The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Unexpected Baseball

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Easter was time well spent.  When two different sets of family plans didn’t pan out, when plans to go to a flea market were upended, when there seemed like no other option but to sit at home and free-base jelly beans and watch Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail, I did what any level-headed person should do:  I went to the ballgame.

It wasn’t the greatest game ever.  In fact, it sucked.  The Brewers got shellacked by the Cardinals; it was all the worse that they were done in by a guy making his first-ever MLB start at pitcher.  But it’s early yet.  I think the Brewers are going to spend a good deal of the spring finding their identity now that they are without Prince Fielder.  My faith in Ron Roenicke also leads me to believe that once they find that identity (i.e.:  they are a speed-oriented, on-base team with power pitching), they’ll be back in the swing of things.  If you’ll pardon the pun.

What am I complaining about?!  I was at the ballgame for the first time in 8 months.

There’s baseball elsewhere, of course.  You’ll have that when it’s opening weekend.  One of the compelling stories is the re-branding of the Miami Marlins, complete with a bizarre, whimsical stadium.  The franchise wanted a Latino voice that would appeal to their fan base, and they got one by hiring coach Ozzie Guillen, but they also got a foul-mouthed, gibberingly unintelligible voice who is currently employing something like a construction crane to pull his foot out of his mouth after some comments he made about Fidel Castro.

Yes, that Ozzie Guillen.

Guillen also figures prominently into a recent article in The New Yorker.  I started reading the article last night, and was soon in stitches.  A sample dialogue between Guillen and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria as it appears in Ben McGrath’s  “Old Fish, New Fish”:

“I heard you say the F-word,” Loria chided.

Guillen ignored the remark, slapped his boss’s hand, and patted him on the shoulder several times.  “If I get this man to where he should be, it gonna be a raise,” he said.

Loria lifted his eyebrows.  “The World Series?” he asked.

“Oh, no, that’s up to them,” Guillen said, and turned to look back at the players on the field.

“Oh, so they should get the raise,” Loria said.

“I get paid to win World Series,” Guillen continued.

“O.K.,” Loria said, verging on impatient.  “So just do it.”

Guillen shook his head.  “They gonna do it,” he said, and gestured at the field again.  “My job?  Hey, listen, if I get involved in the game more often, that means we’re horseshit.  See, I stay away from them?  That means we winning…  Make sure Ozzie’s not involved during the game.  As soon as I start making moves, I might fuck it up.”

Loria must like the abuse.  He hired Joe Girardi to manage the team a few years back; Girardi told him to “shut the fuck up” during an August, 2006 game in St. Louis.

Anyhow…  I was trying my hand last spring and summer with writing some Onion-style pieces here on The Seeker.  Incidently, I targeted Ozzie Guillen with a couple of satires, one of which I never published that references the mid-season struggles the White Sox had last year after signing Adam Dunn.  Given all this unexpected baseball, now seems like a good time to let it loose.

Manager Explain Pun Inherent in Slugger’s Last Name

Several Chicago-area sportwriters were part of an impromptu linguistics lesson today from an unlikely source:  English-impaired White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.  Guillen took time out of the pre-game press conference to explain that given his disappointing performance this season, struggling designated hitter Adam Dunn’s name presents a classic pun.  “Think about it,” Guillen encouraged reporters.  “He whiff 142 time already.  He hit 11 home runs, he bat in 40 runs, and average .162.  He not even hitting his weight.”  Guillen pointed out that the slugger’s numbers were far less than his 162-game averages of 38 home runs, 96 RBIs, and .245 batting average.  Guillen went on to explain paranomasia, a type of wordplay wherein one word sounds like another, though the words are spelled different.  Addressing the quizzical look on the faces of the press corps, Guillen explained, “Dunn his last name.  His bat say his career probably done.  Get it?  Dunn is ‘done.'”  Once the explanation sunk in, resigned chuckles rippled across the room, which only seemed to encourage Guillen.  “I got one better.  When you say ‘Dunn is done’ is a $12 million joke, you get syllepsis.  You using the phrase literally and figuratively all at once.”  Surveying the once again blank stares, Guillen scolded reporters, “You dumbasses don’t have a clue, do you?”  He wrapped up his comments by returning to the initial, simpler pun concept.  The latino-born skipper quipped, “Same apply to (pitching staff ace Mark) Buerhle.  He got a lot of muscles when you see him in locker room.”

Written by seeker70

April 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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