April 27, 2011

The Heckler's Wife's Comeuppance: On Poor Records & Broken Schnozzolas

Doug Brocail, 1994 Fleer

I don’t know, man. It doesn’t look like Doug Brocail gets a lot of force behind those pitches. Maybe this card is misleading, but this pitch looks like it’s coming in for a smooth landing in the left field bleachers. Am I wrong?

Doug was thrown into the fire in 1993, his first Major League season.

According to the back of this card, Doug Brocail spent the better part of eight—eight—seasons in the minors before being called up for good in ’93, so he was thrown into the fire in the sense that he was brought along slowly and steadily until the organization felt he was adequately ready to compete at the Major League level. Firefighter!

I got sidetracked. Allow me to repeat my original question. Ahem … Am I wrong?

Gopher balls were his Achilles heel,

Despising children was the pediatrician’s Achilles heel.

Having no Achilles tendon was the runner’s Achilles heel.

Not having Internet access was the blogger's Achilles heel.

although he deserved better than a 4-13 mark.

In 1993, Doug Brocail gave up 16 home runs in 128.1 innings pitched, with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He deserved better than a 4-13 record because … he was a nice person? Screw it—let’s give him the Cy Young. I mean—and we’ve been over this ad nauseam—win-loss records for pitchers might be the worst statistic to understand how that pitcher pitched, so, I guess, it might as well be arbitrary. In the interest of fairness, it would have been nice to see some MLB record-keeper come across Brocail’s 4-13 record, yell in frustration, “He doesn’t deserve this!’ and furiously scribble in its place, “7-10.”

What else, Wikipedia?

On September 13, 2004, Brocail was involved in an ugly incident at the McAfee Coliseum, when his Texas Rangers were playing the Oakland Athletics. His rookie teammate Frank Francisco, angry at fan Craig Bueno for heckling Brocail about his stillborn child, hoisted a folded chair into the stands, striking Bueno's wife and breaking her nose.

I remember this, but I either never knew the details, or somehow forgot. Now, I’m not saying that tossing a folding chair is any way for a person to react who is not immersed in a professional wrestling match, but, I mean … I don’t know, ya’ know? And, like Brocail’s 4-13 1993 record, Mrs. Bueno did not deserve to get smashed in the nose with a folding chair. Although, I kinda sorta think that a person deserves some minor physical trauma for voluntarily attending games with—much less marrying—a person who heckles players about such things. I mean, if you are, or are married to, any sort of sports heckler, you deserve to get hit with something once in a while, is all I'm saying. This is just something I believe in, and will be part of my platform when I run for office in 2012.

Yes, I’m throwing my hat into the fire, as the saying goes. My running mate is Frank Francisco. Challenge us. I dare you.


Hadders93 said...

Would you recommend watching baseball? I'm from the UK so have never really got into it, but there's a first time for everything I guess...

mkenny59 said...

Around these here parts, where we write about baseball and talk about baseball and have baseball cards and watch baseball, it is implied that -- yes, we highly recommend watching baseball. It is good for the soul.

Bill said...

Fun fact: In the movie Unforgiven, when Clint Eastwood said to Gene Hackman, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it" before shooting him (spoiler alert!), he actually ad-libbed that line, inspired by Brocail's unjust win-loss record in 1993.

Also, regarding the Francisco chair-throwing incident, I vaguely recall Mrs. Bueno looking like actor John Goodman.