brewers baseball and things

the wizard of ego


Ozzie Smith is not running for political office, not yet anyway, but he sure seems to crave the attention of a politician. He’s campaigning to turn Opening Day into a national holiday.

I didn’t like Ozzy as a player performing cartwheels and aerials during infield warm up. At one point, it became part of the St. Louis Cardinal’s ritual as they took the field. I like him even less as a disguised politician.

I enjoy a carnival like atmosphere at a baseball game; the fireworks, midget pinch hitters, track star pinch runners. I welcome players wearing emotion on their sleeves; the Jeffrey Leonard one flap down; Tug McGraw dancing around the mound and talking to the ball; the Yasiel Puig exuberance, but when it comes to cartwheels, I prefer Nadia Comăneci

And when it comes to opening day, I prefer kids playing hooky or smuggling head phones into class and sliding them under shirts and into ears. I prefer Pirates over Cardinals.

Ozzie’s campaign features his own promotional video. Find the link yourself. I want no part in promoting Ozzie and Cardinals, schmaltzy music and Clydesdale horse hoofs superimposed with baseball shoes. I can’t get the name Adolphus Busch and St. Louis out of my head.

Here’s Ozzie in his Cardinal’s glory “sucker punching” Will Clark from behind. It happens very fast at the 13 second mark.



Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

22 thoughts on “the wizard of ego

  1. As far as politicians go, I STILL like Ozzie Smith over Mitch McConnell, possibly the most devious stick-in-the-mud ever to be in the Senate and the leader of the hateful, closed-minded anti-Obama obstructionists. Also, he has the personality of a picket fence. (I KNOW I’m forgetting a few people here, like Eric Cantor of Virginia, ANOTHER obstructionist who is causing political gridlock, and who I also despise. But McConnell is a TOTAL piece of &@%#).

    I like how you were able to put the thingee over “a” in “Comaneci”. How did you manage THAT???


    • Well, I’m not much into politics. It never provided me with any real solutions, just a medium to scream “hooray for my side” so I let the high brows duke it out over economics and welfare and whatever other issue is on tap for the day.

      And for the rest of us, including Cardinal fans, we will always have Nadia Comăneci. She may be in the twilight of her dance now, but she can still do amazing things.

    • Tug McGraw didn’t talk to the ball, but he sure had as much enthusiasm as Mark “The Bird” Fidrych did. Always slapping that mitt against his side when he came into a game, with that maniacal, almost self-parodying look on his face. He was one of a kind. Why the Mets traded him to the Phillies (and INCLUDED my favorite Met of all time, Don Hahn, outfielder and slugger who hit seven career home runs) is beyond me. Speaking of politics, the Mets management was FULL of politics, and I’m sure it was politics that made them trade McGraw. He was a non-conformist, and I guess that M. Donald Grant said “We can’t have any of THOSE around.”


  2. Personally, I think the HacMan should be in Cooperstown solely on the basis of One Flap Down, which is far and away the greatest home run trot in the game’s history, and that includes Willie Montanez

  3. “And when it comes to opening day, I prefer kids playing hooky or smuggling head phones into class and sliding them under shirts and into ears. I prefer Pirates over Cardinals.”

    Yep, playing hooky, that was how I spent opening day!

  4. Regarding what you said about John Stearns. He turned out to be one of my favorite Mets. John Stearns wasn’t just a prospect. He was damn good, and a real character in his OWN right! What an aggressive, gung ho guy he was. And TOUGH, too.


    • Of course, Stearns was just a prospect when the Mets made that trade. He had 2 career at bats…So it wasn’t that bad of a trade after all, eh Glen?

      A relief pitcher believed to be hurt in exchange for a catcher is always a good trade if you ask me. But there’s no denying the horse that McGraw was as a reliever. He threw a lot of innings for the Mets, a lot of effective innings.

      Stearns was a good defensive catcher, but like many other ones, couldn’t endure the grind of being one. and had his career cut short by injury.

