Don’t worry, readers – I promise not to inflict on you my reviews of Beth Orton, Norah Jones, and Of Monsters And Men. But it’s time for a weekend break to talk about a couple of the good guys of sports.
Last year Brandon Inge got sent down to the minor leagues by the Detroit Tigers. This has to be tough for a veteran, even a marginal one. But Inge didn’t complain, and he worked his way back to the major league roster and was a contributor in the Tigers’ postseason.
In April, Inge stank. The classy fans of Detroit booed mercilessly – all the while coddling jerks like Delmon Young. The Tigers released Inge. As he left, he said only the most gracious things about the city in which he’d carved his career.
The bottom-feeding Oakland Athletes (hometown team of my fan family) picked up Inge. He hit a grand slam. A couple of nights later, he hit another grand slam.
Last night – against the Tigers! – Inge hit a three-run homer and had another run batted in.
Associated Press: “Inge became the first player with four games with four or more RBIs in a five-game stretch since Lou Gehrig in 1931, according to information provided by the A’s from the Elias Sports Bureau.”
Andy Warhol just sat up in his grave and applauded.
Also last night, John Axford, the closer for the Milwaukee Brewers, imploded in the ninth inning – blowing his first save in 50 regular season chances dating back to last year.
The Brewers went on to beat the Chicago Cubs in 13 innings. When reporters went to Axford’ s locker for comment after the game, they found this note (text below; facsimile of the note is at http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/19020688/john-axford-loses-consecutive-save-streak-leaves-note-for-media):
I PUT MY WIFE INTO CONTRACTIONS WITH MY PERFORANCE TONIGHT! SO I HAD TO RUN TO THE HOSPITAL. THE STREAK IS OVER SO NOW YOU CAN TALK ABOUT IT. THE LUCK I’VE HAD IN THE PAST DIDN’T SHOW UP TONIGHT! ALL I CAN DO IS BEGIN ANOTHER STREAK AND KEEP MY HEAD UP! CLICHÉ … CLICHÉ … ANOTHER CLICHÉ. GOTTA GO!
I know, I know … Brandon Inge and John Axford may just be savvy guys who realize they aren’t superstars and are trying to set up their post-career broadcasting gigs.
Maybe. But I prefer to believe that they are good people who understand what sports are all about. They get it. And I’ll be in their fan clubs forevermore.