Monday, August 4, 2008

The Man Behind the Moose

There is a little known fact about Mike Mussina that I think it’s just about time we bring to the surface. True, he’s a terrific pitcher and has met with amazing success this year. And before I proceed, I definitely want to take a moment to tell all the people who were calling him a good-for-nothing bum at the beginning of the season that, well, sorry, but you were wrong. And to the same people who, year after year, have harassed Mussina for his diminished post All-Star break performance, saying that it was only a matter of time before he unraveled again this year, still wrong. Oh, and just for good measure, Hank Steinbrenner—wrong. Moose is a different pitcher this season, and he brings to the mound a completely improved and refined approach to the game.

However, despite the discussions about Cy Young Awards and the possibility of twenty games, there’s something about Moose that doesn’t get talked about a lot. It’s the fact that—and I don’t know quite how to say this, so I’m just going to—he’s an eccentric. How do we know this? We know because, a couple of years back, Tim McCarver told us. In fact, he didn’t just tell us, but he told us over and over and over again. Despite the media attention Moose has been getting of late, and in spite of McCarver’s efforts to communicate this information, I feel it’s been overlooked. Who can say why? Could it be because people—oh, I don’t know—systematically avoid paying attention to anything McCarver says? A fact that, I know, is difficult to understand. He makes such astute observations. For example, he’s the one who told us, “It’s better to have a fast runner on base than a slow one.” He also rattled the baseball world with the stunning revelation, “One thing about ground balls—they don’t go out of the park.” These are both true statements. Tim McCarver is dropping truth bombs, and no one is listening.

An eccentric can be defined as “someone you would find hanging out in Starbucks writing poetry.” That’s not, like, a dictionary definition or anything. But I’m sitting down, and I’m lazy, so I figured I’d go with the definition McCarver gave us, which is just as good. And while McCarver seems to define pretty much EVERY pitcher as an eccentric, it’s a point he seems to particularly emphasize with Moose.

Why, you may ask, does this matter? How should the knowledge that Mike Mussina is an eccentric affect my life? Simple. You go to Starbucks probably. I mean, I don’t because I have an edge. But you may. How many times have you seen some guy sitting huddled over his laptop, drinking a soy chai, spilling his angst onto a screen? And how many times have you rolled your eyes and thought to yourself, “I’ve had it up to HERE with all the ECCENTRICS in this city”? Well, what if that eccentric you rolled your eyes and cursed under your breath at just happened to be Mike Mussina? Wouldn’t you feel a little silly to know that you were so busy snubbing him for his eccentricitiy that you missed the opportunity to tell him you always believed in him, or—if it applies—to apologize for your idiocy and lack of faith? I know I would. So next time you go to Starbucks, take a closer look at that man behind the screen. It just might be this year’s Cy Young Award winner. Well, probably not because, even with twenty wins, the CY is still a long shot for Moose. But it just might be the guy who is on the road to helping the Yanks edge their way towards October. And he might just be writing an epic masterpiece. As eccentrics do. In Starbucks.

Robinson Cano has been held out of the starting lineup for the past two games on account of pain from a bruised hand. I won’t say who (Jon Lester), but one of the Red Sox pitchers hit Cano in the hand with a cutter last week, and it’s been bothering him ever since. Cano commented that, while he was sitting out, he was just going to act as a cheerleader. Adorable. We’ve won the last two, despite the loss of Cano in the lineup. I’m thinking he’s a REALLY good cheerleader. Or Betemit may be a betta’ man than we thought. Cano did come into yesterday’s game in the eighth, and despite the injury, he managed a two-run single. So, I guess we’ve gotta hand it to him. Pun intended. At least I’m honest, Yallof.

Quite a fracas in Chicago, eh? Reminds me of that old song:

Well, it’s bad, bad Ozzie G.
Baddest man in the ALCD
Badder than old King Kong
Meaner than Barry Bonds

What? I’m trying here.

The latest on the Chronicles of Farvia: Looks like Farv is, indeed, an idiot and not a mastermind. He seems hell bent on playing, after all. I should have known. No one’s smart enough to make up being so stupid as to mispronounce his own last name. I need to learn to trust my gut.

For the record, I want to respond to A-Rod's one person fan club and say that I don’t blame A-Rod for the fact that the Yanks haven’t played in a Series since he joined the team. That is not what I meant to imply in my previous posting. What I was trying to say is that, given A-Rod’s performance during postseasons past, it will be hard to muster sympathy for him if he winds up as one of the greats who never gets to taste a battle for the championship. That, however, is not what’s really important. What’s important is that you called me unoriginal. And that not just hurts. It stings. (I still don't know what that means, but I LOVE to say it.) I’ll have you know that I was hating A-Rod before hating A-Rod was cool. I have a t-shirt that says, “I Heart Soriano More Than Ever,” acquired in 2004 when he was traded for Frost Tip. There are five such shirts in existence. I had them made. It’s not a question of originality; I just can’t stand the guy. Never could. As for your assertion that his handsomeness is irrefutable, I guess all I can say is that one man’s Greek statue is another man’s tanning bed accident.

All right. I’d stick around, but I’m running late for my matinee showing of Mamma Mia!.

Seriously. I hope you know me better by now.


jane said...

i don't totally know how to type out into words the look stevie g. gave us during intermission at the broadway production of mamma mia, but consider it hereby attached hereto (with love and respect, obv, to stevie g., in perpetuity).

out to pasture said...

I'd give anything to see Stevie G. even entering the theater to see Mamma Mia, never mind make it to intermission. Did he get up and dance at the end?
Oh, and as for Alex (he likes to call himself Alex), you gotta see him close up, in street clothes....who knows what goes on between the ears, but in this particular case, it doesn't really matter...

Movie Maven said...

Greetings from another Melanie Greenberg in Chicagoland. Found your blog via Google.

I just saw Mamma Mia this weekend and loved it.

I just started blogging, too, but mine is very different. I'm the movie maven, while you are definitely the sports maven!