My Morning in Exile

I would like to take this opportunity to once again apologize for the “I Walk the Line” reference in this morning’s recaps which, in addition to being totally lame, didn’t even fit the proper rhythm of the song. Which is a crime, because a jumpy rhythm makes you feel so fine. It’ll shake all the trouble from your worried mind:

  • Does Jim Riggleman feature in the Nats’ future? Is there a funnier manager’s name than “Riggleman?” I think it would have to include the word “butt” to be funnier than that.
  • Some day I hope to take my children to Cooperstown so that they may have a chance to see Eric Bruntlett’s jersey.
  • Would you give Rich Harden $60 million?
  • Nick Johnson continues to be hurt which is in turn hurting the Marlins.
  • I’m pretty excited for the Dodgers-Rockies series.
  • Billy Wagner says no to Boston. I equivocated a bit when I wrote this blurb this morning, but with a few hours’ thought to the matter, I can’t say that I’d make a different decision in Wagner’s place. Look how quickly the Sox used and then cut Smoltz loose. Yes, playing with a winner is nice, but Wagner has been to the playoffs before. Apart from that, what possible benefit is there to him pitching in Boston this year?
  • Hmmm, now I’m wondering whether the lyric “shoeshine boy” is racist. I mean, it’s possible that the character in the song really was a “boy” in the sense that he was 11 years-old or something, but it was recorded in Memphis in the mid 50s . . .damn, I like that song too.

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    1. Chris H. said...

      I would argue that Riggleman is, essentially, a replacement-level manager.  He won’t make tremendous blunders (like the time Terry Bevington gestured to the bullpen for a reliever when there wasn’t one warming up).  He will manage using the the “standard” (i.e. tired, old) rules that mediocre managers have been using for decades.

      He won’t be colorful for the crowds.  He won’t develop the youngsters.  He won’t show a single ounce of creativity or willingness to embrace new ideas or ways of approaching the game.  He won’t drive you crazy the way, say, Dusty Baker would, but never for a moment will you feel like he’s sparking anything or causing anything positive to happen.

      He will *always* put the speedy guy at the top of the lineup.  He will *always* bring in a lefty to face a left-handed batter in a late-game situation, without regard for how effective that particular pitcher is against lefties, etc.  He will *always* bring the designated closer in when there’s a save situation.

      Which, it must be said, doesn’t differentiate him from many other ML managers.  As I said…he’s replacement-level.

    2. Jake said...

      Butt Riggleman would be a great name for a manager.  As would, of course, Turd Ferguson.  They can have lunch at Fuddruckers.

    3. Detroit Michael said...

      Bean Stringfellow, Wagner’s agent, has a pretty odd name too.  Somewhat you resisted the temptation to comment on that one!

      In the old days, a chance at the bonus money from winning the World Series was a big deal and would have factored more prominently in Wagner’s decision whether to join Boston.  Now, it does even merit a mention:  it’s not much more than rounding error to Wagner.

    4. Sara K said...

      re: “boy” – The first few times I saw Casablanca, I thought it was really strange that Ilsa referred to Sam as “that boy at the piano.”  I mean, jeez, Dooley Wilson was easily 40 in that film, probably more like 50. I thought that maybe the scriptwriter had envisioned a younger man to play the part, and they just didn’t bother to change it when they hired Wilson.  Wasn’t for years until I realized what was meant by “boy.” I’m guessing that the same applies to “shoeshine boy,” though I hadn’t thought about it until you posed it here. How times change…

    5. Aaron Whitehead said...

      This one shocked me—in the MLB World Series film of the ‘68 World Series, announcer Curt Gowdy (I’m pretty sure it was Curt) refers to Willie Horton as the Tigers’ “strongboy.”  Has anyone ever heard that word before?  Why would Gowdy avoid the more common “strongman?”  Either Willie was really young in Gowdy’s eyes—or he was really black.

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