Baseball, Uncategorized

Free Agency

Thank you all for coming. Please take a seat, and out of common decency for not just myself, but the right-minded people of our society, silence your cell phones, unless the theme song from “Dallas” is your ringtone, then and only then is full volume not only acceptable, but encouraged.

Today I announce my intention to sign with a fictional baseball team.

The choice was made easier by the movie industry’s inability to produce a fictional baseball film within the last fifteen years that warranted more than a groan and cursing the eight bucks a month on Netflix.

I’d like to thank all the fictional characters and their organizations that made this decision a tough one. I’d especially like to thank the two teams that were second and third runner-ups respectively. I’m barely above the baseball hat shell game where I initially pick up one hat and attempt to put it on, only to discard it at the last possible minute and go with the actual choice, but I’m still above it.

So I’d like to thank Billy Heywood and the Minnesota Twins for all their efforts to land me, but I can’t play for a teenage manager. Who is supposed to bail us out if myself and some of the other relief pitchers (let’s just suspend belief for just a moment and pretend I am the most-courted lefty-one-out-guy in the history of Major League Baseball) want to unwind in a Texas Roadhouse (an actual one) and get into a skirmish with some of the locals. Who are we supposed to call to get us out of a jam, the manager? Who’s going to drive him down to the police station and bail us all out and talk to the arresting officers about Mercucio, the setup man, because we all know how he gets after a few belts of Shiner Bock? It certainly won’t be the manager who can’t even drive. If I’m a professional athlete it’s my right to develop multiple addictions and raise hell on every occasion that I deem reputable.  It’s his job to keep me alive. Plus, I wouldn’t even be able to borrow a pinch from him on occasion.

Also, the Twins of yore played in a dome. I’m most fetching with a slight tan. No way I give up half of my season indoors.

And I’d also like to thank Jimmy Dugan and the Rockford Peaches for the opportunity, but we just couldn’t come to terms on my role with the team. In the All-American League, I’m an ace, no doubt. He wanted me to come on as long relief. Now I have no problems playing against girls, especially ones from the 1940’s and potentially inflating my strikeout numbers, but a man has to have some pride and I will not pitch for the Peaches unless it’s as an ace. Good luck with Kit. Should have traded her when you had the chance. Plus they wanted me to room with Marla Hooch. I heard she likes to soak her feet in the sink for hours on end.

But, my grapes aren’t all sour. I decided to sign with the Cleveland Indians and play for Lou Brown. Brown doesn’t take crap from anyone. That’s the type of manager I want to play for. Granted the absence of Roger Dorn at the pitch meeting helped things, and Jake Taylor’s potential job switch to manager sweetened the deal, but my ardent devotion to my lord and savior Jesus Christ told me to sign there. Eddie Harris has been a spiritual adviser throughout my career and the opportunity to play in the town that Dolph Zigler made famous has only sweetened the deal and the pot, all in one fell swoop of sweetening.

Also, we have a real chance to win this thing as long as Vaughan can keep those black glasses of his focused on the target Taylor puts out there. I also heard that “Witness” billboard is still looking for a new resident.

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Baseball, Job Application

The Big Unveil

When I set out to start a blog the intended goal was to have writing samples for the MLB Fan Cave, where Major League Baseball (in fact, I believe Jim Fregosi and Felipe Alou make all the decisions on this one) has three or four people work for the league during the season. It’s all the fun and ruckus you can fit into a studio.

Part of the submission process includes a video. So, here for you, is the video. Enjoy.

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Chicago, Self-Help

Homespun?

Dear Dick,

Mind if I call you Dick? I mean, I’ve never heard you referred to as Richard Wolf. Just Dick. The Dickmeister? Okay, too much.

I like “Law and Order.” The mere screen presence of Jerry Orbach accounted for a handful of absences in Tuesday and Thursday undergrad classes. The show’s theme music was a vital part of a few beer pong tournaments. Angie Harmon’s raspy voice, Dennis Farina’s obnoxiously appealing ties, loved them all, embraced the law and order parts with equal vigor. No part was greater than the other. Go Team McCoy! Go Team Briscoe!

The offshoots? Not so much. Not my style. Too much rape in one. Too much Vincent D’Onofrio in the other. That’s okay though because a disdain for rape and D’Onofrio are entirely American. I understand for every “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” you sometimes have to get your sillies out with “Night” and “Youngstown.” It’s just not my style.

And now your new darling “Chicago PD,” hit the air. It shares storylines and characters with “Chicago Fire.” That’s great. I loved when “Homicide: Life on the Street” and your original L&O had crossover episodes. Munch and Rey together and playing the same character on each other’s show? Fictional beings from a supposed different world but the same world are co-mingling? The outrageous daring-do of the occurrence.

In attempts to pimp the show and engage those nasty caustic critics, you mentioned that Chicago seemed the perfect backdrop for the two series. Your reason, according to a story in The New York Daily News is that The values that are espoused in ‘Fire’ are the kind of all-American values that are almost a little too homespun for either coast. . . . (Chicago) is the heart of America. The values there are the values that many, many people agree with more than sometimes either coast.”

You can call my city tacky. I was here for Cows on Parade.

You can call my city obnoxious. Jenny Jones was filmed here and Ronnie Woo-Woo is a de-facto mascot for my favorite baseball team.

You can even say my city has an identity crisis. I mean, Jesus, Divvy on one corner, two high chairs and a mop handle calling dibs on another? Modern transportation and the back hills of Western Kentucky, all within spitting distance.

