A couple of weeks ago, after Wang Chien-Ming broke his foot while running around third base in a game against Cincinnati, where the Designated Hitter Rule does not apply, Yanks Baby Boss, Hal Steinbrenner, went ballistic. "Why doesn't the National League adopt the Designated Hitter Rule and join the 21st century?" he railed.
He went on to moan that baseball pitchers have developed into specialized pieces of equipment, and they shouldn't be subjected to such mundane pursuits as batting and running bases. In this, Yanks manager Joe Girardi, to his everlasting credit in my estimation, brought Steinbrenner up short, rebutting, "Baseball is an athletic sport, and running is part of the sport."
But Steinbrenner is not wrong either. Baseball seems to be in an evolutionary stage. If you can alter the evolutionary characteristics of dogs every two years, think what you could be able to accomplish with baseball players:
"Yeah, in this cage we got Yankee Joe. We bred him for long arms for catching fly balls.
"And over here we're breeding a thick, muscular guy who is built like a fire plug so he can be a catcher and block home plate.
"This guy's biological parents were both Olympic hurdlers. And this one's were acrobats from the Bejing Opera. They should be great for jumping out of squeeze plays.
"We are gonna field a helluva team."
So, Steinbrenner is not wrong to see the Yanks as a bunch of performing robots, like in a Japanese car factory.
(The only problem is, all his Asiatic stars seem to be breaking down. First, Wang. And now Matsui is on the DL for his knee, before that it was his elbow, and before that his wrist. Matsui is a great star and a great Yankee, but we can't get the spare parts in stock fast enough to keep him in the production line.)
But the evolutionary form of pitchers seems to be evolving into a fat, blubbery dude who can shake like a Jell-o, with skinny little string beans for arms, who can generate a lot of motion with all that fat, and then the little arm shoots around from the centrifugal force and flicks out the ball like the tip of a whip, like Zorro The Spanish Fox!
This is evidently the same kind of blubbery earthquake motion that is generated when fatso golfer John Daly swings the golf club. Just don't stand behind him because, being a gross, disgusting tub of lard, Daly generates a lot of intestinal gas that blows out of his butt when he swings the club, and you stand to get knocked down by a backdraft of stinking methane gas, especially if he was at Hooters before the match, wolfing down shitloads of Buffalo chicken wings and cheese nachos. Ugh!
But you can't expect John Daly to run. And forget about Roger Clemens, Joba Chamberlain or David Wells. Cleveland starter C.C. Sabathia doesn't look so slender either. He must chow down on Dominican garlic mofongo and beans and rice until his butt erupts like an explosion of volcanic gas forming a new island chain off the coast of Hispanola.
But anyway, now the Yankees have brought in a new starting pitcher, Sidney Ponson, who exactly fits the aforementioned inflatable fatman profile. He loves bars, and he's not too much in awe of authority, which is why he got sacked from his last job pitching for the Rangers, even though he was doing a fine job for them with four wins and a .300 ERA. Evidently, he told management a joke that they didn't think was so funny. Texans aren't that smart. Even they admit it. One time, when I was vacationing in Mexico I had occasion to drink with a group of Texans at the pool bar over the course of several days. One day, as a joke I congratulated them on Lance Armstrong by joking that Armstrong, who lost a testicle to cancer, had proven that "one Texan ball is worth two French balls anytime." The Texans just looked at me like I was an escaped lunatic from the moon. But don't worry about me: that's not the first time that has happened to me. When the Yankees picked Ponson up, out of desperation , with Wang, Kennedy and Hughes on the DL, they didn't consider how the Texans had reacted to him. Yankees front office knows what morons Texans are. They have to deal with Dallas all the time. Look what a moron Bush is. When he gets things wrong, he high-fives the joker sitting next to him. He figures, "That idiotic little knee-slapper will go down great in Houston."
Ponson started out real hot in his first appearance with the Yanks, shutting down the Mets with six fine innings of scoreless pitching. But if you're thinking of coming out to his welcoming ceremony into the rotation, don't wear your judicial robes. Ponson hates judges. He hates them so much, in fact, that back in his home, the ancient Caribbean pirate haven of Aruba, he served 11 days in jail for beating up a judge.
Eleven days for beating up a judge! If you beat up a judge in Brooklyn you get eleven freakin years! If they were handing out 11-day sentences for beating up judges in that fair borough, the line of enthusiastic participants, armed with bats and 2"x4"'s with protruding spikes would stretch around the courthouse and all the way up Flatbush Avenue to the Metrotech Center.
It's probably better that they are handing out longer sentences for assaulting judges. Look at it this way, with a long sentence, there will probably be time the corrupt, thieving prick who sent you up the river to eventually join you there for a reunion after he himself gets nailed for corruption.
Anyway, Ponson at least claims to have an alibi for his whereabouts on the night Natalie Holloway disappeared in Aruba, so keep your cell phones in your pockets. You can't pin that one on him.
But Sidney Ponson probably won't last any longer with the Yanks than he did with the Rangers. When Jason Giambi tries to get him to put on the Magic Gold Panties that all the Yankees have to wear, Ponson will probably just blow a blast of hot gas out of his butt.
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