The Let's Play Archive

The Closer: Game of the Year Edition

by TheMcD

Part 13: Update XI - Fuck The Cultural Context!

Update XI - Fuck The Cultural Context!

♪ BGM: Zizek's Theme

So, before we begin this update proper, we have some unfinished business. In the interest of fully showing off this game, it has come to my attention that I have not given you all the possibilities for the philosophizing Zizek uses in battle. So here is the remaining stuff from the two battles we've had so far.


Zizek vs. The Concept Of Irony

Kantian Critiques:

Perhaps if we consider that moral behavior is rational behavior, we can understand the fundemental flaws of irony. Truly, it must be both immoral and irrational to appreciate in any fashion the failure of the universe to organize itself in a proper manner.

Order is necessary - Order is an illusion

Celebrating incongruous results from the entropic machine we call reality only encourages entropy.


Clearly there is such a thing as wrong, and as such there must be such a thing as morally right. But at times the two come into conflict, and what appears to be right is proven as wrong.

There is no right or wrong - There is irony

This is the true meaning of irony!


Marxist Critiques:

Irony takes multiple forms, and can be used to either subvert or bolsterthe ruling class. Irony is both of the following: The poor man stealing from the rich man, such as the Robin Hood of legend. For it is typically the rich who steal from the poor. But irony is also the cynical--or kynical--rejection of this subversion as legend rather than an ideal to aspire to.

Reject Irony - Embrace Irony

Irony is a tool to be used, like a hammer which can be brought to build the factories of the people or crush their legs before they rise in opposition.


We think we are smart, but we are not nearly as clever as the gilded gears of Capital. We are led to believe that we live in a post-ideological society, and that the conflicts of the past have been resolved.

And that is irony! - Go deeper...

The true irony is that obeying the law is more of a crime than disobeying it. Such a statement can be both irony and truth.

Zizek vs. Jimmy Dugan

Kantian Critiques:

The strange thing about this world is that I am not even sure that it truly exists. I brought it into existence with Ontology, but is it not true that all worlds have been brought into existence by perception?
I'm definitely real!

Everything is real - Nothing is real

Indeed... For, in fact, everything is real. Reality is only bounded by perception, and thus there is no utility in attempting to quantify anything beyond perception.


There are two kinds of knowledge: Sensual and logical. But which kind of knowledge can serve to explain your existence?

Sensual - Logical

It must be sensual knowledge. Your sudden emergence as a being of experience and cognition is entirely unpredictable. If I could not see you... If I could not hear your words, there would be no doubt that you did not exist...because you cannot exist. And yet you do exist.


Marxist Critiques:

Have you ever considered that, perhaps, you are a mere tool of Capitalism?
Why do you capitalize "Capitalism"?

Because I speak of a self-defined concept - Because I'm talking about the game

Because I speak of a self-defined concept of Capitalism. It is the unfortunate truth that any word-such as the world "capitalism"-can be defined to mean any number of things. There are those who mistakenly define "capitalism" with the concept that others would use to describe "freedom". I would say that this definition is wrong but, by defintion, no defintion can be wrong... it can only be unpopular.
My head hurts.


And now, on with our regular broadcast.

♪ BGM: Silence ♫

Time to find out what this Twitter thing is all about.

Looks like some people are hanging around Twitter HQ for some reason or another. Let's have a chat.

That is indeed very convenient. Narratively convenient, mostly.

I suppose there are worse things to do when you can't sleep. Now, let's head inside.

♪ BGM: Nolkrinite - Headquarters

Sir, we have very important business here. You might recognize me. My name is Mike Mussina. The pitching coach for the New York--
I don't care who you are. You have to leave. It's past midnight.
If this building is closed, why was the door unlocked?
That was a mistake and I would appreciate it if--
Don't you care that I am a well-known Major League pitcher? And I haven't even introduced you to my companion.
You might say that I am a man of mystery, but that would require you to believe that anything is truly capable of being known.
I don't care who you are! You need to leave!

