Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Suspended animation causes stream-of-consciousness …

It feels like the calm before the storm.

I’m speaking of the upcoming Mitchell Report; it makes writing columns a bit more complicated in that it will overshadow pretty much everything else in the news for a time. I already stated that my THT column this week would be on the Marlins and I do not want to go back on that. Besides, I’m sure somebody on staff will do a bang up job on dissecting it.

It will be the topic of my weekly column on MSN Canada though. I asked my boss to move my deadline so I can put in an article shortly after the entire (feces + kinetic energy x impact + oscillating fan) equation becomes reality. Unlike THT, I’m the only baseball columnist at the moment there so I guess I should be the one to cover it. Speaking of which, my column on J.P. Ricciardi at the winter meetings is now live. You could say I was whining in the article and I am not sure you’d be wrong.

By the way, I was in a cranky mood when I wrote the Marlins column so be prepared for some serious stomping-into-a-gooey-icky mess approach to it. I mentioned in a post a few days back that this isn’t about the Marlins per se but rather the living proof that ‘two heads are better than one isn’t always the case’ truism at the top of the chain of command. I have never been reticent in my admiration of Larry Beinfest and I will reiterate that on Friday AM.

I am extremely ticked that the art dealer and the embodiment of the hazards of nepotism had Beinfest be the front man for explaining how the Cabrera/Willis trade was related to stadium issues. For Orioles fans sick and tired of the Peter Angelos and sons approach to baseball mediocrity just remember, it could’ve been far worse. It was Jeffrey Loria who was bidding against Angelos for ownership of the Birds.

Considering my lifelong hatred for the Orioles, imagine if David Samson was part of that front office.

By the way O’s fans, don’t be offended by my dislike of your team. Quite frankly, I have no idea how it developed, it has been there for as long as I can remember. My only guess is that my dad is a Yankees fan and the Orioles were a dominant team in the late 1960’s when I started watching baseball on our old black and white television. When you consider this occurred during the fall of the Yankees empire, it might have played a part.

In addition, of course the little matter of Ken Singleton was hardly endearing--1973 (Singleton’s entry into “The 300 Club” AKA ‘The Triple-Triple’) helped make me feel slightly less bad about the trade that cost the Expos Rusty Staub and a lot worse about losing both he Mike Torrez in the trade that netted les Expos a lame Dave McNally plus Rich Coggins and Bil Kirkpatrick.

For what it’s worth, I don’t hate all things Orioles. Memorial Stadium was a nice ballpark and I love what Camden Yards did for stadium architecture (although private financing would be nicer in these cases). Boog Powell was a guy I enjoyed watching and I had a lot of his baseball cards. I could never hate Brooks Robinson either--the man was all class and then some.

There are other pro-Birdy things besides--the McNally half of Messersmith/McNally; you’ve gotta love Rube Waddell and El Presidente Dennis Martinez not to mention Frank Robinson, Singleton, Harold Baines and at one time--Rafael Palmeiro (I leave a candle burning in the window hoping that somehow he did accidentally receive steroids--I’m not holding my breath however). Of course the pugnacious and ribald Earl Weaver will always be memorable--especially his mano a manos with umpire Ron Luciano.

Speaking of Raffy, I can’t help but wonder if any other favourite might be linked in the Mitchell Report.

What was this post supposed to be about again? Oh right … like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. 'Give me five bees for a quarter,' you’d say.

Now where were we? Oh yeah -- the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones. Therefore consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. Some side effect may include vomiting, diarrhea, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, blindness, impotence, prostate acne, loss of cognitive function, bladder control, Paris Hilton joining the Spice Girls as "Promiscuous Spice" volcanic activity, seismic tremors, plagues of locusts, the opening the fifth through seventh seals of Revelation and a matter/antimatter reactions which will cause the universe to implode in a cataclysmic 'big crunch.'

If you experience any of these symptoms be sure to contact your health care provider. Take on an empty stomach and do not attempt to operate heavy machinery. If you catch fire, stop drop and roll, if you choose to run, look both ways before you cross the street. If you ignore the warnings and you end up with two broken legs, don't come running to me.

My name is Indigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die. Luke, I'm your father. Remember who you are, you are my son and the one true king. Life is like a box of chocolates. Offer not valid in all states, check with your dealer for details. Refund where applicable. Remember, only you can prevent forest fires. Any retransmission or rebroadcast of this game is strictly prohibited without the express written consent of Major League Baseball, the commissioner’s office and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Well, it makes about as much sense as anything else I’ve written in this post thus far.

Well, to comment on something relevant, I would like to say that I thought the BBWAA’s exclusion of Rob Neyer and Keith Law says more about the organization than Neyer and Law. Both are superior baseball writers who are far more competent than many within the association. They are poorer for their decision. I have no aspirations or expectations of being asked to join so I have no real dog in this fight. I think a body of work deserves far more weight than number of times one is at the ballpark. As national baseball writers they have different beats and responsibilities than those who cover one team.

If the BBWAA wishes to remain relevant, then they must strive to be current and the world wide web is the present and the future and far kinder to the environment. If the BBWAA wishes to be relevant in the new millennium then they should starting living there.

Best Regards

John

1 comment:

Pete Toms said...

I counted 26 Toronto chapter BBWAA members. Including 2 from Ottawa and at least one - Jack Todd - from Montreal ( where is Stephanie Myles? for that matter is Jack Todd alive? ) but I digress.

My point is, they have too many members. In any big league market there won't be 26 "baseball" writers per se.

I'm sure there are reasons they have boosted their membership but I can't be bothered to drill down into why.