Results tagged ‘ Mickey Mantle ’
Abominable Apocryphal Deplorable Illustrious Wonder
This weekend provided some flat out taint tickling and nipple pulling excitement golf at the Masters. And…guess what….because…wait for it…. Tiger Damn Woods was in the middle of it. Shocker.
If Tiger isn’t playing, I’m not watching. If Tiger isn’t in the hunt, I’m usually running naked through the yard, among other Sunday things on my to-do list.
The thing with Tiger is it’s so rare to watch someone be the absolute best at something. Jazz-wise we have Coltrane, Armstrong, Miles, Ellington, Parker, Ornette. Once in a lifetimers. I’m not necessarily a golf fan, but I am Tiger fan. I want him to get back to just assassinating the field every weekend he plays. It brings me joy to see anyone he’s paired with pee his pants and lose his s***, or as Ralphy Wiggums would say, “I have two kinds of wet in my pants.”
It’s not about how nice he is or was to the fans, or exceptionally boring and emotionless to the media. I couldn’t care less. It’s not about his love of whooouures. And it’s not about me watching to see a devoted, faithful husband church goin family man.
I want the stone cold killa. I want him to murder people. The way he used to.
I had no problem when Michael Jordan would talk trash, or be a complete pr!ck to his teammates; because his play was legendary. His competitiveness was legendary boarding on hilariousness. “Dude, Jordan just knocked out Horace Grant in practice! He’s so competitive…” “Did you hear Michael put arsenic in Cartwright’s Cheerios to motivate him? SO COMPETITIVE…”
To me, Barry Bonds was different because he cheated the game. Big Mac (Mark McGwire) cheated the game. I loved Jose Canseco (mostly for trading card purposes) as a kid, but he cheated and ever since he retired he has been completely worthless, (other than exposing some other users).
I was a Bulls fan growing up, but I know non Bulls fans across the world that prayed that they could witness in person what M-Jeff could do on any given night. To be there transfixed on the master transforming the court, baseline to baseline, into a cathedral of windmilling-above-the-rim-artistry. Poetry in white-hot electric motion. Also, the only guy ever who could pull off a Hitler stache….
In baseball, (believe it or not), some of the worst people ever are LEGENDARY PLAYERS. Or….as I would like to dub, the Veda Pierce division, (fyi, watch the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce. Amazing. The daughter Veda Pierce is the worst, most vile piece of filth I’ve ever encountered in a film character. Yeeshh…WOMEN are awful to each other. The things women say to their own friends is unbelievable. We’ll save this for another time.)
A short list in the V-Pierce division……..Ty Cobb, (beat up a man with no hands once), Mickey Mantle (showed up wasted to games and told young endearing fans to buzz off), Bonds (liar…liar…cheat), Jeff Kent (renowned male member), Roger Clemens (no explanation necessary), Ugueth Urbina, (not so legendary but assaulted servants unwarranted with a machete for swimming in his pool, now in jail for 20 years…) etc…..
Tiger doesn’t have a great rep with the fans, but how many times were Nicklaus and Palmer miked up and how many times did they yell at fans to shut up or trash talked or cussed up and down the course that we’ll never know about?
We don’t ask the legends to be humanitarians, nor wonderful people. We need them to be heroes of their game. Our heroes won’t always be nice. But they DO things no one else can or ever will do. Everything else is perception mixed with irrational desire for purity. The true pureness is the game played at the highest level.
That’s all I want.
And Latrell Sprewell choking P.J. Carlesimo, because don’t we all want to choke P.J. Carlesimo at some point?? I mean….he tried to play Kevin Durant at shooting guard???
I often mix up Micky Mantle and Roger Maris. I think it has something to do with the similarities between the names, the fact that they both played for the Yankees and that I wasn’t alive when either one of them was playing. Admittedly, this isn’t much of an excuse and I should probably feel pretty bad even admitting that this is true but if you can’t be honest on the internet, where else can you go?
However, as bad as my mix-up may be, it’s nothing compared to the mistake Republicans have made for the past 30 years. Whoops!
Ok, before you comment, yes, I do realize that the Onion is a satirical newspaper even if this distinction is not always apparent. But the beauty of the Onion is that its articles often contain a particularly trenchant social commentary. For someone who has become the touchstone for the US brand of conservatism, Reagan was not particularly conservative. He wasn’t a religious man, he spent taxpayer money like Plaxico Burress at a strip club and, on top of that, more and more evidence has surfaced to show that the Alzheimer’s which completely debilitated him later in life had already set in during his tenure in the White House. So why has Reagan remained the conservative hero instead of Ike, a true war hero, a brilliant tactician and a well-liked President?
If you ask me, I think it’s because Ike was bald. People are afraid of the bald. Ok, fine, maybe it’s not that. Maybe it’s something even simpler. Maybe it’s the fact that Ike warned against the growing military-industrial complex while Reagan actively supported it.
Or maybe it’s the fact that many of today’s Republican leaders are just plain and simple insane. Seriously, Michele Bachmann isn’t fit to lead a PTA, much less be a spokesperson for the conservative vanguard. I actually like some of Ron Paul’s ideas but ultimately his obsession with killing the Fed and completely disengaging from the world are dangerous at best and probably closer to sociopathic in reality.
