This Week in Milford

July 23, 2020

Two-Way Absurdity.

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 1:58 am

 

 

As I told Teenchy yesterday in his post, this multi-purpose idiosyncrasy almost has to be loosely based upon Brendan McKay’s attempt to do what is rarely done, play both sides of the coin (i.e., pitching and hitting, MAYBE fielding) and do justice to both. I was all in favor of it, though the odds were working understandably against him, but when B-Mac did respectable in the minors, especially pitching, he started turning a few heads. He had already turned quite a few at Louisville, his Alma Mater, performing strongly as a pitcher (#1 ace) and as a hitter/first baseman (stroke was pretty, trust me) . An Honor Roll student, he was picked #4 overall by Tampa.

He wasn’t the first two-way player in college and definitely won’t be the last. Ken Brett (yes, George Brett’s older brother) , Rick Ankiel, and John Olerud were players who made their mark in this manner and had productive Major League careers. Dave Winfield, a player who had a very long productive career, was a pitcher and outfielder for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. In fact, he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in baseball, the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA, the Utah Stars in the old ABA AND the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL (though he never played a down of college football) . At 6-foot-7 and a 90MPH fastball, he could pick his future.

But THAT was in college. None of these players ever really tried to go two-way in the Majors. B-Mac is the first in a while to give it a shot, although Rick Rhoden, on polio legs no less (I cringed when he was on the mound, his legs were bent practically every which way) , was a pinch hitter when he wasn’t pitching and was no joke with the bat. I applaud B-Mac and Rhoden for their feats.

That said, I was running dry on material but leave it to Thorpiverse to gift-wrap the fodder and UPS the Tampa Bay hat when I dialed the operator toll-free in the next 30 minutes. Gang, T-verse is just absolutely insulting our intelligence. Yup, T-verse, when you ran out of ammo, you desperately grabbed the sports pages and started grasping at straws when your horse at Milford Downs lost because you got bad advice from the horse-racing section of the Milford Enquirer. As if we couldn’t figure out that when True donned that Tampa Bay hat that it might indeed be loosely paralleling B-Mac’s career. What were we supposed to surmise otherwise?

“I saw True at The Bucket this morning wearing pinstripe blue jeans and a Yankee logo in his Nike’s. I didn’t know the Packers were interested in him to replace Jaire Alexander in the backfield when Alexander needs a rest.”

“Yeah, but I saw him and Winfield playing one-on-one in the Milford gym. Got flushed by Davey every time he tried to defend in the paint. Oh, he’s a two-way loser all right. And that call from the Minnesota North Stars is coming any day. If he can get his butt on Winfield and rebound, he ought to be able to check his man in the wall without the refs looking.”

I mean, this is like taking Snickers bars from Jaime and Keri. I just kick back and let Thorpiverse do the rest. Bad plots that self-destruct before you even insert the dynamite while observing from my La-Z-Boy, I wish when I was coaching in the 1st base box that the ball boy would have handed me the victory on a platter. That would have sealed the deal. In the meantime, 90 innings in college, I think True can relieve B-Mac in the ninth when the latter gets tired.

 

Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Asked To Play Middle Linebacker As Well As Running Back In Milford Parks & Recreation Adult Flag Football League!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“The first schmuck that tries to run by me up the middle is gonna get body-slammed. I’ll deal with the penalty flag when the time comes.”

 

Then there’s the time frame. Wake up and smell the bacon and eggs down at the Milford Diner, Thorpiverse. When B-Mac was taking a risk, and it was truly a risk, I have to give the Tampa Bay organization credit for holding up its end of the bargain and attempt to accomodate B-Mac. Both sides wound up in a win-win situation, B-Mac pursuing his dreams and Tampa Bay not having to spend money on another DH/pinch hitter. The logic fit the crime.

But I doubt TB would ask B-Mac to shove all that baseball in time for football to start. No sense in working on a change and studying the pitchers and working on timing when DH’ing or working through contract negotiations or figuring each umpires’ strike zones or developing a slider or figuring all the stadiums’ dimensions (“Is the wind blowing in or out?” In a month and a half?????? Before Labor Day?????) or what to say to the press or refining the pickoff move and try to shovel all that before kickoff between Milford and Oakwood sometime in September. Okay, if we move the game back to mid-October, I think B-Mac will have the umpires figured out.

And that’s my point with True. He was pretty much football but Thorpiverse evidently thought he could make a Gold Glove out of a sow’s ear and have him ready to pitch in the Fall Classic by next week. Well, you might have to extend it another week or decade, give or take a century.

