August 10, 2011
Dave Palmer, 1989 Score
Here is Dave Palmer, not to be confused with—as people often do, even after viewing his baseball card; weird, I know—the famous American keyboardist, or the famous American science fiction author, or the famous American and Emmy-nominated director of Blue Clues, was a baseball player. Way to have a common, American name, Dave Palmer! Ha, ha! Boom, roasted.
David, who throws an excellent curve and cut fastball, was a reliable starter for the Phillies in 1988.
What made Dave Palmer so reliable was not his 4.47 ERA, or the fact that you never really knew what you were going to get from him each time he toed the rubber, or his two disabled list stints that year. No. What made Dave Palmer so darn reliable was an inaccurate use, in this particular instance, of the word reliable.
But another thing that made Dave Palmer reliable was his innate ability to be relied on during the clutch. Take, for instance … oh, I don’t know—an early August game against the Cardinals where the Phillies are clutchly playing for the pride of not being like, the worst baseball team. If you’re the Phillies, who are you going to ask to pitch that day, with the weight of the city, and a nation, on your shoulders? Bruce Ruffin? Don Carman? Pfftt. Please.
In one early August game, he even briefly lifted them out of the cellar with a one-hit, 2-0 victory over the Cardinals.
Screamed Dave Palmer during an emotional pre-game locker room speech: Get on my back today, men! For today, this early August afternoon, or evening, or whatever, I am going to carry us out of the cellar! For we will NOT, not on MY watch, be a last place team today! I mean sure, maybe tomorrow we’ll be in last place. Who’s pitching tomorrow? Rawley? So yeah—probably tomorrow. But not today! Hitters! (points at hitters; Von Hayes is completely naked, eating a burrito) Give me one run today! One. That’s all I need! I mean, two runs would be ideal, just in case, ya’ know. But that’s it! Now let’s get out there, and be the fifth place team that I know we can be for at least a little while! Follow me! (Dave Palmer runs out of locker room and onto the field screaming; rest of team remains in locker room; a single tear runs down Von Hayes’ cheek; he finishes his burrito and gets dressed; they win the game; they finish the season in last place, 35 ½ games out of first.)
David was on the disabled list two times in ’88, giving him an unenviable record of being on the DL nine times in eight seasons.
Only 13-percent of reliability is “being there.” The other 87-percent is some combination of “cut fastball?” and “beard.” Therefore, it can be said: Reliability, thou name art Dave Palmer. And that goes for the other Dave Palmers, too. Blues Clues is pretty freakin’ reliable, and the keyboardist is, traditionally, the most reliable member of any rock band.