“That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.” –Henry David Thoreau
I’ve been dealing with a minor case of insomnia and had finally fallen asleep (I’ve written about this affliction on this degenerate blog before) when I was awakened by a couple of alley cats knocking over some plants on my porch. I knew I was screwed. There was no chance of embracing slumber again, so I layed in my bed for a while staring at nothing and dancing in synapse limbo before deciding to watch a random baseball game–in this case a contest between Oakland and Cleveland in 1991.
Five hours earlier I was half-assed watching the Schwarzenegger flick Commando, falling asleep just as our protagonist was chopping off the limbs of South American mercenaries with garden tools, and now Vance Law was stepping into the box on an early 90’s casual and freewheeling July evening in a city known for polluted river fires, rock n’ roll baseball riots, and other naughty examples of human depravity.
The announcers made a joke about the spectacled player looking like an Australian golfer, and how he had played in Japan a year earlier. Unable to find a job due to lack of power or anything else valuable to a ML squad, (scratch that–he could play multiple positions) Law went to Japan to play for the Chunichi Dragons, hitting well and being rewarded with a minor league contract. In a moment of desperation, the A’s recalled Law from Tacoma when regular third baseman Carney Lansford (a favorite) went on the IL–and he proceeded to play terribly hitting .209 in 134 AB’s before deciding to hang ‘em up.
The successful Japanese season was fugazi so to speak.
What does all this add up to? Well, two happy-as-hell gatos tearing up the neighborhood like a couple of coke-addled Hells Angels, and me witnessing the highlight of Vance Law’s Oakland A’s career–an RBI single down the right field line. So,….not much.
(I feel the need to mention that Law made a mind-boggling and bonehead (genius?) play when the very next batter grounded to first and instead of trying to break up the double play at second–per usual–he pirouetted and returned to first, interfering with the relay throw. An attempted 3-4-3 penciled-in instead as a 3-4. Alas, there was some squawking from the Cleveland manager, but no interference was called. Law was released 3 months later.)