Sure, I admit that I get people mixed up. But usually it’s because either their names are similar or they look kind of the same. This attribution of Eisenhower’s ideals to Reagan and their further transformation into the current pseudo-Reagan conservatism is an entirely different ballpark. And unlike my mix up which simply gets me ridiculed by baseball fans, the conservative shell game might just leave the country insolvent. It’s almost enough to drive Mickey Mantle to drink.
In our ongoing exploration of all the reasons we love baseball, I like to occasionally return to the audacity exemplified by some of the players of the past century. And, like it or not, I also have to give grudging respect to the Yankees in this category. We have already discussed Pete Rose’s stirring tribute to Joe DiMaggio so it’s only fair that we now pay tribute to alcoholic extraordinaire Mickey Mantle.
Sure, it might have just been Mantle making an ironic statement on the Yankees’ exploitation of his fame and status but I prefer to think that this little event really happened one sunny afternoon under the bleachers. And if I have to pick just one favorite part, I’d go with the fact that he signs the letter “Micky Mantle, All-American Boy.” The irony alone almost makes me want to become a Yankees fan. Almost.
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Jeff and Johanna break out the hot stove holiday eggnog (topped off with a couple gallons of that special Kentucky blend, of course) and discuss all things important to the baseball-politico world, including but not limited to: adult circumcision, the 1960 World Series, the Phillies’ impending rape of the National League, peeing on your hands a la Moises Alou to get a better grip and much, much more… all to make you forget with a smile the horrors of your latest office party!
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Recorded Saturday, December 18, 2010
I had the good fortune of spending this past weekend in South Jersey with some of the hardest of hard core Phillies fans one will ever meet; and I have a barrage of UDIs* to prove it. My host, Bill, CEO of MyTeamRivals.com and co-author of the Phightin’ Phils Phorum has one of the coolest baseball man-caves I have ever seen, touting a full bar alongside every Phillie autograph you could imagine plus stunning memorabilia including a Mickey Mantle signed bat hanging proudly on the wall.
Like Chico Escuela, “Beisol been a bery, bery good to me.”
Without the interwebs and blogging baseball for the last two years, I would have never met Bill. In fact, through writing about my obsession, I have become good friends with so many cool, interesting, like-minded baseball fans that sometimes I just have to pinch myself at how neat it all is — that I could become good friends with people I have never met who live all over the world, from Tokyo to London to New York to L.A. to Denver to Houston to Boston to Philadelphia and everywhere in between.
And on Saturday night, while the Phillie faction was deep into a heated discussion about Ruben Amaro’s sanity, I was drawn to the poor Mr. Met effigy hanging upside down at the end of the bar, and more importantly to the fella sitting in front of it. His name was (still is) Mike. Mike, the lone Mets fan. We got to talking about baseball (what else?) and before long it was revealed that Mike was at Game 6 of the 1986 World Series — perhaps the greatest World Series game ever played.
I explained to Mike how that game (and that World Series) was the key component to my baseball fanaticism going from casual to die-hard at the speed of a first base-side groundball through the wickets. And the St. Louis Cardinals weren’t even involved.
Of course, I was only 7 years old, but I remember the hype, the hoopla, the buzz about the Red Sox finally one game away from a title and the unruly and wildly charming bad boyz from Queens standing in their way. I sat alongside my father and my grandmother, watching every pitch. And as the game approached the bottom of the 9th, I clearly remember thinking that this was finally going to be the Red Sox’ moment, that they would finally reach the top after years of disappointment.
In those days, if the Cardinals weren’t in the World Series, I took my dad’s side in rooting for the National League team, no matter who it was, for according to him, the National League’s was the better game — the way it was supposed to be played.
And I remember, as the Mets’ magic unfolded and Ray Knight crossed home plate to the tune of Vin Scully’s “And the Mets wiiiiiiin it!”, that I, too, went nuts with excitement. I jumped up and down and ran around the house with the type of joy that is best defined by youth — a little boy’s bliss brought on by the simple idea that you can do anything if you work hard and never give up.
At that exact moment I decided that that was what baseball was all about — and that life was a game of baseball: full of drama, full of hope, full of solace, full of emotion.
Mike was there.
He knew what I was talkin’ about.
Anyone who has ever called him or herself a baseball fan knows exactly what we’re talkin’ about.
And that, to me, is power.
So, y’know, don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
*UDI = Unidentified Drunken Injury
This is exactly why I didn’t want to like Jay-Z’s new album, The Blueprint 3. As the resident Brett Favre of the rap game, Jay-Z has taunted us with his multiple “retirements”, all along gradually stepping away from his street-centric roots and engaging in the bling-bling-I-got-hoes-money-and-fame garbage that has destroyed my ability to find any entertainment value in modern hip-hop.
But Alicia Keys sucked me; and as much as I hate to admit it: Empire State of Mind is a killer track.
Still, there is one Jay-Z line that makes me cringe with disgust:
s*** I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can…”
Ever heard of a fella by the name of Babe Ruth? How about DiMaggio? Gehrig? Mantle? Mattingly? Jeter?
I know Jay-Z is a lot like me in that sometimes he says dumb s*** just to say it, to see what kind of reaction he gets, to be relevant, to stir up trouble.
But even I have limitations… and dissing some of the greatest players to ever play the game is certainly among them.
Shame on you, Jay-Z.
And unless you can find a way to put Alicia Keys on every song you ever do from now until the end of time, you won’t be getting my money ever again.
Hate me ‘cuz I gotz some street cred of my own, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.