January 26, 2011

The Honorable Viola Presiding

Frank Viola, 1989 Fleer All Star Team

I am trying to determine whether or not the inset on the front of the card is supposed to be a gold medal with a red, white, and blue ribbon, but instead of a gold medal it’s a picture of Frank Viola. I think that is what this is supposed to be, and I like it. It's classy. I also think that during the Cy Young Awards ceremony—which does not exist, but should—in 1988, Frank Viola should have stood on the top pedestal wearing this medal with his headshot on it while the National Anthem played and his curly fro-mullet blew dramatically in the breeze (the ceremony is outdoors).

Anyway, raise your hand if you would like to learn more about Frank Viola’s 1987 and 1988 seasons in short, succinct sentences. Really? Everybody? Alright, let’s go!

1987 was Frank Viola’s dream season. 1988 was his best season.

Do we know for sure that 1987 was Frank Viola’s dream season, or are we making the assumption that winning a WS title was Viola’s dream? And even if Viola asserted as much publicly, maybe in his heart he was like, “Winning a title was cool, but my dream has been to dominate mo fos! I’m livin’ the dream in ’88!”

Although Viola did not experience the post season glory that highlighted 1987, he enjoyed a regular season in that it was the envy of every other starting pitcher in the American League.

Another assumption. For what it’s worth, Roger Clemens posted a comparable WAR that season (6.7 to Viola’s 7), ERA (2.93 to 2.64), had a hundred more strikeouts, double the amount of complete games, more innings-pitched, six more shutouts, and gave up fewer home runs. He finished sixth in the Cy Young vote, by the way. Sixth. Behind Bruce Hurst. Also, Roger Clemens envies no one, especially a dude with a curly fro-mullet named after an instrument who lives in Minnesota. Just saying.

By the All-Star break, Viola had already amassed 14 wins. He was named the American League’s starting pitcher in the All-Star game. That was a high honor.

Really? Being a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is a high honor? Who knew? I thought anybody could do that. To be sure, I looked it up, and it is indeed a high honor, one of the highest in fact:

Top Six Highest of Worldwide Honors in Descending Order

(Note: there are only six anyway)

6) Receiving an honorary degree from a university because you became famous for reasons that have nothing to do with your education at that university or any other
5) Your name on the Hollywood or any local “Walk of Fame”
4) Being a starting pitcher for either side, but preferably the American League, in MLB’s All-Star Game
3) Boy or Girl Scout “Badge of Heroism in the Face of Bears”
2) Purple Heart
1) Being knighted because you are a musician

I’d like to learn more about Frank Viola, but who has the time? So, in an effort to streamline things, I have collected only the best, most-informative, and succinct sentences from this tidbit and combined to form one, better tidbit. You can thank me later.

1987 was Frank Viola’s dream season. 1988 was his best season. In 1988 Frank Viola was the best pitcher in the American League. That was a high honor. Viola is especially effective at the Metrodome.

As a result of this edited tidbit, I was recently awarded the gold medal of succinctness by the National Committee of Blog Writers during their annual ceremony in Lisbon, OH. It was a medium honor.


Fuji said...

Congratulations on being honored with the gold medal... you deserve it for your in depth breakdown of Frankie V. I love these insert sets of the 80's... especially this one... I built it way back in the day. One of these days I'll feature this set on my blog.

Anonymous said...

The sentence "Viola will always be remembered for his glorious 1987 post season" makes me wonder just wtf I forgot about his 1987 post season and why I forgot it. It must have been amazing, like throwing a 180-inning perfect game while distributing puppies he saved from a puppy mill earlier that day.
Maybe my dream summer of 1994, when I hit the pipe a little too hard, is why I forget. That summer was the envy of every other pre-college stoner in New England.