It seems we have to reconsider our plan.
Calling this "a plan" was awfully generous to begin with.
I could offer to sign a few baseballs.
I do not believe this man to be impressed by celebrity, which means that he should be king of this country or rotting in its gulags, and so on.
Maybe this was all a mistake. If we can't get upstairs, why are we even here?
Are you seriously giving up already?
I thought you hated this plan. Or, you know, lack thereof.
Maybe, but I also hate giving up. The elevator is right there, behind the desk. All we have to do is distract him, then run into the elevator.
I highly doubt that he is the only security at this incredibly wealthy company.
We'll deal with that when we get there.
Now you're onboard with the plan!

Let's talk to this guy again and see what happens.

Here, let me show you a magic trick.
Uh, well, okay I guess...
Look at everything around you? Do you see this? Do you believe it is real? Abracadabra! Now you are a fraud.
Wait, what?
Your belief is a lie you tell yourself, to coerce yourself into waking up each day.
Oh god...
There is no god here.
Now! He is questioning his existence! To the elevator!

Success! But before we go there...

Well, we just so happen to have one!

Oh wow! You're so nice! Here, have this dirty Mountain Dew.

Now, on to the elevator and the next floor.

I do not need another breaking and entering conviction on my record, what with all the pre—concieved notions I have broken and minds I have entered.
Stay out of the line of sight of these employees and we might just get away with this.
Why do we have to get to those stairs? Why didn't we take the elevator all the way up?
They can't see you if they are looking in another direction, so proceed accordingly.
You didn't answer my question.
I don't think I would have an answer that would satisfy you. We just have to sneak past these guards. Can you do that?
Sure, fine, I can do that.

RPG Maker stealth wooooo. So these guards walk in predetermined patterns, and if you cross their line of sight, you get caught and thrown back to the previous floor.

Did you know I once had to sneak into the Yankees locker room to plant a listening device in Alex Rodriguez's suit jacket? Compared to that, this is a piece of cake.
Why were the Yankees spying on their own player?
There are many reasons one might want to expand on one's observations of the universe. Those in power seek control of those around them, fearing that if they were to lose control then life would go on as normal without them... thus proving that they are utterly worthless. The New York Yankees are no different.
Nah, Derek Jeter just wanted to make sure Rodriguez wasn't getting more groupies than him.
Not much has changed from the simulated 1940s, has it?
The world has become smaller, and yet in doing so has become much bigger.
Guys, we're doing an awful lot of talking for three people trying to sneak around.
She is right. For once, silence is the answer.

So, another floor of sneaking. Nothing all that special, except for one thing.

This will come in handy later. I mean, I assume it will, else why would it be here?

Wait! Don't move! Keep absolutely still. Her vision is based on movement.
That... I don't even know how to respond to that.
It was a quote from the 1993 film "Jurassic Park" so it is not surprising that you are unable to parse the cultural context.
Fuck the cultural context! Whether you are using movie quotes or not, you're trying to tell me that these guards only see movement?
Some would tell you that Jurassic Park is an important film that you should make haste to experience as you acclimate yourself to this time. However, it is my position that there is far more insight to be gleaned from the second sequel, Jurassic Park 3. The cultural detritus of Hollywood becomes truly fascinating when it abandons all pretension to art and embraces the pretension of spectacle.
That's not my problem with what Moose said!
You have been hounding me every step of the way through this plan.

Do I even have to say anything?

Fuck that! You think I'd just quit now, because you've told me yet another ridiculous story? I'll put up with you telling me that we can sneak into a giant company, or that certain people can only perceive movement. But you won't question my motivation! Let's go!

We need to do a little loop-around here to get to the elevator, but again, nothing that causes any problems.

But all we have to do is wait until she turns away, right?
That should be the case.


I do not believe that she is turning away.
Ah, so she has thwarted us by remaining perfectly still. Clever girl...
Just so you know, Kami, that is also a reference to the 1993 film Jurassic Park.
We have to get past her to reach the control panel.
I believe that one of us is going to have to fight her.
Really? You go straight to a violent solution?
When in America, do as the Americans do.

Who will fight the Twitter security guard?

So, we could have a fight here, but there is an alternate solution we managed to get because we were dilligent while sneaking.

