Foto (not PhotoShopped, dammit) by tgw, New York City, 2008
In Fields of Idiots
I mean by idiots people who've never cracked out of their Id shells. People who are being led by their libidos. Those with totally nonabsorbing minds. "Does looking up numbers in a telephone book count as reading a book?" one seriously asks me. Books? What are books to these idiots? Accounting ledgers? These people are the people who take Oprah's latest bestseller to the top of the NYTimes bestseller list (it's rigged, folks)(and idiots do read and write for the New York Times) and then leave it sitting on their Bob's Furniture plywood coffee tables--unable to even read and comprehend Oprah's latest revelation of the machinations of her own superior Id--AND YES, Oprah's an idiot. Idiots attract each other. Look at that gaggle of them in the White House and Congress making policies and laws that effect whether We the People possibly get to live out full lives under the Constitution's guarantee of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness to an idiot is to be able to masturbate in public over naked pictures of himself or herself.
Idiots. Idiots. I'm surrounded by idiots. The real idiots I once worked with in the Austin, Texas, State Hospital (polite name for insane asylum) were cleverer than these abnormal everyday idiots I'm waist deep in, those not locked up in rubber rooms, though certainly they certifiably should be. These idiots believe people go crazy because they are infiltrated with demons. These idiots trust pseudo-psychic practitioners like teevee's Dr. Phil (an Oprah Winfrey gift to us)--a true idiot idiot's psychologist. They trust these fakirs for salvation from their Id-related emotional problems. Dr. Phil in one of his brilliant moments: "I think you all's jest gonna hafta face some facts, honeychile, you're fuckin' nuts." And the good Doctor of Educational Psychology is absolutely right. Though one wonders from what loony bin Dr. Phil contracts his teevee "clients"? You know, like 5 days a week, several neurotics per show, usually neurotic women having marriage and/or love trouble--or neurotic men having male-identity problems along with ED (erectile dysfunction). Is Dr. Phil's staff constantly searching Back Stage for actors and actresses who specialize in being neurotic housewives and neurotic hen-pecked husbands--or specializing in couples having marriage problems--or there must be an overweight woman agency in Hollywood--I mean all the blimps who float onto Dr. Phil's show looking for a solution to their overweight problems. Dr. Phil doesn't tell them, "Here, go home and follow this low-carbohydrate diet for the rest of your life and you'll turn out fine." Oh no, Dr. Phil's advice involves what her mother did to her or how she doesn't see the beauty that is in herself. Dr. Phil, being a Texan, understands pure-dee well the meaning of "bullshit" and "hogwash" and "hornswoggle"--that fabricated stuff on which these idiots thrive.
My point in my role on this blog is "there are two sides to every human way of thinking. Two sides to every learned human directional action." What I'm intending to point out are the many, many ironies under which we are constantly subjected. "Thou shalt not steal," for instance. That, societally speaking, is good advice. Individually speaking, though, it's not good advice since those who steal rule the world; the honest die young on battlefields; the honest are packed into the largest prison system in the world; the honest earn low pay; the honest are under the bootheels of the dishonest.
I mean the U.S.A.'s glam and glitter comes from the sparklings of its many ironies. How ironic for instance that the first-ever Black man (yes, ironically he's half White) elected President is a disappointment to Blacks. During his inauguration while newly elected President Obama was showing off his new special-ordered Cadillac Escalade bullet-proof Presidential SUVs (3 of them) and proving himself a profiling genius, Blacks (yes, and Liberal and Progressive Whites, too) by the tens of thousands were in the audience smiling, crying, praising the Lord, and so fucking hopeful (of course, if they'd'a read the Growler they'd'a known there is no such thing as hope)--thinking collectively, "Praise the Lord, now We the Black People of the USA have our own kind in the White Man's House...things are sure 'nuff gonna change now--can I get an amen on that?" And the "Amens" rose in a mighty roar from Black people that day and night in Washington, District of Corruption. Even Black folks back in Africa were hopeful. Even little Muslim kids were wearing Obama teeshirts. "Yes We Can" was echoing around the world.
