The Grant Rant: The Beanball Problem

Beanballs are a black-eye on baseball. They’re just about the most cowardly and dangerous act that can be perpetrated in professional sports. They’re accepted in baseball culture as a way to retaliate; 1) Because there’s far less opportunity for physical contact in baseball than in football, basketball or hockey and 2) Because they inflict maximum damage and are supposed to be a way for the players to ‘self-police’ the game.

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The Grant Rant: Fixing September Roster Expansion

For baseball fans, September is an exciting part of the season. If you’re lucky enough to support a team making a push in a close race, every game is a nail biting, stomach churning affair, and every decision is dissected with the weighted importance of a mad scientist attempting to create cold fusion. If your team is out of it, there’s always the schadenfreude of being the spoiler against a division rival, and/or the chance to see next years prospects get their first extended taste of big league action. It’s a fun time of year, all around. Unless you’re a Padres fan. But then, you still get to live in San Diego, so cheer up, jerk!

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No Place Like Home: Donald Glover and His “Atlanta”

For anyone who became a fan on the strength of his stand-up, acting, or first musical breakthrough, 2011’s compelling (if uneven) Camp, Glover’s shifts in attitude and ambition were seeming a thorny road to follow him down. Yet any concern trolling anyone might have engaged in following Glover’s marked shift towards the weird is obliterated by the triumphant debut of that show he left Community to make: Atlanta.

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TIFF 16: A Final Touch of the Old Magic

As always, the Toronto International Film Festival ends abruptly. One minute you’re racing from one theatre to the next, trying to squeeze in as many screenings as you can, and the next moment, just like that… it’s over. Before we collectively hibernate for the next 365 days (or something), let’s sit back and reflect on our time at TIFF. Here are five more reviews of films from the festival’s final three days.

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TIFF 16: Politics, Violence and a Bit of Love

The rhythms of TIFF by Friday, and the final weekend, are different. Most of the “stars” are gone, King Street is open, and while the films are still being shown day and night, the buzz has quieted down. There are still special presentations and galas, but much of the media has departed and most “normal” people are ready to get back to their everyday lives. But here are more reviews anyway.

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The Grant Rant: What’s Next for the Raptors?

This is undoubtedly a win for a Toronto team that has enjoyed its greatest successes over the past three seasons. The core of a Conference Finals team is intact, a homegrown All-Star in DeMar DeRozan has just re-signed long term, and fans are looking forward to the continued development of burgeoning big man Jonas Valanciunas, who turned 24 in the midst of last years playoff run. It’s not just a good time to be a Raptors fan, but the best time ever. Still though, a little voice wonders: ‘What’s next?’

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Saturday Morning Institution: Remembering “Batman: The Animated Series”

With the nature of TV nowadays, driven by an increasing number of streaming and on-demand services, the institution of the Saturday morning cartoon feels like something of a relic. Regardless of the era though, it does feel like something hard-coded into childhood memory; every kid has a story. After five days of getting up early for school, Saturday morning — a time when adults could not be bothered — was a special time. The house often quiet, the demands of the day (such as they were) far away. Go figure the best TV shows around made sure to air in those golden hours.

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