I doubt many people reading this are avid sports fans. Most of you wouldn’t know the difference between a hockey stick and a cricket wand. They do call those paddles wands, right? I would like to today focus on a select group of people in the baseball world. The ones with the most unusual personalities of all. The closers. They’re pitchers who come into the game late to essentially “close out” the game. If you’ve ever heard of a baseball player being a complete creep, chances are he was a closer.
(Vern Schillinger is smaller than Kevin Bacon’s wife?)
The “save” is a statistic in baseball the closer values. It happens when he successfully comes into the game and “saves” it by “closing” it out. See how simple baseball is? Things are very literal. Except the new statistic “Value Over Replacement Player” but that was invented by Moneyball idiots. The save became officially sometime in the 1960s to combat the Russians. Two of the first closers were Goose Gossage of the New York Yankees and Rollie Fingers of the Oakland Athletics. Goose had a blonde porn star mustache and Rollie had a curly Captain Hook one. I think these two made it ideal that your closer be a nutcase. They were two of the first successful ones at it. Like if the first person you ever had sex with cried, you’d expect everyone to cry. Or maybe a more accurate comparison that I cannot think of at this moment. But I’m taking things from my own experiences here.
(This mustache is why athletes never used to be trusted making a million dollars)
The current all-time saves leader is Mariano Rivera. You may have heard about him recently. He hurt his knee shagging fly balls during batting practice. What a dope! I read an article in a magazine saying he always responds to fan letters. I sent him a letter around 1999. Asshole never responded. My dad always likes to point out that “Moe” has been in the country for 20 years and still barely speaks English. I remind him how he can’t type an email without 9 typos and he shuts up. Rivera has been the closer for the Yankees since around 1997. He’s a staple of their team and now his career may end because he got hurt actually doing something athletic, running. I hate the Yankees so I am beaming with joy. Next I’m hoping Alex Rodriguez finds a breast lump.
(Mariano Rivera suffers from “Ricky Ricardo Syndrome.” The only symptom he does not have is getting turned on by beating up a redheaded woman with his fist)
My team, the Philadelphia Phillies, have had some strange closers of the years. In the 1970s and early 1980s they had Tug McGraw. Country singer Tim McGraw’s mom got boned by Tug and never knew him growing up. He’s dead now and nobody cares how much of a womanizer he was. He helped close out the first World Series win in a horrible franchise’s history. During my baseball peak the team had a guy named Jose Mesa. He’d do commercials with his son saying how his name translates to “Joe Table.” Then he’d go out, walk the bases loaded, and barely escape the game with a save. They also had Brett Myers who once beat his wife in public. What kind of millionaire beats his wife in public? He must have a giant house away from neighbor earshot. Do it there!
(Here’s a picture of Tim McGraw for the women who have been bored reading this. I also included Faith Hill wearing a cursed ancient Egyptian medallion for the enjoyment)
Not all closers are abusive toward their wives. Former Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez strangled his father-in-law in the locker room last season. He was promptly released and now plays for the Milwaukee Brewers. If your team name praises alcoholism, breaking tracheas is not frowned upon. Brian Wilson was only ever abusive toward my brain. He’s the guy nicknamed “the bearded one” who hangs around with Charlie Sheen. He was only good maybe two years ever. In the 6,000 years that the earth has been around, only two season was Brian Wilson any good. I’m pretty sure he’s on a video game cover too. Who puts a guy who pitches 60 innings a season on the cover of a game? He’s out this year with Tommy John surgery. I guarantee Charlie Sheen and slamming down beers had something to do with that elbow injury.
(You have a loud personality. We get it!)
I wanted to make a mention of Eric Gagne only so I could put his picture here. He was another closer who dominated for a year or two then faded away. That’s kind of the game of the closer. You give it your all and burn out quickly. Neil Young would be proud. He said it’s “better to burn out then to fade away.” This coming from a guy who must be in his 70s and still plays music. Burn out Neil! Live up to your song! Gagne’s trademark look was his goatee and goggle wear. Because wearing normal glasses would have totally made him look like a jerk.
(He looks like any chubby guitar player of a band only girls like)
Possibly still the most mainstream closer of all-time is John Rocker. Clearly the inspiration for Kenny Powers from Eastbound and Down, John Rocker was the ultimate heel athlete. You may remember in 2000 how he basically declared war on New York City. He said stuff about single mothers, homosexuals, immigrants, and other easy targets. This got under a lot of people’s skin as many members of the media live in New York City and only care about themselves. I doubt most single mothers, homosexuals, or immigrants even knew who John Rocker was. I had a chance to meet him in 2005. Only 5 years later and Rocker was playing independent baseball. That is, a league of players making less money than I do a year hoping at one last chance to make the majors again. He couldn’t have been nicer too. I called out to him and he came right over. He sells real estate now. Here is his life summed up in under 2 minutes by a bunch of comedians nobody cares about and a few other pop culture duds.