Yesterday, the US Congress rejected financial aid to Black farmers--a promised aid--the reason Shirley Sherrock was asked to resign from her Department of Agriculture post where she headed approval of aid for farmers both Black and White--and President Obama did nothing to step in and pressure passage of the bill. Suddenly, right before a major mid-term election two of President Obama's Black Congress Dumbocrats, Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters, are being brought up on ethics violations charges--every member of Congress has committed the same ethics violations as poor old Charlie and it certainly looks like Maxine Waters is being set up since she's being ruthlessly attacked in California by openly racist and bitter White teabaggers--a couple of whom are women ex-CEOs (of Hewlett-Packard (one of their CEOs just had to resign over some sexual harassment charges--causing HP's stock to drop--don't worry, it'll recover--'cause when it's low enough Warren Buffett and our rich rulers will buy back into it and soon HP stock will be runnin' wild again) and eBay) are opposing her. Maxine Waters's husband supposedly owned stock in the first Black bank in the USA and she did something politically helpful for this bank--she committed a no-no amongst swindlers and liars and cheats and paid-off goons. Both Rangel and Waters are chairmen of very powerful committees in Congress. And Obama is doing nothing to defend his fellow Dumbocrats in these allegations; in fact, he's openly said Charlie Rangel's now an old fart and he should get out of politics and retire to his tax-free Caribbean hideaway and just lay back and enjoy life.
I thought the Dumbocrats were the majority in Congress (written facetiously, of course). How come the Repugnicans still control Congress (written facetiously, of course)? Why doesn't President Obama go to Congress and lay the law of majority rules down to these fools? These idiots. You know why? Because President Obama is a politician, which means, guess what? ???
Obama's whole modus operandi has been put together for him by Power Whites in Chicago--his path is the same one Billy Jeff Clinton chose--starting right-off-the-bat out to become a politician--to one day seek political office--but first, he had to get as close-to-an Ivy League education as he could get, which he did with degrees from Columbia and Hahrvahrd. Billy Jeff, on the other hand, had to be satisfied with Georgetown U., a Catholic university that pulls in a lot of future politicians to its law school and its international politics degree programs, though in his favor, he did marry a Yaley.
And Obama, too, had to marry right, which Obama did--attracting and courting and winning an Ivy League corporate lawyer type just like himself--here again a comparison; a precedent: Billy Jeff marrying his corporate/government lawyer type before trotting down to Dixie to start his political career in his home state, the low-life White-dominated Old South State of Arkansas (razorbacks (wild hogs) are its animal identity). Corporate Lawyer Barack Obama got his Ivy League lawyer wife who happened to be from Chicago's South Side (ironically, Hillary's from Chicago, too, though not the South Side). Aha, Barack thought, here's my chance, here's my starting place--Chicago's South Side--and he used the logic his White mother had taught him--"You are not just a Black man, you are an international man, a man for all seasons." So Obama went to Chicago's South Side and he started his political career there as a community organizer going about among the community with his huge encouraging smiles and hand clasps and good-ole-boy attitude--and oh my god the speeches he made and the appearances of charm and grace and hope he made with his charming and very serious wife--and "oh how handsome" he was to the ladies and how handsome and perfect Michelle was, too, and their marriage was perfect, too, and then those two perfect little daughters arrived--PERFECT--PERFECT--PERFECT--and soon Barack Obama became Mr. Perfect on Chicago's South Side and soon he learned how to kiss the Daley Empire's big fat White ass deep enough in the crack he got the Daley Politicos backing him...er-ah, I have to gulp here before asking you: do you realize the current mayor of Chicago is the son of the sorry slimy asshole, Mayor Richard Daley?--in fact, the son has the same name--and, yet, these crooked machinators continue to send the City of Chicago into the red and yet the idiots of Chicago keep putting them into power (by close margins, oh yeah, always close margins)(Mayor Daley and the Chicago Mob rigged the 1960 presidential election in favor of JFK--I don't need to reference so known a fact)--chips off the block of the old Chicago political triumvirate of Pat Nash-Jake Arvey-Ed Kelly. And these are the machinators who put Obama first into Illinois politics and finally springboarded him into national politics based on a speech he made at the 2004 Dumbocratic Convention. That's why Obama is the first Chicago President--totally ruled over and guarded over by Daley goons, Emmanuel Rahm and David Axlerod--no more a president of the people than G.W. Bush was. In fact, Mayor Daley, Rahm, Axlerod, and Obama find Bush's executive privileges he gave himself important in terms of allowing Obama to continue to go against the hopes of We the People and continue to kowtow to the Corporate Power Brokers who really rule this country. President Obama is two-faced. Sorry, but his Whiteness trumps his Blackness. Obama even if he wanted to tell the truth can't. The President, according to the Neo-Cons, must never tell the truth--and Obama's a natural when it comes to spreading truthful honey over absolute lies. Still, We the People are left with the dilemma as usual of picking the best of the worst--and, yes, certainly, President Obama is that--he's closer to We the People than say Nutjob Captured Loser John McCain or Mormon-Polygamy-Approver-Black-Hater Mitch O'Connell or Nutjob Hillbilly Preacher Mike Huckabee (can you believe that goofball got a talk show on Rupert Murdoch's infomercial channels (Channels 9 and 11 in New York City)?) or Superwoman Sarah "Paleface" Palin.