To put it in perspective, Don Mattingly was drafted in the 19th round by the New York Yankees. He played high school ball for a very storied Evansville, Indiana, Reitz Memorial High School Baseball program, his team going undefeated and winning the State in Indiana his junior year and being runner-up his senior year (team ran out of gas at the Final but fought valiantly) . He is still that high school’s all-time leader in hits, doubles, triples, runs scored, and runs batted in. In fact, he has the State record in triples. He’s a classy guy from a classy family (I refereed his brother, Randy, and his basketball teams and my nephew played ball for his other brother, Mike. Another brother, BTW, was tragically killed in a construction accident.) . So it’s not like he got the stats and got full of himself. And anybody who ever knew him, knew he had both feet on the ground.

That said, True, if you were drafted 13th after 90 innings of college ball, and you can cram Donnie Baseball and 15 seasons with the Yankees and The Devil Rays and the Mudlarks in the next month, I’ll be sure to spread the word. Any given day.

 

If ya try ta live in two trailer park houses cuz ya ain’t got enough room ta store all yore guns and ammo and the two driveways’ll be big enuff ta park yore four-wheel drive and the trailer park manager is alls fire fer it cuz it’ll cut down on his property taxes, ya might be a redneck.

 

Okay, let’s recap. We had a pizza fellowship that was supposed to be Dodgers/Yankees matchup that turned out to be Dodgers/Bad News Bears and the BNB predictably ate their lunch, literally and figuratively, and we got stuck the rest of the summer beating our heads against the verandah railing in P1 trying to bring sanity to another plot that’s a filler until Chet Ballard starts Round 2 and announces he can call audibles on the gridiron better than Gil and the best we can do is have True be B-Mac’s understudy after the equivalent of 10 games at Wake Forest????? And you can’t tell me he was a starter in the rotation and NO WAY was he relieving in that number of games as a middle reliever. 30 games at 3 innings each and you still played football???? Math bailed me out and gave me more material to print and hold me until next Tuesday. Yeah, 2-way players, either as pitcher/batter or quarterback/closer, are feasible as long as it doesn’t strain the Texas Instrument calculator. Whew, mine’s on fire on the desk.

All this while watching the ant farm busy as that bee hive I was discussing the other day. Whoops, those are people. Oh, that’s a winner. Talking to Coach Thorp about how you’re going to the Majors on a shoestring budget for a college career with no minor league baseball team to fall back on since its season was canceled this year at the Milford Country Club observation deck, I’ll keep that in mind when I’m planning my next vacation.

 

Oooooooookkkkkkkkk, Gene Rayburn is back and he WON’T cram Match Game 2020 in one month. Take ‘er away, Gene

“Dumb Dora was soooooooooooooo dumb (HOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! DUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) , she thought that TB on True’s hat meant__________________.”

 

The 13th Round?????? You’re telling me that you got the stuff that nobody’s going to touch you? You can just waltz on the mound for TB after a questionable career at Wake Forest in football AND baseball and NO minor league background and after 90 uneventful innings, Donnie Baseball wouldn’t park one on that tree humping that other tree in P2? Where do I go to TB and fill out an application? I’ve tried to keep those trees from communal living but all horticultural methods have failed. Maybe rubbing elbows with I’m Too Good To Be A Biscuit might be just the ticket.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Coach Thorp To Broaden Horizons At Milford Lanes Nude Bowling League.”

sub headline

“This time, I’m going to see if I can pick up that spare with my pants on.”

 

Meanwhile, back in downtown Milford, the Caped Crusaders are staking out The Joker and his gang. They ruled out Milford Diner because they didn’t pick up any scent resulting from all the gas fumes Joker releases when he orders Spicy Scrambled Eggs smothered in Guacamole Sauce with a order of a bowl of Fruit Loops. God, no wonder why the dude’s always hyper.

BTW, isn’t downtown Milford kinda sorta a contradiction in terms? If you blink your eye and you miss Milford, does the business district begin and END at Milford Diner? I never saw the Milford Convention Center next door even if the Milford Street Map insists otherwise. Maybe I need to check the Automobile Association of America (AAA) version.

Anyway, Phoebe and Single White Female are left hanging at the end of the sentence and I just think that, in the name of journalism ethics, our readers have a right to know what’s on the other side of the fill-in-the-blank.

So here we go

Phoebe and Hedra are back on the street…for a living.

Whoa Hoss, you Kiss fans. I spun quite a few records of Gene & Co. when I was a teenager but no way do I believe these two ladies were what Kiss had in mind when they wrote “Black Diamond”. Let’s get our heads out of the gutter, even if it is downtown Milford, and try again. Hedy might be a head case but not vendor of her body.

