Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Other Notes from the ASG

• Did anyone else notice that every one of the Hall of Famers on the field wore the cap in which they were inducted, except for one? That one -- Wade Boggs, of course. Which tells me one of two things:

(a) Wade is still really pissed off about being cast away in favor of the non-sex-addicted Scott Cooper, or

(b) Wade is kind of a dick.

I'll go with a little of each.

[Ed. note -- The folks over at Sawxblog noticed, too.]

• Sheryl Crow: DAMN fine looking woman period, let alone for her age. Plus, she's got those strong, muscular arms that A-Rod likes in his men women.....

• U-G-GLA!
Apparently you cannot play!
You're Uggla! (clapclap clap)
You're Uggla! (clapclap clap)

• Wade notwithstanding, I thought the whole "have a bunch of HOFers on the field" thing was extremely well done, and a great idea. In fact -- why isn't this made permanent? Invite every living Hall of Famer to the game to appear on the field (if they so desire, and if health permits), and do the introductions in the same way. It's not like the pre-game ceremonies are ever going to get any shorter, and would you rather see (a) Bobby Doerr, Whitey Ford, and Carlton Fisk, or (b) Three Doors Down performing their new hit song "This Song Will Be Forgotten Within Five Months"? Plus, there could be an Oscar-like rundown of everyone who's died in the past year. I'm really excited about this idea!!!!!

.... and then I remember that Bud Selig still runs baseball, and all hope drains from my soul.

• I am glad, and I think Yankee fans will begrudgingly admit that they are glad, that Terry Francona did not cave in to the ridiculous idea of having Mariano Rivera start the game. First, that would be nothing but a stunt that further trivializes what is already an almost irrelevantly trivial game (but for, you know, THE WHOLE PROGRESS OF THE WORLD SERIES DEPENDING ON IT.... /hope draining from soul /hope draining from soul). Second, it would have trivialized Rivera's career itself by putting him in an Eddie Gaedel-like freakshow situation instead of using him in the manner through which he has earned his ticket to the Hall of Fame. Rivera deserves better than that -- much better.

Instead, Francona did the right thing, giving the start to Cleveland's Cliff Lee, who -- despite tailing off a bit in the last month -- still ranks as the AL's most impressive and surprising starter this year. And he did the right thing by using Papelbon in the 8th to (unsuccessfully) hold the lead, then using Rivera in the 9th to -- as he has done so often -- shut down the opposition and keep his team in the game. That's the way it should be, because that's how Mo rolls, baby.

Now having said that, I can't wait until the bastard retires so the Yankees can have some crappy retread attempting to close games for him.....

• I've met George Steinbrenner. He's one of the most memorable people I've ever met, along with Charlton Heston and Ronald Reagan. (And a fellow Williams grad. Prince Hal was at Williams when I was, too. Nice kid.) He is actually a very gregarious and friendly guy, and not at all the blustery ogre that some would have you believe, but you just got the strong feeling that you did NOT want to cross him in business.

Which is why it was depressing and sad for me to see him carted out last night, possibly for the last time (because I doubt his family will want to put him on display as he deteriorates). George does not appear to be in good health at all, although it's not like he's obviously on the verge of death or anything. It's just another reminder that even the strongest personalities and people will eventually succumb to old age. Ow, I think my prostate just exploded....

• I'll be honest: I'm having some difficulty jumping on board the Josh Hamilton Lovefest Bandwagon. Yes, I am glad that Hamilton is not dead with a needle sticking out of his arm, or -- worse still -- dead along with several victims after he plowed his car into a crowd in a drunken haze. I wish him only the best with what will be a lifelong battle against addiction. But part of me is very, very disturbed to hear his story labelled "inspiring" or "heartwarming". Hamilton is a kid blessed with unbelievable physical ability; even if he were the worst player in MLB he'd still be among the top, oh, .0002% of athletes in the country. He was a can't-miss prospect out of high school in Raleigh, at which point he was as close as someone can come to absolutely guaranteed celebrity and riches.

And what did he do at that point? He CHOSE to start doing smack and coke. He CHOSE to piss away that opportunity entirely. Everything that happened to him is HIS fault. This is not a Jon Lester situation, where something life- and career-threatening was forced upon him through no fault of his own. This is a guy who had the ability to say no, but instead said "yes please, and with a vodka chaser."

I do give Hamilton all the credit in the world for -- at least as far as I've read -- taking responsibility for his own actions, and being very open about the mistakes he has made in life. But I'm just not as "inspired" by someone who overcomes adversity of their own making. Josh Hamilton, blessed by God or Allah or Yahweh or Tom Jones or Emperor Palpatine or whomever your deity happens to be with incredible talent, dug himself out of the hole he stupidly threw himself into. Yay. Where do I pin the medal again?

Congratulations, Josh, on not being dead -- like the friend I had who got hooked on smack. I hope you appreciate how lucky you are. And I think you do, to your credit. Now go out there and... um.... take August 12th through 14th off. And the first weekend in September. You'll need the rest, really....

• I don't know what this means -- but I watched the game last night, which was announced by Joe "I'm Not Jack" Buck and Tim McCarver, and not once did I want to gouge my ears out with an awl. Could it be that.... they're getting...... better????

• And finally, because I need a photograph to break up this text, I give you..... Dennis Eckersley's mullet. Long may his man-mane wave.


Hazel Maes Landing Strip said...

Now batting Dioner Navarro

Now batting Ian Kinsler


Now pitching Fransisco Rodriguez


You stay classy New York

futuremrsrickankiel said...


All addicts choose to become addicts. It doesn't make their addiction any less difficult to overcome, nor does it make it any less impressive when they do it.

That's all I'm going to say. Other than that, I a) think all of your points about the game itself are awesome, and b) advise you to give up hope on the game being anything other than a huge crock of donkey dung in our lifetime.

Rocco said...

Whoa. They way I understand it, he got into a car accident then became adddicted to pain killers, which led to the other drug use.

I didn't think he was sitting around one day as the #1 overall and said, "Hey, I think I'll shoot some heroin today."

Pepster said...

I don't think the painkillers addiction is what started it. My understanding from an article is that once he was hurt, he was feeling pretty sorry for himself, not being around the team, baseball or even practice. Add to that physical rehab, and he was pretty depressed.

A friend took him to a strip club to try to keep his mind off of the depressing things, and at the strip club he had his first beer, and first line of coke.

That, is my understanding of where things started with Hamilton.

Rocco said...

Regardless, I'm pretty impressed that he's managed to get his life together and make it back to the big leagues. People deal with depression in many ways and as unfortunate as his decisions were, I'm on board with him getting clean and making it back. He's got some serious natural talent. Cheers to Cincinnati for giving him a chance to get back into baseball.

/too serious?