And speaking of Woman-Idiot Sarah Palin: "Oh NO!" there's trouble in Alaskan Paradise--seems like the Alaskan-hayseed idiot, Levi, who fucked Sweet Sarah's lovely virgin daughter Bristol in the woods one night has revealed himself a reprobate first-class--he's had a baby by another Alaskan hayseed daughter. Just think, how would you like to have a President with a daughter who was knocked up by a jiveass little prick of a spoiled Alaskan brat, perhaps the knock up taking place in the woods behind the Palin home, one night perhaps right under Soccer Mom Sarah's nose as she was peering out her back window over at Russia. What about when President Palin's stupid daughter has a 4-million-dollar wedding when she finally marries this bastard-producing Bozo? But that's OK, as long as they all go to Sarah's independent Christian church and confess their sins, then all is forgiven. Hey, Jesus protected whores, remember Mary Magdalene? Many a Christian male has had deep sexual fantasies over Mary Magdalene--some even saying that if Jesus did sin it had to do with his future relationship with Mary the Whore from Magdala. So, I agree, Barack Obama is still the only "hope" for progressives, Black people, Latinos, illegal Mexican immigrants, those going bankrupt, those losing their homes, etc.... Too bad that there's no such thing as hope and therefore no guarantees that Barack Obama will get a correct navigational reading that will show him how off-course he is--maybe this coming interim election will be that reading. I can see the Teabaggers gaining seats in the Backward States, one of which is Nevada--Harry Reid is such an idiot--a well-heeled idiot thanks to corporate contributions. I'm still very pessimistic when it comes to US politics and the US economy and our perpetual war agenda.
Did you know the Obama Pentagon (G.W. Bush's old Pentagon crew) is currently pissed off because US weapon sales are off. You know We the People of the US are the biggest arms dealers in the world. Even the Taliban gets Pentagon assistance with money and arms; even Osama bin Laden is still getting a pension from the Pentagon and the CIA. You know Obama hasn't uttered bin Laden's name one time since he's been president. He knows, I guess, that bin Laden is long dead and gone. In fact I'm just reading on Yahoo News that al-Queda has a NEW LEADER--and this leader is "very familiar with life in the USA." Amazing. Another miracle, al-Queda is being reborn under this new LEADER. Surely that means Osama bin Laden is now officially dead--of natural causes--he did have renal dysfunction--how long do people on dialysis machines live? Did you know that having to be on a dialysis machine costs approximately $250,000-a-year? It's all so cruel a joke.
