Shrink Logic

billy martinnnnn

HELP!

“The tears I shed yesterday have become rain.”

–Marlon Brando

A psychiatrist analyzes Billy Martin: He acts out our own anger. The athlete in America is a hero figure because we can sublimate our anger through his action. It wouldn’t be socially acceptable to slug somebody at a bar. It would be socially acceptable conduct to sit in the stands and egg Billy Martin on against an umpire; an authority figure. He fights our battles for us with no loss of status and with no pain. Heavy alcohol use directly affects brain function and alters various brain chemical and hormonal systems known to be involved in the development of many common mental disorders (e.g., mood and anxiety disorders). Thus, it is not surprising that alcoholism can manifest itself in a broad range of psychiatric symptoms and signs. Alcohol abuse can cause signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, psychosis, and antisocial behavior, both during intoxication and during withdrawal. At times, these symptoms and signs cluster, last for weeks, and mimic frank psychiatric disorders  As Freud believed, conflicts are part of the human condition and certain ego functions may become conflicted by aggressive and libidinal impulses, as witnessed by conversion disorders, speech impediments, eating disorders, and attention-deficit disorder.

 

Rube Waddell…eccentric.

rube-waddell-signed-image-3The A’s were eliminated from the playoffs last week, which means baseball season is essentially over for me. The disappointment burns even deeper as I have absolutely zero interest in the Redsox/Tigers series; I’ve watched maybe one inning of the 4 games played in the series so far. 

Usually during the off-season, in order to get a fix, I’ll read up and polish my knowledge of baseball history. I’ve always had a keen interest in the history of the game, with a pretty healthy interest and focus on eccentrics…or weirdos. Rube Waddell is one of the more interesting characters I’ve come across during my readings. Never mind Rube’s induction into the Hall of Fame in 1946 or 193 career wins. It’s Mr. Waddell’s off the field habits that I found to be of the most interest…

Despite Rube’s drinking problems with the National League’s Louisville Colonels, in 1902 Owner/manager Connie Mack took a risk on the oddball and signed him to the Philadelphia Athletics. Waddell’s turnaround was a direct result of Connie Mack’s managing.  According to Mack, Waddell “had more stuff than any pitcher I ever saw. He had everything but a sense of responsibility.”  Because of this, Mack paid Waddell on an as-needed basis in singles so he wouldn’t blow his earnings on alcohol.  While Mack could control Waddell’s paychecks, he couldn’t control all of the idiosyncrasies.  Waddell’s fascination with fire departments continued throughout his time with the A’s and he routinely wore red under his clothing just in case a fire bell would ring.  He missed starts because he was fishing, or was late to games because he was playing marbles in the streets of Philadelphia with children.  He was married three times and was often put in jail for missing alimony payments.

Other examples of the bizarre with Waddell include:

  • He wrestled alligators during the off-season.
  • He played for two Philadelphia Athletics clubs in 1902: the baseball club and the Philadelphia Athletics of the first National Football League (at 6’2″ and 200 lbs. he was a fullback).
  • He almost shot Connie Mack in the head when a pistol fell out of his pocket and fired at the team hotel.
  • His contract included a clause, at his catcher’s insistence, that prohibited Waddell from eating crackers in bed.  During the early years, players would share beds on road trips and Ossee Schreckengost couldn’t sleep because of the crumbs.
  • In 1903, he climbed into the stands to beat up a spectator who was heckling him and was suspended for 5 games.
  • In one game, Waddell was at bat in the 8th inning with 2 outs and a man on second.  After a pitch, the catcher threw to second in a pick-off attempt, but the ball sailed into the outfield.  The A’s runner took off and was rounding home to score when the center fielder fired home.  Waddell, with bat still in hand, swung and hit the ball back into play.  He was called out for interference.  His explanation for the gaffe, “They’d been feeding me curves all afternoon, and this was the first straight ball I’d looked at!”

At the end of the 1907 season, Waddell was slumping badly and was then sold to St. Louis “in the interests of team unity.”  He pitched out the final three years of his major league career before drinking his way back to the minors in 1911.

