Friday, July 6, 2007

A Midsummer's Slight Return

Uh, so I leave for a few weeks and we go all Cthulhu?

I log in, expecting the usual welcoming tabula-mutherfukkin'-rasa, and instead I read this sentence: "This is the beginning of my post. This is the rest of it."

I'm a reasonable man. A man, I daresay, of scientific mind. I don't believe in an afterlife, God, the Devil, the Tooth Fairy, any horror movie iteration of the Tooth Fairy, the black helicopters or three-flat in the 40.

But that ancient tool of the philosopher, Occam's Razor, insists that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. So I employ the collected wisdom of the ages and conclude that it must have been, could only have been, a million-eyed bloodsucking she-goat with giant red tentacles that stretch across both space and time. Anyway. Glad that's solved.

I should be like Peter King--no, not the "eat an entire angel food cake by myself" part--and tell you all about my recent vacation to the pacific northwest. Well, too bad, Sparky. I have my sockeye salmon and pyrotechnic memories and they're staying safely hid from the thought-thievin' likes of yer con-sarn self. I will offer that the town of Paulsbo on Bainbridge Island is the single whitest place I've ever been. Including my home town of Ft. Collins, which at least had a few Mexicans.
As it happened, not much happened. Oh, Griffey hit number 586 or something, and wow, we all thought he'd break Aaron's record, and how much better would he have been than Bonds? That swing.

Eh. 500 homers has been cheapened. Which sucks for Junior, who I still believe was legitimate, but that's just the way it is. Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, or, I suppose, the HGH back in the syringe. I stick with 3,000 hits as the best overall measure of a batter's Hall-worthiness. Maybe it's just me--I know that the semi-great can come close to that number (Bill Buckner), but I don't, generally, have an issue with putting guys in who maybe were never individually dominant, but who had long productive careers. Seriously, though. Which member of the 3,000 club would you say wasn't totally deserving? Rafael Palmeiro and maybe Al Kaline, who only really had one great year. Other than that, though, it's a solid list.

500 dongs, on the other hand, is a mark that has been reached by several steroidal question marks in Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro and Sosa. A few non-Hall types (Jim Thome, Juan Gonzalez, Dave Kingman, Jose Canseco) have come--and in Thome's case, are still coming--close. There's still the prestige, yes, but the last generation of sluggers watered the whiskey. Gimme Rod Carew and Nap Lajoie.

And Jake Plummer remains retired. Or not. The Buccaneers are supposedly ready to go after 7 million if he doesn't show, and Jake knows that's the kind of scratch that'll keep him sticky hydroponic for quite a spell. My guess--well, my hope--is that he shows up camp, they have to give the Broncos a 4th rounder instead of a 7th, he wins the starting job from a flummoxed and suspiciously seat-sore Jeff Garcia with a fantastic pre-season, throws 7 interceptions in the opener, gives John Gruden the two-fisted bird in the 4th quarter and skateboards out of Raymond James stadium directly into the Gulf of Mexico, from whence he'll join forever with a pod of Bottle-Nosed dolphins in their journey across the world's blue seas.

You never know.