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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Skolnick: Old-timers lament that ‘weirdness is punished, disparaged’ in today’s game

Tons of quotes here from Bouton, Oil Can Boyd and Hrabosky…but Spaceman Lee takes the lysurging cake!

Then there’s the money ... and the risk that may come with it.

“Too much money,” Lee says. “We actually had to work for a living. These guys don’t work for a living. We had second jobs, you know we were kindergarten teachers, I was a locksmith. You know I locked Bob Dylan out of his house. I locked Neil Diamond out of his house. We actually worked for a living. I built houses, I hauled wood, took care of my three brats, changed diapers. Did all that stuff that the modern ballplayer has some nanny from Yucatan (for).”

Williams quips that if the players “literally take a look at what they’re making for playing a game, they should be laughing all the time. I don’t know if money changes people and makes them act more serious. It didn’t for me.”

...He still has a strong BoSox bias, one he cannot hide even at a Joe DiMaggio Legends Game for charity.

“I hate pinstripes,” Lee says. “They really make me want to puke. Let’s say A-Rod and Jeter fall out of an airplane. Which one hits the ground first?”

Which one?

“Who gives a .... “

Repoz Posted: April 14, 2009 at 03:21 AM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: April 14, 2009 at 03:53 AM (#3137295)
They're right about personality, but that's true everywhere.

Pioneers are weird people almost by definition. Then an occupation is handed over from the pioneers to the professionals and it becomes corporate, stale, kind of vanilla. Where isn't this true? I love IndyCar racing, but Marco is vanilla compared to his dad, Michael, who was a triple vanilla soy latte compared to his dad, Mario Andretti. NASCAR fans would no doubt rather have Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty than their generic white dudes they got now. It's just how this stuff works.

Also, King Kelly and Cap Anson and such were probably way more interesting than any of these guys. [Shrugs]
   2. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 14, 2009 at 03:56 AM (#3137297)
Not in music.
   3. McCoy Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:04 AM (#3137309)
I would say most definitely in music. Take any genre and the trailblazers are "weird" and those who follow are corporate.
   4. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:11 AM (#3137318)
We had second jobs, you know we were kindergarten teachers, I was a locksmith. You know I locked Bob Dylan out of his house. I locked Neil Diamond out of his house. We actually worked for a living.


I think Bill must have made a pretty shitty locksmith.
   5. Honkie Kong Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:35 AM (#3137342)
20 yrs from now, people like Pierzynski, Mike Gonzalez and Jack Keefe are going to say how much more colorful baseball players were in their days.
   6. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:59 AM (#3137361)
I'd like to live in a world where Carlos Zambrano is a kindergarten teacher half of the year.
   7. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:59 AM (#3137362)
Look at the guys they are asking, a bunch of hippies from the 60s! :-) Of course there were more characters back then there are today. We are back to being for the most part conformists.

Combine that with the money, and anything else would be a shocker.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: April 14, 2009 at 06:11 AM (#3137395)
baseballlibrary.com

September 4, 1891 - "Old Man" Cap Anson answers the critics who have been calling for his retirement by showing up for today's game wearing a wig and a long white beard much to the delight of the Chicago crowd. Anson wears this costume throughout the game‚ which his Colts‚ 5-3‚ win over the Beaneaters‚ stretching Chicago's lead to 7 games over Boston.

Possibly we can skip the 150-post rant on Anson's being a racist, or not, or sort of, or whatever.

I just like the wig story.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 14, 2009 at 11:03 AM (#3137423)
From a SPORT magazine story in the late 40's about Honus Wagner---the voice is Wagner's. Just another day at the ballpark and the opera:

"Reminds me of a story," he said. "Sort of shows how tough being a manager is. I remember one day we dropped a close one to the Cards. It was during the time Bill McKechnie was manager and he was a very nervous fellow. After the game, Sam Waters took him to the opera to get his mind off of what had happened that afternoon. In the middle of the second act, Bill sits up straight in his seat and yells, 'Dammit, why didn't that dumb cuss slide?' They run 'em both out of the opera house!"
   10. CFiJ Posted: April 14, 2009 at 11:24 AM (#3137429)
Jim Bouton as the Grumpy Old Man. That sucks.
   11. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 14, 2009 at 11:48 AM (#3137434)
These guys don’t work for a living. We had second jobs, you know we were kindergarten teachers, I was a locksmith. You know I locked Bob Dylan out of his house. I locked Neil Diamond out of his house. We actually worked for a living.

