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.

Comments
  1. First, I am baseball-dumb so I really didn’t get this post for what it’s worth. But you’re as always a genius with captions. And the mustache! Hahaha, I just checked this one out http://www.dyers.org/blog/beards/beard-types/
    you should look for the “handlebar”. 😉

    • Mooselicker says:

      I actually think I used a picture of that guy before in a previous post when referring to mustache wax. He looks way too familiar. So does his living room. I never took you as a girl who was into facial hair.

  2. Wait…You said nobody knows about sports who reads this…Does Quidditch count? Baseball has never really been my thing. I like to play and go to actual games, but to sit and watch nine innings on a couch is not appealing. Football on the other hand…Go Vikes! (Yeah, not much to root for as of late.)

    • Mooselicker says:

      Most sports are more fun to play or view in person. Baseball is good background noise.

      The Vikings can’t even get Cris Carter into the Hall of Fame. What did their owner do to piss everyone off?

      • They have a hard enough time keeping their team in Minnesota to worry about HOF…But still, it is a disgrace.

      • Mooselicker says:

        Remember you guys still got the Twins…well not this season. The Wild almost made the playoffs for the first time. That’s kind of good, no? Then you’ve got that basketball team. Whatever they’re called.

        Wow. Sports hates you guys. I bet you all hate the Packers. Little Wisconsin town with so much success.

      • Luckily I am not from Minnesota, so I only have to deal with the sorrow of the Vikings. I live in California so I was actually hoping they moved out to LA. I mean, the Lakers were from Minnesota, look at them now…If only the Vikings could do the same. But yes, I still hate the Packers…with a passion.

      • Mooselicker says:

        Whereabouts in California? I’m thinking you became a Vikings fan thanks to a Starter Jacket given to you sometime in the 90s. Like all those Charlotte Hornets fans.

      • Sacramento right now. Growing up I did not want to be a Niners or Raiders. I saw the Vikings helmet, chose them and have been a diehard fan ever since. I wish someone got me a jacket…

  3. robpixaday says:

    Aha!
    So Tug McGraw was a closer! I didn’t know that.

    His name and face were EVERYWHERE for a while…he was even on TV.
    Cricket wands: Harry Potter was a closer?

    Bats.
    🙂

    • Mooselicker says:

      Yep! He sure was. I know he did a commercial with son Tim. For some reason I think he abandoned him in the commercial. Kind of insensitive, but what does Tim care? His dad played sports in the 70s. He makes more during one concert performance than his dad ever did.

  4. Thank heaven you put in that picture of Faith Hill as an intermission — I didn’t think I was gonna make it! haha!

  5. renxkyoko says:

    Aaaaargh ! ! Sorry ! Just clueless here. o.Oa

  6. Good thing I watched baseball as a kid I actually understood and knew of most these folks. Lol

  7. You made your first one cry? Do I dare ask how? No, I don’t think I do.
    Pay attention, because I am only going to say this once… I read the whole thing. I never read past the word ‘sports’ in anything in my life. You made me read about sports. And I kind of liked it. So now the ninjas are coming for you, you sick varmint.
    On an unrelated note, I have a friend who has a total blog crush on you, and I ain’t tellin’ who it is.

    • Mooselicker says:

      That was my goal. Get non-sports fans to at least tolerate sports. It’s a subject I know way too much about and think if I can do it right I can get non-sports fans (nerds) interested.

      I really want to know who this crush is. Maybe they can leave a hint somewhere?

      • It is all there in the comment sections of one of my recent posts. And I enjoyed having you hang around the other day. Sorry I had to go help Jess move. We could have chatted like real people. Or at least faked being normal people for a while.

      • Mooselicker says:

        How recent? How specific? I like reading when people talk about me. I tried “hobbling” on over there to find out who it was. I’m completely lost.

        Your daughter move back in with you or out on her own? Eww we’re talking about personal lives and not bickering.

      • Jess is gone for good. But only an hour or so away. Chicks in wheelchairs dig your swarthy good looks, even if you can’t wear a pink shirt without looking like a dead pig, and if you want to bicker, bring it on, tough guy…ha

  8. renxkyoko says:

    Meh. I like it fast.
    For such a slow sport, what do they need the steroids for? o.Oa

  9. Lily says:

    I love “I love the___” programs. Those were genius. Does VH1 still exist? Why was Bob the Bachelor a commentator? Like, really? So wait. Are closers like, the best players on the team? Or the worst because the team is already winning and then they just throw them in there? I’m guessing they’re the best? I know nothing about sports. Especially baseball.

    Again, sorry I’m catching up late with your blog. It just takes me a while to read them…so I want to give them my full attention. SO JUST CHILL OUT.

    • Mooselicker says:

      Haha I never said anything about you being so drastically behind.

      They’re not the best or worst. They’re mostly guys who are good under pressure. They have to pitch an inning at the most usually. I wondered the same thing about Bob from the Bachelor. Why does he get to do commentary? People only liked him because he was chubby and on a dating show.

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