- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Did the Fonz Jump the Shark?

Ah, Fonzie. You and I are never going to agree on this, and that's OK — if we wanted bloodless analysis everyone could agree with at a glance, we'd be actuaries. To me, it's pretty clear that Fonzie's bad back killed his career, or at least maimed it — his power numbers have dipped into the decidedly ordinary, he walks less, he never could run and his range has become tiny at third. It's only a bit of an exaggeration to say he's become Dave Magadan. Of course, I still mourn Bill Pulsipher, who never even had two weeks of good numbers, so obviously I'm an idiot.

And I still miss the hell out of Fonzie, stats notwithstanding — if I close my eyes I can see that little twirl of the bat knob he liked to do, and he sure isn't doing it in orange and black. I loved that little bat flip around the hand — I loved how it was evidence that for Edgardo, having a bat in his hands was perfectly natural, perhaps more natural than not having one, and his hands knew that bat so well that they could make the frickin' thing levitate. Here's hoping when his contract expires he comes back as our Miguel Cairo and we celebrate with a public tarring and feathering of Steve Phillips. (“God, Jeff, that was YOU strapped Lecter-style to the hand truck? We've, uh, made a terrible error. Don't know how that happened. Oh, here's the hand truck with Skill Set. Guess we'll have to do this again.”)

OK, that's taking it too far. Hmm. Maybe it isn't.

I liked Dave Magadan too, of course — if he had only been faster than, say, an air-conditioning unit being wheeled around by Teamsters ready for their hourly break, he would have hit .360. (And if Olerud had been faster than the above, we still would have cheaped out and let him go to Seattle.) Though I was always somewhat spooked by Magadan's resemblance to late-80s Bruce Springsteen. Danny Heep looked strangely like Billy Squier, while I'm exhausting the subject.

Tidbits from my pre-work scan of the papers: The reporters can't agree on who's the last man in camp. Leaving aside the visa-problems guys, it's either Gerald Williams or Jeff Keppinger. If I were either of those guys, I'd have made sure I was in camp by now, but what do I know. Please, please, please, let this be the end of the Gerald Williams era. There is no more perfect example of how ridiculously unimaginative a baseball front office can be than the fact that we let Gerald Williams play the outfield for us in the second half of last year.

Mike Cameron's nickname is “Midnight,” which is insanely cool. Jon Heyman, having frightened himself by expressing admiration for David Wright, thinks Mike Cameron is a phony and/or a criminal. We don't have a captain right now, which is as it should be — honestly, the fact that our captain was a lefty specialist was pretty pathetic. (“And Steve Kline is leading his Orioles onto the field!”) I feel bad about making fun of Heath Bell (though that'll pass) after reading about him rollerblading in the driveway with his daughter. I now have a nonlaundry reason to root for him, which is nice.

Oh, and it has to be said: Willie Randolph may lead us to the promised land, in which case I'll eat these pixels, but he's behaving like a typical Bronx mullah. No loud music in the clubhouse? OFFS. It's getting a little Torborg in here….