Going Batty In Our “Old” Age

August 5

“I don’t need a bat,” said the Emperor Who Had No Bat.

I said it after the Giants scored 10 runs, I said it after they scored one run, and I’ll say it again now: the Giants DO need another bat. As I mentioned in the previous blog, they ARE likely searching for one right now. Jose Guillen might be in their sights since the Royals just designated him for assignment.

That’s not exactly the bat I was talking about, but it’s a bat.

Guillen is in a 3-for-41 slump and has a reputation of being a hemorrhoid, but a change of scenery and facing National League pitching might be just what he needs to get hot for a few weeks. That might be all the Giants need to nail down a playoff spot, and they probably wouldn’t have to give up a starting player to get him. Especially if he’s released.

Guillen’s 16 home runs would be second on the team, and he has a tremendous arm that would make him suitable for right field at
A-T-and-T Park. That can’t be dismissed. Stay tuned …


As Tim Lincecum walked up to the plate Thursday night in Atlanta, the organist played “Puff The Magic Dragon.” Cute. At least it’s more subtle than “I Smoke Two Joints” by Bob Marley. Actually, that would be inaccurate since he had a pipe in the car.


In related news, a man identifying himself as “Puff the Magic Dragon” was arrested in Florida after deputies said he was yelling profanities and acting in a belligerent manner. Puff’s real name is Kristopher Ray Johnson, according to Honah Lee County Sheriff’s Spokesman Jackie Paper.


Lincecum gave up two home runs in the same game for the first time in 67 starts. Obviously needs a haircut. Comcast actually had a poll to that affect after the game. I say, go the Crystal Gayle route. That would absolutely freak out hitters.


I mentioned on KNBR’s post-game Diamond Notes Wednesday that Denny Bautista didn’t do himself any favors with his poor performance in a blowout game at Coors Field. Sure enough he’s been designated for assignment and Todd Wellemeyer has been activated from the DL. Bautista wouldn’t win a stuffed Panda at the County Fair, and I wouldn’t want to be the hitter that has to dig in against him.


The lameness that is Hawk Harrelson’s play-by-play for the White Sox was on full display this afternoon on KNBR as Ted Robinson filled in for Fitz and Brooks. Ted, one of the classiest announcers around, couldn’t help but notice the “perverse pleasure” I took in playing Harrelson highlights. Harrelson is so lame you almost have to love him.

Unrestrained joy when the Sox score. Almost dead silence when the opponent hits a home run, as though it must not be mentioned. “Stretch,” “mercy,” and of course “you can put it on the board yyyyyyeeeessss ! Hell yes ! ”

Would that play in the Bay Area? Methinks not. But is it any worse than John Sterling, announcing for the gold standard of baseball in the nation’s most sophisticated city ? “He’s positively, mmm, Swish-a-licious.” Does a grown man really talk like that ?

For good money, yes.


I have to hand it to ESPN’s Gene Wojchiechowski: he actually admitted having the nerve to ask 83-year-old Penn State football coach Joe Paterno about a “bucket list.” Ouch.

This is the age of Ageism, in just about every walk of life. It’s ironic because many of the people using the age card now, are destined to have the tables turned on them in a few years as the population gets older. It’s sad, really.

It’s hard to gauge Paterno’s level of involvement at this point, but three Top 10 finishes and four bowl wins in the past five years is better than most coaches half his age. Those are the numbers people should talk about. Paterno might not be aware of this, but it was the late great Aaliyah who sang “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.” I don’t think she was singing about Paterno, but …

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald says Paterno “is college football. I can’t think of it without him.” Fitzgerald is right and wrong. It WOULD be hard to imagine college football without Paterno, but he is everything college football is NOT these days — and that’s not a good reflection on college football.


For the record, I oppose Ageism on both ends of the spectrum. Theo Epstein proved he wasn’t too young to be Red Sox GM and in some respects is a trend-setter. Jed York was 27 when he took over the helm of the 49ers, and has had few stumbles so far. Jon Gruden was the youngest coach in the NFL when he turned around the Raiders.

Another birthday recently passed for me. Thank God I’m still in KNBR’s core demographic. For a while longer. Does it matter?

I’d be willing to wager right now that I could finish the conditioning drill that gave Mount Cody and Albert Haynesworth such trouble. I might set up the cones myself the next time I’m on location at 49ers camp. Bring em’ on !

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