Minors Imitating Majors: Nick Goody

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You may click to enlarge the Funk.

You may click to enlarge the Funk.

There are some among us whose style, whose carriage, is so unique we are compelled to imitate it.  We should forgive ourselves of this, and rebuke those who would deny us our imitation, for we are but mortal and cannot be expected to throw on the bedraggled rags of shabbiness when the vestments of divine Funk are near.  Like Eddie Murphy robed in the sweaty velvet of Soul, we dip our toes into the Celebrity Tub that is HOT, and in the process, stave off banality for one more day.

Nick Goody

So Please, Please, Please, join me in remarking that Nick Goody, number 58 of the Tampa Yankees, resembles Jonathan Papelbon, also number 58, of the Philadelphia Phillies.  Let us enumerate as we contemplate the ways in which they are similar:

1.       Pre-pitch flat back

2.      Pre-pitch hanging right arm

3.      Pre-pitch left foot double tap

4.      Pre-pitch glove positioning at right shoulder

5.      Mid-delivery left knee raise across body

6.      Mid-delivery high right leg whip

7.      Post-pitch hop

 

First, the exemplar (Sep. 30, 2012):

Now, the mimic.  The official BBB videographer, who it seems is apathetic towards the lint on his lens or he would have done something about it by now, captured video of Mr. Goody at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin (Aug 29, 2012):

The attentive viewer will note Mr. Goody discourages stolen base attempts by expediting his knee raise while third base is open and a runner is on second, but that doing so is unnecessary while second and third bases are occupied.

This has been the second installment of Minors Imitating Majors

The Mysterious Windows of Joker Marchant

March 14, 2010. Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers.

March 14, 2010. Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers.

One of the more intriguing sights of Florida’s baseball parks’ is the mysterious building just past the first base line at Joker Marchant Stadium.  The darkly shaded and, until now apparently, tinted windows have always kept nosy onlookers from peering into the clandestine operations of the Detroit Tigers installation in Lakeland.  What’s in there?  Minor League scouting department?  Player training rooms?  Jim Leyland’s spring training stockpile of unfiltered Camels?

officeThe prevailing theory amongst the BBB staff of leisured analysts, who like to chit chat by the water cooler all day when they should be making funny gifs, or proofreading, or doing something for Christ’s sake, is that the dark tint hides the executive office of “The Judge” (Robert Prosky), owner of the fictional New York Knights baseball team in The Natural, starring toothsome Robert Redford. As you may recall, The Judge kept his office dimly lit, thus proving he had overcome a powerful childhood fear of the dark.  Thanks to the good folks at YouTube, the relevant scene is available below, and no, Jackass, you don’t have to watch the whole movie.  Just harness a few calories from this morning’s Mr.-Pibb-and-potato-chip breakfast to click and drag your electronic mouse pointer to the 54:45 mark.

Sadly, the BBB analysts’ theory was disproved Saturday as the setting sun retired to the west and revealed the room’s interior.  There was no hint of swirling cigar smoke, or imposing taxidermy, or powerful men uttering threats implied through teeth gnashed.  There were no imposing capitalists with their generous offers, provided we have an understanding, of course.  There was nothing but boring chairs and stupid walls and dumb sunlight, spreading its factuality all over everything.  

Dammit Truth, you’ve ruined Mystery again.

August 4th, 2012. Flying Tigers vs. Clearwater Threshers.

August 4th, 2012. Flying Tigers vs. Clearwater Threshers.

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The Buzzing Lights of Joker Marchant

A visual metaphor for the auditory intrusion of the incessantly buzzing lights at Joker Marchant Stadium, the otherwise beautiful and pleasing Florida home of the Detroit Tigers.

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Update: As of the 2013 season, the buzzing has stopped.
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Create Video Success: Digital Pompadour

The right place and the right time have rendezvoused quite a lot recently within sight of the official BBB videographer.   This past Saturday it happened at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  The videographer, who isn’t very talented but tries real hard, arrived early and took his assigned seat next to an amiable old man from Poughkeepsie.  While taking the first bite from something called a “knish”, the videographer overheard the Poughkeepsian say, “Get a load of this guy’s hairdo.”  The videographer looked up, stopped chewing immediately, and then searched desperately for his camera.

