Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Strange Sightings

"Money? Denial? No, no, no, I want to win. And the Brewers are winners!"

With Spring Training in full swing, images begin to filter out that are not only disturbing because of content, but also jolting, if only because a grizzled veterans is wearing the colors of a new team, and it dawns on you that he's been around for over a decade, making you feel like a chubby, washed-up, balding loser.


This happens every few seasons (sometimes multiple times in one offseason) - a former star who has too much pride to retire - or hates his family with such passion that he can't bare the thought of being around them for more than a few months in the offseason - decides to take a little cash to play for a loser team. Said loser team is looking to fill empty seats because the owner is a greedy cocksucker who is more concerned with lining his pockets with the blood and tears of children and the elderly than delivering a competitive team. Instead he throws the fans a bone by bringing in a crippled, ex-superstar to exploit like a broken down racehorse forced to jump into a dirty, shallow pond for an audience of hicks and fat tourists.

The need is reciprocal in these situations. So, here are a few players sporting weird threads that were as fun to see as Mike Piazza at a Bloomingdale's Labor Day sale.

The Hall of Fame Edition*

Gary Carter - Los Angeles Dodgers, 1991

True, Carter played his bon voyage season on the Expos, but that was more for nostalgic purposes, since he started his career there. 1991 was ploy by the Dodgers' brass to draw fans to see Carter, who grew up in Culver City, CA. And let's not forget to mention The Kid's amazing, and historically overlooked mullet.

Dave Winfield - Cleveland Indians, 1995

Winfield (who looks like he's 60 years old in the card above) was a shell of his former self, batting .191 in 151 AB's, and was left off the postseason roster for the Indians World Series run. He was also never informed that only nerds like John Olerud still wore helmets without an ear-protector.

Jack Morris - Cleveland Indians, 1994*

Yes, he's not in the Hall of Fame, but he should be. When you think of postseason pitchers, you think of Morris. And when you think of Morris, you think of Hall of Fame snubs. What's not to get here? Fuck his career ERA, Morris was dominate in the clutch. And, he had a mustache. +1 for guys with mustaches.

Wade Boggs - Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 1998, 1999

Easily the twilight of Boggs's Hall of Fame career, but still the prime of his drinking career. One can only imagine how many times Boggs resuscitated from a Miller Lite bender wearing this shitty uniform in the middle of a desolate Florida swamp.

Rickey Henderson - Los Angeles Dodgers, 2003

Rickey played for 75 teams. But seeing Rickey in Dodger blue was not only weird for me, but I'm sure it was weird for Rickey too. Rickey didn't fair well either - he batted .208 over 72 AB's. But Rickey was 44 years old, and Rickey did more at 44 than you will do in your life. Just ask Rickey. Rickey isn't afraid to admit it. Rickey, Rickey, Rickey, Rickey, Rickey...

BallHype: hype it up!

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