Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lazy Sunday with Our Newest Hall of Famer

After spending a Saturday afternoon in Lake Chautauqua taking out the dock at my parents’ house up there and with a drive through the glorious foliage of Western NY, Western PA, and Ohio past me, let’s get going on a Lazy Sunday as we all try to will the Red Sox to lose tonight in Tampa. There’s not much in the fishwraps today on the Tribe due to…well, I suppose other things have taken center stage in places other than this; and not much nationally that doesn’t simply pertain to the three teams still vying for a World Championship.

Regardless, we’re off:
Starting off with the most shocking news of the week – the Arizona Fall League has a Hall of Fame! How do we know this…because our own Atomic Wedgie just got inducted into the AFL HOF. Despite my abhorrence for the proliferation of Hall of Fames for basically anything, I love this if only because I imagine people walking around this AFL HOF in the same hushed, almost reverential, manner that people have when they walk into the area with the plaques at the Baseball HOF in Cooperstown. “Oh my gracious, here’s the Eric Wedge plaque…honey, grab the camera.”

Actually, this Wedge to the AFL HOF thing fascinates me as it serves as a reminder as to how YOUNG the Atomic Wedgie really is as he was playing in the AFL a mere 15 years ago. In 1993, he was a 25-year-old catcher who had been taken by the Colorado Rockies in the expansion draft out of the Boston Red Sox organization. Just to put that in perspective, at the same time that Wedge was trying to get a permanent spot on the Rockies’ roster as a catcher, the Indians that were around the same age that were starting to perform for parent club were the likes of Albert Belle (1 ½ years older than Wedge), Jim Thome (1 ½ younger than Wedge), and Manny Ramirez (a little more than 3 years younger than Wedge).

It is easy to forget sometimes how young he is, until you realize that he played for the expansion Colorado Rockies (while sporting that fantastic mustache at the time seen above) while the Indians were entering the glory days of the 1990’s. Then we have something like this HUGE recognition to remind us all that Wedge is not that much younger than some of the principals of those 1990’s Thumping Indians that are still playing today. Whatever YOU may think of this, The DiaBride is searching Orbitz.com later tonight as a reason to fly to Arizona just presented itself with this glorious news.

Elsewhere, the Brewers are apparently ready to make an offer to the Hefty Lefty while they are still the only team able to talk contract with him. Um…guys? Unless that contract has GUARANTEED money in it that arrives at CC’s door through the 2014 season (or maybe even the 2015 season), I’ll keep that seat next to Mark Shapiro warm for you.
No, not that one Mr. Melvin…the one over there on the sidelines.

As long as contracts that are going to be doled out this off-season that will have too many years and too many zeroes on them are the subject du jour, Jon Heyman reports that Manny’s looking for a 6-year, $150M deal. Not that he’ll get that…but it only takes one team. Heyman also reports that Brian Fuentes will be looking for $11M per, so if you were SERIOUSLY thinking that Fuentes was the answer, he’s not. I’m not sure if he would be at a third of that price…but at that price tag – I’ll pass.

Ken Rosenthal reports the annual “Mike Mussina wants to play closer to his Montoursville, PA home” talk that always has Indians’ fans hopeful that he would take a short-term deal (he is 40) and play somewhere that is a 5 hour drive away from his beloved Montoursville.
Rosenthal’s reasoning for the Indians not making it on Mussina’s list?
“Competitive issues”…which sounds like Rosie’s still bitter about the Tribe not making the World Series to face the Braves to make his preseason pick look good in hindsight.

In a piece that doesn’t just discuss the ludicrous contract demands of soon-to-be-FA, here’s a nice give-and-take on the Indians’ 2008 and looking ahead to the 2009 campaign between my fellow TCF writer Steve Buffum and the Cleveland Free Times’ Vince Grzegorek (who used to intern at “Uni Watch” for fans of that site, linked on the sidebar).

As a quick FYI, I did update some of the linkage in “Friends of the Feather”, adding a couple of new sites that I’ve become familiar with and would recommend, as well as updating some of the titles of existing sites.

Finally, I ran across this on ancestry.com as a breakdown of the surname LaPorta (and yes, I spend far too much time thinking about this stuff):
“Italian (La Porta), Catalan, and Aragonese: topographic name for someone who lived near the gates of a fortified town (and often was in charge of them; thus in part a metonymic occupational name), from porta ‘gateway’, ‘door’, ‘entrance’ (Latin porta, ‘door’, ‘entrance’), with the definite article la.”
As a result, I came up with this over on the boards of the LGT in a thread that took a turn towards the nicknaming Mr. LaPorta.

Wait for it…
…The Gatekeeper.

Before it is summarily dismissed as another lame attempt to nickname a player that none of us have seen outside of the Futures Game, just know that anytime you can incorporate the movie “Ghostbusters” into your everyday conversation (my buddy’s alias when we used to go to bars was Pete Venkman), it should be done. And who among us, doesn’t think of “Ghostbusters” when the word “Gatekeeper” or “Keymaster” is mentioned?
The Rick Moranis factor alone should be able to carry this one over the threshold.
Who’s coming with me?

Enjoy another beautiful Fall Sunday on the North Coast…while it lasts.
Go Rays…please?

1 comment:

Omar said...

He should be the gatekeeper if Brantley can be called the keymaster since he would set the table I think the names would play well off of each other.

Omar