Keep It Cool 

And fuck you, Russ Springer. What was that all about? Did your jock strap shrink a couple sizes in the wash? Go home, kick the cat, play a few violent video games, but do not throw fastballs at Barry Bonds's creaky body parts, please.

Springer's little headhunting episode in the 5th inning of last night's game was so blatant and so stubborn -- "I will hit him in or near the head, even if it takes me five pitches!" -- that the backstory must be fascinating. Too bad we don't know what it is.

All we can glean from this morning's reports is that Bonds homered off Springer many years ago, and the next time they faced each other, in 2004, Springer plunked Bonds. Perhaps when Bonds went yard, he broke out the nifty 360-degree spin move; or he winked at Springer; or while no one else was looking, he mooned the sensitive pitcher as he rounded third base. Barry had very fast reflexes back then.

Perhaps Springer is such a righteous defender of the sacred baseball flame that after Game of Shadows was released or after he had a heart-to-heart with Turk Wendell, he promised to nail Bonds as soon as possible.

Houston catcher Eric Munson spun the old "we were just pitching inside" yarn. Springer and his manager Phil Garner tried the same line. Here's what Springer told the Houston Chronicle, which was clever enough to call the guy's cell phone:

"I've always had success pitching in to Bonds. Sometimes it just gets away from you," Springer said via phone as he drove to his home in Pollack, La., to take his wife, Kelly, for scheduled surgery this morning. "The first pitch was a slider that I wanted to run in on his hands. It just got away."

Jon Miller mused that the Astros might have plunked Bonds with the hope that it would fluster Jamey Wright, or he'd get himself thrown out trying to exact revenge. ("Verrry interesting," Mike Krukow said in the post-game wrap with a fake German accent, "but verrry schtupid.")

Wright did well not to retaliate, as he did a couple weeks ago against San Diego, plunking Brian Giles and opening the flood gates for the Padres. Instead he continued his better-than-#5-starter run of success, with 3 earned runs in 7 innings. He almost makes you forget that Brett Tomko is having a career year with the Dodgers.


UPDATE: I just saw this quote from Wright, who won his first game ever against the Ass-Toes: "You remember walking in this clubhouse and never walking out with a smile on my face."

Can someone please coach professional athletes on the grammatical differences between the first person and the second person? Referring to oneself as "you" has become an American epidemic. In ten years, not only will half the country have type-2 diabetes, but we'll be saying things like, "It sure would be nice if you didn't have my foot amputated, but I went and got that type-2 diabetes, and you know what happens to you when I don't take my meds."


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