Leave it to Cliff Floyd to come up with the year's first great line.
Seems Clifford lost a $16,000 earring (Never mind whether or not it can
dangle from your ear — do you have anything in your house that costs
$16,000? Me neither.) and a reporter suggested he might be in trouble
when he explains the loss to his family. Replied Floyd: “I make the
Yo! I'd call that game, set, match for Clifford. (Whose real name is Cornelius, but we don't talk about that.)
Coming back from the Bowery Ballroom it was my cabbie doing his best to
make the donuts — any road that hasn't been salted is basically a
funhouse ride right now. When my cabbie was pushing another cab in
front of him, the speedometer said 70, you could smell something
burning and we still weren't going anywhere, I thought to myself, I live two blocks from here — why in hell don't I get out and walk? I guess, as with the second half of the 2003 season, I just had to see what would happen.
Maybe it was that little hint of mortality that got to me, or winter
leaping out of its pine box to grab us by the throat again, but exiting
the game of Bumper Cabs I found myself thinking about Doc and Darryl,
and suddenly I was practically overcome by how terribly sad it all is.
Take your pick of the papers and you could read about Doc or Darryl
walking around more or less in uniform, looking like they're in
fighting shape. Darryl even wandered around the comically named
Tradition Field with a bat. Thinking about that tonight, I wanted to
know: What would it have taken to get him in the cage? And if he'd roped one out? And then, in June, a minor-league deal….
I know, crazy. But as you noted, Darryl is 43 — a year younger than
Andres Galarraga and about a decade younger than Julio Franco. Doc
turned 40 in November.
In some parallel universe we're wondering if they'll hook on for
another season somewhere, and arguing about whether or not the decision
to let Doc and Darryl go after the '99 campaign was right. In that
parallel universe I'm insisting that Father Time was clearly having its
way with them then and busting out some newfangled stats I don't really
understand to prove it was time to move on, and you're reminding me
that next time I think such heretical thoughts, I need to look at that
string of World Championship flags, eyeball the 16 and 18 above the
left-field fence, think about how no one's really talked about the
Yankees in this city since Jesse Orosco's glove went up and didn't come
down, and find a stat that evaluates that.
But instead we live in this universe, where Darryl and Doc went
thataway, like the ones who meant everything to us or looked like they
would so often do. Todd Hundley burned like paper in fire. Edgardo
Alfonzo's back had a time bomb in it. Izzy and Pulse and Wilson spent
exactly zero starts in the rotation together. Now we have David Wright,
and you want to imagine cheering on a warm Indian summer day in 2023
when the cover drops off the new 5 out there on the wall by Casey and
Gil and Tom Terrific. But you'd be a fool to do that, no matter how
sweet David Wright's swing is or how he seems to have sprung full-blown
from one of those kids' baseball books from the 50s. The odds are not in
our favor; we can bitch all we want about our lost jewels, but it's
life that makes the donuts.
Whew! No blogging after midnight if it's going to be this doomy!
Here's something better: We aren't scheduled to play a single game on
artificial turf this year. Not one. To which I could add that we won't
hear a single Montreal air horn going BRAAAAAAAAP in the middle of an extravagantly pointless 5-1 affair, but we already knew that.