Saturday, July 17, 2010

My 10 favorite Lou Brown lines
As a tribute to actor James Gammon, who died Saturday at 70. He is best known to everyone I know as Lou Brown in Major League.

I always assumed the Lou Brown character was based on Dick Williams, the Hall of Fame manager of many, many teams. Either way, Gammon breathed incredible realism into a character that was about sixth in the film's importance. These lines are from the edited for TV version. I recognize the unedited version is funnier and cooler, but I try not to swear on this blog.

1. "I don't know ... let me think it over, will ya Charlie? I got a guy on the other line about some whitewalls. I'll talk to you later."

2. "Forget about the curveball Ricky... give him a heater."

3. "Nice velocity."

4. "No, let's see how he reacts... interesting."

5. "Startin' to come together Pepper; startin' to come together."

6. "This guy hits a ton, how come nobody else picked up on him? Oh.

7. "Nice catch Hayes. Don't ever do it again."

8. "I know he hasn't done very well against this guy but I got a hunch he's due."

9. "My kind of team Charlie; it's my kind of team."

10. "Well you may run like Mays, but you hit like his sister."

Rest in peace.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Dan Gilbert, THE LETTER, and Jesse Jackson
If I was working for the Cavaliers, I'd have went to owner Dan Gilbert and pleaded with him to sleep on it before sending out his open letter for Cavaliers fans.

Forget that he was going to be roasted in the national media. Forget that he was trying to answer one wrong with another.

My biggest concern would be his promise to win championships, and do it before LeBron James won one in Miami.

Satisfying as those words seemed at the time, it's a promise he simply can't, and won't keep.

I'm sure people within in the Cavaliers organization begged Gilbert not to make the letter public, or at least go for another re-write.

But at the end of the night, Gilbert is the boss. I imagine he experienced not a moment of hesitation before hitting the send button.

As ill-advised as the letter was, Gilbert was saved by Jesse Jackson, though that wasn't the latter's intention.

Jackson, who has surrendered his credibility so many times it's amazing he still gets press, actually said that Gilbert's letter was racially motivated (it wasn't), and that the Cavaliers' owner viewed LeBron as a "runaway slave."

This is an insult to James, and to those who actually were slaves, and to anyone with a degree of intelligence.

Had it been Steve Nash pulling the same act, I guarantee Gilbert would have sent the same letter. Gilbert felt betrayed, humiliated and stunned, and was responding with the letter. Most Cavs fans I talked to loved it. It wasn't a great idea long term, but it certainly showed fans that an owner was as passionate about winning as they were. It's a feeling we rarely experience in Cleveland.

As for Jackson, well, he got what he wanted. People like me are writing about him. That's the real problem.

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Hitchens has cancer
There are some people who I don't agree with, but I love their writing. Roger Ebert, on the occasion that he drifts into political discussion, falls into this category.

I first started reading Christopher Hitchens in 2004. I have read three of his books, countless articles, and tried to watch everytime he's on TV.

A heavy smoker for years, Hitch has been diagnosed with throat cancer. Usually in intances like this, I send thoughts and prayers. In Hitchens' case, I send only my thoughts, as I imagine the world's most famous "anti-thiest" would probably debate, if not protest, calls to God.

I had hoped to interview Hitchens someday, though I imagine that interview would come off poorly. I'm simply not in the league of Hitchens on issues, and I believe he'd let me know it.

But I hope Hitchens beats this, for him and for selfish reasons. I hate the idea of this remarkably clear voice ever being silenced or not producing.

For his family and loved ones, and of course for the man himself, I wish a speedy recovery.