry’s business model so much that the really good quality mom and pop restaurants got ran out of town. Where I live, the best of these restaurants shutdown a few years ago and my relationship with Chinese food has never been the same. It has dissolved into a horrible marriage full of drinking, heavy drugs, spousal abuse and absolutely no sex – the kids moved in with grandma.

Recently a restaurant that appeared to be a legit high quality Chinese joint opened near my house. I went in, I was disappointed. While it was better than a buffet or a cubbyhole, it was still pretty shitty and just a small step above its cheaper counterparts. I pretty much paid double the price for still crappy Chinese cuisine.

There is still one place that is okay in my town but it only exists because it is a “fusion” of all Asian styles and American as well. And that’s the thing, there is still a big market for Asian food but people now want sushi, hibachi, Thai and Vietnamese. The average American probably thinks all this shit is under the same umbrella but it isn’t. Traditional American Chinese food has become the bastard child of these multi-Asian eateries.

Then there is PF Chang’s but they mix up their cultural selections too and although I really like their Mongolian beef, Mongolia isn’t China and they are essentially the Asian Olive Garden. I hate Olive Garden, minus the bread sticks and high caloric salad – high caloric because I eat a shit ton.

I guess I’m going to just have to book a flight to New York or San Francisco. I’m certainly not going to stop this hunger outside of a major city with a large Chinese population.

Well, off to Panda Express at the mall, because it is now the best Chinese food in town.

Retro Relapse: The DH Rule Is for Pussies

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

You read the title right.

Yes, the designated hitter rule is for pussies. Maybe I am biased as my team, the Chicago Cubs, is in the National League and maybe I am cool with my pitchers hitting, as they have no problem knocking home runs and at the very least, getting base hits and RBIs. Travis Wood, one of our starting pitchers currently has a batting average of .240 and in 25 at-bats has 2 home runs and 8 RBIs. I’ll take it!

Regardless of Travis Wood’s success in the batter’s box, I have always felt this way about the DH rule.

Over there in the American League, teams are too scared to have their pitchers bat because typically, pitchers are shitty batters. That’s a bullshit cop out! Do the pitchers in the AL make half the money since they only play half the time? No, they get paid full top dollar while on the flipside their team has to waste a roster spot on a player who sucks defensively but justifies having his job because he can hit. The AL is where veteran sluggers go to die. That may be harsh but it’s true.

There are several players in the American League that are making a career out of being good in the DH role. The biggest one right now is the Boston Red Sox’s Tito Ortiz a.k.a. Big Papi. Don’t get me wrong, I love that guy and he is a great presence not just on the field and in the dugout but also as an ambassador of the sport. However, he wouldn’t have a career anymore if he was in the National League. Why? Because he isn’t a very effective defensive player on the field. At one point he was better than decent but old age has caught up to Big Papi. Luckily for him, he can still swing like a beast and knock home runs in the clutch.

Yes, in a clutch situation, a very good hitting DH is exciting. Ortiz knocking balls out of the park during the playoffs and World Series last year was a pretty awesome display of his hitting prowess. But should a one trick pony be put on a pedestal and celebrated at the most elite level of the greatest sport in the world? I’m sorry but I think that a player in Major League Baseball should be great on both sides of the field. The DH rule keeps guys around longer than they should be.

Does this mean that I think pitchers should be criticized for not being able to hit just as much as I am criticizing designated hitters for not being able to play effectively in position roles? Yes and no. While I think that pitchers should strive to be better hitters and be as effective as possible in the batter’s box, I also realize that pitching is their priority and having an ace on the mound and a stud in the bullpen is more important than having a better-than-average guy reach first base. But yes, pitchers should make a serious effort at becoming better batters when time allows for it and they shouldn’t go up to bat and not take it seriously. The one thing I love about the Cubs pitchers is that they can produce and there has been more than one occasion where a pitcher at bat has been the offensive catalyst that produced a Cubs win.

Additionally, what’s more exciting? A DH getting hits like they’re routine or a pitcher, expected to flounder, hitting a two run homer for the lead late in a game? I’m going with the latter.

The DH is a bitch rule. It is like a fucking cheat code. It reminds me of when I used to play my cousin in Triple Play ’99 on Playstation 1, back in the day, and I used to put in the home run cheat code allowing myself to bunt homers – just to be a dick. He hated it and I don’t blame him. But how he felt is how I feel when an American League team forgoes a hitting strategy when coming to the lowest point in their batting lineup because they can just pull out their big gun.

I like the challenge and the competition and the DH rule eliminates some of the challenge and strategic planning. Sure, one can argue that when the NL plays the AL, it is an even playing field because if the AL team is at home, the NL team can use a DH but that misses the point. You see, the National League didn’t need a designated hitter until it had to play the American League. The NL shouldn’t have to lower itself but if you’re forced to play tee-ball teams, you have to play as a tee-ball team.

