Saturday, November 15, 2003

The Devil Bleeds Dodger Blue by Ken Derr

Tommy Lasorda is the devil incarnate.

Don’t buy it? Let’s check the facts.

Remember that waddle as he ran on to the field to protest a call or hug (and all those hugs—come on, those be reminders to his trading partners that their souls were his) one of his players? Have you ever seen a human move in quite that fashion? All that flesh undulating about, reeking of physical indulgence and defiance of the spirit, wallowing in that ugliest of the seven deadly sins—gluttony. And while we’re defying God, how about pride? I seem to remember a certain commercial in which our malevolent hero sang loudly and often about his reduced pounds via some money-making (can you say greed?) but fraudulent diet. Despite the PR spin his agency liked to play on us, Lasorda was full of anger, often spitting and screaming at umpires in ways that embarrassed children and horrified first row fans. Of course, he was always wrong, because the Dodgers were never safe and they never got anybody out legitimately, but there was Tommy, humiliating his family with unjustified indignance.

His body was also a waddling testament to sloth. No man can eat enough to produce that much gravity. It takes a lifetime of couchdom, in addition to the aforementioned face-stuffing, to generate that much unsightly girth. For the purposes of public decency, I will refrain from illustrating lust, and you, dear readers, can breath a collective sigh of relief.

Now we come to the heart of this man’s diabolical makeup—his envy. Let us go back in time, to that glorious year of 1993, when Barry Bonds first joined the San Francisco Giants and led them to 103 victories. Sadly, in those days, the Atlanta Braves were also in the West Division, and they too had that many victories heading into the final game of the season. Of course, the Giants were playing their dreaded rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, led by Beelzebub himself. Jump forward to the game, and for just a jot of context, the Dodgers, as always, were hopelessly out of the race. But for Mephistopheles, this game became the season. He did not watch idly as the good and the strong triumph and move forward. Oh no. He used every man on his roster and every pitcher in his pen. To cut a nightmare short, as the Dodgers won the game and prepared to head into the dugout to rightfully mourn yet another losing season, sending the noble and worthy Giants home for the winter (just look at the nicknames—one signifying the great Greek gods of old, and another the sleazy, shifty hustlers of the underworld) El Diablo stormed onto the field in full waddle, short, fat arms doing rings that looked mysteriously like Dante’s circles of hell, speaking in tongues, at least according to eyewitnesses near the spectacle, and radiated a pungent heat that left everyone within a four hundred foot radius suffering from colon trouble within a year.

Think I’m just a bitter homie? Remember what should have been that heart-pumping, fist-in-the-air 2000 Olympic baseball victory from several years back? Don’t you recall sitting on your couch, waiting for the tears to flow that never did? Here were our finest amateurs, in the purest tradition of Olympic excellence, tackling and conquering the pros of the former commie states, and yet there you sat, wondering why it didn’t feel like Lake Placid. And there was Dodger Blue, spouting more nonsense and homilies and tripe, and while you couldn’t digest what was happening within, you simply knew that the appropriate emotional response did not occur. Why? Well, you know why. Because a victory led by the devil is not a victory at all. The fallen angel who rules over the earth can change the laws of physics and push balls further than they ever had a right to go. How else could we ever explain Steve Garvey? That gold medal is beyond tarnished—it is literally dripping with wicked blue iniquity. It has the same credibility as that 1972 Russian basketball Cold War “win” when they put the time back on the clock.

Look, Italians have always been just a little bit closer to sin and salvation than the rest of us. It’s time for somebody to recognize that Jesus may not have come back, but his adversary has. Don’t put Tommy Lasorda in the Hall of Fame. Put him back where he belongs—in hell.

Ken Derr wishes he were Ken Stabler, or Kevin Mitchell, or Jeffrey Leonard, but since he's not, he says: "Let's put these fuckers in the Hall of Fame. Right fucking now." Amen. Good night.

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