Do you realize if instead of blowing billions upon billions of dollars on these two illegal (if you're honest) and immoral (if you have morals) and forced-on-We-the-People wars our government had divided that money up amongst all of We the People we'd all be millionaires--even those illegal Mexicans most of White America can't stand--those lazy, shiftless, Chicano bastards--Wetbacks! Braceros! They'd be millionaires, too. Of course, everyone becoming a millionaire (sounds like Huey Long's "Every man a King") is an anathema to our Corporate rulers--"If all those under $200,000-a-year scumbags are suddenly worth a million bucks, how the hell we gonna get any slave labor done? I can see a dilemma if that happens." They can't reason beyond their current bonus levels and think that if every person in the US got 1 million bucks--just like million-dollar lottery winners--they would go on wild shopping sprees and the economy would suddenly blossom forth again--plus it would put juice in the housing market since they could pay off their mortgages or bank loans or credit-card debts (and those oh-so Federally illegal interest rates and usage fees--but they're not illegal in South Dakota and Delaware)--and car sales--they'd zoom--but no, the Power Elite can't even consider that because stabilizing the economy is not on their agenda. So, get used to it, your money will always go their way but you'll never get any of YOUR money coming back your way--NEVER. The solution: I don't think there is a solution--not in this fucked up scared-shitless nation being led by a bullying Power Elite who are now enforcing their solution on us--a solution I see as maybe a "final solution."
Black people all over the US are disappointed in and have a lot of doubt now about President Obama though they can't publically show how really disappointed they are. They still trust Obama as being one of them--and his wife and kids are certainly of them, too, so they still defend him and are hopeful. Jesse Jackson, a Chicago man who didn't have any faith in Obama, remember, and was backing Hillary before Obama won the Dumbocrat presidential nomination, is currently, on being interviewed, criticizing Obama directly and accurately in terms of his continuing the policies of G.W. Bush in spite of his promising us change--"Yes We Can." But, Jesse hedges his criticism in hope--he hopes, as do all of us including my cynical self, Obama has an ulterior motive to all his White-ass-kissing political ways and means and will eventually surprise us all with progressive moves instead of his current regressive moves--moving backwards to a point within the Reagan Administration--a point in that horribly wrongly directed time that intrigues Obama's corporate lawyer mentality. The irony here: Hope is all we have and in Hope we have nothing.
Idiotic Occurrences In the News
The news is so scarily divided into the tainted bullshit and pure-dee bullshit--like I'm reading in Yahoo News that the U.S. and Vietnam are in talks whose result will be the US supplying Vietnam with nuclear capabilities.
Also, I'm reading more about President Obama's Latin American policies--and about why for instance he's sending a 46-ship naval fleet, including the behemoth aircraft carrier Makin Island to Costa Rica, a country who hasn't had a military since 1949 and is currently under the presidential administration of its first woman president, Linda Chinchilla. Word has it La Presidenta, a former protege of Costa Rican ex-President and honored peacemaker, Oscar Arias, is turning more and more right wing due to an invasion of the country by the drug cartels of Mexico, Colombia and Panama (that now has a very rightwing-mad president who loves the US aid he gets--and remember the old rumors that had G.W. Herbert "Pappy" Bush mixed up in Panamanian cocaine trafficking along with his old pal General Noriega, now living swell in some US Federal prison in Florida--surely the General stashed enough of his millions away offshore he's able to afford his meals being catered--and he does probably have a nice big flat-screen teevee, a cell phone--who knows, maybe conjugal visits from the Bush Family). And these drug cartels find Costa Rica big enough and wild enough and with isolated beaches enough where landing drugs can easily be made and then picked up without worry of any kind of interference. Plus Costa Rica is next to a wild part of Nicaragua, which makes it easy to "mule" those shipments of cocaine from Colombia and Panama that landed on those isolated Costa Rican beaches and was picked up there up through the wilds of Central America to the southern jungles of Mexico--all eventually headed toward the good ole USA where illegal drug sales are in the multibillions-a-year, which makes the drug industry a successful Capitalist industry--wonderful huge profits--and all cash deals--tax-free cash deals.
