They're Calling Me Barbara

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They're Calling Me Barbara
I don't like it. The "they", taken from the Latin root from the title above, "they're", is composed of my teammates and a handful of media folk who line my big league clubhouse with their fancy pants and designer shoes (the media guys don't wear either, just regular pants and sneakers). It seems the interview I posted yesterday with Dr. Mike Marshall added more to the negative feeling about me. Here were some comments and from whence they were derived:

NEWSPAPER GUY (NPG)

NPG: Hey, Jimmy, I listened to your Mike Marshall interview.
Me: Doctor.
NPG: Well, yeah. Dr. Mike Marshall.
Me: It's what he is.
NPG: Anyway, I think -
Me: No, there's no "anyway" here. He's a doctor. He's got a PhD. What's so bad about that?
NPG: Nothin.
Me: Do you have a PhD?
NPG: No.
Me: Neither do I. That makes us both idiots.
NPG: May I quote you, Barbara?
Me: No. And don't call me Barbara.

OUTFIELDER (OF)

OF: (rattailing my naked buttocks)
Me: Ouch. What is this, summer camp?
OF: Why don't you quit your pitching job and take a gig with ESPN?
Me: It doesn't pay as well.
OF: Really, Barbara?
Me: Who's Barbara?
OF: You. You're a little Barbara Walters.
Me: I'm probably taller than her.
OF: Still -
Me: And heavier.
OF: You and -
Me: But she probably has more hair. Even though she's pretty old now.
OF: Why don't you get her on your show?
Me: Why don't you?
OF: Nice comeback. Where'd you think that one up, summer camp?

He rat tailed me again on the tush just as I turned away.

MANAGER (RICK CHURCHES)

Rick: Jimmy take a seat.

(I should state that we were in his office when this exchange occured.)

Me: (sitting without a wisecrack)
Rick: What's this about you wanting to retire?
Me: I don't want to retire.
Rick: You're going to be forced into it if you don't lay off the computer stuff and start spending some time on pitching.
Me: How much time a day can I throw a ball?
Rick: It's more than throwing. It's watching video. It's studying the other team.
Me: All right, let's say that takes up 3 hours of my day.
Rick: It's getting into top physical shape.
Me: Add another 2 hours
Rick: You don't work out 2 hours a day.
Me: Yes I do. You just can't see my raging abs. My clothes are big.
Rick: I'm saying your focus should be here, on this team and on this game.
Me: I'm saying that if you take the 5 hours a day of prep work for this gig we call baseball, and then -
Rick: There's the game itself too. Add in another 3 hours.
Me: 4 if it's Interleague. My point is, you take 6 hours out of 24 and that leaves... Umm...
Rick: 18 hours.
Me: Good! That's a lot of hours of nothingness. I can blog then and interview people and talk about what I'm going to do when I retire.
Rick: Do you want to retire?
Me: No.
Rick: Then put your focus on the game. You won't have to anytime soon if you pay more attention to baseball.
Me: We're starting to run in circles.
Rick: At least you'd be working out, Barbara.

POTENTIAL PODCAST INTERVIEW CANDIDATE (PPC)

PPC: No, don't interview me.
Me: Why?
PPC: I don't want to do interviews with the media. Why would I want to do one with a ballplayer.
Me: It could be fun.
PPC: Who do you think you are, Barbara Walters?
Me: No.
PPC: I'll pass.

I'm a trailblazer, a pioneer. I am an icon. I will be the man, many years from now, who historians will look back upon and say, "This was one semi-balding man who became a giant in his field, a greater giant than all of the others combined. He took risks. He followed his heart. We erect this statue of him in his honor. We're sorry he couldn't be here today. He had a prior engagement interviewing Barbara Walters for his groundbreaking podcast show."

Finally, let me add one more exchange between me and my jealous/envious closet admirers.

"RED" SCOTT (NYS GAME ANNOUNCER AND, ALSO, MY DAD)

Red: What's this about you interviewing people?
Me: I'm interviewing people.
Red: I heard.
Me: Good.
Red: Why?
Me: Put down the microphone.
Red: Hmm?
Me: I'll talk to you off the record.
Red: We are off the record.
Me: So put down the microphone then.
Red: It's off. Don't you trust me.
Me: No.
Red: What kind of man can't trust his own father?
Me: The kind of man whose father is untrustworthy.
Red: You think you're better than me?
Me: No. Wait, let me rephrase. Yes, I do.
Red: You're not. You're just like me.
Me: I'm not like you at all. Why do you always try to lump in my extracurricular activities with the way you've treated your family since the day the earth cooled off from its origins as a flaming fireball.
Red: Speaking of flaming fireballs, they're calling you Barbara. Did you know that?
Me: Yes.
Red: It bugs you, doesn't it?
Me: Put the microphone down.
Red: Call you mother. She'd like to talk to you. Give me 5 minutes to prepare.
Me: You're not taping my call with Mom. That's illegal.
Red: Oh. Good day.
Me: Good day.

And he walked away, the man who never retired from baseball. The man who, at 72, I fear I will turn into one day. Yes, I must figure out my life before I'm his age, hanging around guys 50 years younger than me and watching them rattail each other. That's just sick.
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