 

Phoebe and Hedra are back on the street…relieved that they will not the butt of two-way jokes until Fall Equinox.

Well, that’s better than being a prostitute. We will possibly not have to see Phoebe and Hedy chase their dreams of tobagganing Mount Milford and still win the Valley Conference Girls Fall Ball Championship. I mean, that’s a lot of time to train, isn’t it? And try to do any justice to True’s Biscuit to Baseball ambitions along the way? And Hedy also take the punishment from all that crouching at catcher? I admit the tobaggan is good conditioning to that end, but you’re crouching hoping like Hell your tobaggan doesn’t sail over a cliff. Really not the same thing.

 

Phoebe and Hedra are back on the street…where they will head over to the Thorp household for a wine and cheese luncheon.

The problem with that is the presence of Jaime and Keri. You don’t really don’t have a kids’ menu for that kind of setting. You can’t simply give them Lunchables Tot-Sized Salami and Cheddar Chesse while Single White Female is imbibing chardonnay.

 

The only other alternative

Phoebe and Hedra are back on the street…and will enter Milford 5 & 10 and buy a million “Too Cool for School” buttons.

Do you have a better answer? P3 DID mention buttons. Not that I’m crazy about recycling that or hippos. I suppose with 1 and 1/2 months of sports to shoehorn, desperate people do desperate things.

 

“We’ll be back to see if Shopping With Sue was able to finance the wheelbarrow at Milford Hardware in downtown Milford and pick up all the concrete blocks out of Sue’s basement after these messages. This is WDIG-TV.”

 

At the Milford High School Auditorium where Coach Shaw is practicing on the Wurlitzer at 3:00AM

“Honnneyyyyyyyyyyyy, I’m horrrrrrnnnnnnyyyyy.” The sound reverberates in the hallway. “I called Dr. Pearl and she said you were over heeeerrrrrreee. Let’s go to beddy byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy”

“I can’t, Mrs. Shaw. I’m practicing. I still have to get my technique down.”

“And I’d like to get something down too. But it’s not the organ.”

“Give me another hour. I want to be able to play the organ as well as my Jazz guitar for my upcoming recital at Milford Girls-a-Go-Go Club. I want to show the audience how versatile I am.”

“Darling, I think you are versatile. But you don’t have to bring an organ to bed to prove it.”

“When I’m about to get my big break and show the movers and shakers the talents I possess within this body? Shoot, if I can manipulate this foot pedal just right, I’ll have ‘Layla-Unplugged’ cold.”

“Don’t you have to turn off the electricity when you want the Folk version?”

“And then if I can pull these knobs this way and that, I can be another Jon Lord and go to town on ‘Highway Star’.

NOBODY GONNA TAKE MY CAR

I’M GONNA PASS GIL AT THE SPEED OF SOUUNNNNDDD

NOBODY GONNA TAKE MY CAR

I’M GONNA RACE THIS PLOT IN THE GROUNNNDDDD”

“Honey, I think you better work on your lyrics a little better.”

“Good point. I’ll switch Gil with Dr. Pearl.”

“Darling, turn off all the lights and the organ and come wid me to yuh widdle bed wheh we can have some funnnnyyyyyyyyy.”

“But I still have to work on “Hold Your Head Up”. The group Argent is goingvto perform with me that night and I want to impress

HOLD YOUR HEAD UPPPPPPPPPPPP

HOLD YOUR HEAD UPPPPPPPPPPPP

BLAMMMMMMMMMMMMM

 

“Damn, I knew I was straining that one button too much. Thank God I can go to Milford Hardware and get another knob replaced. Luhm will never know the difference when he’s dusting it.”

 

“And no, Luhm never hit me with the bill for the damages and no, I couldn’t hold my whim whim up. But Milford Men’s Clinic got me out of a heap of trouble and their treatment programs work. I may have to go to somebody’s church and practice on THEIR organ but I can perform WITHOUT ANY PRACTICE in bed. My wife wants an encore anyway. Come be the maestro at Milford Men’s Clinic and get a standing ovation.”

 

Gang, I’m tellin’ ya, P3 has NOTHING to do with “Black Diamond”. Otherwise, God bless you all. You mean the world to me.

 

A headline in the Milford Enquirer you’re unlikely to see

“True’s Pinch-Hit Homer Preserves B-Mac’s Victory Over The Blue Jays!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“I’m just trying to stay ready and focused until my number’s called, especially after 3 days rest.”

