All the world’s a Farv, and all the men and women merely Farvers. Well, if that’s the case, then all the media coverage makes sense. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I want to be hearing about the conflict in the Middle East, the animals on the endangered species list, the economy, Darfur, immigration, the energy crisis. That stuff’s depressing. It’s fine and not at all irresponsible for the press to focus every single ounce of its attention on a professional athlete. That’s not my issue. My issue is that, unless he changes the spelling or pronunciation of his name, I can’t care about Brett Farv. Fav-ruh. Whatever.
OK. Not entirely true. There is one reason I care about Brett Farv at this point, and it’s that everything he does is a reflection on me and the accuracy of my reporting, which we all know is based on cold hard facts, facts that I fabricate based on gut feelings. Consequently, it’s my duty to announce that there has been compelling new evidence to suggest that I may have actually been wrong about our good friend Farv. The NFL intends to reinstate him tomorrow, which means that he is likely planning to turn down the $20 million over ten years to do nothing deal, which would mean that he is NOT an evil mastermind, but an idiot after all. This was, of course, what I reported initially. Either way, I was right once. Stay tuned for more. I’m sure you’ll be hearing it from someone, whether or not you want to, lots and lots of times, every single day.
In the meantime, let’s move onto something that actually matters. Like the Ken Griffey Jr. trade. The obvious story here is that you have a 600+ home run hitter, who has never been to a World Series, traded to a team where he might finally be given a shot. It's a trade that people seem to have mixed feelings about. The argument against it is that that the two things the ChiSox don’t need are a hitter past his prime and a mediocre center fielder. The argument for it is that, while Griffey Jr.'s gotten older, he’s still a solid power hitter and a reliable fielder. Not to mention the fact that he’s definitely beats the struggling Konerko, who they can bench with the addition of Griffey Jr. to their lineup. Plus, it's Ken Griffey Jr. KEN GRIFFEY JR. How is it not an asset to your players just to have him breathe near them? (I got to listen to McCarver, Buck and Rosenthal debate this one during the game yesterday. Guess what? They SOUND stupid because they ARE stupid.) One of my readers commented to me that, even though Griffey Jr. isn't the player he was for Seattle, he’ll probably win four games for the Sox before the season is up. I tend to agree. He’s already won one, and for that reason, I like him at good old U.S. Cellular Field. (Seriously, whoever sold the naming rights didn't get how bad that was?) But whatever your camp, one thing we can agree on is that Griffey Jr. is finally playing for a team that might take him to the big dance.
Most people tend not to summon thoughts of A-Rod when thinking about Griffey Jr. In fact, if you’re like me, you summon thoughts of A-Rod as infrequently as possible. Why? Mainly because he’s an arrogant, image-obsessed, frosted tip-having, Madonna-cheating idiot who doesn’t know what it means to be a team player. Ken Griffey Jr., on the other hand is what you’d call the consummate team player. The quintessential class act, Griffey Jr. has never had frosted tips or dated Madonna, to my knowledge. And I think we would pretty much all be willing to bet the farm that he has never touched anything that could be said to even vaguely resemble a steroid. In an ideal fantasy world that doesn’t exist where baseball players could actually be dependable role models for our children, I would pick Griffey Jr. to set the mold. True, he did explode and make a throat slashing signal at Reds announcer Jeff Brantley the other day. But that guy is a mean-spirited, lying sack of idiot, who had it coming. Not to mention the fact that making a throat slashing signal is obviously hilarious. Like, Jason Giambi giving the bird to Millar hilarious. That, however, is not even the point. The point is that Griffey Jr., classy guy that he is, was big enough to apologize for the basically one wrong thing he’s ever done, which he only did in retaliation for the Farviotic things Brantley had been saying about him. What would A-Rod have done? I don’t know. Whined about being misunderstood and then left the game early to go to a party with Madonna?
So what do these two have in common? Nothing, it would appear. But, in fact, they share a critical bond. Both are in the 500 home run club; neither have played in the World Series. And A-Rod, though significantly younger in baseball years, came to the Yankees for the same reason that Griffey Jr. agreed to go to the ChiSox—he wanted a ring. A fantasy that, despite being on a team that is famous for its ability to rack up championships, has eluded him since his arrival in the Bronx. Well, funnily, A-Rod himself has repeatedly proven to be one of his own worst saboteurs when it comes to achieving the long sought-after prize that is the ring. You’d never know from his postseason performance that a championship was something to which he even aspired. It makes you wonder—because we all know A-Rod’s a head case—does he have some kind of fear of success that prevents him from not sucking when it matters? If so, is he discussing it with the shrink we all know he sees because he loves to tell us about it? (By the way, A-Rod, there’s no worse endorsement for therapy than for you to say that you’re in it. Just FYI.)
We’re supposed to feel a little bit sad for the greats that never have their chance at glory, but given, well, the frosted tips, the arrogance, the inability to perform in the clutch, can we really feel sorry for A-Rod? We cheer for the Yanks because they’re the Yanks. (And, incidentally, because they’re the Yanks, I believe that A-Rod will likely live to see his precious ring.) However, I save the remorse for guys like Ernie Banks and Donnie Baseball. Now THERE’S a guy who earned his pinstripes.
Ken Griffey Jr., on the other hand, is a guy for whom you want to see it happen. Obviously not enough to want the ChiSox to beat out the Yanks in the ALCS. But he’s someone you cheer for on a personal level, nonetheless. And I’m betting that a guy like Griffey Jr., a guy who, in life as well as baseball, knows how to rise to the occasion, will do just that. After all the sweat, blood, and tears he has poured into the ballpark over the years, you better bet he’s not going to give up this opportunity without a fight.
Ultimately, it’s a moot point because LAnaheim is so good that they are likely going to beat the tar out of us all anyway. Or WILL they? Cuz guess who split the four game series against the Halos just this last weekend. That’s right. Oh, wait. Isn’t the Angels the SAME team that just SWEPT and humiliated Boston a few days ago? Yes, I believe it is. So, I hate to gloat, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to say IN YOUR FACE, COCO CRISP.
To whom do the Yanks owe their last two victories? Four-hit X-man Nady. Love him. Fourteen win Mussina. It RHYMES with Molina, so I get why it works. Home run Rodriguez. To know him is to Pudge him. Not a major contribution, but it was his first dinger for the Bombers. Then there’s Betemit, who couldn’ta picked a betta’ time to hit that home run. Again, it didn't matter that much in the end, and he was basically just compensating for his own error. I want to give the guy props when he earns them, though. (As you can see, I sort of love him and feel sorry for all the abuse.) Also, I forgot to acknowledge that, even though we got the “L” on Friday, Sidney Ponson was rock solid. So consider it acknowledged.
As for the Mets and the travesty that is their bullpen, no one could say it better than SNY studio host Matt Yallof did Saturday night when he said, “This not just hurts. It stings.” OK. Not true. Anyone could say it better than that. But a two run lead going into the ninth and Wagner’s seventh blown save of the season does not just hurts. It stings. Which I guess is worse than hurting. Wagner may have an edge, but what he doesn’t have is the necessary skill to be a closer for a team in a pennant race. Sorry, Wagner. The truth not just hurts. It stings. But don’t worry because it wasn’t your fault tonight. The blame lies with Flushing’s favorite high-priced offensive lineup, which didn’t manage to post even one run. And that’s the truth. (Incidentally, Yallof also said with regard to something else in his coverage, “Right off the bat—no pun intended.” Now, THAT was a good one. But who besides me thinks the pun WAS intended? I happen to believe that it sounds intentional because it WAS intentional. )