Tag Archives: detroit tigers

The Vernacular of Sports

In advance, I would like to apologize for the amount of profanity that you’re about to encounter. It was unavoidable.

When watching baseball, especially when watching a Red Sox game, it becomes clear that a certain language is adopted that one might otherwise not use in a social situation. Certain words become commonplace and are sprinkled throughout a conversation with an exuberance that is not seen outside of conversations with sailors or surly gentleman in more unrefined watering holes.

For instance, today the Red Sox opened their season with a friendly game played against the Detroit Tigers. Over the course of the game, it developed that it was turning into a pitcher’s duel; with Verlander and Lester exchanging volleys with a free-spirited competitiveness that defines baseball.

But as the Red Sox fell behind by first one and then two runs, my fellows and I exchanged a boisterous interchange of wordsmithing:

“Dude! What the fuck! Dude!”

“Goddamn it! God….damn….it.”

Whereupon, the Red Sox then attempted to put away the persistent Tigers with two runs of their own in the top of the ninth. Whereupon, when the Tigers went to bat at the bottom of the ninth, our tensions were, perhaps, higher than they were in previous innings.

“Aceves, you son of a bitch, don’t you fuck this up.”

HE HIT HIM WITH THE FUCKING BALL AND LOADED THE FUCKING BASES! ACEVES! YOU…”

At which point, the air hummed with the most adversarial, adjective-laden, incandescent, invective that we could find at our disposal.

Such is the passion that baseball inspires in its fans; truly a sport for young gentleman and an indicator of our National Character.

Burn in Hell, Aceves.

Dylan Charles

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The Hellion

There are players where it’s almost impossible to see them as anything but legendary: Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig. Even in their flaws, they’re almost more than human; Babe Ruth’s love of excess and Ted Williams’ temper.

There is one player who goes beyond legend though, in every way. Ty Cobb set almost 120 records, plenty of which are still unbroken almost a century later. He was the best at bat. He was the best on base. He was the best in the field. He was ferocious, relentless, fearless, untiring, unwavering and almost unbeatable for the 20 some odd years he played baseball. Even in his twilight years, he was one of the top players.

He was also the most vicious, vile men to play the game. He never stopped fighting the umpires, the other players, the owners, the fans. He beat one fan brutally, despite the fact that the man had no hands. He took on three muggers single-handedly and beat one to death with his pistol. He hated African-Americans. He railed against integration. He beat one black groundskeeper and then, when the man’s wife intervened, he beat her too.

There is no way to measure the amount of contempt and admiration he managed to garner during and after his career. He spiked other players and spiked the umpires. He stole home 35 times, a record that hasn’t even been approached.  He was sneaky and underhanded. He was a master tactician. He would play so hard that he would bleed and then he would play some more.

He was, with no exaggeration or hyperbole, the greatest baseball player to ever play in the major leagues. He was also, once again with no exaggeration or hyperbole, one the worst human beings to ever play the game.

It is my belief that an angel was ejected from Heaven and sent to Hell, but, on the way down, he decided to play some ball.

Dylan Charles

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