First off: hell yeah, Kaz Matsui. I feel very good about the big hits that Kaz got in game two to sink the Phillies; it seems like fitting closure to the troubled Kaz-Mets relationship. It was nice that Kaz could help avenge the team that he utterly disappointed—and I think that the fact that he did it in a way that was not actually useful to the Mets at all (i.e., he could have hit a lot against the Phillies in the regular season and hurt their playoff chances) reflects nicely on the horrible treatment that Kaz got at Shea. I had these thoughts before it happened, and actually spent the morning of game two trying to visualize Kaz coming up big against the Phillies—I was picturing a game winner off of Bret Myers in the ninth, but I’ll still take credit for having predicted a brilliant Kaz performance.
Whenever I watch a relief pitcher in the playoffs, I hope he gets lit-up, resulting in a decrease in trade value, and making him more likely to end up on the Mets.
Earlier in this blog, I might have implied that Bob Feller is either a hypocrite or a moron. This is probably true, but I approve of his recent threat to show up at a Cleveland Cavaliers game wearing a Pistons hat. This was made in response to Cavaliers Superstar Lebron James attending the Indians-Yankees series wearing a Yankees hat. It was revealed, when King James was questioned re: hat, that he had grown up a Yankees fan, because he rooted for all the teams that consistently won championships in his youth, the Cowboys, Bulls and Yankees. While I am not very dogmatic about fandom, and feel that people should root for whoever they want to (unless it’s the Braves, Yankees or Phillies) I think that just rooting for frontrunners is a kind of voluntary admission of an utter lack of character—which in this case jives with my overall perception of Lebron James. James is about as good at basketball as you can possibly be, but, more than another heavily marketed sports figure, James projects an aura of pure success that is almost hostile to any ideological concerns. When former minor NBA player John Amaechi came out of the closet and wrote a book about it, James was quoted as saying that he would not feel comfortable hearing such an admission from a teammate, for the peculiar reason that keeping one’s sexual orientation secret would violate the level of trust necessary in a basketball locker-room. In essence, James would never want to hear about a teammate coming out because James feels that being in the closet in the first place is a violation of trust; James is hostile to admissions of homosexuality because he is too accepting. Fortunately, before people confused themselves trying to figure out what he meant, and if it could possibly be anything other than a very underhanded and gutless way of supporting the somewhat hateful status quo while claiming a moral high ground, Tim Hardway went and said that he hated gay people, which was a significantly easier sentiment to dissect. Anyway, I hope that Feller follows through with his threat; leading James to wonder for about a second and a half what that weird old man in a Pistons hat was doing at a Cavaliers-Heat game.
John Amaechi/politicol correctness footnote: After Amaechi came out, a gay friend of mine asked me what his career numbers had been like, since he knew that looking them up was the sort of thing that I would do. I told him that they had not been very good at all, and added “but it’s probably pretty hard to put up dominant numbers when you’re going to gay bars every night and getting fucked in the ass with a paper bag over your head.” My friend said, “you know, I really wasn’t cool with what you were saying until you got to the phrase ‘paper-bag.’”