I'm sure guys like Kyle Davies appreciate this sort of thing.
   12. Leroy Kincaid Posted: April 14, 2009 at 11:49 AM (#3137435)
Players today do make a ton more money than back in the day but ballplayers have always been well paid. Lee probably didn't have to be a locksmith, he just wanted to.
   13. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 14, 2009 at 12:13 PM (#3137445)
12 Posts and no mention of the gravedigger? Put that in your skeleton key and smoke it!
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 14, 2009 at 12:21 PM (#3137448)
Players today do make a ton more money than back in the day but ballplayers have always been well paid. Lee probably didn't have to be a locksmith, he just wanted to.


Yes and no. While the good players could live comfortably off of their salaries back then, they needed something to fall back on after their careers ended.

With that said, I'm shocked that old ballplayers tell the same damn stories (though updated) that they did 140 years ago about how things were grand when they were lads. You would think that they would be on guard not to appear like old fogies by now.
   15. Ray (CTL) Posted: April 14, 2009 at 12:23 PM (#3137449)
Old Ballplayers Never Die.
   16. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 14, 2009 at 12:24 PM (#3137450)
Um, what is Manny then, exactly? I guess he's being punished to the tune of 2/45M.
   17. salvomania Posted: April 14, 2009 at 12:36 PM (#3137453)
Richie Hebner, right?
   18. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: April 14, 2009 at 01:06 PM (#3137458)
I'm shocked that old ballplayers tell the same damn stories (though updated) that they did 140 years ago about how things were grand when they were lads
.

"Too much money," Spalding said. "I was a locksmith. You know I locked Benjamin Harrison out of his house. I locked Horace Greeley out of his house."
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: April 14, 2009 at 01:13 PM (#3137460)
today's ballplayers are so spoiled. When they work as a locksmith during the offseason, they let their famous Jewish singer clients INTO their own houses, rather than locking them out, eliminating the need to call a second ballplayer-moonlighting-as-a-locksmith.
   20. PerroX Posted: April 14, 2009 at 01:24 PM (#3137464)
You would think that they would be on guard not to appear like old fogies by now.

The difference is that most 'old fogies' don't complain about how today's youngins ain't weird enough. I hate it when young people are disparaged for their differences, their immaturity, their openness to the new, but it's a different thing to criticize their conformity and unwillingness to stand out from the crowd. Ironically, conformity is also a trait of being young.

Liked Bouton's quote about the homogenizing effect of college education.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: April 14, 2009 at 01:48 PM (#3137477)
"Who are you? And how did you get in here?"
"I'm a locksmith. And, I'm a locksmith."

So the claim now is that Jim Bouton and Bill Lee were not seen and treated as unusual, but in fact were cheerfully accepted? Seriously? Yikes.
   22. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 14, 2009 at 02:05 PM (#3137491)
I hate it when young people are disparaged for their differences, their immaturity, their openness to the new, but it's a different thing to criticize their conformity and unwillingness to stand out from the crowd. Ironically, conformity is also a trait of being young.

Liked Bouton's quote about the homogenizing effect of college education.


Or peer pressure in general, which simultaneously civilizes us and kills much of our spirit. Only the details change as the years pass.
   23. PerroX Posted: April 14, 2009 at 02:45 PM (#3137514)
I don't really think college has that much homogenizing effect upon ballplayers. The homogenizing effect mainly comes from going all the way through the diploma mill.

