Bill Simmons is "The Sports Guy" on ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine, and one of the original writers on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. He's a die-hard Boston fan, and his passion for all things Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins is really admirable. His writing on sports is almost "Family Guy"-like - many cultural references, great topical points, and is prone to inducing laughter on a Ferrellian scale.
His column today on the positives of the Red Sox recent trade for Josh Beckett really struck a chord with me. Because he brought up all of the "can't miss" prospects the Red Sox have had, who, well, missed.
Gabe and I have been doing this FOR YEARS with Baltimore Orioles. The game is simple - don't repeat a failed Oriole, and say the name with as much drama as possible. A sample dialogue:
RAY: Pete Stanicek, baby.
GABE: I see your Pete Stanicek and raise you a Chris Smith.
RAY: Chris Smith, eh? How about I rub some Manny Alexander in your eye?
GABE: Why you gotta bring Manny into this when I can smack you with some Jay Bell?
RAY: Ouch, Jay Bell! At least he's no Dave Gallagher.
GABE: That bum, he couldn't even hold Dickie Noles' jock.
Then, the stakes get raised...tensions mount. Who will be the first to crack?
RAY: Mickey Weston
GABE: Ron Washington
RAY: Jamie Quirk
GABE: Yorkis Perez
RAY: Oswaldo Peraza
The obscurer, the betterer.
I wrote Herr Simmons a letter expressing my thoughts on the matter:
"In today's column on the Josh Beckett trade, the statement from Terry Crowley-by-way-of-Peter Gammonds about Tim Naehring should be framed and hung in the Museum of Unfortunate Quotes. And since there isn't a Museum of Unfortunate Quotes, let's make one. Various wings of the Museum could include:
Politicians: "No New Taxes" - George H. Bush and "That depends on what your definition of is is" - Bill Clinton)
Inventions - "640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates and "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value" - Marshall Ferdinand Foch
Hollywood - "You like me, you really like me" - Sally Field and "Sure, replace Kimmel and Carolla with Rogan and Stanhope; they'll be great" - some fired Comedy Central executive)
Sports : So many good choices, but my favorite would be Tim McCarver in the Blue Jays/Phillies' World Series, as he describes a player's defensive skills "He uses his mitt like a glove.
A special section could be built in this wing for hype bestowed on prospects that just didn't make it. For every Jeff Everett and Rick Asadoorian in Boston, there's a Rick Elder and a Beau Hale for my beloved Baltimore Orioles. Hell, you could have a seperate museum centered around the Orioles' fabulously lousy drafts of the last twenty years.
I won't even mention the e numerous stories about "5-tool, can't miss prospects" like Curtis Goodwin, Alex Ochoa and Keith Reed, or the pitching powress of Beau Hale, Richard Stahl and *shudder* Ben McDonald.
Nor their desire to have every 1985 first rounder on the team at least once (BJ Surhoff, Will Clark, Pete Incaviglia and Rafael Palmeiro).
Needless to say, this could be a big musuem complex, a Meadowlands of Failure.
Anyway, I'll end with a fanboy line of "I love your writing" and I hope you and your staff have a nice holiday. "
I am such a nerd.
- Eat Turkey, y'all