Thursday, April 12, 2007
Men We Hate
J.D. Drew has burned his smug little face indelibly into the hatred center of our brains for what he did last night, stabbing a squib single-like dagger into the hearts of Seattle and, to our mind, a nation looking for a new hero (Venezuela, of course, which has tired of Andres Galarraga). For that, Mr. oft-injured, so much talent that he never exploited, good body/bad head Drew, we nominate you as the newest entrant in an exclusive club, Men We Hate.
Your wing is the "Men who Busted-Up Mariner N0-Hitters" hall, and you'll find your plaque hanging alongside the following miserable SOBs:
1.) Jamie Quirk
On Sept. 20, 1986, he hit a meaningless single in the top of the first. Starter Mike Trujillo would not give up another hit.
2) Mike Sweeney
On June 13, 2000, he smacked a double with two outs in the bottom of the first frame. Gil Meche, pre-injuries, went the distance without yielding from there on out.
3) UL Washington
On Sept. 27, 1983, he managed a single during the top half of Jim Beattie's eventual victory. Beattie was otherwise unhittable.
4) Jeff Kunkel
Sept. 24, 1988, Kunkel weak-kneed a single off of the always handsome, always intimidating, always sort of Luke Sywalker-esque Mark Langston in the lower half of the fifth. Otherwise, Langston ran a clean bill for nine.
5) Brent "no relation" Gates
7/16/98, top 8, Randy Johnson on the mound. Bullshit single. There goes the no-no, although Randy finished it out without yielding any more.
Mid August (the 14th) of 1991, Big Unit versus the stinking A's. Single to lead off the 9th, fer crissake. (funny side note: Gallego technically means someone from the Galicia region of Spain. But in Latin America, "Gallego" is generally understood to be a slur meaning "idiot.")
With only two outs left in RJ's second bid to throw a no-no for the M's, on May 16, 1993, Blankenship threw a wet blanket on all the fun by hitting a single. Whoop-de-do, Lance.
Finally, and reserved for the most horrifying, sulphurous, stinking regions of hell, is none other than:
8)the devil incarnate, Mr. Party Pooper Ken Phelps
On April 20, 1990, Brian Holman was burning through Oakland's order on the way to the first perfect game in the big leagues since -- wait, we're looking it up -- okay, not that impressive -- first perfect game since Tom Browning did it for the Reds two years earlier (but hey, six years since Mike Witt did it for the Angels). He was down to the final out, bottom of the ninth, when Mr. Phelps, the former Mariner, in his final season no less (has he no sense of history?), completely smashed an errant pitch over the fence for a tater. At the time, we were in a car with our brother and father and listening to it on the radio. Neither Niehaus nor any of us were pleased by that outcome. The fans at Oakland Coliseum booed him. The Oakland fans booed Ken Phelps for hitting a home run. That's how titanically awful it was. Phelps told reporters he did it because he didn't want to see himself on SportsCenter recording the final out. Die, you bastard.