Tag: Umpires

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There may be a team that goes by that name but not all baseball players are angels. From the Black Sox to Charlie Hustle the game has had its less than reputable characters and taken more than one black eye. Today on Colin Cowherd’s talker (Fox Sports Radio/FS1) former major leaguer Lenny “Nails” Dykstra claimed […]

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Behind the Mask of the Laughing Buddha


Cool_buddhaI have no talent. Neither do you. No one does. Or at least so few of us as makes no difference. Down in the scorched dust of a Dominican sandlot somewhere someone does. Some farm boy somewhere, some Greek god of hayseeds, he does. But those aren’t mortal men. Those bastard sons of Zeus were born to greatness. We, the vast and faceless throngs, meek and ordinary, whose mothers lacked the good fortune to lie with gods or the foresight to dip us like Achilles in the River Styx, were at best born to watch.

The difference between we, the cursed, and they, the blessed, is not that the immortals dared to dream and we did not. Life just isn’t that fair. We all dreamt together, but cruel fate dictated that for we, the humble, there would come a day on which the dream would die, on which we would discover an awful truth about ourselves that we would have to learn to live with, a stain that we would carry with us throughout what remained of our now emptier lives. For some, the day comes mercifully early; for others, it comes late and hard. But however it comes, whenever it comes, it comes. No mere man escapes that day. No man escapes the day it finally dawns on him after years of passionate self-deception that he truly, truly, deep down, at the very core of his being, at the fundament of his essential self … just sucks out loud at baseball.

The reaper came for my baseball career when I was 14. At 11, I was an all-star. There is a trophy in a box somewhere in the attic of the house where I grew up that establishes beyond all doubt that I was great once. Oh, yes, my friends; I was great once. Your faithful correspondent was a mighty slugger, a hitter of prodigious home runs. Those were days of wine, women, and song. Of course, I was 11: my parents wouldn’t let me have the wine and I wasn’t all that interested in the women yet. But, damn it all, if those weren’t days of song.