Now, women are generally expected to arrange their hair into a pleasing coiffure from time to time, if not every business day and most romantic evenings.  For men however, a beautiful arrangement of hair is a rare treat indeed.  It is for this reason the videographer seems especially taken with the appearance of this strange man and his alluring pompadour.  The video is a success because the software used to create it tells us so.   (The video for this post did not survive the transition from the old site, but this picture will suffice.)

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Despite occasional flights of fancy, the BBB videographer is a true gentleman, and as such, does not succumb to base desires.  Therefore, there is no way, no possible way, he might have grabbed that strange man’s head and rubbed his cheeks through its unimaginable fluffiness, back and forth, slowly and smoothly, in a manner not unlike the spreading of icing on a cake.  No possible way.

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Jim Thome is Trying Hard to Get to Third Base

On March 5th, 2012, at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, Jim Thome was 6 foot 3 inches, 250 pounds, and 41 years old all day long.  Also on that day, Jim Thome was the stuff of legend, having previously hit 604 home runs, amassed 71.5 career WAR, and maintained a career .406 wOBA and a 145 wRC+ over his 21-year career.  For all of these number-y type reasons, he probably should not have stayed in the game after hitting a double in the fourth inning of an early March spring training game.  But he did, and the official BBB videographer, who is not very skilled but means well, was there to capture the moment.

Now, when Jim Thome enters the field of play, he takes it.  He takes it, and he enters it, like a stallion takes and enters a mare.  Nay, he enters the field of play, taking it in the process, on a chariot pulled by forty magnificent stallions, each named in honor of glorious notions like Dominion, Liberty, and Emancipation, to name but a few.  He then dismounts the chariot and enters the batter’s box trumpeting his presence with appendage extended, batting implement erect and purposeful.  The elegantly trotting stallion train exits stage left, shitting copiously and indiscriminately a carpet of perfect white doves, each destined for the heavens on wings whispered by angel’s breath.

Then Jim Thome hit that double and when he ran the bases, all 250 pounds and 41 years of him looked like this:

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Ozzie Guillen Will Show Us the Way

So much of human interaction seems more difficult than it need be.  Too often those of us desiring simply to be and to do are thwarted and ensnared and forced to suffer by those compelled to connive and to machinate.  Jealousies are conceived, petty squabbles are played out, and for what?  In the end, we’re all just headed for a box in the ground. 

So, while we are here, alive and forced to endure one another, why don’t we all just spread moments of pure joy?  On Thursday, the Miami Marlins and the Atlanta Braves played a baseball game at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  At the end of a game in which neither side won nor lost, but both were better for the experience, Ozzie Guillen showed us the way: 

Featured image credit:  Elitedaily.com

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A Perfect Moment at the Ballpark

I can’t imagine how many dutiful repetitions it takes to hone a major league baseball swing, from little league to high school, maybe college, and then up through the minors.  Repetition upon repetition upon endless repetition, batting and cracking and whiffing through puffy blisters and the deflated pride baseball brings to those who play.  Over and over again, and then some more, sculpting the muscular contractions and synaptic pulses required for reproducible perfection.

Thirty-six different men, some of whom are paid exorbitantly for doing so, stepped into the batter’s box on Wednesday March 7th, 2012 at Steinbrenner Field.  Not one of them achieved quite the moment of perfection achieved in section 204 when a small human being wearing a baseball cap sat on the shoulders of a large human being, also wearing a baseball cap, at a game of spring training baseball.

father and son

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JEtbLue pArk Scoreboard

The reader should know this BBB contributor has a day job which requires him to wear fancy pants and to answer the phone when it makes a noise.  This job requires him to speak of things “going forward” and to “leverage” those things and to reply with “warm regards” to electronic internet mail about those things.  When alone and desiring nothing other than to produce or consume baseball writing, this contributor may refer to these requirements as his “stupid fucking job” even though he is exceedingly grateful to have it and he knows it is far from stupid.  But you see, at times when he must sleep before going to work, or iron his fancy pants in preparation for work, or be present at work when he would much rather imbibe baseball’s sweet, chin-dripping nectar, this contributor may be forgiven for referring to his employment with the aforementioned vulgarity.

