What's Cooler Than Being Cool? 

Whatever you may think of his managerial skills, Dusty Baker is still the coolest dude in baseball. Quotes Ludacris and John Lee Hooker in the same interview? Likes to cook at home with his wife? Goes fishing with Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musslewhite? Ice cold, baby.


P.M. UPDATE: The Mike Matheny retirement was no surprise, of course. But it should give all of us who shout encouragement (and otherwise) from the stands a moment of pause. Let's remember what these guys go through to entertain us. If you're a desk jockey like me, there's little chance your doctor will tap your shoulder one day and say, sorry, I know you're 35 and have five kids to raise, but you have to stop doing the only job you've ever known.

Before you play the smallest violin in the world for athletes who make millions, read this.

Yes, baseball is orders of magnitude different than football. But do you think Ellis Burks or Barry Bonds will be able to get out of bed without extreme knee pain in a few years? Or Jeff Bagwell will be able to lift his kids (if he has kids) with his arthritic right shoulder? These guys make millions because they're the absolutely best in the world at what they do in a business that generates billions upon billions of dollars. And they're the ones risking their arms, knees, backs, and brains, not the owners, not the GMs, not the managers and coaches.

The next time you hear someone in the stands cheering an opponent's injury -- even if it's a Dodger -- poke him in the ribs and tell him you're not down with that. Reading about Matheny, and how he probably won't even be able to exercise for six or nine months until his symptoms disappear, makes me more likely to cheer when my favorite players succeed and simply say "Go get 'em next time" when they fail. Other than good-natured heckling of the visiting outfielders from the bleachers, who am I to cuss out an athlete?

More to read: The NY Times writes today about Ted Johnson, former Patriots linebacker struggling with post-concussion syndrome.


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