The events surrounding Waddell’s death were just as memorable as those surrounding his life.  In the fall of 1912, he was living in Kentucky with friends when a nearby dam collapsed and caused devastating flooding in the region.  Waddell immediately went to help out in whatever way he could, by pulling people out of homes and by working for hours on end in cold water piling up sandbags.  Although his actions were heroic, they also proved costly as he developed pneumonia.  As a result, his body was severely weakened and he battled bouts of pneumonia and tuberculosis from which he never fully recovered.  He died in 1914 at the age of 37…on April Fool’s day  Waddell.Rube.Grave1

ECK!!!!

   Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley has some interesting opinions about his fellow inductees. Enjoy!

  On Rod Carew: “ I had this thing with Rod Carew. I had thrown at him or something, knocked him down, and he took me deep the next time and yelled at me around the bases. At the All- Star game in 1977 he came up to me and said, “What’s your problem?” I didn’t  like him. I don’t think he liked me, either. A year later I had an 8-0 shutout in Boston in the ninth inning with 2 outs, and he steals second base. asshole. Next guy hits a ground ball between the second baseman’s legs and Carew scores and yells at me from home plate. Coming from a superstar like him, I wondered why he would belittle himself. I guess I got under his skin. Typical.

On Carlton Fisk: Guys in Boston would tell me, “you’re just a .500 pitcher.” You are what your team is, as a starter. Pissed me off. My control was better, I was spotting the ball. Fisk made me throw all my pitches and stop trying to be just a strikeout pitcher. Which was smart. Writers used to go and ask him, ” How come’s Eckersley is successful?”  and he’d say, ” Well I’ve got him throwing his change outside, and I’ve got….”

He’s got me doing this. He’s got me winning 20 games. Well, he’s got me doing shit! I got to throw it! He helped alot, but don’t take credit for everything! Used to PISS ME OFF. He had the locker next to mine so I would hear it everyday. Maybe that’s why I got irritated after awhile. 

 

Jason Giambi…lunkhead

giambi meme

Likes to party with the Backstreet Boys. What a poser.

I was floored last night when a family friend told me that Jason Giambi had signed with the goddamn Cleveland Indians. Just months earlier I had a cheap laugh at his expense when I found out he was trying to manage the Colorado Rockies. Giambi in my eyes was a “party animal,” whose reign started long before he shed his mullet, beard and laid -back attitude for the lilly white sanctity of a Yankees uniform.

Giambi’s three-year tour of NYC’s taverns, according to eyewitnesses, actually began two months before he signed with the Yankees in December 2001, with him table- dancing until 4 a.m. in an Upper West Side bar the night he flew to New York with the A’s up 2-zip in the Division Series. (that series turned out to be the most chair throwing disaster in the history of my fandom thanks to his idiot brother)
Giambi’s excessive partying that night (complete with faux rockstar poser duds) apparently spooked several Yankees players. But maybe word never got up to George Steinbrenner before he signed off on the worst contract in Yankees history.(still laughing about that one) Giambi “lived the life of a rock star,” according to a former member of the Yankees’ traveling party, and several witnesses say he was partying late with Ricky Williams in Miami during the 2003 World Series, right before begging out of Game 5. The same person said Giambi would sneak beer onto the bench and call his in-game shots personal “protein drinks.” He also picked up smoking and could be seen during the 2004 ALCS chewing tobacco while supposedly in sick bay. His production withered to almost nothing as he transitioned from the physique of a He-man to Pee-wee Herman. (not from cutting fat out of his diet, it turns out) The fans started getting on his ass because he couldn’t get the job done without the ‘roids, and was being paid 120 million. A former Yankees official predicted the bad publicity would overwhelm him because he’s a “mental midget.”

I’m certainly not going to judge Mr. Giambi for partying and (alleged) drug use, I’ve done loads of that in my time and still drink or take a toke in a social gathering or if I’m trying to listen to some mellow jams. As any reader of this blog may or may not know, I also didn’t disapprove (then) of steroid use. The game needed a jolt, was at an all-time low in popularity and home runs made the game sexy again for a short time. Sure, I suppose there is a bit of jealousy because I’ll never make the kind of money this guy does; but it’s more than that. (or the Yankee signing) It’s about the privilege these guys feel they have. Giambi can disrespect the game, rape fans for their hard-earned cash, and still expect the game to give him a shot at a distinguished managerial role. I don’t hate the guy, he’s just the physical representation of everything that is wrong with this country; a culture of exposure, where we desire to let it all hang out in an orgy of exhibitionism, self-involvement and confession. An abuse of power and a big “fuck you” to the fans….. as I cry into my 15 dollar beer.