 

At the Milford Nudist Colony Social Hour

“Mommy, Miss Peaches said Marty’s parts need to be a two-way operation. How do you split his beard two ways?”

“Ummmmmmm, here, Keri, here’s some loose change. Go get some Chuckles out of that machine.”

 

 

 

10 Comments »

  1. Wow… So I’m guessing Wake Forest recruited a better QB after Tru’s, sophomore year and he was “Captain Clipboard” for the next two seasons? Well, maybe he got lucky and coach let him hold for the placekicker.

    90 innings? So Tru only played two seasons? You know what we call players who threw 90 innings in college and got drafted in the 13th round? **PROJECTS**. So have fun toiling away with the AA Montgomery Biscuits the next 4-5 seasons… The good news is Tampa loves to promote cheap, barely marginal, trash players in the final third of the season when they’re out of contention and traded away their decent players for prospects, so Tru might actually see the majors in a few years if he improves…

    Oh and Tru, the draft was seven weeks ago… Take off that fuckin’ cap you little poser until you actually earn it! Wear a Devil Rays t-shirt if you absolutely must show off to the teenage girls around town…

    And why isn’t Tru somewhere playing rookie ball or working out? There’s no Covid-19 in the Milfordverse…

    Comment by Hitorque — July 23, 2020 @ 3:49 am

  2. Good question…why is True hangin’ around this 2-bit town and filling his gut with a greasy breakfast rather than working out and practicing good nutrition? Did TB cut his ass already? Is he there to hang on to Gil’s coattails and learn how to coach? Maybe his time at WFU as Captain Clipboard with the baseball cap gave him the coaching bug. If that’s the case, going to Gil to learn how to coach means that he will have failed three times,

    Comment by franku2016 — July 23, 2020 @ 7:29 am

  3. Wake’s real QB during most of Tru’s time was John Wolford, who graduated in 2019. Pretty good player, a little small (6’1″, 200lbs) by NFL standards. He’s been signed a few times, never quite suited up for a game. He’s currently with the Rams, and might actually get to play if they have any exhibition games.

    Also, Shohei Ohtani, not that Tru will be touching any bats.

    Comment by Downpuppy (I, me, mine) (@Downpuppy) — July 23, 2020 @ 7:49 am

  4. Presumably, in a virus-free real world, True would be with the Princeton (WV) Rays right now. I used to watch Appy League ball when I lived in that part of the country and found it entertaining, which is more than I can say for this “story” so far.

    Comment by Philip — July 23, 2020 @ 9:08 am

  5. Princeton is on the 42 team cut proposal.I think they’re killing the Appy league. But you can still book a night in a shipping container.
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/26752652?source_impression_id=p3_1595518075_TY%2BS6UfDoMtTeX6W&guests=1&adults=1

    Comment by Downpuppy (I, me, mine) (@Downpuppy) — July 23, 2020 @ 9:29 am

  6. Great post today, tdrew, and great background on the two-way players. I saw Rick Ankiel unleash a missile against Houston a few years back and my jaw just dropped.

    As for body slamming, that’s more of a Herk the Mauler thing.

    Comment by teenchy — July 23, 2020 @ 11:21 am

  7. Looks like no one else on the 19th hole are interested in glad handing these 2 turds. The former state chumps will have to buy their own Long Islands.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — July 23, 2020 @ 1:23 pm

  8. (Kids voice): “.. my dad says that’s you ain’t shit and must be already washed up to sign with that team…”

    Comment by franku2016 — July 23, 2020 @ 2:58 pm

  9. Y’ALL DID SUPER!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANOTHER GREAT DAY FOR COMMENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I liked every one of responses to a trend that appears to be finding its way in print, that OF two-way players. Obviously a long way to go on that one but in the interim, every last one of you nailed it with solid comments. I love feedback but I LOVED your input today. Great newspapers, I’ve always said, is not strong by what it prints on the headlines in the front but by the opinions expressed by its readers. No better example than today.

    Teenchy, thank you for your kind words and story. When I was in the hospital myself, you were very encouraging. I pray that you are doing well yourself. I can relate to the body getting old. Don’t EVER change that incisive wit that you possess.

    Sandra J, you have been a longtime supporter and I never take it for granted. Your encouragement means a ton to me. And I LOVE checking out your photography. And Gang, please support her as I like what I see from her work.

    You all are my world. God bless you all.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — July 23, 2020 @ 10:35 pm

  10. Them girls gonna do a heist or what?

    Comment by Cow on a flat rock — July 24, 2020 @ 10:35 am


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