"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


Last night Seattle reliever Matt Thorton came in the game, threw sliders instead of fastballs, gave up the lead and then heard it from manager Mike Hargrove. There is a special baseball word for his performance and it’s likely Hargrove mentioned it in their little chat. According to Bob Finnigan in The Seattle Times:

In a rare display of anger, Mike Hargrove stomped to the mound in the sixth inning and apparently gave reliever Matt Thornton a hard lesson in what he expected to see from a pitcher, with much vehemence and finger-jabbing.

…Thornton, who walked Bernie Williams after Giambi’s game-turning strike, was frank in revealing what the skipper would not. “He wanted to make sure he knew I can compete, for me to pitch like he knows I can, like I know I can,” said Thornton, who had given up crushing homers earlier in the year, but not lately.

Be sure and peep the U.S.S. Mariner, especially tomorrow night with Felix Hernandez on the mound, to see how the other half lives.

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1 Jen   ~  Aug 30, 2005 10:58 am

1.  Funny, horseshit was a favorite word of our (softball) pitching coach in college too.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 30, 2005 11:19 am

2.  Oh, for my money it is absolutely the best baseball curse word ever. One of the best curse words, period, but I love how it has a special place in the game. Say it and you can feel an instant connection with the Sparky Lyle and Don Zimmers of the world, of what baseball must have been like 60, 70 years ago. You can use it to describe a pitcher or a pitch or a hitter or a swing or an ump's call. Awww, man don't get me started cause it's just a beautiful thing.

3 Jen   ~  Aug 30, 2005 11:35 am

3.  Exactly. Our coach was a curmudgeon that actually looked a bit like Lyle. And he had plenty of opportunities to use the word, what with our inconsistent pitching and the sketchy umpires in the Empire 8.

4 tommyl   ~  Aug 30, 2005 12:04 pm

4.  Has anyone else noticed how different the Yanks moves have been this July/August as compared to the last few years? In years past we've gone for the big name or blockbuster trade, but this year Cashman and co. seem to be picking up various pitchers and role players for next to nothing, almost all of whom have contributed down the stretch in a positive way. The makeup of this team is starting to remind me a lot more of the late 90s teams than the 2003/2004 teams (minus the really strong starting pitching).

I wonder if this is representative of a shift from the Tampa to NY offices. Any thoughts or ideas?

5 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 30, 2005 12:12 pm

5.  Jen,
When I played freshman baseball one of the best kids on our team was a dirtbag named Tom Timmons. (The only thing we dared rag on him was about his name, switching it up...I remember one day he finally had it: "The next motherfugger that calls me Tim Tommins is getting his ass kicked.")

He was actually a really nice guy, but not down with the jock crowd at all. You know the type, he smoked, wore flannels and stone washed jeans, drove an IROC or something like that, screwed girls, stuff that none of the rest of us were doing. And he was a naturally good player. Could just show up and be better than the rest of us.

Well one day he got picked off of third, right in front of our coach, who was also the thirdbase coach. Not only that but he was tying run, and getting picked off ended the game. Our coach was too upset to say anything but the look on his face said "Horseshit" all the way.

As far as the moves Cashman and co. have made this year I don't think it represents a shift in the Yankee front office. I think it has a lot to do with the slim pickings that were available. After all, there weren't any other teams making big name deals either. I just think Cashman was able to make a few swaps that have turned out nicely and he deserves credit. But the Yankees front office--and who knows where to point the finger--put themselves into this hole to begin with. Thank goodness Cashman was able to do something...

6 tommyl   ~  Aug 30, 2005 12:17 pm

6.  Alex,

True, and I do believe you might be right. Still I could imagine a year or two ago, shipping of Henn, Cano or some others for someone like Griffey or Burnett near the deadline. I'm only hoping this trend continues. People seem to forget that the late 90s teams were not a bunch of superstars (by this I mean the Tampa people, not the fans).

7 NetShrine   ~  Aug 30, 2005 12:34 pm

7.  Didn't someone, Bouton?, say in a book that "horseshit" is the most common used swear in baseball?

8 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 30, 2005 12:38 pm

8.  That word is all over Whitey Herzog's "You're Missing a Great Game" -- which is a solid read in part because his ghost writter really captured that gruff old-timer tone in the writing. It reads just like Whitey yappin' atcha, and it's wonderful.

9 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 30, 2005 12:48 pm

9.  Yeah Herzog's book is one of the best examples of horseshit baseball lit. Sparky Lyle's "Bronx Zoo" is another.

10 Dan M   ~  Aug 30, 2005 1:44 pm

10.  What I remember from Ball Four was Joe Schultz's constant switching between "fuckshit" and "shitfuck."

11 Ryan   ~  Aug 30, 2005 2:11 pm

11.  A little off topic, but did anyone else see Jorge flip somebody off in the 8th inning after he got hit with a foul ball? I was watching the game on the Mariner's feed and the camera was focused on Jorge after he got hit for the second time in the game, and he is sitting in the crouch and flips someone off for a good three seconds. The color guy was talking about how catchers have to deal with getting hit with foul tips all the time and then Jorge starts flipping the bird and the announcer just kinda stammered a little bit. Please tell me I'm not the only one that saw that, or that I was just seeing things.

12 randym77   ~  Aug 30, 2005 2:26 pm

12.  I didn't see it, but someone else did. Check out the Mariners thread; we were posting to it during the game.

Someone said Jorge was flipping off Mariano. For hitting him with the pitch, I assume.

I'm kind of surprised he would do that. He had to know he'd be on TV. There's kids watching, and all. At least on the West Coast there might be kids watching...

13 Ryan   ~  Aug 30, 2005 2:36 pm

13.  Thanks!

14 Simone   ~  Aug 30, 2005 3:53 pm

14.  Mark Bellhorn?! Mark Bellhorn?! It is baseball hell.

15 randym77   ~  Aug 30, 2005 4:24 pm

15.  I asked a Pittsburghian friend of mine what she thought of Lawton. To my relief, she didn't fall over laughing like she did when she heard we were getting Womack. But she doesn't think much of Lawton's fielding abilities. She says he's erratic. Misjudges balls a lot. She thinks his first, best destiny is to be a DH on an AL team.

On another subject, I wish some talking head had asked Jorge why he flipped off Mo. Why don't they ever ask the interesting questions? ;-)

16 tocho   ~  Aug 30, 2005 4:49 pm

16.  Looks like Schilling is throwing some horseshit....

17 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 30, 2005 4:54 pm

17.  Oh Jorge Cantu, how I love you.

18 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 30, 2005 4:54 pm

18.  Just a rhyme though I have been very appreciative of this guys career so far. He's a lot of fun to watch.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver