Stacey pointed out that my suggestion back on April 7th that the Cardinals pretend, for an important at-bat, that Albert Pujols is So Taguchi resembles former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine’s greatest moment. To recap: On June 9, 1999, In the 12th inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Bobby Valentine was ejected for arguing a catcher’s interference call. He went to the clubhouse–presumably after doing a bit of dirt kicking and enthusiastic swearing–but returned a few minutes later wearing a disguise. After a while, the announcers noticed the stranger lurking at the back of the dugout, and a few days later, the National League suspended Valentine for two games and fined him $5,000.
The difference between Valentine’s approach and the one I advocated for the Cardinals is instructive. When confronted by the league about the disguise, Valentine fessed up. He argued that he wasn’t really trying to fool anyone, and he swore–despite seemingly contradictory photographic evidence–that he wasn’t in the dugout. But he never denied that the man with the big nose, glasses, and mustache was him.
Denying photographic evidence is a start–in fact, it will be a necessary part of my plan–but it has to be accompanied by an all-out denial on all fronts. The only hope of avoiding a lengthy suspension for Pujols, Taguchi, LaRussa, and probably me, too, is a refusal to accept that any type of evidence proves that the player who we claim is Pujols is not actualy Pujols. It’s hard to believe, given Valentine’s reputation, but in this case what did him in was not being stubborn enough. I wonder what Ari Fleischer’s doing these days. Given some of the lines he peddled during the last couple of years, this would be child’s play.
I wonder if Bobby Valentine would put up that kind of defense if you accused him of manufacturing that strangely orange tan he sports these days?
Oh, and the Mets won, 4-3.