Much like Shawn Green moving from outfield to first base when the Dodgers acquired Milton Bradley, nurse if all goes well, ambulance this blog is about to move to its very own baseball-related domain, baseballrelated.com. Join us. Be a hanger-on.
Month: April 2004
Wow, Jim. Thanks for passing along Johnny Damon’s statement about his hair being, in part, an attempt to do everything the opposite of the Yankees. That is just about the only thing that could possibly make his hair and beard better. Well, other than them, say, defeating President Bush or leading efforts for world peace.
And I forgot–one more good Damon note before I move on to whatever exciting baseball news happens today. During Sunday night’s game, about two-thirds of the way through the game, ESPN dug up a photo of Damon from when we last saw him. They placed it side-by-side with a new photo from that day. The entire audience at the Rocketship gasped. As the noise died away, Jon Miller’s voice cut through, saying, “How do we even know that’s Johnny Damon out there?” It got a good laugh.
Which ties in with an idea I’ve had for a long time: say you’re the Cardinals. You’re playing a big game against the Cubs, and you’re down by a run with two guys on in the bottom of the ninth. You’ve got So Taguchi coming up. People start heading for the exits.
But you’ve got Albert Pujols on the bench. He’s even got a bat in his hands, because, well, that’s how he is. Why not put Pujols in Taguchi’s jersey and send him to the plate as Taguchi? Sure, he’s not Taguchi. Everyone knows he’s not Taguchi. But he and the manager and the rest of the team swear up and down that without a doubt, swear on Tony LaRussa’s Pure Beef Heart, he’s So Taguchi.
What’s the umpire going to do? Obviously, he’ll have no choice but to let him bat. I’m picturing buttons popping off a way-too-tight jersey as Pujols/Taguchi hits the ball into the Mississippi. Think how much the hometown crowd will get into this! Sure, the opposing team will lodge a protest, but I don’t think the Basic Agreement allows for DNA testing. Barring that, who can be certain that the hitter who won the game for the Cardinals wasn’t Taguchi? David Hume and Bishop Berkeley would be with me on this, guaranteed. Certainty is impossible.
Clearly, the keys to the success of this strategy are three. 1) Have Albert Pujols on your team. 2) Make sure that everyone involved–from LaRussa on down–absolutely refuses to budge in their certainty that this hitter is So Taguchi. 3) Don’t have any of those problematically honest born-again Christians on the team.
If you were really serious–and commensurately willing to be impressively offensive–you could even put Pujols in bad makeup to make him look Japanese. Like Mickey Rooney, only worse.
thatbob: Actually, I think the born-again Christians would be very open to the uncertainty argument. If I was Tony LaRussa, I would say: “Although you think you just watched Pujols put on Taguchi’s jersey, isn’t it possible that this illusion was created by a miracle of God? Or that, by a miracle of God, Pujols is now Taguchi? Or do you deny the possibility of miracles, and claim to know the mind of God? Now since you can’t claim with certainty that Taguchi is Pujols, I would ask that, for the sake of the team, you hold your tongue on the matter.”
See, this is why I would have made such an excellent Jesuit. Is it too late for seminary?
No wonder they won five Pulitzers
Levi, you may be pleased to note that Johnny Damon made the L.A. Times sports section’s daily “Quotebook” feature at the upper left of page D2, complete with photo. To quote the quote: “‘[General Manager] Theo [Epstein] told me I can keep it. I don’t think we want to compare ourselves to the Yankees. We’ll do everything the opposite of what they do.’ — Johnny Damon, Boston Red Sox outfielder, on his long hair and beard, which is not allowed by Yankee management”
In other news, the location of this blog will be moving soon. More details later.
Luke had a good thought about Johnny Damon: maybe he’s about to re-form the House of David traveling team. That would make this the best season in seventy-five years or so.
Other Opening Day notes, from someone who was stuck at work and couldn’t have watched the Cardinals anyway:
1) The Detroit Tigers are above .500 for the first time since April 8, 2001. And, as Stacey noticed that Ron Santo won the attendance game on the Cubs broadcast on WGN, so is Ron, although the drought has probably been longer.
2) The Astros are in last place. But so are the Cardinals. Maybe it’s best that, as Wittgenstein used to suggest whenever his favorite team lost a big game, we should just pass over that in silence.
3) Johnny Damon’s hair is still the story of the day. If I had a newspaper, the headline today would be “Opening Day features thrillings comebacks.” But the subhead would be “Johnny Damon’s hair, beard have no comment on Jimy Williams’s decision to pitch to Bonds.”
4) Even Bush and Cheney throwing out pitches couldn’t ruin Opening Day. It’s good to know there’s something in the world they can’t destroy. I suppose I should keep quiet about that, or else next year they’ll try harder.
Notes from Opening Day
- The best thing I saw was the Royals getting two home runs in the bottom of the 9th to win.
- The worst thing I saw was Joe Buck sucking up to George W. Bush in a pre-game on-field interview, although as it turns out, during the game, he’s a lot more tolerable when teamed up with Al Hrabosky than when teamed up with Tim McCarver.
- The Padres’ road uniforms are sand-colored. Hey, the name of the city isn’t Sand Diego!
- Wow, the Dodgers looked even more mediocre than I thought they’d be, if such a thing is possible. How can you get only 2 runs out of 15 hits?
- The Steak ‘n’ Shake commercials during the Cardinals game were more mouth-watering than the Gold Star Chili and Frisch’s Big Boy commercials during the Reds game.
- DirecTV had two MLB Extra Innings promos that they were playing during every “local” commercial break, one with Albert Pujols and one with Johnny Damon. The Pujols one was running a lot more often, I assume because the other one doesn’t reflect Damon’s current facial hair configuration.
- Incessantly promoted by the various Fox Sports Nets: the Yankees vs. Red Sox on Fox, the broadcast network, on Friday night, April 16th. I do enjoy the concept of national baseball telecasts (although it helps when they don’t involve the Yankees), but this can only mean that certain executives at Fox have thrown up their hands when it comes to attempting to schedule programming on Friday night. This is what America gets for not immediately embracing “Wonderfalls.”
- Kosher-for-Passover Coke has a weird aftertaste if, like me, you’re used to regular made-with-corn-syrup Coke.
- Hooray, Tigers! Hooray, Pirates!
Turns out six hours of watching baseball on TV, much of which includes trying to follow several games at once, is a little too much for me.