Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fear the (Thought Behind the) Beard

I can recall back in the days when the San Francisco Giants called Candlestick Park home.

Back when Rod "Shooter" Beck toed the slab as the Giants' closer.

He had a look not many tailors could work with.  In fact, if memory serves me, when Dusty Baker was mulling over why so many players today are pulling muscles Beck's response was, "You can't pull fat."

He had a look that caused my imagination to wander back to the Wizard of Oz.  The scene where the Cowardly Lion was getting the treatment.  His hair was styled into lucious curls.  I always thought, since Beck had the fu manchu thing happening what it would have been like had he included the curls falling out from his ballcap.

I would have been so damned funny how in the world could the batter keep his concentration. Doesn't your vision get distorted when tears begin to form?)

Wouldn't a batter just bust-a-gut laughing at Shooter in dangling curls with the fu manchu?  And if so, would Uncle Bud promptly test him for some sort of illegal drug? Certainly not a performance enhancer. (Meanwhile, Shooter would only be weighed as he continued to look like the before model in a new fad diet advertisement.)

The idea of getting a batter to lose his focus simply by the look showed to him by the guy throwing the ball has to be as old as the game. But, to a fan of the game, I think originality always registers on the "taking one for the team" scale.  Any time a player takes one for the team it's a good thing. Being a team player is what made the 2010 San Francisco Giants World Series champions.

It's why Brian "Don't Worry, Baby" Wilson gets all the kudos afforded to him.  It's, well,  good vibrations.

Kevin J. Marquez