February 15, 2012

The Multi-Tasking Shortstop

Alan Trammell, 1989 Fleer All Star Team

Hello, Alan Trammell, and congratulations on making the ’89FLEERALLSTARTEAM! I’m sure this has significantly lessened the blow of being omitted from ‘89’s AL All-Star team, which is like, whatever. Please enjoy this 3-karat cartoon gold-outlined medallion featuring your face. Wear it with pride wherever you go, except out in public.

Over the past eleven seasons, Detroit’s Alan Trammell has quietly emerged as one of the best all-around players in baseball.

Quietly emerging as something over an 11-year span seems like the most exciting thing I can possibly imagine. I hate when things emerge rapidly and loudly, like fireworks and Dwight Gooden.

Many teams are satisfied with shortstops who simply provide good defense.

: Ronald, hear me out. Got a guy down in Tucson. Shortstop. Great defense. Also, raking it. Want me to put out some feelers?

G.M.: First of all, Dave, “put out some feelers?” Please don’t say that. You look like a guy who wants to put out feelers, you dirtbag. Secondly, you sure he's a shortstop? Shortstops can't hit.

Scout: Yes, I am quite certain of his whereabouts on the baseball field.

G.M.: Thirdly, no. I mean, we got what’s-his-face now playing great defense based on our rudimentary defensive statistics like “scrappiness.” Guy’s scrappiness ratio thingee is off the charts.

Scout: Okay, yeah, but Ronald—what I’m trying to say is that this guy plays great defense and hits really well. I’m not sure how scrappy he is, but he hit five run home runs yesterday.

: That is the opposite of scrappy. Listen, Dave—it’s the 80s. The game is changing. Gone are the days of 4-foot tall Italian immigrants playing shortstop and batting eighth and hitting like .213. Nowadays it’s all about 5-foot-11, third-generation Italians playing shortstop and hitting like .247 and maybe hitting a home run every now and then. We have that. If it ain’t broken …

Scout: We were 71-91 last year. How is that not broken?

G.M.: Sorry, satisfied. Why don’t you go talk to another team. What about the Bears?

Scout: That’s a football team.

G.M.: Tigers?

The Tigers are fortunate.

Scout: The Tigers already have Trammell.

G.M.: Oh yeah. They’re pretty fortunate.

Scout: How do you compromise being satisfied with not having a thing while simultaneously acknowledging another team’s good fortune at having that same thing?

G.M.: Tie caught in pencil sharpener

What say you, Wikipedia?

Trammell and Whitaker also made a cameo appearance on the television show Magnum, P.I. starring Tom Selleck during the 1983 season.

They sure did.

Wait a minute! There’s no seats between first and third …

How does a private investigator say something like that out loud? I'm beginning to think Magnum P.I. and Alan Trammell weren't even real.

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