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The Oddball Insider E-Zine

February, 2007 - Vol. 8, No. 2  Issue #130

  • Knuckleballs by Dave Clark

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    KNUCKLEBALLS, By Dave Clark - Knuckleball HQ

    Behind Baseball's Bigfoot

    I'm not only not stupid, I'm lazy. So when the chance arrives for a more entertaining writer than I to ghost-write my column-at least in part-I let them have at it.

    Start with this link.

    Here's the fun background behind this piece:

    Patrick Hruby has a dream job. Although I don't believe he hands back his paycheck with a, "really, I get enough reward," you have to believe that if you have any kind of writing talent at all and your handed a desk full of fun at ESPN HQ, you don't turn it down for a career involving French fries. As a geezer who, due to age, is not allowed the chance to show they can hurl major-league pitching, I'm jealous of anyone unhindered by age, column-inches or word count. Hey, I know source code, dhtml, and javascript, but no matter; I'm considered too old for the majors.

    So Mr. Hruby takes the mound, and he throws an impressive column at us. This is the best fun read I recall in some time. My handy old-age excuse, Alzheimer's, doesn't allow me to recall the last one. Let's see... okay, there's Steve Rushin of SI, but he's hanging up the keyboard. Rick Reilly? Well, the other problem is here, too. Column-inches. He fills it well, but there's a new catch-phrase making the rounds of the print publishers-gone-multimedia: You don't put the really cool stuff in the rag anymore.

    By his admission, this could have been better. Patrick said the staff went Britney Spears over this idea and composed a rudimentary simulated desktop with the email give-and-take as printouts, a lot of Easter eggs, and a gyroball screensaver.

    One thing still pervades the media, one I'm all-too-familiar with: deadline. Most people aren't dead when they cross it, but cool stuff like this unfortunately goes Anna Nicole if not hale and hearty at press (or upload) time. But at least we got a fun investigative piece.

    As to whether Dice has one of these, he's providing the best answer by waffling. I believe that Pedro gave away a few ERA points the moment he was voted to have the best slider by m.l. managers, and he replied, "Thanks, but I don't have one." Since batters no longer go looking for what they may have been, just often enough to make a difference here and there, some surprise and confusion is gone. This, in the hands of professional hitters can't be helpful to the win-loss record.

    So does Dice have one, I mean, really? Keep looking. We may someday see a film of "The Pitch That Ate Yankee Stadium".

    That story won't be in a magazine.

    The contents of the respective articles represent the opinions of the individual writers and not necessarily those of the editor/owner of The Oddball Mall Sports Cards.

    © Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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