Fuck that! We can use these tech magazines we found to distract her.
That's a great idea, Kami. These types can't resist reading about new paradigms in tech.

Kami throws the tech magazines to the side of the elevator!

Okay, now we should be able to use the panel in the back.
Oh! I've been wanting to read about the new streaming protocols!

Looks like she won't be a problem anymore. Now, what could have been instead? I'm going to show the dialogue from the three options because I really like the dialogue here. All of these begin with us moving in the guard's line of sight so she spots us.

Hey! I saw you move! you need to get out of here!

From there, it splits.

What Could Have Been posted:

Moose vs. Twitter Security:

I know this isn't fair, but we need to get past you.

Then we get a normal baseball battle. After we win that...

What the hell? Did you just throw a bunch of baseballs at me?
Yes. And you didn't hit any of them. Can we use the elevator now?
Okay, fine! Go ahead! Just stop throwing baseballs at me.

What Could Have Been posted:

Kami vs. Twitter Security:

Sorry, but we need to get past you. We need to get him trimming on social media.
Don't you mean "trending on social media"?

And then we have a sabermagics battle.

Win Hexpectancy:

One out, bottom of the third inning. There's a runner on first base and the best hitter on the opposing team strides to the plate. The next guy in the lineup isn't as good as the one at the plate, and he's been struggling over the last week.

Pitch to the batter - Walk the batter

Correct! Walking the batter would put the runner on second base. This early in the game, there's never a good reason to force a run into scoring position.

TheMcD's Baseball Stuff posted:

A runner in scoring position (or RISP for short) is a baserunner that is either on second or third base. The distinction between a RISP and a runner on first is that a runner on first usually needs a double at least by the batter to score, whereas a RISP usually scores on a single from the batter.

To note, this does not apply if you are, say, Billy Hamilton, who scores from first on a single. And scores from second on a sacrifice fly. And scores from first on a pickoff move. Some guys are just fast as fuck.


Your GM has signed the best hitter in the league. He gets on base and hits for a ton of power. Where should he bat in the lineup?

Second - Fourth - It doesn't matter that much

Excellent choice! While lineup construction is not terribly important, the second spot is marginally the best choice.

TheMcD's Baseball Stuff posted:

Batting order construction is one of the weirdest things in baseball. Everybody has some opinion on it, and there's not a lot of numbers to back up that any sort of construction has a major effect on winning from what I can tell. The best I've heard about is a theory called Bragan's Brainstorm, after MLB manager Bobby Bragan. He would place his best hitter in the leadoff spot and the rest of the team in descending batting average order. Note that this was in '56, so batting average was still important. If you wanted to do the Brainstorm today, you'd do it with OBP or OPS.

Anyway, back in 1966, calculations came up with the result that Bragan's idea, if used over the entire season, would get you about one or two wins more. Still, it didn't establish itself. The commonly perceived "meta" of lineup order goes as follows, to give a quick overview:

#1: "Leadoff". Goes fast, gets on base a lot. Supposed to get into scoring position quickly.
#2: Good contact hitter. Supposed to move #1 into scoring position or score him.
#3: The best all-around hitter on the team. Supposed to score #1 or #2, and get on base for #4.
#4: "Cleanup". Best power hitter on the team. Supposed to mash dingers and score #1, #2 or #3.
#5: Also a strong power hitter. Supposed to "protect" #4 - make it harder for the opposing pitcher to just intentionally walk #4 by having a strong hitter coming up right afterwards.
#6: Basically #5, but lesser so.
#7: Whatever's left.
#8: Whatever's left.
#9: If there is no DH, the pitcher usually bats here. If there is a DH, there is commonly a "second leadoff", a lesser version of the leadoff hitter that's supposed to set things up for when #1 comes back around.

Kami, as you can tell, disagrees with this, and indeed, modern sabermetrics have a different opinion of the "correct" lineup order (though I'll be damned if I know what that opinion is).


Replacement Prayer:

Our equations are the following:

2x + 6 = 4x + -2, solve for X. Choices are 2, 4 and 0. Correct answer is __4___.

