Yes, that guy on the right is a professional athlete. No, I’m not kidding.
Shortly after starting this blog, Phil and I decided one of our goals would be to get a press pass to a Giants game. So far, it has not happened – in small part because we have not tried. It was, then, with much self-interest that I read this story of a guy, back in the early-aughts, who fabricated an entire newspaper for the purpose of getting press passes to Atlanta Braves games. This story is the first time Phil Braun told his story, and it’s pretty great. After his photographer buddy sneaks him into a game with an old press pass, Phil decides he really enjoyed himself and wonders how he can get a press pass. He makes up a fake newspaper (“The Duluth Neighbor”) and inquires with the team. As it turned out, all he had to do was fax in a request, on the “paper’s” letterhead, signed by his “editor”. It was so easy it’s almost stupid, and Phil got his press pass.
Phil spent many games that season watching from the dugout, or the photographer’s well, snacking on free food in the press box, etc. Taking photos like this, of Chipper Jones going yard.
What a goddamn dream. Then, 9/11 happened and Phil assumed security would be tightened and he’d no longer be allowed to get a press pass so easily. Technically it wasn’t so easy – Phil had to e-mail a headshot. Come on! What the hell. Phil, let’s get some press passes! We’ll start small – San Jose Sabercats or something. By 2018, we’ll be in the clubhouse as the champagne starts flowing another Giants’ even-year World Series title. Amen. -TOB
Source: “I Covered the Braves for a Newspaper That Didn’t Exist”, Phil Braun, Deadspin (10/05/2016)
Joe Still Buckin’ It Up
A while back we went in on Joe Buck, and so I feel a little bad doing so again so soon. But it’s really god damn funny. You see, when you are handed everything because your dad was great and everyone liked him, and he gets you to the top of his profession without making you pay your dues and earn it, there is a tendency to have self-doubt. Do I really deserve this? Did I get this because my daddy called in some favors? Am I a fraud? Joe Buck has that in spades (For Buck, it’s been compounded because he has a punchable face and an odd sense of humor – a sense of humor many do not understand. I don’t think Joe is particularly funny, but I do think he’s a little misunderstood).
I imagine Joe staring into the mirror every morning and asking, “Why do people hate me? Why do I hate myself? Where is my hair line going…?” And because he couldn’t answer the first two questions, or at least had no solution, Joe Buck controlled the one thing he could control – his hairline…by getting hair plugs. And more hair plugs. And more. Joe Buck says now, in fact, that he was addicted to hair plugs. As men with gloriously full heads of hair, Phil and I do not understand this. Are hair plugs not permanent? Why did he keep needing to get them? I digress. Joe’s addiction to hair plugs almost cost him career. He says that one hair plug surgery caused his vocal cords to become paralyzed, somehow. Buck was out of commission for a number of months. Imagine, the one thing Joe Buck has going for him, other than who his daddy was, is his voice, which is quite good for broadcasting. And he almost lost it for frigging hair plugs. And the best part? He hasn’ ruled out hair plugs in the future. Oof. At that point, you deserve it. -TOB
Source: “Joe Buck Reveals That Hair-Plug Addiction Nearly Cost Him His Career“, Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated (10/06/2016)
Look. You’re going to have to accept the fact that we will spill a lot of e-ink this month about the baseball playoffs (looking at you, Morganstern). The San Francisco Giants are in the playoffs, officially, having beaten Thor and the New York Mets, on the road, in one hell of a Wild Card Game. Bumgarner Bumgarner’d, which is about all you can say at this point. Syndegaard was great, but the Conor Freakin Gillaspie crushed a 3-run home off Familia in the 9th to propel the Giants to victory.
We, the writers/editors of 1-2-3 Sports! love baseball, and so you, the loyal readers, will be reading a lot. The first October baseball story is about how the Giants’ Will Clark changed the way teams conduct mound meetings. Nowadays, pitchers cover their mouths when they talk to their catcher or their coaches so ensure the hitter, or anyone else, can’t see what they are saying. But that wasn’t always the case, and it all changed because of Will Clark.
It was Game 1 of the 1989 NLCS and Clark was up with the bases loaded against a young Greg Maddux. Cubs manager Don Zimmer went to talk to Maddux, as Clark was already having a very good game. Clark looked out and saw Maddux, not covering his mouth, say, “Fastball in.” Clark couldn’t believe it, but trusted it, and sure enough saw a fastball in on the next pitch. Clark crushed it for a Grand Slam.
Clark’s telling of this story is great, and it’s well worth a read. -TOB
Source: “Giants-Cubs playoff series conjures thrilling memories for Will Clark, the hero of ’89“, Daniel Brown, San Jose Mercury News (10/06/2016)
Video of the Week
PAL Song of the Week: The Velvet Underground – “I’m Waiting For The Man”
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