And by the bye, both Colombia and Panama are big US allies in our War on Drugs--remember that war? That's a multibillion-buck-a-year WAR, too. Both countries are also receivers of big-buck aid from Sister Hillary Clinton and her State Department giveaway program. So We the People of the USA are sending in the Makin Island, named after a South Pacific island on which the US Marines fought a bloody WWII battle with our then devil-enemy the Japanese in 1942. The USS Makin Island is a supership that We the People paid for with money taken out of our earnings. It not only holds 7,000 Marines--the beach-landing combat type of Marines, but it also has a huge hangar area full of helicopters and spy planes and probably drones and a deck big enough to land bombers on--this is one big motherfucking ship--plus there are 40-something other naval vessels sailing into Costa Rican waters. Bush's Choice, Bobby Gates, says Ms. Chinchilla invited our Navy into her waters because she's so afraid of this invasion of the drug cartels and their drugs, blah, blah, blah. The full story may reveal, Ms. Chinchilla wants to get her hands on some of that Drug War money--plus, there are a hell of a lot of US retirees moving to Costa Rica [the The Daily Growler Hall of Famer J. Orlin Grabbe, a fellow West Texan, died in Costa Rica after having moved there from many years living in the Arab Emirates]--the tourist business is booming--Costa Rica is also a very Green-inclined country--a lot of US rich boys with money to burn have gone to Costa Rica and built hotels that are self-sustaining in terms of growing their own food, heating and or cooling their lodgings with solar-powered energy--offering their turistas (guests) jungle explorations including walking on these native-style walkway bridges that let people walk through the tops of the jungle forests and get up close to the howler monkeys and the many lizards and insects and Fer de Lance snakes. So now the US is ready to get involved with Costa Rican freedoms and rights--and under the John Negroponte-style of freedom and rights enforcement (and just where is John these days?), soon Costa Rica will have an army and a pumped-up police force--the US coming along with its military presence brings in millions of US dollars--maybe even billions of US dollars...and so goes the Imperial aspect of the US collective political mind...still trying to enforce the Monroe Doctrine on Latino Americans. The irony in Costa Rica is that people flocked there to enjoy the life there, the peace there, no army, easy life, beautiful beaches and cheap living--there's got to be some great hi-rise luxury condos going up like weeds there now--the Americans are coming--get your hands out NOW.
And, yes, the Neo-Con New World Order stands for the nationalizing of Capitalism as our true God and making the Constitution guarantee profits over the rights of US citizens who aren't rich--the majority of us--those of us with all the power; yet we ironically stand like helpless giants afraid to death of the POWER wielded by the 1% of White men, elderly feeble White men most of them, too--wimps like Billy Boy Gates--or phony tough guys like Jack Welch--or always dying gadget inventors like Steve Jobs. This pitiful little pool of fools own all of us--in that we are all consumers to them--and these are the Brutal Power Elitists at whose feet we worship and waste time celebrating and praising and answering "Yes, Master" to. We will wake up one day and realize (we distinguish ourselves from other beasts by saying we are reasoning animals) that it's We the People who own our government lock, stock, and barrel. It's We the People for whom our Congresspeople and our President and his Administration are supposed to WORK--for our benefits; for our security; for our rights to live comfortably without fears; for whom our military is supposed to work guarding our borders. And when that military fails its job as it did on September 11, 2001, here in New York City, its heads should be fired and our defense system totally removed from all the far reaches of the world and brought home where it Constitutionally belongs. We the People's National Guard used to spend millions on ads telling us that we could "Sleep soundly tonight because our National Guard is watching over us." Do you realize how many millions of lives that breach of our 9/11 military defense system could have cost us had this attack not been organized and led by a bunch of dumbass religious fanatics working for who knows whose version of Allah--funded by Saudi Arabia--AND NOW, I realize how first of all Osama Bin Laden had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, but second of all, Osama bin Laden was a CIA agent who did what he was hired to do and who was then released from his CIA duties and left on his own with his little pissant army of fellow Saudis originally hired by the CIA to help the Afghan Mujahadeen drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan--something we'd actually been trying to do since back in Reagan's day--we've used Pakistan as a base since those days. So this Afghanistan War is a leftover from Cold War Days--and from those days between Reagan's and G.W. Herbert "Pappy" Bush's reign when all the oil companies wanted the government to negotiate a big transcontinental oil pipeline down from the Central Asian oilfields through Afghanistan to eventually reach the Adriatic ports of Europe (negotiated under the auspices of Condo-Leasing Rice and now Afghan puppet president Karzai)--oil for European consumption being the original need for this pipeline. Just like there's now a pipeline from Iraq down to Israel. Did you know that?