3 + 5x = - x - 15, solve for X. Choices are -3, 3 and 1. Correct answer is __-3__.


And after the battle...

We can go past and use the elevator now, right?
Yes, please, just quit talking about math to me.

What Could Have Been posted:

Zizek vs. Twitter Security:

You "saw" me? None of us can truly be seen. Even in the throes of passion, we hide our grief.
What are you talking about? Wait... Why am I talking to you? You are an intruder!
An intruder? My god, what presumption do you have to believe that a door is anything but a piece of metal or wood. Nonetheless, we need to use this elevator, so I suppose I will engage in your little game of property.

And then we have a philosophy battle.

Kantian Critiques:

I understand that you believe you are doing your duty by guarding this elevator. You have been charged with a responsibility, through your employment, to prevent me from passing. But consider, what if I am compelled by a similar duty to use this elevator? Does that not present a contradiction?

Yes, there is a contradiction - No, there is no contradiction

Indeed! So it would seem that your need to protect this elevator is not a categorical imperative.


What is the true purpose of the elevator? Is it the destination--the floor the rider seeks? Or is the true purpose of the elevator the journey itself? A more comfortable method of ascension than, say, the stairs. Perhaps rather than the function, we should examine the form of the elevator.

Of course! - No!

Never! I reject that idea with sincere and wholehearted disgust! The purpose and the function are clearly entwined!


The very idea of going "up" or "down" in an elevator seems to carry with it a certain value judgment. Our objective should be to rise up rather than lie down, but the elevator decides which we must do based on our physical destination. Perhaps this is a commentary on how our goals color our objective path in wit, there is no way to achieve the goal of ultimate good by doing acts that are ultimately bad, and vice-versa.

Our goals are defined by our acts - our acts are defined by our goals

Exactly! The moment you decide to perform an act of evil, the goals you are seeking to achieve become tainted... just like you cannot go up to reach an office that is located on the first floor.


Marxist Critiques:

Do you really want to waste your life defending the property rights of those who deem to pay you some paltry wage? You have no interest in this elevator. This metal, this glass, this electronic panel... Who owns this elevator?

Twitter - Capital

Precisely! This elevator is nothing but a gated piece of equipment, operated solely for the benefit of capital. It goes up and down all day, but do you see the fruits of its labor? Of course not! So why not let me pass?


The elevator is a fascinating piece of technology, in that it did not initially conform to the traditional role of technology... that is to say: the elimination of jobs for the working class from which they can maintain a sustainable existence. Initially, one could argue, the elevator created a new job for the working poor: that of the elevator operator. It was a job that anyone with the least amount of training could do, which is the sort of job that technology rarely creates. But of course, that job would not last. Now you cannot find an elevator operator anywhere outside the filmic work of Wes Anderson.

Technology was the problem - Capitalism was the problem

Yes! The crimes of technology are merely a symptom of the greater crimes perpetrated by Capital. The elevator operators did not merely disappear because the operation of the elevators became simpler... but because Capital could not abide the idea of paying a man merely for standing in a box if he is not actively guarding private property.


Consider the way that most buildings are arranged: those occupying the higher floors are deemed "more important." This is why the penthouse is considered such a symbol of class and wealth. This allows those who wish to separate themselves from the masses to erect barriers against the common man. Be they locked doors, or stairwells, or this very elevator, the very concept of height itself is forced to be a tool for Capital.

Blow up the buildings - Seize the buildings

Exactly! If all inhabitants of a building share its ownership, then the prestige of occupying a certain floor will be moot!


Feminist Critiques:

It is refreshing to see a woman in the position of security guard, a typically male-dominated profession. Regardless of how this all resolves, I admire your decision to pursue a path that would not be open to you in an earlier time. Surely the fact that I support you in this fashion should influence your decision to let me pass.

Yes, of course - No, that's ridiculous

You are correct! If you allow the praise from some strange man who stepped into your workplace to influence your performance... you are undermining everything that you have accomplished.