Retro Relapse: 25 MORE Things Every Manly Man Should Own

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2016.

I did a previous installment of this list here.

But to paraphrase (or just cut & paste from the previous installment):

Why should a man own these things? Well, because they make you feel more manly and if you use these items, no one can deny your true manly essence. If you don’t have some of these things, befriend a man that does and share with him until you acquire your own.

So here we go!

1. A sleeping bag made out of a taxidermied great white shark.

2. A big forge for blacksmithing war-ready frigates.

3. A parang because it’s way cooler than a standard machete.

4. An industrial deli meat slicer.

5. Boxing gloves so you don’t damage your fists while taking care of the moose ruining your lawn.

6. A beer fridge the size of Fort Knox.

7. Jet fuel that you use as beard oil.

8. A pair of nunchucks fashioned from grizzly bones and mustang locks.

9. A guitar or another sweet instrument to woo the ladies into nakedness.

10. A big log to carry around to tone your muscles.

11. A pack of wolves who are your eyes, ears and enforcers around your property.

12. A legit gun holster with a six shooter.

13. An aquarium full of swordfish.

14. A boulder to throw. Men throw boulders.

15. An old hockey puck infused with Terry Sawchuk’s teeth and bones.

16. A flashbang grenade. They’re fun at parties.

17. MREs because sometimes the womenfolk make soups and salads.

18. A tank because Hummers are for sissies and quidditch moms.

19. A hippopotamus to use as a river raft.

20. A mean set of throwing knives because guns are noisy.

21. A great library. So when people come over, you can proudly and robustly proclaim, “This is my great library!”

22. An army of chickens that lay 200 grams of protein at your door each morning.

23. A pet anaconda used for resistance training.

24. A humidor that can hold several boxes of cigars and a party sub.

25. A 96 oz. porterhouse should always be on-hand.

Retro Relapse: 25 Things Guys Do That Make Them Pussies

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

*This is sort of a sequel to the post I did called 25 Things Manly Men Should Do On a Daily Basis. That post was well-received, so I figured that I should follow-up with the other side of the spectrum.

There are a lot of guys out there. In fact, like fifty percent of the population is guys. I’m not going to check the math on that because math is a waste of time and I’d rather allot more time to cooking bacon-wrapped bacon and getting hammered on brewery tours after chopping enough wood to build a town with a moderately sized zoo to house my Kodiak bear army.

Most men do things that make them pussies. I’ve slipped up once or twice in my life, as I am not perfect. Part of being a man is recognizing your faults, conquering them and never doing them again.

It is also a man’s duty to point out to other men when they are not living up to the essence of their testosterone-fueled birthright.

With that, I am going to list twenty-five things that make guys look like pussies and thus, not like men.

1. They would rather look like Jared Leto than a lumberjack with a dead moose over their shoulder.

2. They are a vegetarian or worse yet, a vegan.

3. They drive a Prius or another car manufacturer’s equivalent. A Smart car is a death sentence.

4. Whenever handed a beer by another man, it must be drank. Even if it is a bad beer. Unless of course you have a better beer on hand to share, in an effort to educate your friend’s palate. You should always have a good beer on hand: always.

5. They can’t pitch a tent: an actual tent. There are pills to help with boners and no man should shame another man who suffers from erectile dysfunction.

6. They fold their thumb under their fingers when making a fist.

7. When given the choice of bacon, they say “no”.

8. They watched Twilight with their significant other and then sat through one of the sequels as well.

9. They wear skinny jeans.

10. They use social media as a call for help or pity party or worse yet, they post song lyrics to convey their emotions.

11. They’ve actually voted on an American Idol contestant.

12. They eat their steak (or any meat, really) well-done or worse yet, with ketchup.

13. They refer to Jack Daniels as “bourbon”.

14. They don’t finish a beer. If you order it or it is given to you and you start drinking it, you must finish it.

15. They use the word “cute” to describe anything other than a female.

16. They consider Lil Wayne to be music.

17. They knock someone for drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon but they are holding either a Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Light, Mic Ultra or anything else in this category.

18. They sneer at cigars or pipes but fill their lungs with cigarette smoke or worse yet, menthols.

19. They carry purses or worse yet, they actually call them “man bags”.

20. They offer you a scotch, in attempt to appear manly, and they pull out a bottle of Cutty Sark or Dewar’s.

21. They use umbrellas on themselves.

22. They are too afraid of bugs to kill them or catch and release them.

23. They own a Fall Out Boy record or worse yet, they paid for it.

24. They have more beauty/hygiene products than deodorant, soap and beard oil.

25. They are offended by this post or they are hurt and offended by words in general. Grow up, man up, nut up and develop a sense of humor that doesn’t need to be approved by the girl who keeps you in the “friend zone”.