College exposed me to a wonderful world of diversity and greatly aided me in becoming a broader person, but it was the general environment more than the classroom that did it. You are right, Andy, that conformity is a hard one to overcome at any time in life. I'm still working on it.
   24. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 14, 2009 at 03:04 PM (#3137535)
Actually in the case of ballplayers, college probably has a positive effect, at least if they can occasionally break away from the often stifling peer pressure of the jock culture. The problem for college jocks has always been the way they get so tied up in their sport that they wind up with a severe case of tunnel vision, and often blindly accept the narrow values of the jock culture as the norm. This is great for the team as a whole, because it promotes team unity, but it's not so great for the overall social development of the athlete.
   25. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3137607)
Who are MLB's current top five oddballs / characters?
   26. Randy Jones Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:14 PM (#3137609)
Manny
Ichiro
   27. PerroX Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3137614)
Manny and Swisher obviously. Giambi is pretty much a character. Probably lots of lower-profile players, esp. relief pitchers, who would fit the bill.
   28. Dr Stankus and the Semicolons Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3137618)
Have you heard Omar Vizquel sing? That's pretty odd.
   29. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3137621)
Randy -- those were the only two I could come up with, off the top of my head.

As for Swisher and Giambi et al, I dunno if they fit my definition real well. They seem more like jovial, "good old boys" than real characters.

El Duque, assuming he's not done. Papelbon?
   30. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:30 PM (#3137626)
Farnsworth?
   31. Quinton McCracken's BFF Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:30 PM (#3137627)
Who are MLB's current top five oddballs / characters?


Limatime was a heck of an oddball but I guess he's nowhere near a pitching mound right now.

Manny, Swisher, ... I don't know.
   32. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:33 PM (#3137629)
There's the straightedge punk guy CJ Wilson. Khalil Greene is pretty odd, but also an introvert, not exactly Bill Lee or Oil Can Boyd.
   33. Repoz Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:34 PM (#3137631)
Who are MLB's current top five oddballs / characters?

Brian Bannister
Barry Zito
   34. Nasty Nate Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:34 PM (#3137634)
JULIAN TAVAREZ is a crazy man
   35. Cris E Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:37 PM (#3137636)
Mike Redmond does the odd leader schtick in the clubhouse. He's got the naked batting practice thing that keeps a team loose but doesn't show in public.
   36. PerroX Posted: April 14, 2009 at 04:41 PM (#3137642)
Swisher's not so much an oddball as just an outgoing personality. Giambi and Zito are both pretty much just California guys.
   37. aleskel Posted: April 14, 2009 at 05:00 PM (#3137674)
Eric Byrnes
   38. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 14, 2009 at 05:02 PM (#3137679)
Mike Redmond does the odd leader schtick in the clubhouse. He's got the naked batting practice thing that keeps a team loose but doesn't show in public.

Well, that explains his groin injury.
   39. Shock is here live. Shock is not a cat. Posted: April 14, 2009 at 05:03 PM (#3137681)
JULIAN TAVAREZ is a crazy man


So is Elijah Dukes
   40. Gamingboy Posted: April 14, 2009 at 05:10 PM (#3137694)
The oddballs of the last decade or so include :
Manny (the only guy who is remotely close to the Golden Age of Oddball)
Ichiro (although how much of that is just the result of being lost-in-translation is up to debate)
Kevin Millar (more goofy than weird)
Lew Ford (who has since disappeared from the face of MLB)
Carl Everett (currently somewhere in the Independent Leagues)
Heath Bell (Wii! His claim that it was destiny to pitch against the Mets in the opener of Citifield because they had wronged him)
Grant Balfour (shouts profanities at himself on the mound)
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: April 14, 2009 at 05:15 PM (#3137700)
If you're talking the last decade, then Turk Wendell vaults to the top of the list (or at least, sits alongside Manny).
   42. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 14, 2009 at 05:18 PM (#3137706)
Byung-Hyun Kim. Just for constantly sleeping.
   43. Cod Guy Posted: April 14, 2009 at 05:37 PM (#3137730)
I doubt that he matches up with Carl Everett or anyone like that, but I remember hearing weird things about Robert Fick during his one year in Atlanta. There was a story that he adopted a stray kitten that was wandering around Turner Field, although I don't really remember the specifics of that one. FSN South also did a brief special on him and his obsessive showering - apparently he took something like five a day. They interviewed Chipper Jones, who offered something like, "Yeah, he needs to, because he smells bad." I kind of wish that Fick had stayed on the team longer than that, even if he was the vilified glove-slapper before A-Rod assumed that role.
   44. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: April 14, 2009 at 05:42 PM (#3137732)
There was a story that he adopted a stray kitten that was wandering around Turner Field, although I don't really remember the specifics of that one.


