Friday, May 05, 2006

Don't I know you?

Let's kick it old-school with another mindroasting round of Guess That '70s Ballplayer. You know the drill: I'll write a short clue beneath to the player's identity beneath his photo, and within the text I'll link to his page.

Got it? Good. Play ball . . .

In his image-destroying post-playing days, he seemingly knocked up half of Southern California, prompting this popular bumper sticker: "(His name) is not my Padre."

That's not a mustache . . .

. . . THAT'S a mustache!

He'll turn 63 this month, but his famous pitching elbow is only 31.

"If anyone asks me 'Why the long face?' one more time, seriously, I'm going to have to start kicking some ass around here."

Bill Mueller-type who shared the AL Rookie of the Year award in '79 with the Jays' Alfredo Griffin; his career was over age 29 due to a back injury.

Times he led the American League in home runs: 2. Times he was named People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive.": 0. Go figure.

I simply cannot wait for his Hall of Fame speech. Ten bucks says he does the whole thing in the third person.

"For the last $*%($#$ time, no, I am not the convict Mike Dukakis furloughed. I played for the Detroit Tigers and was a model citizen, unless you happened to be an opposing pitcher. Not the same guy. Understood? Cripes."

Those sideburns are so money, and he doesn't even know it.

After his Cubs were booed during an early season loss at Wrigley, he unleashed the greatest managerial tirade in the history of managerial tirades, spitting out something like 73 expletives, including this timeless excerpt, which half of my buddies know by heart: "They're really, really behind you around here . . . my (bleepin') (bleep). What the (bleep) am I supposed to do, go out there and let my (bleepin') players get destroyed every day and be quiet about it? For the (bleepin') nickel-dime people who turn up? The (bleepers) don't even work. That's why they're out at the (bleepin') game. They oughta go out and get a (bleepin') job and find out what it's like to go out and earn a (bleepin') living. Eighty-five percent of the (bleepin') world is working. The other fifteen percent come out here. A (bleepin') playground for the (bleepers)." (I'd link to the audio of the entire beautiful meltdown, but, well, this is a family blog and all. But if you know your way around Google . . .)

Click here, then just try to say his name without chuckling.

Put an end to Pete Rose's 44-game hitting streak in '78; Rose, ever gracious, griped afterward "that he pitched me like it was the seventh game of the World Series."

I know this gives away his identity, but as a rookie, he played alongside Mike Schmidt; as a senior citizen, he's playing with the alleged Next Schmidt, David Wright. That's what you call longevity.

A New Yawk kid who was the closest thing the post-Seaver Mets had to a star, he played for Joe Torre, coached for him, and as an arrogantly inept manager of another AL East team, pretty much always lost to him.

He was the early favorite to become the Red Sox manager after Grady Little was sent back to Gumpville in shame, but if I recall correctly, his current employer wouldn't let him interview for the opening.

He sprinkled weed on his pancakes? This guy? Really? Sorry, just can't see it.

The irony of his stubborness/ignorance regarding "Moneyball" is that grasping the book's principles would only confirm his own greatness as a so-so batting-average, high-OBP offensive force. (And if that isn't enough of a clue, try this: as a broadcaster, he makes you wish he were born mute.)

Three factoids: 1) Signs autographs by drawing a heart in place of his last name. 2) Accused by manager Dick Williams of smuggling cocaine into Canada in his hair dryer. 3) Owned the best throwing arm in baseball by anyone not named Dwight Evans or Dave Parker.

We thought this Hall of Famer was one of the smoothest cats ever to play the game, though the accusation by Robin Givens's mom that he gave her herpes might have warped our perspective ever so slightly.

You can't mention this stellar shortstop . . .

. . . without mentioning his longtime double-play partner, both of whom deserved more Hall of Fame consideration than they received.

Gained notoriety by posing for "Playgirl." And no, I'm not a subscriber, wiseass.

Sure, he looks jovial enough here, but tell it to Frank Lucchesi.

Pedro and Roger excepted, no Red Sox pitcher in my 28 years as a fan has been more fun to watch.