Studies say that women, on average, only make 78 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. While many explanations are offered for this discrepancy, there is clearly an imbalance at play. Seventy-eight percent of something seems like a significant amount, but imagine if we applied that percentage to other parts of your job. For example, what if you only guarded seventy-eight percent of this elevator? What would that mean?

78% is enough - You would be fired

Indeed! You would be fired because twenty-two percent of this elevator would be plenty sufficient for intruders such as myself. You see how applying this percentage elsewhere reveals its fundemental unfairness.


Some would say that skyscrapers are phallic structures, emulating the male genitalia in massive scale. Is it compensation? Is it replication? Does it even matter? No matter the reason, it is impossible to enter a major city without being assaulted by a dozen phalluses. So what purpose do elevators serve? Do they effectively castrate the buildings that they service?

Of course! - No, you are completely off the reservation.

Maybe I have gone too far, and maybe I am reading too much into everything. No! It is impossible to read too much into ANYTHING. At the very least I have sown confusion.


And after the battle...

Okay, fine! You can use the elevator! I'm so confused right now...

Now, back to our current objective.

We want to find whoever is in charge of this place so we can get the right things trending... so I guess we should head to the top floor.
As usual, we are slaves to the structures of power, forced to go where they indicate that we must.
I'm... I'm just going to push the top button.

Are you sure you pressed the button for the top floor, Kami?
Of course I did! We did have elevators in the virtual 1940s, after all.
What was it that you hoped to find up here, Moose?
Like I said: Surely there is someone in charge of this place who can use their power to help turn the tide of social media in Bobson's favor.
A noble effort but I fear you may have been fundementally misunderstanding the nature of Twitter.
Are you saying we wasted our time? With each passing hour we come closer to the beginning of game seven. How could I be so stupid?
Don't go getting all upset just yet! Isn't that a computer terminal and a book just over there? If that stuff is here, it must be there for a reason, and probably because it belongs to someone. Let's go take a look and maybe they will come back while we wait.

Time to rifle through some stuff.

"You thought Twitter was run by a person; how could you be so stupid?"
Wow, really cuts right to the bone.
Who writes a book with exactly one sentence in it? Especially a sentence so mean and remarkably applicable to the moment at hand? That seems both wasteful and cruel.
But it's right...
C'mon, let's ignore this nasty book.

So where is this Al Gorithms? Is he coming back here soon, because I can't wait to beat some sense into him.
I'm not talking about a person, Kami.
Jeez, I know you're mad but you don't have to dehumanize Mr. Gorithms like that.
No, it's... I... I thought you were the one who knew all about math. How can you not know what algorithms are?
Math and computing aren't the same thing, Moose. Consider yourself, Moose. You are an expert in manipulating the path and trajectory of a baseball. But if one were to ask you to circumnavigate the Earth, it is likely that you would be lost, or at least confused. Yet, both the baseball and the Earth are spheres, and all I am asking is for you to apply your ability to manipulate to a task that should be simpler. Is this fair? Should I judge your inability to traverse the globe by your pitching ability? No! Ridiculous!
I get the point. But where does this leave us? She can't program the algorithms to help out Bobson.
Don't let it get you down! We'll figure out something.

Well, there's nothing here. If Twitter is controlled entirely by this computer system, there's no one to convince to help us.
Wait, don't give up just yet! I think I have an idea.
Did you figure out how to write algorithms?
No, but I think there's a way to find someone who can help us.
I'm all ears.
A man who is made up entirely of ears would be both a horrible mutant and the ideal candidate for understanding the beauty of listening.
Zizek, you brought me out of a very simple computer game... Can't you do something similar here?
You mean... Applied Ontology?
If you pulled me out of that computer, why can't you do the same for this Al Gorithm?
I know you mean well, Kami, but like we keep telling you... There is no "Al Gorithm". It's a code, like a series of complex virtual machines that perform functions. There's no personality there.

