Let’s assume that you’ve watched your favorite games over the weekend. You have your own views of them; there’s no need to read the game stories, and there’s no need to read, say, a story called “Vick OK with role, for now.” (That one can go only two ways – a., great, he’s already complaining, or b., this is a sportswriter stirring the pot despite Vick’s perfectly appropriate post-game interviews.) What are you supposed to read over breakfast…or at lunch for that matter?
The answer is: it’s all in the margins. In fact, the margins, the “fillers” if you insist, are sometimes where the best stuff is. With that in mind, here’s a sports filler gumbo for the day – in other words, a soup that anything interesting can be thrown into:
I’m in the mon-ey: Even if his Giants don’t make the playoffs, diminutive fireballer Tim Lincecum, will soon become the youngest-looking person ever to make $10 million a year (I think…what did that guy who played Doogie Howser make?). Last year the Phillies’ Ryan Howard set the record for a salary award in MLB arbitration ($10M), and although he had hit 58 HRs in a season prior to that, he wasn’t what Lincecum will be if San Franciso’s management doesn’t sign him soon – the only pitcher ever to go to arbitration with a Cy Young Award on his mantelpiece.
The long-haired pitcher also has something else to be thankful for: He’s not a rookie in the Phillies organization. Consider the following:
Leavin’ on a jet plane yesterday from their last road game of the season in Milwaukee, the Phillies subjected three of their rookies to that sort of frat-hazing that millionaire athletes apparently find funny (or “traditional”), or somehow worthwhile just because they can get away with it. Outfielder John Mayberry, Jr., and pitchers Sergio Escalona and J.A. Happ were run through that always hilarious cross-dressing thing. What fun! As per a report in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Mayberry and Escalona were required to board the team plane in “tight-fitting female flight attendant uniforms with knee-high boots,” and Happ, a nice-enough looking young man, but one who is prematurely balding, was forced to wear a Supergirl costume…um, leaving Helen Slater still the best-looking Supergirl in history. This incident also begs this question: where did they find knee-high boots to fit onto the feet attached to the 6’6″, 230-pound Mayberry.
One hesitates, of course, to picture Lincecum’s raven tresses falling onto a smart flight attendant’s blouse.
Fame! I’m gonna live for-ever! Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin can sing this now, having become – yesterday – the only GM ever to have his own bobblehead give-away day at a major league park. This alleged fact was run down by Yahoo Sports’ bobblehead expert David Hallstrom. Aside from the fact that Milwaukee was obviously a really fun place to be yesterday, we’re now left with another begging question: Are there people who are actually paid to be bobblehead experts? Or: did Yahoo Sports miss the recent Sports Illustrated piece that strongly implied that sports memorabilia is dead…dead…dead? (Their August 24th article declared Ken Griffey Jr’s Upper Deck rookie card, issued 20 years ago, “the last iconic” baseball card, strongly implying that everything else is junk, including Derek Jeter’s eight and Albert Pujols’ forty-three rookie cards.) This would surely leave a Doug Melvin bobblehead…well, exactly the sort of item that would have to be given away at the end of a yard sale, right? You’d probably have to pay someone to take it away. I mean, as a player, the guy was ten games over .500 for his career, but that career was only six years long, and in the aggregate, he was 29-19. His average year, then, he won 4.83 games and lost 3.17. Doug Melvin wasn’t exactly Walter Johnson, and now he wears a suit. (What does he even look like? What color suit did the bobblehead have on?)
The real question, though, is: do bobblehead experts use calipers to measure bobbleheads’ heads? I’ll bet they do.
“Doug Melvin.” Baseball-Reference.com. 27 September 2009.
Fox, Ashley. “Vick OK with role, for now.” The Philadelphia Inquirer 27 September 2009: E10.
Martino, Andy. “Madson switches on the power for the save.” The Philadelphia Inquirer 27 September 2009: E15.
“John Mayberry, Jr.” Baseball-Reference.com. 27 September 2009.
McKee, Don. “High & Inside: Big windup, big money” & “Bobblehead Melvin.” The Philadelphia Inquirer 27 September 2009: E14.
Winn, Luke. “The Last Iconic Baseball Card.” Sports Illustrated. 24 August 2009: 49.