The Desiccation of Wit

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

WARNING: Read at your own risk if not a sports fan

Our Torts professor, after lecturing without student involvement up until halftime and then for fifteen minutes straight thereafter, just called on a boy named Jarrod, who pronounces his name like that guy in the Subway commercials, except that he pronounced it like the Knicks one-time first round draft pick Jarrod Mustaf, which made me think, for the first time in years, about Jarrod Mustaf, who as I recall played at Maryland, where he was good, and only temporarily in New York, where he was bad. Subsequently, he either went into the business of selling neckties or died in a tragic accident, but I'm probably confusing him with Malik Sealy, who did both, despite going to St. John's and never playing for the Knicks, unlike Jarrod Mustaf.

(Break to Wiki "Jarrod Mustaf")
(Wiki, surprisingly, has nothing. Googling 'Jarrod Mustaf')

Apparently I was wrong, though not wrong about Jarrod Mustaf's being notorious. From the abstract of one of the Google hits, I gleaned this tidbit: "He was traded to the KNICKS along with Charles Smith and Gary Grant for Mark Jackson, a #1 Pick and Jarrod Mustaf (wife killer)."

(I'm racking my brains to figure out who the 'He' in the previous sentence is. Incidentally, the emphasis of the font on 'Jarrod Mustaf' is not mine. My suspicion is that it was Bo Kimble.)

Thinking about Jarrod Mustaf makes me think, generally, about the Knicks' abysmal drafting habits, which makes me think of a very silly thing I did on Monday night. Given the choice of playing in a weekly soccer game, on the one hand, and staying put for the duration of a fantasy baseball draft, on the other hand, I irrationall chose the former, even though as a result I'm now stuck with a bunch of guys on my team for the next six months who I'm going to be unhappy about having. Thank you, Yahoo! Sports AutoDraft Applet. Any rational actor, of course, would've sacrificed this one week of soccer for the next six months of happiness and a minimum of angst. But no.

And as a result, here's what I've got.
1. Too many starting pitchers, and not the right ones. Kerry Wood and Roger Clemens, who between them pitched, perhaps, two of the greatest single games ever pitched...and who, between them, might not pitch a single game of any sort in the month of April, let alone for the entire season. But if only I could sign Todd Van Poppel and Ryan Dressendorfer, I could have a stable of Texas Longhorns instead of a pitching rotation. Hook 'em Horns!

2. Willy Taveras. Outstanding. Baseball Prospectus, in its trivially useful "Comparables" category, juxtaposes Willy Taveras with Ty Cline, Jim Wohlford and Jerome Walton. Excellent. The first two no one has ever -- ever -- heard of, while the third was, granted, the 1988 National League Rookie of the Year (and, of course, a 1989 Topps All-Star Rookie)...and then died. Ok, not in the way that Mrs. Jarrod Mustaf died, but let's not split hairs here.

3. Magglio Ordonez. Magglio does have an excellent first name. That much I know is true. I also know that he compares with Chet Lemon, who has both excellent first and last names, and (apocryphally) has been said to have hit a home run at old Tiger Stadium on a checked swing... all of which does nothing to make Magglio a contributing member of my team.

(At this point I should discuss my team, which stands to be mentioned repeatedly on this blog when I have nothing better to say. Currently it's called 'Ryan of Langerhans' after the Braves' outfielder of that name. His middle name is not "of", nor is that short for "outfield". Well, it is short for outfield, but putting it there would be like saying "Chuck (D-NY) Schumer", et on ne fait pas ca. If you still don't understand why we're called 'Ryan of Langerhans', especially given my hatred of the Atlanta Braves, then you should know that (a) our league mandates that all team names be (i) baseball related and (ii) punderful, and (b) that my baseball card collection these days consists entirely of guys with weird names and guys with funny facial hair. If you still don't understand, then look over here, in my pancreas.)

4. Joe Crede. Ok, I've gotta say, I think Baseball Prospectus is giving Crede the shaft here. (Incidentally, 'Crede' rhymes with 'Ally Sheedy', or would if Joe's first name was actually 'Sally' rather than 'Joe', in which case having him on my team would be even more dubiously useful.) Crede is compared with Jeff King, who notably was replaced at 3B on the Pirates in 1988 by the vainglorious Bobby Bonilla, who, at that point, had some right to be vain and was on the brink of a modicum of minimal glory (or would've been, if not for the Sid Bream - Francisco Cabrera tandem.) At which point, if I recall correctly, Jeff King had the unfortunate task of taking over at third for Mike Schmidt in Philly. Or not. Crede is compared, secondly, with Dale Berra, who wasn't a quarter of the player his father was, nor an eighth of the manager his father was, nor a sixteenth of the witticist his father (unwittingly was), nor a thirtysecond of the American treasure his father was. Now I don't know who Joe Crede's father was, but that's neither here nor there, either. Finally, Crede gets stacked up with Kevin Elster, who, despite having a very special place in my heart, is no Joe Crede. Elster did one good thing in his Mets career: When I was 10 or 11, and at a Mets-Dodgers night game with my best friend Isaac and our fathers, the game went into the 12th or 13th inning tied 4-4, thus nearing on 11 p.m., and Isaac's dad said we had to leave after that inning regardless of the score of the game, even though my dad and I never left until the game was absolutely over. And then, miraculously, Kevin Elster, who never did anything good as a Met, hit a game-winning home run onto the blue-and-white striped canopy covering the picnic area beyond the left field bullpen.

Baseball-reference.com reveals that this game in fact occurred on May 31, 1988, which means two things:
(1) I was in fact 8, not 10 or 11.
(2) I've remembered this about Kevin Elster for 18 years now, not 15 or 16.

What does this say about Joe Crede? Not a thing.


41 Comments:

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If Dan and I were countries and baseball players equal agriculture, Dan would be France with its large farm subsidies and I would be Mozambique. Dan would propose trade regulations and I would reject because I would get screwed. I would then propose a fair trade and he would reject. Hopefully tree huggers/treaty hugger liberals will step in and start a fair trade campaign!

6:28 PM, March 29, 2006  
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one time I saw a cow.

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how the hell do you fit all this baseball trivia in your head? i am impressed, in the same way that american seamen unfortunate enough to come under the jurisdiction of king george iii were impressed.

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Take note that some Bingo houses don't allow food but some do, so it basically depends on the venue. Policies vary among different venues. For instance, some bingo halls allow reservation of cards, while others don't allow it. Some allow people to leave the venue in the middle of the game, others forbid it. But there are general policies observed in all bingo houses, such as disqualification of tampered bingo cards. There is no way you can get away with a tampered card because the walkers are adept at identifying authentic cards from tampered ones. You could be banned from a bingo establishment if proven liable of tampering a card. Hence, you should play honestly.

Interestingly, some venues offer special bingo games for kids although some halls don't allow players to have companions while playing. Suppose you bring kids with you, don't let them run around the venue and bother other gamers. They should behave well whilst you play and the game proceeds. Play quietly and don't recite the numbers you desperately want to come off because you'll be much of a disturbance if you do. Decorous playing is expectant of all players, even those who play roulette at casinos. Also, having a valid identification is important because you don't know you might win and need to present credentials.

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