My gf & I were recalling that just this weekend. It happened at Shea, though.
   45. JJ1986 Posted: April 14, 2009 at 05:46 PM (#3137734)
John Rocker was a character, and he probably would have gotten more chances if he wasn't an #######.
Shea Hillenbrand's a character too.
   46. phredbird Posted: April 14, 2009 at 06:15 PM (#3137753)
in soviet russia, bob dylan locks out bill lee!
   47. Dock Ellis Posted: April 14, 2009 at 06:44 PM (#3137802)
Zack Greinke's a bit of a character, I think.
   48. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 14, 2009 at 06:58 PM (#3137829)
I mentioned this in the other thread, but Dallas Braden had some talkin-to-the-ball going on last night. And he's a screwball-throwing lefty!
   49. Jose Canusee Posted: April 14, 2009 at 10:48 PM (#3138291)
If we're getting out of active players Doug Glanville always seemed like someone who could survive on a comedy TV show. Matt Williams. Jay Johnstone. Any of them ever become TV broadcasters? Probably better than David Wells for continuing to have funny stories.
   50. Zach Posted: April 14, 2009 at 11:42 PM (#3138324)
Lee's kind of a professional oddball now, isn't he?

Greinke's a character, but he comes by it honestly. The things he says always make sense, they're just not the things most people would say in the same context.
   51. zenbitz Posted: April 14, 2009 at 11:53 PM (#3138331)
I don't like the way things are today, compared to the way they used to be!
   52. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 14, 2009 at 11:55 PM (#3138332)
O-Dawg. Pierzynski. Dontrelle. Chad Curtis. Miguel Batista.
   53. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 14, 2009 at 11:58 PM (#3138335)
O-Dawg. Pierzynski. Dontrelle. Chad Curtis. Miguel Batista.

And Rickey, above everybody else.
   54. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: April 15, 2009 at 12:03 AM (#3138337)
Weirdness is indeed punished these days in sports media and in baseball. Now if you'll excuse me, ESPN and the MLB Network are both airing "Top 9 MANNY BEING MANNY! Moments", which I'm going to watch while compiling a YouTube clip of all the times A.J. Pierzynski has appeared on wrestling shows. In the words of Ichiro, I hope these Pierzynski clips arouse the fire that's been dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul.
   55. Jacquot Posted: April 15, 2009 at 01:47 AM (#3138401)
"Let’s say A-Rod and Jeter fall out of an airplane. Which one hits the ground first?”

Is it wrong if I pray it's A-Rod?
   56. Jacquot Posted: April 15, 2009 at 01:47 AM (#3138403)
"Let’s say A-Rod and Jeter fall out of an airplane. Which one hits the ground first?”

Is it wrong if I pray it's A-Rod?
   57. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 15, 2009 at 01:57 AM (#3138413)
Ugueth Urbina- that dude is crazy.

Remember the time, he attacked a bunch of guys with a machete, poured gasoline on them and almost set them on fire?

Fun times.
   58. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: April 15, 2009 at 02:15 AM (#3138423)
JULIAN TAVAREZ is a crazy man


Exactly who I was going to mention.
   59. Zonk Can Sell Culture Posted: April 15, 2009 at 03:14 AM (#3138515)
If we're getting out of active players Doug Glanville always seemed like someone who could survive on a comedy TV show. Matt Williams. Jay Johnstone. Any of them ever become TV broadcasters? Probably better than David Wells for continuing to have funny stories.


Johnstone had a brief stint as a color man, Yankees I think.
   60. jwb Posted: April 15, 2009 at 06:46 AM (#3138771)
Limatime was a heck of an oddball but I guess he's nowhere near a pitching mound right now.
Oh, he is. The mound is in Long Beach rather than Chavez Ravine, though. Lew Ford was released by the Rockies before the season.

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