Occasionally I don't post about Bob Barker, and when I don't it tends to be about a goofy story or baseball. I have a goofy story all set to go and will be tomorrow's post, but today two baseball stories moved me.
The first involves Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder, Elijah Dukes. Admittedly, I had never heard of the guy until opening day when he hit a home run against the mighty New York Yankees. He did it again the next day, too. Since then, he's been fairly miserable batting .190 on the season (a mere 4 hits since May 27th will do that to you). And yet, I cannot escape the enigma that is Elijah Dukes. It's probably because he's an idiot.
Deadspin follows these types of things marvelously with an irreverent, condescending tone I only wish I could achieve. Dukes previously was arrested for domestic battery and shortly thereafter, had to bust out mathematic formulas to prove that the woman he had consensual sex with some time ago, was just old enough to ward off that pesky statutory rape charge that was being mumbled about.
As you might have ascertained, not only is Dukes not good at baseball, he's really not that good at life either. His intelligence was most notably lacking when he decided to call up talk radio and talk bad about his ex-wife or whomever it was he decided to beat up. I mean, why not bring this stuff up again?
"I know if I stayed with her I'd physically be in prison because she provoked me by hitting me. She done hit me across the head with a picture frame and everything. I hate that because I told my kids I would never go back to jail for no domestic violence."
#1) "I'd physically be in prison."
As opposed to spiritually?
#2) "She provoked me by hitting me."
At 6'2" 220 lbs and a professional athlete, I have to believe it was within Dukes' power to rise above the situation.
#3) "She done hit me."
You are ignorant.
#4) "With a picture frame and everything."
An enormous gamut that would no doubt include a flail and other medieval weaponry.
#5) "I hate that."
Hater in da house!
#6) "I would never go back to jail for no domestic violence."
Did I mention you are ignorant?
Now the other baseball story, while less a commentary on pathetic human beings, still causes a shake of the head.
Houston Astros pitcher Brad Lidge used to be awesome. The guy was unhittable until Albert Pujols cracked him in the 2005 postseason. Since then, he's never been the same. His ERA ballooned 3 runs in the season following the Pujols blast. This season, he blew his first save opportunity and then gave up 5 base runners in 2/3 of an inning his next time out. Understandably, Astros manager Phil Garner demoted him from his closer role and gave him mop up duty.
Lidge did not care for this.
"I'm definitely upset about losing my role after throwing in two games, after throwing in one save situation," Lidge told The Houston Chronicle. "Garner made the decision, and I will of course stand by it. He's my manager, and I'll do whatever he wants me to do. But that being said, I'm pretty ticked off about it. I guess the only thing I can do is use it as motivation."
While a master of the English language (at least compared to Elijah Dukes), Lidge was still "ticked." Admirably, he did use this as motivation and pitched fairly well mopping up meaningless games to the point where he regained his closer job.
He responded by blowing his first save opportunity.
Then he got hurt.
And now no one knows when he'll return.
How am I supposed to manage this?
Photo from Tulane.edu