Hunter Thompson, R.I.P. 1937 - 2005 

Love him or hate him (I've done both at various times in my life), every writer should at least know him. From Tokyo, Malo Wire correspondent Morse-san weighs in with this tidbit from Thompson's "Hey Rube":

"Pitchers, as a group, are pampered little swine with too much money and no real effect on the game except to drag it out and interrupt the action."

That doesn't apply to Robb Nen, of course. I was away this weekend and missed the news of his retirement, but I second everything that's been said: he gave it all, he sacrificed a few years for a chance at a World Series ring, he was a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

My favorite Nen moment, among many:

April 17, 2001. Barry Bonds has just hit his 500th home run off the Dodgers' Terry Adams, who had the audacity to throw an 0-2 slider that dived toward Barry's shoetops. Bonds launches it into McCovey Cove. The place goes nuts. An embarrassing celebration ensues.

After the schmaltz has been scraped off the field, Nen comes in for the top of the ninth. The Dodgers are fuming over the delay of game to honor his Barriness; the fans are foaming and frothing and howling. Nen immediately walks pinch-hitter Chris Donnels to start the inning. Goodwin pinch-runs, steals second and takes third when Santiago overthrows the base. Man on third, no outs.

Then Grissom grounds out. Grudzelianek strikes out. And up steps Gary Sheffield.

Nen throws high fastballs; Sheffield fouls high fastballs back. Nen throws sliders in the dirt. Sheff lays off. Every time Sheff swings, my eyeballs pick up the ghost-trace of a ball arching toward the bleachers, but my eyes, pessimists that they are, are only imagining the worst. Sheff can't quite make solid contact. But, man-o-man, is he trying. And grunting. Just like Nen: leg-kick, toe-tap, grunt! Leg-kick, toe-tap, grunt!

Sheff: Waggle-waggle-waggle-waggle-waggle, high-step, grunt, massive-cut-from-holy-hell. Repeat.

The count gets to 3 and 2. Was it a fastball? Was it a slider? I honestly can't remember what pitch the mighty Sheff struck out on, but he finally did, and as Mike Krukow is wont to say, "It...was...awesome."


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com