What we don't know doesn't hurt us is idiot thinking. Yes, I admit, I'm an idiot a lot, but I have a cleansed solar plexus, all the deviations have been expunged from the purest melody there is, the melody of life--the dancing to the earth's natural rhythms--the natural rhythms of man: our heartbeats--the NATURAL rhythms, the rhythms counted off by the spinning of the earth on its axis--and sidereal time has proven that the NATURAL is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. Like once nighttime darkness was inexplainable by early man--animals on the other hand realized that there were some animals who were evolved for nightlife and some animals evolved for daylight--like leopards--regular spotted leopards hunt in the daytime; however, black leopards hunt at night--it's the earth's natural balancing act. Man like his ancestors (primates) was scared to death of the dark--of the nighttime--because he hadn't the capacity to figure out that all night was was the earth orbiting so it's constantly facing the sun, tilted toward the sun in great respect, in a worshipful bow, where there is always daylight somewhere on the earth. Natural variables. Nighttime for sleeping and refreshing yourself. That's all. Afraid of night predators--OK, that's a natural fear, a fear that is an instinctual warning to watch your back even at night--when security guarding became an honorable profession. And yet, ironically, there are plenty of nightprowling and nightriding humans aren't there?
Two sides to everything--with only ironies to keep us amused and so busy we've no time to let our fears keep us from producing and consuming and making our rich richer.... Oh it gets so boring being an idiot after awhile doesn't it?
for The Daily Growler
A The Daily Growler Sports Extra
Best baseball managers still in the game: Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa--I'm not a big fan of Lou Pinella as a manager--he's 1st division but he's not really a winning manager.
I know, I'm hedging why I returned to writing for this rag...I've tried being a Yankees fan again.
First of all, the new Yankee Stadium is not sacred. Even the old renovated House That Ruth Built, though not much of the original old stadium was left after the renovation, was still sacred. The earth on the playing field was still the same earth (OK, deep underneath the new sod)--for years the original home plate was used with souvenirs buried under it. The new Yankee Stadium? Sacred? No. In fact, very profane. It has old "Ruin It" George's name all over it--in fact, they call it the House That George Built. Babe Ruth is no longer a baseball phenom--he's no longer even a baseball legend. Why even Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris are fading fast in baseball history's memory bank. A-Rod is the new House That George Built Babe Ruth. A-Rod, the youngest player to ever hit 600 home runs. He still has plenty of years left--and records are made to be broken, so it looks like he may take Hank Aaron's place as the "Home Run Legend." Even the monuments under George were cheapened by turning them into a park. Those monuments were a main part of the old House That Ruth Built outfield. Now they're simply on display in a cutesy little park.
Baseball's just no longer the baseball I've been in love with since my dad bought me my first and glove, a J.C. Higgins (Sears-Roebuck's sporting goods brand) first baseman's mitt. The first baseman's mitt was different from the regular fielder's mitt. First baseman mitts were built differently to serve a different purpose, to be able to scoop a ball out of the dirt, or sweep a hot grounder off the ground or to reach out and snag a foul liner. The catcher had a unique mitt, too. You ever heard anyone refer to it as a catcher's glove? A first baseman's mitt was long and slender and not showing all the fingers like a fielder's mitt. Then one of my older cousins who played on the high school baseball team gave me a real bat and soon by the age of 10 I was a fairly good little ballplayer and hitter. I started off learning to hit by hitting stones with a piece of hardwood flooring I'd shaped into a bat-like stick. I even taped the handle of my faux bat to look like a real bat as much as possible. I'd go down to an empty field up a couple of blocks from my house and I would hit rock after rock after rock through 9-inning game after 9-inning game--hour after hour I'd hit those rocks--I collected rocks every day--I had this old toe sack I kept them in. I hit so many rocks in that one place I could go off back into the woods there and pick up tons of my own rocks. The first actual baseball game I played in--I was in the 6th grade and I was chosen as the first first baseman on my elementary school's first-ever organized softball team. In my first-ever game, with a big school from the center city, my first time at bat, I hit the ball so far it broke the glass out of a 3rd-floor window in the school that they said was about 350 feet from home plate. The adults and some of my friends talked about that feat on into that summer break and into the next fall when I'd moved on to middle school. An 11-year-old boy had hit a softball 350 feet. I became a home-run-hitting legend at that school, a legend that has evaporated over time, disappearing in historical time along with the school itself.
