Saturday, January 08, 2005

Balls, Halls, and Michael Kay

I haven't really been following the Minky ball situation. All I know is, I went to this poll on, and it gave us three choices on what should happen to "the ball." None of those choices had Doug keeping the ball. So, for that, terrible job to all the media for messing with this guy. He was the guy who had the ball the moment the Red Sox won the World Series. Who else should have it? I don't understand. He can do whatever he wants with it, it's his. MLB never made a rule that says "everything's ours, and we can take it from you whenever we want." It's like in Ghostbusters. When Venkman, Stanz, and Igon got thrown out of NYU, staffers startes taking equipment literally off of their backs. This is because the university owned the equipment, it was on loan. But baseball players, as far as I can tell, have always been allowed to do what they want with game balls. Ridgefield Little League never even asked me to give back by game balls (which, of course, I still have). That victory over Community Center in the third place game was made possible by my three strong innings on the hill, that's my ball, and whether I want to donate it to the Little League Hall of Fame is my business!

About Doug's hard-to-spell/say last name: Everybody's got a nickname for this guy, while I've either (looked it up and then) spelled it correctly, or gone with the very basic "Minky" as above. The reason for this is that I do have a nickname for him, but not only doesn't it make sense, but I don't know how to spell it, either. I went to school with this kid, whose last name is pronounced "Small-a-wits," from kindergarten through high school. In fact, our mothers were apparently in labor at the same time at Danbury's luxurious "Danbury Hospital." Despite our pre-birth connection, I never really ran in the same circles with this dude, but we were always friendly with each other. Anyway, his name was spelled with that "-wicz" (approximately) ending. So when I heard of Doug M., back in his Twins days, naturally, or not, I made the connection between him and my oddly-spelled, three syllable, hard-to-pronounce last name havin' former schoolmate. So I'd always tease my other friend, a lifelong Twins fan, and say, "How is your team winning the division with 'Small-a-wits' playin' first base?"

So that's what I've always called the Red Sox platoon first baseman. But again, I don't have a spelling on that, and unless you went to Ridgefield public schools and are roughly the same age as me, you wouldn't know who the hell I was talking about. I also remember some joke I had with my Twins fan friend about a David Ortiz jersey, back in David's pre-amazing days in Minnesota. And now I actually have a David Ortiz T-shirt.

I love it when I go to, and I see a really huge add for some MLB product which shows a picture of the pile of Red Sox in mid-postseason celebration. This is killing those yankee fans. I can't wait to go into their house (now our cottage down south) on Opening Day. Johnny against Johnson, top of the first. Do you think Steinbrenner has ordered a fastball high and inside to the symbol of the Red Sox' "anti-yankee style" for the first pitch his team will have thrown since we celebrated on their field?

The other day, ESPN radio had a Michael Kay marathon. I don't need to tell you how I feel about that. The day after, he kept saying how he felt he could've gone on for three more hours. Great, Michael. He's gotta realize that even his most die-hard fan would draw the line at the EIGHT HOUR mark.

Anyway, now Kay is on from 4-7, which, if nothing else, gives me a chance to call him up and get into arguments with him. I'll let you know when I plan to call so you can listen to it. I'll make up a fake town and let you in on it so you'll know it's me when you hear Kay say, "Jere from Suckling Pig, you're up next..." I'll choose something more realistic, though.

So Kay was talking to Goose Gossage the day after the Hall-of-Fame selection was made. I liked how, after Kay was ignoring Jim Rice, Goose specifically brought up Jim, saying he was one of the toughest hitters he'd ever faced. So for Gossage saying kind words about a favorite Sox player of mine, I won't mention how he wouldn't even be considered for the Hall had he not played in New York, had a cool nickname, had a big menacing fu manchu, etc. Whoops. Uhhh, actually, I will say this about Gossage. There used to be a batting cage/mini golf course in Danbury when I was little (which stood, overgrowing and a good fifteen years removed from being in service, until last year, when they built a car showroom there--and I never took a picture of it. Damn.). The batting cage had four machines. The one for little kids, the 60 MPH, the 75 MPH, and "The Goose." I never dared face the Goose.

Kay also interviewed Boggs. It was ego-fest '05. Much like his hitting style, Boggs speaks in a completely selfish tone. The conversation was essentially:

Boggs: "I was awesome. I did this. I did that. I could've done anything I wanted to. I'm so friggin' amazing. God, was I good. I love killing innocent elephants and lions. I'd like to specifically NOT mention the support of my teammates. I am god."

Kay: "I know what it's like, Wade."

Boggs also did something that is my main pet peeve in baseball player interviews. He referred to "your Joe DiMaggio's, your Mike Schmidt's, your George Brett's..." Uggggghhh. There's only one of each! What the hell are you talking about? Who are the other George Brett's? Is Tony Gwynn a George Brett? I think he'd be pissed about that. I imagine a picture of George Brett and eight other guys who were similar to him, and under each guy would be the words "George Brett." And the title would be "Baseball's George Bretts."

My personal favorite is Monkeyshitz, but I usually go with Monkeywrench when I'm worried about the content rating. And then there's the ever-fun Mintyfresh version.

Curiously enough, Doug M. is not an acceptable option. Why? Well because of our dear Mr Mirabelli, also a Doug M. Such being the case, and Mientkiewicz (see, I can spell it properly if I want to) being a name that invites creative interpretive spellings ... you get the picture.
The "Baseball's George Bretts" bit is going to make laugh every time I think about it.
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Location: Rhode Island, United States