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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

HoraceClarke66: What to do about the jacket?

 From the keyboard of HoraceClarke66...

The Blue Jays—a team that has wildly underperformed and played like chowderheads for so much of this season, as our Peerless Leader so ably detailed for us—have apparently come up with a solution for their lethargy:  a jacket.

Or a men’s sports coat, as they used to be called.

For all of you who already felt that the incessant gesturing, preening, swaggering, and grandstanding that ensues when somebody so much as legs out a Baltimore chop these days was already excessive…well, teams have now taken it to new depth.

 A case in point was the Red Sox giving a home-run hitter a ride in a laundry cart, or something. Now the BJs, formerly of Buffalo, have come up with a “home run jacket” they put on anyone who hits a dinger, the back of it festooned with the names of all sorts of different places and countries—Toronto being, of course, the only multicultural team in the major leagues.

 Back in the day, Bill Veeck, Jr.’s Chicago White Sox came up with a similar gimmick, introducing the very first, “exploding scoreboard.” 

 Fresh from the thrill of winning their first AL pennant in 40 years (and promptly dropping the World Series to a mediocre Dodgers team), the ChiSox for 1960 decided to add insult to injury by installing a scoreboard that emitted all sorts of flashing lights, bomb-like noises, and imitation fireworks whenever one of the Pale Hose went deep.

 On June 17th, 1960, Casey Stengel’s last great Yankees team ventured out to Comiskey Park for a four-game series. Repeat the feat fever was running high on the South Side of Chicago, as the local crew was in the midst of a wild, five-team pennant race with the Yanks, Orioles, Tigers, and Indians.

 Going into the series, Chicago was in fourth place, ut just 3 ½ games behind the first-place Orioles. The Yanks were second, just 1 ½ games out. But despite the Bombers’ inexplicably dismal, third-place finish in 1959, everyone knew they were the team to beat.

 The Sox had visions of winning four straight, and sweeping into first. Veeck as in Wreck had the scoreboard primed to go.

 Instead, in the first game, Clete Boyer homered. The scoreboard, of course, stayed silent for this blast by a visiting player. 

 But Casey Stengel and his team lit homemade sparklers—provided by Bob O. Fishel, the Yankees PR director with a sneaky sense of humor—and paraded around in the dugout. When Mantle homered a few innings later, they did the same thing.

 The next day, Mantle, Maris, and the Moose all homered. More sparklers, more dancing around while the scoreboard—and the crowd—stayed quiet. They swept the series and soon found themselves in first, where they remained for most of the rest of the year.

 I know, I know. Times have changed. Now professional athletes making $20 million a year must celebrate their every tiny flicker of achievement.

 But I still think something as outrageous as the BJs’ jacket deserves a response. Once upon a time it might have been a fastball into the ribs of the next three hitters or so, but I realize that’s frowned upon today. Besides, those BJs are bigger and younger than our guys, and would probably beat them up in any brawl.

 But still. A little pride is called for, no? Like Casey’s boys had—not this characterless lump of a team we follow today. 


 


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hoss

Yes and No.

Yes, in that it would be nice to see the Yankees show some life.

But no... Did it piss you off when the Yankees did their fake TV interviews after Home Runs a couple of years back? That was both fun and totally gratuitous.

The Yankees can't even hit a single without doing the elbow touching thing.

This type of celebration is a facet of modern baseball that like it or not is here to stay. Like the End Zone Dance which became the choreographed multiplayer End Zone Celebration.

Eventually scoring a touchdown will require a flyover by the the Blue Angels.

Be thankful it's only a jacket.

Doug K.





ZacharyA said...

I have a crazy idea on how the Yankees could respond.

They could defeat the Blue Jays in a game of baseball.

Probably too crazy, I know. Seems unlikely the Yankees would be interested in doing that.

ranger_lp said...

Back in the day, a player would get pluncked to send a message. Not in 2021...

HoraceClarke67 said...

Oh, true enough, Doug—Yanks are guilty, too. But when you start introducing props...

And yeah, ranger, it's amazing to see how fast guys like Mantle would run around the bases, heads down.

I know, I know, different time. But still, when you're Gary Sanchez—and you've basically played like shit for years, and hit all of .147 last year—does it really behoove you to stand there and admire your blast off some Orioles busher?

Shouldn't there be SOME recognition that, hey, you have a little humility after what this game's put you through?

Anonymous said...

Hoss,

Thank you for reviving that bit of Yankee lore. The '59 Yankees were the team that got me hooked. Somehow the White Sox won the pennant that year. First game I saw in Yankee Stadium was Whitey Ford vs. Early Wynn. Sox won, 2-1. I remember hearing about the Yankee homer celebration the following year.

This year's team--yeesh. Joey Gallo--I think opposing pitchers have figured out the hole in his swing. It's called the strike zone. Just throw strikes. He will either swing and miss, or take for a called strike. Either way, he strikes out. Subtraction by addition, thanks to our brilliant boy Cashman.

Anonymous said...

Hoss,

I'm not 100% on this but didn't they start to use a dummy camera and boom mic? Then eventually someone gave them a real one

Not trying to be a stickler BTW.

Doug

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's because of the season going down the drain, but I don't feel any outrage over the BJ home run jacket. Jays, mostly kids, having fun in their dugout. I do wish that we could win one damned game, though. Early in the season, I thought we'd finish behind the Jays. Unfortunately, it looks like that will be the case.

The Hammer of God

Kevin said...

We need Busby Berkley style choreography in sports, after any positive event. It's so alpha-male cock-swinging to stomp your opponent into the ground. We need to become more French.