Dave “Kong” Kingman

astronomical power

astronomical power

Dave Kingman played for the A’s from 84-86,  was known for his amazing power, amassing 442 career homers,(38th all time) and leading the league in the ’79 and ’82 seasons. Dave, however, was known for being a brash jerk and a bore: even giving a female reporter a box with a dead rat in it because he didn’t like female reporters in the locker room. Ball players were known to be a bit sexist and insensitive in those days, (our cultural landscape is devoid of heroes, and instead dotted with false idols born of contrivance and vanity) so I tend to look at these gentlemen with a cynical eye no matter how much I admire their skills.What does intrigue me are the flawed, existential, and humanistic side of these athletes. I was tickled by the  opinion of Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda on June 4th, 1976: Kingman had hit 3 homers with 8 RBI’s against Lasorda’s Dodgers while playing for the Mets.

Currently, Dave is enjoying his retirement with his family and lives in the western U.S. He wants his fans to know that he is an avid fisherman and hunter (bird and big game). So if you have any tips on good fishing or hunting areas (land owners, hot spots, favorite spots, etc.) particularly on the West Coast (CA, OR, WA) drop him a line at the website: davekingmanfan.com

 

Who the fuck is Jerry Willard?

jerry willard card art   “The first mistake of art is to assume that it’s serious.”   Lester Bangs

I’ve got my cheap bottle of vodka, walking down Crenshaw Blvd. behind an older mexican gentleman  who absolutely REEKS of marijuana when it hits me right in the forehead: a wave of emotions and forgotten times, thoughts, and practices. I was smack dab in the middle of high school again. You see, my friends and I were always skipping school to skateboard, smoke weed, go to the movies, hit on girls, etc. and we would always stop in this dingy liquor  store next to the Greyhound station to buy this certain brand of cheap vodka. (If you absolutely need to know, the brand is Taaka; which is surprisingly distilled in Frankfort, Kentucky, and even more surprising is their slogan, “mixes easy…just add people.”) Now before you get your panties in a bunch, remember that I eventually went to college and am a normal, tax-paying citizen with a girlfriend etc.  who just happened to grow up in the 90’s when kids acting like derelicts was somewhat common and fun.

 In the typical American fashion, these past-times have turned into big business; as every counter-culture movement is eventually commodified and eventually cynicism and complacency overwhelms your constantly dying brain tissue. (If you are a lucky reader, you were a baby boomer who didn’t have to do shit (not even a college education) except be born in the right era, and you can hang on to the fact that you are “important” despite the fact that you are most definitely a victim of your own glorification of your era, and didn’t actually contribute ANYTHING to the human race except  that you are a horrible person with your head up your ass with nothing to offer ANYONE except for jumbles about the, “good old days” as your parents had told you before you decided to become a faux hippy 10 years after it had died as a movement completely.) The generation after saw these actions and acted accordingly.  (each generation likes to act as if their “dereliction” was “innocent” compared to the generation after. As I grew up in the 90’s, enough time has passed to claim that innocence) My parents fit well into the dereliction of the era and did a bunch of coke, danced, and has children out of wedlock. I am a product of the “hippy era, ” yet an afterthought. A “test tube baby” of the “rock and roll/capitalism” era before anyone (or very few) knew how to cash in.

 The 90’s was known as the “grunge generation” and a particular friend of mine was keen on listening to a band from Seattle called Willard. I thought they sounded like Nirvana, was mildly impressed, even thought some of their songs were better than the so-called “grunge gods.” (who am I fooling?…. all that shit was boring, isolated and well, not punk rock…although some may vehemently disagree) No sooner do I get home when I see this baseball card lying on the floor.  Jerry fucking Willard. I smoke a bowl, put on this absolute piece of shit, stained cassette tape a friend had given me that I hadn’t considered for over 15 years. I smile.

heathen, hippy, drug addict.

 I got a real kick out of this: apparently a  fan of the A’s triple AAA affiliate, the Sacramento Rivercats called a radio talk show to rant about a few things that related to Manny Ramirez’ hair. You have to hear it to believe it. Enjoy, young republicans……

p.s Manny was cut a few days ago and I doubt any A’s fans blinked an eye. This video might be the best thing to come out of this short lived “relationship.”