Far be it from me to figure, but I've gotten about a dozen page hits over that tiny paragraph yesterday concerning Tampa Rays' pitcher Matt Garza's penchant for spitting. It turns out that the Internet is nuts about it, and who am I to let them down?
From Beyond the Boxscore:
Having seen nearly each of his starts I can’t really tell you what’s more fun to watch, Garza’s stuff – absolute top level movement on his fastball and curve – or the amount of times he spits during a game. I know, I know, but some pitchers go to the rosin bag in between pitches, and some to their hat, and even some more to the brow, but Garza’s in between pitch ritual is spitting. I don’t think anyone has called him a camel or the Loogie quite yet, but it’s coming.
From the Boston Herald:
Garza set a new record for spitting (game 3).
Tampa ground crew had to keep pumps and speedy-dri on hand with Youkilis sweating and Garza’s spitting.
From The Ejected Fan:
Matt Garza has my vote for ugliest creature to ever pitch a gem in an ALCS playoff game.
From Keith Burgess-Jackson:
Matt Garza pitched well for the Rays, but I had to turn my head whenever the camera focused on him. He did nothing but spit all evening. Spit, spit, spit. It was disgusting.
So, you get the point. There's a spitting issue. If you watch game 3 on Saturday you'll see what I'm talking about.
The crush of media and product placement is in full swing around here. The Inquirer and Daily News are actually selling "good luck" ads to readers for $11. For a mere eleven bucks you can run a classified ad wishing the Phillies "good luck" (whatever that is) in their series against the Rays.
I'd like to have a nice sit-down with the chowderheads who fork over 11 bucks for an ad that (a) the team will never read and (b) is meaningless in the grand scheme. Honestly, the junk people can find to waste their money on is amazing to me. I would say, "shame on the newspapers for dreaming this up," but I'm more likely to want to clunk some readers' heads together like Moe. Get a grip, folks.
Of course, I'm now hearing the opening eraser phrase "I don't want to jinx them, but ..." whenever someone starts talking about the team or the series. First of all, I don't have enough space here to elaborate on the nonsense that is the jinx and second of all, if you have that much influence over things, maybe you should be concentrating on something besides a baseball game.
Otherwise rational, intelligent people in the year 2008 are talking about jinxing a baseball team. Lucky hats, lucky shirts ... all I can do is shake my head in wonderment.