But please, don’t call my city homespun.

Homespun?

The same city of Al Capone, the Black Sox Scandal, and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, that speaks to homespun?

Okay, okay, you got me. A little outdated Nick. Why not air your grievances on the low frequency AM station before the sun goes down? Go cry into your Green River. I get it.

How about The Family Secrets Trial, Patrick Kane’s Trail of Beers through every tavern north of Madison, and the Rod Blagojevich experience? Too wholesome for you, still?

Guess we haven’t even touched on the exemplary civil service of Mel Reynolds, Dan Rostenkowski, and James Laski among the Democratic Party. We can get to George Ryan and the rest of the Republicans after we change out of our hazmat suits.

And Michael Jordan.

Every part of Michael Jordan. The six championships to the divorce, to the paternity suits, to enough sponsorship deals to decorate every inch of a Nascar Jumpsuit. That’s homespun?

Homespun connotes buttermilk, cornfields, and long, arduous bus rides from Des Moines to Wrigley Field in hopes of watching Jim Bullinger go for the complete game. Homespun is boring conversation about the weather and the unseemly gossip at the post office that Ernest the new mailman stole a peek down the Widow Michelson’s blouse.  Homespun is fine for Lake Woebegone and their cast of characters.

Dick, maybe it was just a poor word choice. I thought for all but 25 years that the phrase was “play it by year,” mistakes happen.

But please, don’t confuse Chicago for some Ma and Pa bastion of boredom, highlighted by PTA meetings, crop-growing, and ice cream socials.

Confused, obnoxious, tacky, even crooked, but not homespun.

Homespun?

The best of everything,

Nick

P.S. Good luck with the show. I’ve been angling to play a fictional detective for some time, let me know if you need anyone.

P.P.S. Will also settle for role of corpse if detective is taken.

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Baseball

If Only to Tweet

When Woody Allen was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award, cyber kindling turned into a Twitter brushfire when Woody’s former partner Mia Farrow and his (maybe?) biological son Ronan chided the award’s recipient because of the Woodster’s, ahem, proclivity for fruit still on the vine.

The angry tweets are not unfamiliar to Twitter, but think of the damage that could have been done if baseball players from long ago and not so long ago could lament their frustrations, celebrate their victories and muse about life on the dangerous medium of social media. What follows are unearthed tweets that would have been sent had twitter existed in the time of these ballplayers.

Babe Ruth @Swatsultan

@redsox Cash considerations? U kidding? LMFAO #cursed #ilookgoodinstripes

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Moises Alou @moisesalou

Game Seven! Keep your hands away from the field. #clown #hisfault

Sammy Sosa @beiosboldio

@moisesalou At least he keeps his hands out of the Wrigley troughs 🙂

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Yogi Berra @notaverageberra

The nice thing about tomorrow is that it isn’t today, or better yet, the day before.

Whitey Ford @fordtough

@notaverageberra did you go out with @themick last nite? smh smh

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Rickey Henderson @lovememe

@lovememe ur the greatest.

Rickey Henderson @lovememe

@lovememe no, no Rickey, ur the greatest.

Rickey Henderson @lovememe

@lovememe how many times I got to tell u, ur the best?!?!?!?!?!?!?

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Roger Maris @Rogercrush

Me & @bobcerv need someone to drop off penicillin & bring breakfast. #toomuch

Mickey Mantle @themick

@themick hey, @Rogercrush & @bobcerv, u guyys stel out???

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Billy Martin @billyball

Feels great to be back in NY with the #yankees

George Steinbrenner @kinggeorge

@kinggeorge @billyball I told you not to leak any information to anyone.

Billy Martin @billyball

@billyball @kinggeorge Who are you? Ive been here long before you were. I was born a #nyyankee, you just bought the team. #spoiled

George Steinbrenner @kinggeorge

@kinggeorge I guess it’s time to cancel the press conference for @billyball #whostheboss #imtheboss

Billy Martin @billyball

You can’t quit me @kinggeorge.

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Pedro Martinez @pedrostrikes

@pedrostrikes my arm feels tired, don’t think I ever threw something so big!!! #yankees #redsox #alcs #2003

Don Zimmer @dugoutzimm

@dugoutzimm hey, @pedrostrikes I played in the 50’s & right now @peeweereese could still kick your boney a** #whereurrings #yankeeswin

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Nolan Ryan @ryanexpress

@ryanexpress nothing like punching around a little @rockinrobin to get the nite started! #texasforever #gunshow

Robin Ventura @rockinrobin

@rockinrobin I’m really sorry @ryanexpress. I had no idea how much old man strength you had.

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Ted Williams @teddyballgame

@teddyballgame Manager wanted me to sit to keep .400 a chance. I said NO WAY!!! Who does he think I am @yankeeclipper?

Joe DiMaggio @yankeeclipper

Yo, @teddyballgame you couldn’t tie your shoes right 56-games in a row. #flythis

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Curt Schilling @thebigschill

@thebigschill @yawkeycleaners, u guys able to get all that out of my sock? #warrior #redsox #believe04

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Johnny Bench @jbench

@catchfisk hey, wave this way (points towards midsection) #75champs #bigredmachine

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Cal Ripken @ironcal

Oh no, the sniffles, sore throat, think I may come down with something one day from today… Not!!!! j/k j/k lolz!!! #sorrylou

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