photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
SuperNateRobertson, that is.
I’m not sure what I was expecting with this game, but a pitching duel wasn’t it. So when a pitching duel was what we got, well, we will call it a pleasant surprise. It’s good to see Nate pitch 7 strong innings of 3-hit, no-run ball, especially since that whole “DLed for mysterious arm hurty” business. Since that was so… uh, mysterious, we didn’t really have any idea how Nate would come back from it, or how much of it was mental vs. physical, or ANYthing. Except that he couldn’t pitch for beans.
Tonight’s game was not the kind of game thrown by someone who can’t pitch for beans.
Perhaps the most worrying thing about Nate’s mysterious troubles is that, not knowing where they came from, we have to fear that they could return at any moment. I’m hoping that whatever it was, the trainers had a better grasp on it than the simple “something’s wrong, he’ll take some time off to work it out” we as fans were given. And hopefully whatever the trainers know has been used to prevent its sinister return.
‘Cause Nate Robertson of tonight’s game is the Nate Robertson I want to see for the rest of the season.
Some random bits and pieces from the game:
It’s fitting that Magglio was responsible for the game’s only run. Best hitter around, only hitter hitting. Seems fair enough to me. That’s how well-pitched the game was: it took the best hitter in the league to send the Twins off with a loss.
The Twins announcers believe that Brandon Inge will be a Gold Glove winner at third base, either this year or soon thereafter. Suddenly, I quite like the Twins announcers.
For most of the game, every time Gary Sheffield came up to bat, there was a Twins fan screaming so loudly that the station mics were picking him up loud and clear. He was screaming things like, “Hey Sheffield, how’s Joe Torre doing?” and “Joe Torre! Joe Torre! Hey, Sheffield! JOE TORRE!” Witticisms Sheffield could never conceive of, I’m sure.
At one point the Twins station zoomed in on Gary Sheffield’s hands while he was in full waggle mode. This was actually nauseating, like looking at the water closest to you when you’re out on a speeding boat in high seas.
Really nice game for Curtis Granderson. Three for three… I mean, Maggs and Inge ended up making the offense that counted, but Curtis pretty much WAS the Tigers offense otherwise. He’s batting .299 right now. How insane would it be if he managed to push himself over .300? We would then have 5 guys in the lineup batting .300 or higher.
Is it just me, or is Macay McBride’s head unusually round? It’s not that it’s huge in a Kevin Mench sense, and it’s not that it’s bulbous and crazy in a Placido Polanco sense… but it’s extremely rotund, like in a basketball wearing a hat sense. Or is this just another product of my wacked-out mind?
I did watch the Gary Sheffield interview on Real Sports. The amount of writing I’ve done on it lately, I kind of had to, yes? Anyways, it was mostly the stuff we’ve already seen, and if you check out the previous two entries you’ll see pretty much everything you need to know about what Roar of the Tigers thinks when confronted by Gary Sheffield’s crazed rantings.
There were, however, a couple of things Sheffield said that I don’t think I’d seen yet.
“The thing is, you gotta be a great baseball player…. if you got baggage, you gotta be great.”
This isn’t exactly new. Lots of people have said that black ballplayers are held to a higher standard… i.e. there may be a lot of superstar black players, but not so many mediocre ones. The same is true for some other minorities; Asian players especially come to mind (this is complicated by the fact that many of them come over from the Japanese/Korean leagues, and the structure of the posting system there makes things weird. But that’s a whole other cat). I think, if I remember correctly, Sheffield was saying this in the context of the Yankees. Which is a little weird and not exactly how I would apply it, but eh. Possibly one of the more sane things Sheffield has said.
Andrea Kramer: “If you hadn’t gone to work out with Barry Bonds, you wouldn’t be in this situation [of being accused of using steroids].”
“What I was told was that, the, uh, the Clear that I was stickin’ under my tongue was a muscle recovery… like when you lift weights, the next day you can recover.”
“You asked me, did I put the Clear on my tongue, yes. Did I put the Cream on my legs, yes. Am I steroids user? No.”
He then got into the “steroids is something you stick in your butt” stuff, and started into a vaguely incoherent aside about “people who don’t play sports” and them not understanding. Or something. I’m not entirely sure what that was about. But I am cutting him NO slack here. Sorry, Sheff. Wrong is wrong. The fact is that the Clear and Cream ARE steroids. Sheffield is claiming that he didn’t know this when he used them, and that he trusted Barry Bonds when Barry told him to use them (more on that in a second). So maybe he didn’t INTENTIONALLY use steroids, but he still USED STEROIDS, so YES, Sheffield, YOU ARE A STEROID USER.
THOSE WERE STEROIDS. THEY WENT ONTO AND INTO YOUR BODY. THAT MEANS YOU ARE A STEROID USER. Maybe a wrongfully entrapped one, quite possibly an unwilling one, but a steroid user nonetheless.
His refusal to accept this fact is bordering on the deranged. It’s like he believes that because he didn’t think they were steroids at the time, the Cream and the Clear magically transformed into harmless fruit juice, and he never took steroids. The world doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t matter what Gary Sheffield THINKS steroids are. Steroids ARE what they ARE. Someone needs to make this clear to him. Maybe he thinks ‘steroid user’ is a state of mind?
Back to the Barry Bonds thing. The basic gist of the story is that Sheffield and Bonds were buddy-buddy. Bonds invited to Sheff to live with him for a while (??) and train together. Bonds saw Sheff taking his usual supplement and said something like, “Those are weaksauce, take mine! They’re so much better!” Sheffield, trusting his BFF Barry, took the stuff. Whoops! Turns out it was steroids.
Andrea Kramer: “You let Barry Bonds control you.”
Sheffield: “At that moment, yes.”
No wonder Sheffield gets so torn up about how “easily controlled” those tractable Latinos are. He’s been burned by letting himself be controlled, burned BAD, and he doesn’t want to see them falling in the same cruel trap!
The irony of this, of course, is that Sheffield has always been 100% against letting the white man control him. ‘Cause, you know, the white man is the devil, the white man is holding Gary Sheffield down and holding him back and so on. But it’s when he lets Barry Bonds “control” him that he’s dealt one of the more severe blows. Dear me. I mean… he does know that Barry’s black, right?
Oh, the iniquity of it all.