It should also be noted there has been a bit of controversy at the BBB since you last joined us.  The leader of this outpost offered a gift to the commander of a much, much larger outfit and that gift was rejected, quickly and without much comment.  As many gifts do, it also benefited the giver through appearance of thoughtfulness or of skill in creating said gift, slightly, but measurably so.  However, the net generosity of the gift was not appreciated and its existence nullified.  I will not go into further detail about the recipient.  Suffice it to say he appears entrenched in his position and cannot be dug out, not even for a million bucks, I’ll bet.  Instead, I will share with you video treasure I pirated away from Jetblue Park, a name I insist on capitalizing because of the official BBB stance on ridiculously creative corporate name capitalization.

With the preceding thoughts in mind, this contributor hopes the reader will forgive the tardiness of this dispatch.  The source material dates back to March 3rd, 2012, exactly 16 days prior.  The subject of the source material dates back even further, decades in fact.  It is big and green and like most things lately, an embarrassment to Red Sox Nation:

Despite the September meltdown, the Red Sox offense plated 875 runs in 2011, more than any other team in the majors.  That offense is still punishing, and the wretched scoreboard operators who must update the scoreboard from the outside in between play, can woefully attest to this fact.  What happened on March 3rd, inaugural day at JEtbLue pArk, is what happens when an unstoppable force meets a fanciful notion.  En route to a 25-0 victory over Northeastern University, the Red Sox, who like to pick on people not of their own size, scored touchdowns in the 2nd, 4th, and 6th innings.  Mercifully, the game was scheduled for only 7 innings as there was another game set for later that day.

The more important takeaway from this game is that the scoreboard, formerly in operation at Fenway Park for many years, was brought out of storage to be installed at JEtbLue pArk, where it cannot be operated from the inside.  It is for this reason the scoreboard is a fine example of an excellent idea poorly executed.  Red Sox Nation begins this season as it finished the last, with regret over things not done properly.  As a Rays fan and one who fosters friendly rivalry, I say that regret is well-deserved.  They are after all, Red Sox Nation, and as such, deserve all bad things.

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Red Sox Fans are Vile People

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Click to magnify the transgressors’ drunken scrawls.

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The fact that Red Sox fans are ruthless, vulgar, and cause trouble has been previously articulated. The official BBB photographer captured pictorial evidence in support of this fact Saturday at the inaugural game of JEtbLue pArk, the Red Sox shimmering new spring training home in Fort Myers, Florida. Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox fans, known for their poor impulse control and general wickedness, saw fit to defile the pristine yellow foul pole marking the divide between what is allowed and what is not. It surprises the author Red Sox Nation even installed such a structure, given its apparent disregard for boundaries of any nature and its repudiation of The Social Contract. As my Meemaw used to say, “Fools’ names and fools’ faces often appear in public places.” If Meemaw were alive today, she would no doubt have stern words for the tanked up hooligans atop Green Monster South.

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BAAACK!!!

Hello, reader.  How are you?  Traipsing through the internet again?  Have you wandered here during another pre-study procrastination ritual ultimately leading to various what-if GPA calculations?  Don’t bother, because although the formulas may equal the number 2 followed by a decimal followed by another smallish number, exactly none of them equals a parent’s pride.

Or are your college days behind you?  Are you sitting at a cubicle, hunched over a homemade ham sandwich; siphoning off a few moments of free time from ACME Inc.’s network bandwidth?  Look at that sandwich.  Feel the weight of its soggy shame in your hands.  It has that soda can indentation again from being carried together in the paper sack, doesn’t it?  Of course it does, you pathetic bastard.

Although the unrelenting series of heartbeats and respirations you call a life may not have exceeded your expectations thus far, you may seek some solace in its small pleasures.  For the next 131 seconds you may live vicariously through the base runner’s experience, fraught with tense moments of public hesitation, uncertainty, and fear of letting others down.  Much like your wretched existence, probably.  So watch the video and then decide at each pivotal, paused moment whether the pitcher will pitch to home or attempt to pick you off, resulting in urgent howls of “BAAACK!” from your dugout.  Then, when your wistful daydream reaches its sad conclusion, sigh quietly to yourself, close your internetting browser, and produce another widget for The Man.

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