By the time I was 11, I was faithfully listening to local minor league games every evening I could pick up on my FM radio--and my hometown had a great minor-league team affiliated at that time with the New York Giants, then later with the Chicago Cubs--my favorite ballplayer then was Chico Carresquel, a short-stop, and Chico went up to Chicago and became a Cubby. Then every Saturday several national radio networks carried Major League games of the day, especially the Mutual Broadcasting System who had the big-time baseball game announcer next to the Yankees Mel Allen--that was Al Helfer. In 1950, I closely followed the short World Series when the New York Yankees wiped out my favorite National League team the Philadelphia Phillies--my idols were Richie Ashburn (and oh what a hitter the late Richie Ashburn was), Andy Seminick, the catcher, and Granny Hamner their third baseman, and Del Ennis who hit 31 home runs that year and Willie Jones who hit 25 home runs that year and Robin Roberts the great pitcher who was 20-11 that year and Jim Konstanty was on that team. The Whiz Kids. Yet the Yankees had no trouble with the Whiz Kids. Blew 'em away in 4 straight games.
Right then and there, I switched from being a Phillies fan to being a Yankees fan. And from 1950 until three years ago I was such a Yankees fan I even loved sitting in the old bleachers with the nutjobs. Until three years ago when George "Half-a-Brain" Steinbrenner turned on Joe Torre and treated him so disrespectfully after he'd given Yankees fans the most exciting baseball since the Stengel days. Little did any Yankees fan know that the Steinbrenners had been talking with Joe Girardi after he got fired by the Florida Marlins since Steinbrenner had already made up his mind to fire Joe Torre--instead Joe resigned when they told him he'd have to take a pay cut if he stayed, plus it would be on a year-to-year basis. Can you imagine the Atlanta general management telling Bobby Cox he'd have to take a pay cut or get fired?
Is Joe Girardi a good manager? Well, when you think of the Yankees being without a doubt the most solid-packed ballteam in the MLB these days--in terms of hitting and fielding, that makes it hard to judge Girardi. Some say even Jerry Manual could successfully manage so good a hitting and fielding team as this year's and last year's Yankees. Girardi has pitching problems, sort of the same ones Joe Torre faced with Steinbrenner forcing Randy Johnson and a finished Roger Clemens on him. Then, on top of that, Steinbrenner and Cashman forced a bunch of Double A superpitchers on Joe, like Jabo Chamberlain and Phil Hughes. Joe warned the Steinbrenners and Brian Cashman to leave Jabo as an eighth-inning reliever and not make a starter out of him. Oh no, said the Steinbrenners, we want him as a starter. So what happens, this wild-ass kid with the lucky break of moving from Double A ball right into the Major Leagues was pitching in the essential game with Cleveland in the 2007 playoffs, the 7th game, the one that if the Yankees won meant they would have catapulted into the 2007 championship series with the Red Sox--and the Yankees beat the Red Sox all year that year. So what happens, for some reason, perhaps it was his cologne, Jabo attracted a mad swarming of gnats at Jacobs Field in Cleveland (maybe they were trained gnats, who knows--it's Cleveland. Speaking of Jacobs Field, how trashy that it's now called Progressive Field after the stupid auto insurance-peddling company). And Jabo can't deal with these gnats. He panics. And Joe Torre then made the biggest mistake of his career when he doesn't have the umpires call the game until the gnats are cleared away--instead, he lets Jabo continue throwing in spite of the gnats and BOOM, they ended up losing the series to Cleveland. Joe gets fired and Joe Girardi gets hired and as a further insult to Joe, Cashman brings this Double A pitching coach, Dave Eiland, up to become the Yankees pitching coach. He's not a good pitching coach, but then, the Yankees have had consistent trouble with pitching coaches over the years.
