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Friday, August 05, 2011

Pitchers & Poets: Broder: Athletes, Musicians, and The Number 27

As the Dumbbell Nebula rings again…

If baseball players are the pillars of one model of orderly society, art is littered with the corpses of social outcasts. Nietzsche and Van Gogh went crazy. Dostoyevsky was politically oppressed. Brian Wilson couldn’t get out of bed for a decade. But there’s a reason why A&E can get away with running low-budget shows like “Hoarders” and “Intervention” back-to-back for 24 hours at a time. Even in the baseball universe, we can’t escape the pull of human-interest stories. Roy Halladay didn’t become the best pitcher in baseball until he was forced to reinvent himself in low-A ball. Josh Hamilton recovered from hard drug addiction. Zack Greinke overcame anxiety. Of course, the oft-repeated stories are always about the successful recoveries – the Lenny Dykstras and Ken Caminitis who fall victim to their own excesses are relegated to occasional fine-print bulletins and lamentful obituaries. They become “True Hollywood Stories” or the subjects of sanguine television movies.

Jacoby Ellsbury was born three days before Amy Winehouse. Think about that for a second. Jacoby Ellsbury is older than Amy Winehouse. In a game in which an early middle-aged man is referred to as a “shell” or a “corpse” by cynical commentators and some men shift to the coaching ranks in their mid-thirties, Ellsbury is a paragon of youth. He’s 27 and he’s having the best year of his career – hitting .300, stealing a ton of bases and just now adding power to the mix. He’s emerging as one of the best young – emphasis on young – players in the game today. To say that he’s still very much alive would be understating the point.

Repoz Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:11 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fantasy baseball, history, media, music, obituaries, red sox

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   1. PreservedFish Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3893322)
That show Hoarders is terrifying.
   2. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3893327)
Unless I missed something in philosophy class and art history class, Nietzsche was not an artist.

That show Hoarders is terrifying.


Every time I watch it, I get the urge to throw everything out.
   3. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3893331)
And yeah, it's amazing that Ellsbury looks so much younger than this thing.

Also, Ellsbury's girlfriend is not cute.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#3893336)
#2: me too. I had never heard of it, and then watched 3-4 episodes on Netflix. Big clean out the next day.

That show also turns me into a fascist. Those people should be neutered and then sent to a prison island.

But it also gives me a lot of self-confidence. I may be a bit messy from time to time, but you'll never find 43 dead cats in my garage!
   5. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#3893340)
Jacoby Ellsbury was born three days before Amy Winehouse. Think about that for a second.

That's about three-quarters of a second more than it deserves, but all right.

Lenny Dykstra was born one day after Travis Tritt. Ken Caminiti was born five days after Little Jimmy Osmond. Zach Greinke was born three weeks after T-Pain. Roy Halladay was born two weeks after one of the guys in Reel Big Fish, and two weeks before one of the other guys in Reel Big Fish. Think about it.
   6. tshipman Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3893348)
Zach Greinke was born three weeks after T-Pain.


"Zach Greinke" is a good name to yell into an autotuner.

Coincidence?
   7. Lassus Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3893349)
That show Hoarders is terrifying.

Every time I watch it, I get the urge to throw everything out.


I have to force my mother to watch it as therapy for just that reason. She's not Hoarders-level, but her VORP (packrat) is definitely HOVG.
   8. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3893353)
Oh ####! I'm sure I'm the last to know, but Amy Winehouse died?
   9. gef, more dangerous than a monkey w/ a razor blade Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3893359)
Oh ####! I'm sure I'm the last to know, but Amy Winehouse died?


As with Calvin Coolidge, how could they tell?
   10. Dale Sams Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:47 PM (#3893390)
Brian Wilson couldn’t get out of bed for a decade


Did the Giants know that when they drafted him?
   11. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:20 PM (#3893417)
Unless I missed something in philosophy class and art history class, Nietzsche was not an artist.


Nietzsche was one of the few major philosophers who made an effort to write interesting prose, and maybe the only one (since antiquity, at least) to obsess over the meter of his writing. It's a bit of a stretch to call him an artist, but not a massive one.
   12. Halofan Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:03 PM (#3893461)
1. Nietzche actually understood art.
2. "Hoarders" would be unwatchable if they included the smell of those places.
3. Mike Trout is a year younger than Jon-Benet Ramsey.

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