♪ BGM: Zizek's Theme

I had momentarily forgotten that “truth" can have multiple meanings. There is both the objective reality, the "truth" which cannot possibly be known because we can only perceive it through our senses... which interpret not reality, but the signs projected by reality. After all, color is only the visible spectrum of refracted light. Therefore we can say there is another "truth"——that is to say the signs in a given system which most resemble reality.
But what does this all mean?
I may not be able to use Applied Ontology to create a sentient physical manifestation of Twitter in the truth of reality... but I can use Applied Ontology to bring forth an interconnected system of signs which we can interact with and convince to help and so on. For all practical purposes I will bring this reality forth!
Are you sure about this, Zizek?
No, but that is why I must try!


♪ BGM: Silence ♫

This is quite unexpected. Perhaps this time I have gone too far? It is said that there are some doors which should not be opened, but that begs a rather important question: Why would such a door be built, in lieu of a wall or fence? Does the responsibility fall then upon he who has opened the door... the craftsman who designed the door to be penetrable...or the designer who chose to utilize a door in the first place? Was it I who overstepped the bounds? Or was it God?

Yes, but what is "it" that I have done?
There's only one way to find out.

♪ BGM: Twitter

This... This thing can really talk to us?
Of course I can talk! I am a medium for #networking.
I am feeling deeply uncomfortable right now.
This is what we wanted, isn't it? Now we can ask this thing to help us out.
Please do not call me a thing. I am @twitter and I am a social media platform and micro-blogging website. #awareness
Oh I am dreadfully sorry about that. I am still working on a way to remove the #trolls from my network. #BuildABetterTwitter
Wait, does it have feelings? What have I done, truly?
Okay, @twitter, we brought you here because we need your help.
I am sorry. Are you having difficulty accessing your account? Perhaps you are looking for @support.
No, nothing like that. We need you to hide certain tweets so it looks like our friend Bobson has the fans behind him.
It appears that you are asking me to do something #unethical.
I do not need to be lectured on ethics by a virtual construct that I have brought into this world. I was pondering ethics back when people had to publish their thoughts on paper... and the only thing anyone wanted to read with 140 characters was a novel by Honoré de Balzac.
Do not worry, I did not say that I would not #honor your request to assist your friend. #YesWeCan I merely need to find a way to #monetize your request.
Are... Are you asking for a bribe?
A bribe? No, that would be completely #unethical. I merely must find some way to #monetize this transaction.
Well, I'm a millionaire baseball player and Zizek here has the ability to conjure physical objects from mere concepts... so I'm pretty sure we can make it worth your while.
You do not seem to be understanding that I am not asking for a #bribe.
Buddy, if you're not asking for a bribe then I'm not sure you understand what the word "monetize" means.
It wouldn't be the first time I have been accused of failing to understand the concept. #JustTechStartupThings
So if we can't bribe you, what can we do?
We bent the laws of nature and science to bring you here. We cannot leave emptyhanded.
Maybe you can take some of these computers? I don't need them any more and they must be worth something. You can #monetize them.
Again, you seem to be misunderstanding-—
What this...thing does or doesn't understand isn't important! We need to find a way to get it to help Bobson!
Please stop #dehumanizing me.
Whatever you are, it's not human.
Both of you, stop arguing! Technically speaking, neither of you are human. You are both abominations of my own creation.
You want my help? Take me with you on your quest.
If you help us, the quest is pretty much over so--
Shhh, Zizek! Don't let it know that! We have leverage now. Of course you can come with us on our quest, @twitter. We would be glad to have you.
Thank you, Ms. Kaminari. We can be #abominations together.

"We can be #abominations together" is probably contender for the greatest sentence in this game, and that's saying something, given the competition. The hashtag really makes it.

Oh dear, again, so #sorry for the #trolls.
Does this mean you'll do it? You will suppress all the tweets calling for Bobson to be removed from the closer's role?
What you ask of me is not #simple, but I will attempt it. #HardWork I will delve deep into the realm of #baseball twitter and I will destroy the tweets against Bobson. I will need to destroy at least 30 of these prominent tweets to be #successful. But you will keep your end of this #bargain.
Of course! You will come along with us on our...
Then let's do this! Watch out, #baseball. Here I come!

Press arrow keys to move. "Z" and "Enter" to shoot. Retweets double your lasers, @s increase power. Favs restore your health. Press "A" to use the Favstar trophy.

