There is nothing scarier than the fury of a parent. Even if the son is 40 years old, an angry father in his early-70s can still be like seeing the shark for the first time in Jaws.
I received a phone call this morning about my dad, "Red" Scott. "Red" is now announcing for the NY Veterans, parent club of the AAA Nashville Hounds, which I'm currently rehabbing with. In typical "Red" fashion, he threw me under a bus in last night's telecast from Chicago. Our problem stems from some misinformation "Red" gave to me in spring training, then a lie he spewed about me to reporters over the weekend. He likes to use his access to me, his son, as a way of drawing attention to himself. (Hey, I credit him for doing this and not Munchausen by Proxy.)
I called him out in my post yesterday, after protecting him for a month, for giving me the embarrassing misinformation in spring training, which I blogged about and which subsequently became a big deal due to my inaccuracies. By all turns furious with my "outrageous behavior," (his words last night), "Red" spoke on the air last night about me as if I was the devil himself. Here's part of what he said:
Red: That Jimmy... He's a piece of work. Maybe if he worked a little harder he'd be in Chicago tonight with the team instead of languishing away with his computer in Nashville.
If I had been in the booth with him, here's what I would have said:
Me: Shut up.
Our conversation would have continued like this:
Red: No, Jimmy. You've never worked as hard as I did at baseball.
Me: Maybe because I had talent.
Red: And where did you get it?
Red: Not true. Your mother can't even hold a hot dog right side up.
Me: I thought hot dogs were based on the horizontal principal of -
Red: My point is you are who you are and you are where you are today because of me.
Me: I'm not really in this booth with you. This is a fantasy.
Red: You can't even fantasize right. If I were you fantasizing right now, I'd be in Angelina Jolie's bed, not in a booth.
Me: I'm not tired.
Me: How can I be who I am if I'm nice and don't use people.
Red: All you do is use people. You're a big league ballplayer. It's in the job description. You blow your nose and somebody picks it up for you.
Me: The tissue, you mean.
Me: Paraphrasing, you said my nose, if blown, would end up on the -
Red: Why don't you just play baseball? Quit with the blogging. Quit with drawing attention to yourself. Play the game.
Me: Said the man who draws attention to himself like Michelangelo.
Red: I do it for you.
Me: You embarrassed me in front of the whole world.
Red: Did not.
Me: Did too.
Red: You deserved it.
Me: You know in court, your last phrase would mean you admitted to embarrassing me.
Red: So what?
Me: More admission of guilt.
Red: I'm going to the bathroom.
Me: Lotta good this fantasy did for me today.
He's an upsetting man. You can't win with him. But in this case, he thinks he's got the last word. I added up how many people were exposed to his "last words" last night:
NYS Telecast: 350,000 viewers
Print Media Coverage: 1.4 million
Web Media Coverage: 6.75 million
YouTube: 679 hits (as of 4:35 EST today)
I average 647,000 hits on this blog daily. Add that to all of the numbers above, then subtract 679, and I'm ahead. If he was a better man, he'd pledge $1 to charity for every viewer on NYS who hears his reaction to this post tomorrow (the game is in progress in Chicago, so he won't get this in before it ends - burn on him). He's not a better man, nor is he rich, so the charities can keep their wallets closed. You won't see a dime from the guy.
Still, Mom always said to be better than Dad in everything - baseball, marriage, life in general. Hmm. Maybe that's where I got "it" from.
Let's revisit my broadcast booth fantasy:
Red - My point, again, is you are who you are today because of me.
Me - You forgot one thing - Mom. Well, she's not a thing. She's a person. But what I'm trying to say is I got everything from her. She made me better than you. You only served as a benchmark for me to achieve my greatness.
Red - (sitting in thought, scratching is gray hair that was never, ever red) See. I was a benchmark. Without me, you're nothing.
Me - I'm going to the bathroom.
Red - Lotta good this fantasy revisit did for you.
Me - Yeah.
Bottom line - I love you Mom. Dad, I love you too. I can't stand you, but I love you. Say what you want on the air. Try to ruin my blogdom (instead of kingdom, which he thinks I want by blogging). Try to make me in your image by talking to the press and doing all the things every other baseball player since Jesus (I hear He had an awesome splitter) has done. Try not to let me be an individual. I don't care. I am who I am. It has nothing to do with you. And it probably never will.