It’s Saturday and, thus, time for a recap of the most recent week’s human interest baseball stories, those tales of men, not gods, among our spotlighted players:
What’s that name again? In 2004 the Twins drafted a player in the first round who, they surely felt, would make it to top level of their organization before six years passed. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been taken in that round. It took six full years, though, and an injury to J.J. Hardy, for the need to bring that player to Minneapolis to arise. But after hitting .303 in 38 games at Rochester this season, Trevor Plouffe is now a Twinkie. Oh…see, that sort of sentence is what needs to be avoided. Sporting the worst name since J. J. Putz, Plouffe’s uniform back will unfortunately recall a most unpleasant term often used by the Monty Python crew, but it is nowhere nearly as bad as the worst MLB names ever, Tony Suck and Johnny Dickshot.
Here’s to the young man’s success.
Oh, OK, maybe it is “my bad”: Wednesday your correspondent reported on Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez and his “problem” with being benched by his manager, Fredi Gonzalez, for a lack of effort Monday night. The following day, Ramirez had accused his teammates of dogging it, too. This report drew one comment that referred to Ramirez as a “brat.” As it turns out, however, Ramirez actually began a Tiger Woods behavior modification program late Tuesday. It was revealed that he had had a sit-down with Marlins executives Andre Dawson and Tony Perez, both pretty fair players in their day; then, he had a meeting with Gonzalez late Wednesday. Finally, he spoke to his teammates individually to apologize. Veteran teammate Wes Helms declared, “He felt bad and you could tell. It’s probably the worst thing he’s had happen in his career so far. He did the right thing. Now we’re backing him.”
So, “it’s all good” in Miami? We’ll see…while keeping in mind the immortal words of presidential candidate Al Gore: “A zebra doesn’t change his spots.”
Could the Phillies let an MVP walk? It was only May 7th, but Phillies telecasters began that night to talk about right fielder Jayson Werth as a possible MVP candidate. Since then, Werth has done nothing to dampen such talk. Before play today he is hitting a top-ten .329. This follows last night’s 426′ (upper-deck), two-run homer to left, a ball than landed only twenty to thirty feet fair – it was hit so hard it didn’t have enough time to turn foul. Werth, who is playing in his contract year, now has 33 RBI in 41 games.
Anybody got a “koobie” for the Dude? Finally, as reported by the Philadelphia Daily News’ Paul Hagen, Lenny Dykstra has fallen on hard times. Really hard times. A member of the ’86 World Champion Mets and the ’93 NL Champion Phillies, the player dubbed “the Dude” because he referred to everyone else as “dude” is apparently $40 million in debt.
Following a career in which he made about $25 million, Dykstra then opened a chain of high-end car washes, and it is thought he may have made twice his playing career total when he sold them. Then, weirdly, he developed a reputation as a kind of idiot-savant investor. Now, however, he is being embarrassed by ads on Craigslist, written by apparent acquaintances, one of which offers his autograph on collage of “multiple photos of lenny [sic]” and a call from the sparkplug of the “World Champion Met’s [sic]” if bought.
Years ago, when I was courting my wife, a panhandler near the office building where we worked used to ask for “koobies,” rather than “case quarters,” the ordinary term used by those in difficult straits on the streets of Philadelphia.
It would seem that the Dude needs multiple “koobies,” or as Hagen suggests, a job that the Phillies might very well provide if he would only ask.
“Atlanta at Philadelphia.” Major League Baseball. CSN, Philadelphia. 7 May 2010.
“Boston at Philadelphia.” Major League Baseball. CSN, Philadelphia. 21 May 2010.
Delgado, Francisco. “Low & Outside: Plouffe’s time has come, finally.” The Philadelphia Inquirer 22 May 2010: E9.
“Gore, Al – Zebra with Spots.” slipups.com. 22 May 2010.
Hagan, Paul. “Can someone spare the Dude a dime?” Philadelphia Daily News 21 May 2010.
“NL Quick Pitch: Apologetic Hanley Ramirez returns, collects three hits.” usatoday.com. 20 May 2010.