      Makes a 20 year plus catcher like Fisk even more remarkable. Yeh, he played 1B and DH, but he caught games in 1971 and he caught games in 1993. Holy squat.

  5. As for “Scroogie”, that was a syndicated comic strip. Tug McGraw got some of the royalties, I guess, and he gave permission to use his name. Really the comic strip had virtually nothing to do with Tug McGraw’s personality. (It was in the local newspaper that we subscribed to, Newsday). It was by no means a good comic strip, and it didn’t last for very long. No, that comic strip version of Tug McGraw that you see on the cover isn’t accurate. McGraw did not talk to the ball! I ASSURE you, Steve!


    • Actually you’re mixing up Scroogie which was written in 1976 and a second book-“Hello There Ball” written in 1977. Details. details.

      Of course it isn’t completely accurate, it was a comic strip Glen, but McGraw wrote it and Scroogie was the relief pitcher for the “Pets” and scroogie as in screw ball, hmmmm, a pitch McGraw threw with regularity.

      I still say he talked to the ball.

      • Well, at any rate, Steve, I re-read the article just now, and I really enjoyed the crisp writing of it. Boy, the Brewers-Cardinals world series must have been HUUUUUGE up in Milwaukee and down in St. Louis. Apparently, Milwaukeans and St. Louians have a real hatred for each other that I didn’t realize until I re-read this article! I could read between the lines and sense the bitterness that you have for St. Louis. The question, though, is WHY????


        • Glen, I had to re-read it too. This sounds more like a jab against Ozzie, not the Cardinals. But anyway, the rivalry is more for fun. I actually have great respect for the 82 Cards. They were last in the majors in home runs and still won the world series.

          • It’s funny because the Cardinals have a history of great teams and all that. They were certainly great in the 60s, beating the Yankees in the ’64 world series and losing to the Tigers in the ’68 series.

            And then came the 70s. I didn’t become a big baseball fan until 1970, and I never recall the Cardinals being anything special. Bob Gibson was on the downhill side of his career, and yeah they had Lou Brock, but other than that, nothing too special, unless you count the Mad Hungarian, Al Hrabosky. Who comes to mind when I think of the Cardinals of the 1970s? Ken Reitz? Mike Tyson? Yeah, sure, they had Joe Torre, who flirted with .400 for much of, I think, 1971. Who else? Don Kessinger at the end of his career? Yeah, Keith Hernandez, but he didn’t come into his own until 1979, the very end of the decade. The Cardinals, for most of the 1970s, were a very colorless team.

            And then came Whitey Herzog and they won the pennant three times, if not more. The 1970s seem to have been one of the most colorless decades, if not the most colorless, of their history. In other words, they were FEMALE Cardinals in the 1970s, not male Cardinals. This is not a knock against females, but the female Cardinal (bird) is very plain looking and colorless, while the MALE Cardinal, the kind of Cardinal that’s on the Cardinals uniform, is red and beautiful, the way we generally THINK of Cardinals being.

            • For Birdology sake and Japanese wine of the same name too, I had no idea Glen. You surprise me with your sudden knowledge of the precursors to airplanes. But seriously, I like your analogy except for 1981, that strike year; that sucked if I remember right, but anyway comparing decades strikes me as a prison, putting things in such a rigid structure, clumping them together like that and giving them a name or not even a name, but a number, but anyway, as a side note, as I read this I’m sipping a beautiful blue label Old Milwaukee beer. Cheers.

  6. Check this out, and you’ll see what I mean.

    The St. Louis Cardinals of the 1970s were FEMALE cardinals, although, looking at the photos, the female Cardinals weren’t exactly slouches in the looks department, either. Sometimes plain can be beautiful.

    • So wait a second, the Cardinals uniforms weren’t red in the 1970’s? I’m confused. In any case, that musta sucked double being a St. Louis Brown when you had to compete with that whatever color red team on the other side of town.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s