Friday, July 29, 2011

Sorry about Kiljoying, but I'm totally bummed out about Irabu's death

It's supposed to be Yankee Hope Week, that pleasant stitch in the season when we beat a few tomato cans and watch our players actually earn their pay, doing something nice for humanity. So why is Hideki Irabu, who killed himself the other day, getting to me?

Listen: Part of rooting for the Yankees is to feel no remorse when savaging the occasional bum who passes through our syncopathic lives. Millionaires, they are. Prima donas. So we get to say anything about them, boo the sound of their names. They found Irabu hanging... like his curveball! Punchlines for life, that's what they deserve. Even during Hope Week.

Damn, though...

And Irabu was a great mockout. Boo-Boo, they called him. Fat Toad. He came to America claiming he would only pitch for the Yankees. He held out against Bud Selig's Clown Court, which claimed San Diego owned him, and he outdueled George Steinbrenner in negotiations. At one point, Irabu was AL Pitcher of the Month. You can look it up. Then he crashed. And that was his sin:

In NYC, you must never talk big and crash. Never. If you do, God help you.

Ian Kennedy talked big. We traded him. Kei Igawa brought big headlines. He'll never escape Scranton. In NYC, never draw needless attention to yourself, because you'll get enough anyway. (Hello, Nick Swisher...)

Irabu wasn't the worst pitcher we ever overpaid for. Good grief... in terms of bloated contracts... well... Carl Pavano. Randy Johnson. Ed Whitson.  Rick Rhoden. Pascal Perez. Mike Witt. Help me here... I'm pulling these off the top of my head... Bob Shirley. Rawley Eastwick. The Internet isn't big enough for the whole list. And yet, Irabu always caught the ultimate shit.

They didn't bring him back for Old-Timers Day. He would have been booed, of course. Out of sight, out of mind. Now he's gone. Very sad. We lost a great punchline. We lost part of our past, a former AL Pitcher of the Month. We wanted an arrogant fat toad, immortal and unbowed, whom we could mock forever, without remorse. We got a sad old guy who ran out of money and rope. On Hope Week.

No... not Hope Week, anymore. Rope Week.

1 comment:

Joe De Pastry said...

Hope Week would be a much cooler thing if they didn't constantly tell everybody what wonderful things they are doing.
My hope for the end of the week is that Kim Jones will wear a see-through blouse without having a sweater over it.