National / Sports / September 23, 2009

Times of tedium

This column isn’t easy. Yes, five to six hundred words on, well, pretty much whatever I feel like at the time may seem simple, but some sporting weeks are so excruciatingly ho-hum and inconsequential that even 100 words seems daunting — which may explain how this sentence became so loquacious.

I woke up this morning in London, determined as ever to fill this space with something great. I scanned various websites, looking for anything topical that would trigger some inspiration. My findings were just so, for lack of a better word, ordinary.

First, I thought I might write about how sportswriters are stupid to be touting C.C. Sabathia for Cy Young this season, but then I realized that dozens of college newspapers will run columns, this week or next, focusing on Zack Greinke’s absolutely disgusting 2009 season and why a baseball writer’s inability to recognize this is a clear indication that said writers should be dragged through the streets and bludgeoned with copies of Bill James’ first abstract until they concede that Greinke, despite having few wins and pitching in Kansas City, is the second coming of Pedro Martinez. So that idea was nixed.

Then, I thought I might write about the fact that Milton Bradley is legitimately unstable. But that just made me sad. So I thought about the fact that Lenny Dykstra’s life is in shambles, and I smiled. But that’s been covered enough.

This is really just a continuation of last week’s article, but I can’t help but note the fact that I’m undergoing some serious sports withdrawal. While alcohol is freely accessible for the first time in my life, no amount of cheap liquor mixed with cricket can replicate my joie de baseball. One can only hope that this vacancy doesn’t turn me into a full-blown alcoholic.

See, at Knox, if I was really excited about the fact that Felix Pie is turning into a legitimately useful player, or that Daric Barton is showing some promise, or that Ichiro did a crotch chop before touching home plate the other night, I’d talk about it on the radio show I share with junior Chris Bugajski. But no such opportunity exists here. Which is a problem, as when Pie’s on-base percentage almost eclipsed the magical threshold of 34 percent, I parked myself on a street corner and began shouting about it. I’m like the guy you hear preaching “the end is near” throughout large cities, except my message is focused on the saber metric reasoning for Nick Swisher’s totally foreseeable comeback season rather than the impending apocalypse.

Maybe I’m just idealizing Knox. I’m sure if I brought up any of the above, Bugajski would just start talking about hockey, in which case I’d usually stammer through a few broken sentences about Teemu Selanne (is he remotely relevant anymore?) and the fact that I used to play NHLPA ‘93 religiously on my Super Nintendo. And then someone would call in and ask me if I knew how to bunt, and I would die a little bit on the inside.

But then I’d think about Lenny Dykstra, the ultimate panacea.

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Kevin Morris

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