Sunday, February 22, 2009

Midnight Madness - Steve Garvey Edition

You're outta there! Steve Garvey has seen his perfect image tarnished a bit over the years but I still see him through kids eyes.

Steve Garvey, first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 70's and first part of the 80's, was a childhood hero of mine. He seemed like a cleancut, straightforward guy with Popeye forearms that could hit home runs for my favorite baseball team. Garvey consistently made the All Star team and was part of the team's World Series franchise of that era. I used to model my batting stance after him right down to the occasional hitch at the start of the swing.

One of the great things about the 70's is that personal information was not quite as pervasive. So despite the fact that he ticked off 3rd baseman Ron Cey to the point he got a black eye I didn't know how many people thought Garvey was a jerk. He slept around on his wife and fathered illegitimate children. And yet my childhood programming kicks in and I still think of the guy as a hero. While I obviously like the internet, there is something to be said for life before the information age. A kid could live in blissful ignorance of reality.

And the Award Goes To... - Not Batman (except Heath Ledger of course). The Academy Awards is tonight, this year seems like a mostly uninspiring batch of films that are probably good but don't get my mojo going. Except The Wrestler, I would like to see that movie. One award that's going to be interesting is The Best Song category. Between Gabriel's boycott on performing his nominated song, M.I.A.'s recent delivery of a new baby and Springsteen's snub this has become the most contentious category this year. The only other drama I can think of ahead of time is will Hugh Jackman shoot himself in the foot career wise by giving broad exposure to his song and dance experience? Wolverine might seem less intimidating if he's singing "Show Boat" or something while attacking.

Leonard Skinner - The box for the new Guitar Hero: Metallica video game misspelled the already misspelled band name Lynyrd Skynyrd. A little trivia, the band's moniker came from a gym teacher's name that they didn't care much for. Oh, and yes at least Metallica was spelled correctly.

Whoever smelt it, dealt it - Twice this week the recording industry saw their music leaked out online through internal channels. Both Kelly Clarkson and U2's new albums hit the net early. See, it's not always music fans fault that this stuff happens.

The Smack Down Tour - is my name for the proposed pair up of Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction coming this year.

Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em - The word is MC Hammer is going to have a reality show featuring him and his family in a Cosby Show sort of way. I'll say one thing for Hammer, he's persistent.

Are you sure your name is Fortune? - J.D. Fortune was the homeless singer who became discovered through the Rock Star tv show to become frontman for the Australian band INXS. Following an album and a few tours, Fortune finds himself homeless again after being unceremoniously fired at an airport. Seems he spent all his money recording a solo album.

Mr. Blue Sky - ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt passed away from a heart attack at age 63.

Epic - The internet is saying Faith No More is regrouping. Wonder if Jim Martin is back too?

American Idol Update - The show picked three people for their final twelve this week: A belting Alexis Grace, an increasingly controversial Danny Gokey (accusations of milking his wife's death are spreading like wildfire) and a mediocre yet popular Michael Sarver. I agreed with the first two but felt Sarver's performance this week wasn't up to snuff. My favorite performance of the week bit the dust quickly in the eliminations, that dark haired girl who performed "Natural Woman" Carole King style. But of course all eyes were on drama queen Tatiana Del Toro, who after weeks of abrasive self adulation arrived at the show this week as blank as a Pod person from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Until she lost, then she bawled so bad the 16 year old standing next to her seemed embarrassed.

Music for '09 - is starting to shape up, Melinda Doolittle's new disc has a good buzz to it. Green Day and the Dave Matthews Band have new sets of music lined up as well.

Hey Steve Garv-ey is that a new cologne you're wearin'? - Another bit of nostalgia, remember when a guy could say that to another guy in a commercial and it didn't sound like a come on? I remember seeing this Aqua cologne commercial growing up so I thought I would share. If a commercial like this was made today it would probably end with an exchange of steroids.

Steve Garvey Aqua Cologne commercial


Frontrow said...

How could you be in the Bay Area and root for the Dodgers? Garvey did seem like an upstanding guy, before those post career revelations became public. I was also shocked to learn those details. My Garvey moment - I remember going to Candlestick as probably a 10-11 year old and watching Garvey take batting practice at the visitors batting cage just off the parking lot. As I was craning to see between the chain link and green tarp on the fence, another kid asked him for his bat. He promised the kid. Later, before the game, I was standing by the dugout and someone else asked for his bat - if he broke one during BP. Garvey replied, Sorry, can't. Already promised it to someone. Whether he did give it to the first kid, I don't know, but he did give me his autograph.

Still, I can't root for the Dodgers and watching them beat up on the Giants in the 80s reinforced that even more. At least when Garvey went to San Diego for the last few years of his career, he was out of dodger blue.

Mr. Mike said...

Great Garvey story, that's awesome you got his autograph!

I forgot about the rivalry, it's been awhile. Used to get a lot flak when going to games in San Francisco against the Dodgers. Good times!

The Dodgers had a great bunch of characters and played in sunny So Cal (as opposed to watching the garbage tornados flying midair at the upper deck of Candlestick) which made me a fan. Ron "The Penguin" Cey, Steve "neck protector" Yeager, Tommy "Bionic Arm" Johns, Dusty "future Giants manager" Baker, Reggie "cannon arm" Smith, Steve "Pete Rose without the gambling" Sax, Mike "date a Go-Go" Marshall, the list goes on. And they were led by Tommy Lasorda. At their peak they were a fun, exciting team to watch.

By contrast,the Giants had one of my least favorite ballplayers: Johnnie LeMaster. I'm not knocking him as a person, just as a short stop. What kind of a team starts a guy who makes errors on top of errors in the field and hits below .200? A short stop that can't catch, hit or steal bases? As a kid when I would play strikeout with friends I would yell "Johnnie LeMaster" and let ground balls go by me (this was before Bill Buckner's famous incident). While there were some Giants players I liked (Roger Metzger was cool, even after he lost his fingers to that chainsaw), it wasn't enough to make me like them as a team.