Because I Said So!

Around the horn at the All-Star break with a sports-writing legend

Editor's note: This week City Pages has persuaded legendary Lake Country Sportsman editor and columnist Spud Galligan to come out of retirement to pinch hit for the vacationing Brad Zellar. Zellar will return next week.

 

I gotta be an old pain in the keister and admit that the so-called Midsummer Classic does nothing for me these days...these ballplayers today make so damn much money that you can't expect 'em to give a rat's patoot about a four-hour salute to beer and steroids. All the more reason to lament the passing of the Splendid Splinter, a man's man and a warrior who always played the All-Star game as if it was the seventh game of the Fall Classic--I've said it before: Teddy Ballgame was the greatest wandsman with an ash stick it has been my pleasure to witness. And the man could catch fish in the toilet bowl at an Applebee's. By the by, if the Splinter's kids ever settle their squabble and they do end up freezing the old Thumper and selling off his DNA, count me in! I'm a childless old wretch with a colossus for a backside, but I'd empty the bank account and sell my kidneys on eBay to have a son who could hit and curse and slaughter animals like my dear friend Ted Williams...Speaking of steroids, how many home runs do you think the Babe would have hit if he'd been able to get his fat mitts on some of this scrotum-shrinking dope that seems to have made mashers out of so many of today's lads in flannel? I'll tell you how many: plenty, and then some! Back in the day, the old ballplayers got by with Chesterfields, Hamm's beer, and four or five hours of shuteye. Steroids or no steroids, this Bonds character out in San Francisco couldn't have played for former Twins bench general Tom Kelly...I love the smell of popcorn...The word out of the Twins organization is that there are a number of youngsters on the current squad who have a chance to be something special if they can get their heads screwed on straight...One coach told me he likes the way this Guardado kid goes about his business...One thing the Twinkles haven't had for too long is a first-rate base burglar, somebody who can swipe a few pads for the club and rattle opposing moundsmen. Jiminy Cricket, so many of these Latin youngsters today are remarkably fleet of foot, you'd think they'd be able to make something happen on the basepaths...Call me a wet-noodled old romantic, but I love a broad who brings her mitt to the ballgame...Given the local nine's continued futility against portsiders, wouldn't it make sense for Howard Fox to bring in a southpaw to sling some batting practice to the club? At present the team has no lefthander available to handle the preliminaries...What do our first-place diamond lads have to do to get some more duffs in the blue seats, give away game-used jockey shorts?...Some of these gals today wear getups to the ballpark that would make Jayne Mansfield blush. How's an old press-box wolf supposed to watch the game with half-dressed floozies parading up and down the aisles? Call me old-fashioned, but c'mon ladies, let's leave something to the imagination!...Comely or stacked? I'll take stacked every time. No apologies: I'm a chest man...This music they play at the ballyard these days drives a thirsty old scribe to drink. What the hell happened to "Thank God I'm a Country Boy"?...I've said it before, but it bears repeating: There's no room in the Big Show for a fruitcake...After more than 40 years of press-box wienies, I've got one question: What's a guy got to do to get a decent egg-salad sandwich at the ballpark?...It sure seems like you don't see as many wet-brains in the big leagues as you used to. Maybe the Mick taught these kids something...This Kielty kid with the Twin Towners is starting to really look like a ballplayer. The fresh-faced carrot-top is hittin' over .300 at the break and team sources say he's busting his tail trying to get better. Not bad for a fella that used to be allergic to wood. No foolin'!...Maybe it's just me, but I think Doctor Detroit is the great Danny Aykroyd movie that nobody saw...I ain't naming names, but I swear to you, some of these dim young men in major-league togs today would make Shoeless Joe Jackson look like a Mensa candidate...Take it to the bank: This hillbilly drink of water they call the Big Unit couldn't fit into Rapid Robert Feller's jockstrap...They say pride goeth before a fall: Let me introduce you to Chicago's Pale Hose. The way the White Stockings have been going, they couldn't beat eggs with a cement mixer and a canoe paddle...You heard it here first: The new disc from the baldheaded nut job who calls himself Moby is a huge disappointment...I don't know about you, but I miss Harmon Killebrew. The Killer could really give the old horsehide a ride...It's nice to see this year's club showing a little more promise in the circuit-clout department...Call me a heretic, but I've got no beef with the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome--it sure beats the hell out of sitting at home watching the game in my skivvies and talking to myself...Some of these slick characters calling ballgames on the television these days need to decide if they want to be a cotton-pickin' game-show host or a baseball announcer...When you really think about it, the urinal is quite an invention. I'll bet the guy who came up with that idea pocketed some serious coin...I've talked with some folks who've had a chance to see St. Paul's young Joe Mauer play of late, and everybody swears he's the real deal. The kid's got a chance to have a very exciting life...Times have changed: one big-league coach tells me that there are at least a half-dozen guys on every team's roster today who would have made regular emergency visits to the tooth doctor if they'd played for fiery ex-Twins dugout honcho Battling Billy Martin...One thing hasn't changed in the nearly 50 years I've been hanging around baseball palaces: Ballplayers get a lot of tail...Mark my words: My old colleague Sid Hartman has lost his marbles. Next stop: Velcro shoelaces...One thing I've been telling greenhorn twirlers for more than four decades: You toss potatoes to a big-league hitter and these guys'll mash 'em!...I can't get enough damn ice cream...I don't get out to the ballpark as often as I used to, and the reason is simple: Nobody's paying me anymore. But I'll tell you what, it smarts; I bust my fat backside for decades and now you've got trash-talking utility players who could buy and sell me ten times over. The world ain't right, friends, but I'm not telling you anything. These ballplayers today make too damn much money, but they can't destroy the fact that the National Pastime is still a beautiful game...And that, sports fans, is a wrap: Because I said so!

 

Brad Zellar goes Yard every Tuesday morning--and perhaps more often--for as long as he (and the Twins) are up to it.

 
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