08/10/2004: Thought for the Day:
In a fine article published last Friday in the New York Times, Lee Jenkins made the Cardinals sound like an army unit from a World War II propaganda film – they’ve got the aw-shucks hick Scott Rolen, the Bible-quoting Latino Albert Pujols, and Jim Edmonds, "who scales fences and streaks his hair, drives a Ferrari, and goes by the name of 'Hollywood.'" Indeed, at first blush Jim Edmonds seems like every jock you went to high school with – note the cocky swagger, the loping gait, the beefy shoulders and hammy thighs. He’s the very picture of California cool.
But put Jim Edmonds in a batter’s box and he’s transformed. Gone are the heavy eyelids and the cavalier attitude, and they’re replaced with something else altogether – a series of rituals, neuroses, and tics. He grimaces, jabbers with umpires and catchers, steps out to do calisthenics or pace around or talk to himself. Just last week he had an at-bat where he leaned in from a pitch on ball four, then righted himself by staggering toward the visitors’ dugout. His route was practically Magellan, perhaps the only time in the history of baseball a guy walked 120 feet to get to first. Last year in San Diego, Edmonds swung at a pitch, dropped the bat, clutched his right shoulder, doubled over in pain, caught his breath, then picked up the bat with his left hand and continued hitting! The whole thing was as melodramatic and masochistic as the Stations of the Cross: Edmonds is Condemned to Die, Edmonds Swings a First Time, Edmonds is Laid in the Tomb.
--Brian Gunn and Richard Lederer
Len on 08.10.04 @ 07:27 AM CST