illustrations by Samara Pearlstein
Don Kelly got on Conan too, indirectly. Here’s how it all went down:
Justin Verlander on Conan, on this tragically baseball-less date of January 11, 2012
–The last time I watched a TV show that I never watch specifically for a baseball player was when Curtis Granderson was on the Martha Stewart show. Hopefully this will be a more rewarding experience. It can’t be worse. Right?
–How does Conan’s hair stay like that? It must take a lot of work, and product. I wonder what it looks like when he wakes up in the morning, you know?
–Look at that metallic swiss cheese screen thing on the side of the set. Is that a custom job, or can you buy it from Design Within Reach or something? I bet it’s a custom job. Also you would need specific lighting for it. You can’t just light that with overheads and expect it to look good.
–Andy Richter’s tie is much nicer than Conan’s.
–How great would it be if Andy Richter was related to Gerhard Richter? How great would it be if instead of Andy Richter, we had Gerhard Richter here, right now, on this TV show, about to be in the same room as Justin Verlander?
Imagine that, kids. Imagine it. Visualize it. Greatness.
–I really, really, really do not care about this monologue thing. Why is it still happening? Why is the crowd laughing? Are they being prompted? Where is Justin Verlander?
–Some comedian, doing a bit on youth basketball. I guess it’s cute, or whatever. Levels of Not Care… rising. All of this is just taking time away from time that could be more fruitfully spent looking at Justin Verlander.
–BENEFUL HEALTHY FIESTA. Feed yer dog avocado!
–Some actor from some other show that I don’t watch. Someone else who is not Justin Verlander. HA HA IT’S FUNNY BECAUSE HE HAS A SOUTHERN ACCENT AND DOESN’T KNOW WHAT ‘VINDICATED’ MEANS, HA HA, HUMOROUS. JOKES. JOKES. Something something something southern accent something something. Jokes!!
–Oh now we get an ad for the Bachelorette for southern people. This is why I don’t watch these channels. Why is this a thing? Why is everything southern tonight?
–JUSTIN VERLANDER MVP MVP MVP MVP oh about time, thanks Conan.
–He is wearing a dark charcoal (?) suit* with subtle pinstripes, white shirt with pinstripes of some inoffensive color, bright brown shoes, looks like the lining of his jacket is also bright brown. Pocket square, no tie. There is a brown stick of fabric on his lapel that drives me completely crazy until someone on the Twitters says that it’s a thing that some menswear labels do, I guess just to drive me crazy.
–He keeps rubbing the fingers of his left hand together. Is this a nervous habit? I’m trying to remember if I’ve seen him do it before and I can’t, but that doesn’t mean anything. Oh man DON’T BE NERVOUS JUSTIN, YOU’VE THROWN NO-HITTERS.
–Justin Verlander eats Taco Bell before every start. He gets three crunchy supreme tacos, no tomato. He gets a cheesy gordita crunch. He gets a Mexican pizza, no tomato. I too dislike tomato, so I can only conclude that Justin Verlander and I are soulmates.
–Now they discuss THE HOT FOOT. Justin credits Bert Blyleven for the inspiration, both in general and specifically because they were in Minnesota at the time. He details some of the logistics of the Don Kelly hot foot, which was not like the hot feet of the past, executed with a simple match. No, this hot foot was modern and made use of modern medical science.
Justin took some athletic tape, and doused it in tape remover, which is apparently very flammable. He then chewing-gummed it to Kelly’s cleat, and set it aflame. He admits to being concerned that he would ‘blow up the dugout’ if it had not been brought under control quickly, but when asked if he’ll keep doing this sort of thing, he answered in the hearty affirmative without hesitation.
–Talkin’ ’bout that video game or whatever. The early version, after his ’06 season, did not have him throwing hard enough, and Justin was upset about that. He is of course on the cover of the newest version, and approves because, “It’s me, I look great.” (We all agree, Justin. We all agree.)
–His shoes are the EXACT same shade of brown as the Conan desk.
—-Oh wow, do you think he feeds his dog that Beneful Fiesta stuff? It seems to be the Taco Bell of dog food, so…
–There are some other things, like a tragically unfunny comedian talking about how black people sure do name their kids some weird things, huh? and some more weird commercials, like (what I think is) Kelly Clarkson and Chris Berman singing in a car together, oh Paws what is this, why am I watching this? But, aside from a goodbye wave at the very end, that’s it for Justin Verlander.
–Nooo Justin Verlander, don’t go away, come back and talk to us about baseball things!
–You know, at least I feel like I learned things from the Martha Stewart ep.
*edit: There was enough outcry about this suit to prompt a response from Justin. He took to Twitter to reassure us all that it was in fact a navy blue suit with brown accents.
HOWEVER. I will say this. Even when I thought the suit might be dark gray (and I noted that I was uncertain about this at the time, because it was difficult to tell on the TV), I was ok with it and those brown shoes. I know people hear black and brown and think they must scream in horror, but when the brown is that bright, I think it’s fine. It’s the dark, desaturated browns that you want to avoid with black.