By the way, I just noticed that Major Houk died earlier this year. Ralph Houk. He took over the Yankees after Yogi Berra had managed them to a World Series and got fired. Houk managed the worst Yankee team ever--they fell into the second division. But Houk was a true baseball man even though he couldn't manage for shit.
Will the Yankees win back-to-back World Series under Joe Girardi? Well, they've got the best record in baseball. Their pitching is unreliable except for C.C. Sabathia. I mean, come on, Andy Pettite is still having an unbelievable season--but then Andy pitched well for Joe Torre, too. Remember when Steinbrenner treated Andy like shit after Roger Clemens retired and then unretired and showed up in Houston and Andy followed his hero to Houston. Then Clemens was humiliated by the steroid scare that ruined some great ballplayers lives, like Barry Bonds, for instance--and Mark McGwire's life, though Mark has since been forgiven and is now working back in baseball with the Saint Louis Cardinals--and Andy had to turn on his hero and admit he knew Roger did use steroids--as a reward, George took Andy back into the fold. I'll say this for Joe Gerardi, he does seem to have more respect from his players than Joe got--but that probably has more to do with Joe Gerardi not being that old yet and several old Yankees--like Pettite and Posada--knowing Gerardi when he was the Yankees catcher. Tampa Bay seems to be the fly in the Yankees ointment if there is going to be one to stop them this year; otherwise, I don't see any National League teams who could beat the Yankees--certainly not Atlanta--the Yankees whacked the Phillies when they played an innerleague series here a month or so back--not Saint Louis--and never San Diego. Besides, even if they don't beat Tampa for the championship, they'll get he wild card bid easy. The White Sox? Who knows. Detroit? Who knows. Minnesota? The Yankees had no trouble with Minnesota so far this year. Texas? Who knows.
By the way, speaking of steroids, how quaint is it that Vince McMahon, Jr.'s, wife, Linda, is running for a Congressional seat in Connecticut. Didn't Vince humiliate his wife one time on his phony rasslin' shows by tying her up and drugging her and then bringing a floozy in and fucking around with her in front of his wife? Vince McMahon whose rasslers and himself steroid-ed up to become freaky looking goony-looking overmuscled freaks--to me, rasslin' is very dirty and crotch-smelly comedy show--just think, those big steroidated beefcakers humping each other all over a ring that is rigged with sound effects and fake blood capsules and dull razor blades and shit like that. So here comes Miss Linda into the political ring. Pat her down for a special green dust that when blown in the face of opponents makes them blind--or maybe she's hiding a metal chair under her dress--suddenly she'll raise her dress and bop her opponent over the head with that chair. Also, will she come out for legalizing steroids and adultery?
So I tried staying a Yankees fan. But I can't get back into it. I watched them lose to the Red Sox one game and then come back and beat them the next day--and, first of all, I know very few of the Yankees any more. Yes, Jeter's still there; A-Rod's still there; Cano's still there; Jorge Posada is still there; Andy Pettite is still there; but Texiera, Granderson, Swisher, most of the pitching staff, I don't know them and they just don't seem like Yankees to me. So, in a way, too, I've lost interest in baseball. Also, Joe Torre's not doing very well with the Dodgers this year--they were 8 games behind San Diego last I looked. I think Manny is injured--and Joe's had pitching trouble and injury trouble--so it doesn't look promising for Joe Torre in his last year managing. He may end up in third way back of a San Diego team that's overachieving so far this year.
The Mets. Come on, Jerry Manual just ain't a good manager. The Mets are really a pretty slick little team--good pitching, too--but Manual. He just doesn't know how to get his team to all star at once. Of course, I say, what difference would it have made to have kept Willie Randolph as their manager. Baseball has moved on beyond my fun now. It's just a big circle of the same old players being traded all over the place, playing for teams in both leagues. I mean Milwaukee had C.C. Sabathia. Why'd they let him go? MONEY. That's what baseball is now all about. All these players, even this Double A whiz kids are instant millionaires the minute they get an MLB contract. I never liked polo because it was a sport of millionaire playboys. Now, I'm sorry to say, it seems like that's what baseball has become.
for The Daily Growler Sports Extra