the lawyer writer

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Baseball and Crazy Men

Oh brother. Canseco claims he took steroids. Anyone who saw him bat for the A's knew this. The man looked like someone inflated him with a bicycle pump. And I don't care what anyone says, Mark McGuire looks a lot bigger than he used to, too. My only happiness is that Ricky Henderson didn't write a book. Frankly, I can't think of a member of the late 80's/early 90's Oakland A's who could read a book.

And I would like my audience to know that this is in no way related to the fact that the Oakland A's won the 1989 World Series against a much better and cooler team from across the bay. It was bad enough that I had to endure Canseco then, but do I have to have him make a fifty times my advance for informing the world that he did, indeed use steroids? Can we say....ghostwriter?

Well, two baseball strikes, and the trading of Will Clark and Brett Butler later, I am no longer a baseball fan, Giants or otherwise. I root half-heartedly for any team that doesn't allow DH, so that generally means Giants, Mets, Braves or Cubs. I will not consider any expansion team, even if they have won (i.e. "bought enough talent for") a World Series recently. When it comes to baseball, I am a crochety old-timer who longs for the good old days of the 1989 Giants lineup, which I can still recite (Butler, Thompson, Clark Mitchell, Williams, Uribe, Kennedy, whichever interchangeable player was in Right Field, Pitcher).

In the crochety old-timer theme, check out Redmond O'Hanlon's book Trawler, which a friend was telling me about. I was already a fan of the crazy O'Hanlon who is a pudgy, fifty-something Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society who takes ridiculously dangerous travel journeys that involve giant snakes, murderous tribes, and a fair amount of rampant indigenous-drug-induced-hallucination. I don't read enough travel literature--I always love it when I do--but O'Hanlon is a true wackjob. He's been accused of being "calculatedly eccentric" in his expeditions, but you still get the feeling that he's pushing himself as far as he can go--physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually--to convey adventures that seem almost impossible to convey with mere words. (I should say that as a writer, I happen not to believe this, I think everything is conveyable with words, if you can find right ones in the right order). Anyway, I haven't read Trawler, and I'm uncertain because I like nice tropical seas better than ice-cold Atlantic ones, but my friend raves about it. So maybe I'll get to it someday.

(If you feel some necessity to find a unifying theme in this post--and many do--may I sugges this one: Canseco can do as many steroids as he wants, and he can blow up to twice his size until his muscles are the size of my waist, but put him on some grungy deep-fishing boat in the Atlantic Ocean for two weeks catching fish and facing death, and he'll be crying for mommy and his ghostwriter in a matter of hours).


Anonymous one of the guerrero girls said...

wow - it takes a baseball blog to make me finally post a comment. I am really really impressed w/ your memory of the beloved Giants of yesteryear. Those were the days, uh? I still have that ball that I (we) caught over at candlestick signed by all you fools.

I haven't said it before but thought it many many times - GREAT BLOG. I love your writing, your topics and everything else inbetween. I tell everyone who listens to read it & its one of my daily internet stops. Its one of few things that I read where it makes me genuinely laugh out loud. Love ya!
oh - congratulations on your next book!!

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i, too, am impressed w/ your recall of late 80s sf giants. (as a mets fan, i'm trying to remember: was former met kevin mitchell on that giant team?) anyhow, baseball will outlast meatheads like canseco and mercenaries like steinbrenner, pretenders like barry bonds. try not to let labor discord and the displacement of will clark sour you.

11:15 PM  

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