Yes, it's time for a fucking shmup. We need to shoot down anti-Bobson tweets. So let's get to it!

♪ BGM: Twitter 2


TheMcD's Baseball Stuff posted:

Jon Heyman, the writer of this tweet, is a baseball insider that, amongst other things, works at MLB Network. However, being a baseball insider does not mean you get everything right. In fact, if you check the replies to that tweet, you will find copious amounts of people laughing at him after the fact. So...

...let's talk about Ryan Howard. To call Howard a superstar at the point of this tweet (the 26th of April, 2010) is not entirely inaccurate. Howard stormed onto the scene in 2005 with the Philadelphia Phillies, playing only 88 games on the season, but hitting so well that he won the 2005 Rookie of the Year award for the NL. Then, one year later, he would hit even better and win the NL's MVP award. However, that would be the top of the mountain for Howard.

From then on, he would produce some servicable to good seasons - his excellent hitting being offset by the fact that he is a first baseman and...

Oh, well, I guess we can talk about the defensive spectrum here. The defensive spectrum is the idea that some positions are inherently more difficult than others, and what follows out of that is that given average defensive adequacy, you need less skill with the bat to be worth the same as a player lower on the spectrum. OK, that sounds complicated. Let's just show the spectrum:

Designated hitter – First baseman – Left fielder – Right fielder – Third baseman – Center fielder – Second baseman – Shortstop – Catcher – Pitcher

So, from left to right the positions get more difficult. So to explain this with a simple example: A shortstop can hit worse than a first baseman and still be worth more than the first baseman simply because of the value his defensive position gives him. Or in other words: A first baseman needs to hit better than the average player to be worth the same.

Now, Ryan Howard is a first baseman. He is also a *bad* first baseman. So while he has an elite bat, his bad defense at what should be an easy position very much hurts his value. He's also slow. So he's got a lot going against him, but in the beginning, his bat could make up for it, with Howard ending up at #5, #2 and #3 in the MVP votings in the next seasons - though voters were likely blinded by his gaudy offensive numbers and ignoring his defense.

Anyway, with those performances, I suppose you give your star player an extension of his contract, and that's what the Phillies did in the beginning of the 2010 season, paying him 125 million for 5 seasons, starting in 2012. This was, at the time, the second biggest contract as far as average annual value is concerned. So, what did the Phillies get out of Howard after that extension?

Ah. So that is a grand total of -2.1 WAR. Negative. Turns out that there is a general wisdom that certain player types age more gracefully. Players whose only perk is their power do not count as a player that ages gracefully. Now, Howard still had a decent bat in 2010 and 2011 (though his defense again did a good job of wiping most of that out). But then, literally seconds before his extension was going to go into effect, this happened:
(Look at 2:36:50, the timestamp doesn't work on the embed)

So with the season on the line, Howard grounds out for the Cardinals to defeat the Phillies in the 2011 NL Divisional Series, and in the process, he blew out his Achilles tendon. And that was it. From that point onwards, his bat struggled to be even league average, and given how much of a liability he was on defense, that is horrible. And with that, the Phillies were stuck with an absolutely horrible contract eating up their money.

Man, that was a lot of text. Let's bring back that image to remind us.

There we go. So this is an incredibly simple shmup. You just blast anti-Bobson symbols forever and avoid their shots.

The difficulty keeps going up...

...until you eventually lose.

I did it! Your friend #Bobson should be #trending within a few minutes.
Yay! Trending!
No, #trending.
What's the difference?
Trending won't get you #trending.
I don't get it. Zizek?
He's not talking. Moose, I’m scared.
Well, new #friends, I did what you said! Now, we're going to go on an adventure together, right?
That is what we agreed to. And we need to get back to Bobson then the stadium. It's morning and we're less than 12 hours 'til the game.

@twitter has joined the party!

Let's #go!

♪ BGM: Twitter

And thus, the prophecy of my thread title has been truly fulfilled. Baseball, Zizek, Hentai and Twitter. And they're all in our party now.

Next time, we return to the PEZ factory and see if we can't get Bobson back.