Thursday, June 11, 2020

Plague Theater: Claudell Washington steals home

We traded Ken Griffey to get him.


Blind Robin said...

Trying to remember the quote about seeing Washington in his uniform and it looking like he left the hanger in it? Bobby Murcer?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Saw him make a phenomenal catch on July 3rd, 1986, in a night game at Yankee Stadium, just before this whole big, Fourth of July do featuring the restoration of the Statue of Liberty, and Ronald Reagan coming to New York for it.

I looked it up just now, and it must have come in the second inning of that game, robbing Dave Engle of the Tigers, to preserve a 2-2 tie at the time, and, eventually, the one and only major-league win of Alfonso Pulido (talk about obscure players!).

But I didn't remember all that. All I remember is how Washington just made an incredible catch, going up way over the wall to grab the ball, and how he then got to run in the whole length of the Stadium, pretty much, while a big crowd stood and cheered him every foot of the way, and I thought that must be something you remember your whole life.

That's what being a major-league ballplayer is...

HoraceClarke66 said...

...And yeah, there was a certain, shoddy appeal to all those 1980s teams. They won a lot—the most of any team in the decade, I think—and they had a lot of terrific, exciting players.

And the Stadium, in all its 1980s, Bronx shabbiness, was fun, if a little frightening. After that game, there was a concert by multiple-wife killer Jerry Lee Lewis, and during it I remember a guy about three rows above us was so drunk that he just passed out and toppled forward, knocking one of my friends another three rows down, into the lap of a large woman.

Miraculously, they were both unhurt. I mean, you couldn't recreate this with trained acrobats if you tried. All of a sudden, I look around and there's this complete, drunken stranger standing next to me. Very weird...

HoraceClarke66 said...

...So I can see the appeal.

But despite that, those 1980s teams bugged the hell out of me because Mad George made everything so miserable.

He kept ignoring the advice of really good baseball men—who then left—while listening to idiots, and bringing in one idiot flop after another.

Those teams were so badly constructed. Like old-school Red Sox teams they were. We'd need a good shortstop, or a pitcher...and the Yanks would go out an get another slugger.

The Washington trade was typical. Griffey was almost the exact same ballplayer, just a little older. Both did fine here, but both were just useful pieces, not the key one we needed.

And then there were all the psychotic temper tantrums, bringing Billy back again and again...If it hadn't been for Stick, he would've brought the whole franchise down.

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