Yakkin' About Baseball: Travis Fryman Sees A Darkness

The one true outcome, and also paunchy relievers, no-hitters, bad video games and so on.
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The Howie Mandel Bobblehead was, if we're being honest, not the coup the Brewers expected.

Image via Whotalking.com.

David Roth: So have you wept at any no-hitters recently? Like a befuddled old guy? And then tried to high-five your turtles?

David Raposa: They took away my turtles after my shenanigans at the Institute. But, yeah, I managed to catch the back half of No-Han, and pushed the requisite amount of water out of my eyes. Also, being the goober that I am, I spent the final two innings worrying less about the no-no and more about his arm.

David Roth: I'm not expecting the Mets to need Santana in the seventh game of the World Series this year, or even to win the World Series before Zac Efron's second term as President, so I was willing to roll the dice if Santana was.

David Raposa: Yeah, Santana's firmly on the back nine of his career, and completely aware of it, so pitching health isn't much of a concern. He will sacrifice himself upon the pyre of shredded ligaments to earn the undying love of a fan base and one weepy, hero-hungry manager.

David Roth: It sure seems worth it. This is not the same as deciding you can deal with a hangover because you're having too much fun to go home, but that's the closest I've come to it in my life and I've never regretted that. My equivalent of a gutty 134-pitch no-hitter is suggesting we do another hour of karaoke. Of course, I have never had to send any personal items to Cooperstown for enshrinement. Doesn't mean I haven't done it, but I was never asked.

David Raposa: Can I use the "playoff game atmosphere" cliché regarding this game? Because that's what it felt like to me. It was the kind of event where you spend the final few pitches pacing your living room floor, and giving your TV profane yet well-meaning pep talks.

David Roth: Yeah, I only saw the last few innings. But I haven't had occasion to be anxious watching a Mets game in a long time. I am out of practice.

David Raposa: It also helped that Johan worked his magic against the defending World Champions. How many turtles did you "high-five" when those first two outs of the ninth inning were hit?

David Roth: I pretty sincerely believed it would never happen, so I was actually kind of comatose. I watched the replay of the ninth inning the day after with my father, who didn't see the game but did read a dozen stories about it after, and he was still on some OH SHIT IT'S GOING TO FALL shit on every soft liner that got hit.

David Roth: I'm happy for Johan, though. I think he's cool and he has pitched in appallingly shitty luck. Like, even for Mets pitchers.

David Raposa: Given his Twins career, though, I think Santana's used to being let down. Check that 2007.

David Roth: I'm sure plenty of pitchers have led the league in WHIP and finished 15-13.

David Raposa: Visions of Jason Tyner and old Luis Castillo playing pepper with the opposing pitcher must've danced in his head all offeason. And speaking of pitchers making miraculous comebacks: Mark Prior is now pitching for Boston's AAA affiliate.

David Roth: Oh, good. The minor league section of his Baseball Reference page is fascinating. He has thrown like 11 2/3 innings over the last three seasons, for several different organizations. He throws one effective inning for a team in the International League, and then gets Whooping Gout or a fenestrated kidney or esophageal inversion or something and is powered down for the year.

David Raposa: In 50 years, I hope we learn that Mark Prior is actually an alien emissary sent from a far distant galaxy to protect our planet from the scourge of Battleship sequels and Crystal Pepsi. And now that we're talking about Boston, is it OK if I do a little told-you-so jig (or at least a hedging-my-bets Dougie), now that the Red Sox are two games over .500?

David Roth: Sure, why not. I feel like you've earned it.

David Raposa: They've overcome about 20 OFs on the DL, half their starting pitchers throwing the 1919 World Series, and, most importantly, the debilitating clubhouse presence of Kevin Youkilis. Today, fourth place; tomorrow, third place!

David Roth: I guess Will Middlebrooks is really good? I haven't seen him play, but I do support the idea of a star by that name.

David Raposa: For a guy on his first Box of Joe that doesn't walk all that much, sure. Until he starts flashing his groundout dick like beloved Yak mascot Shea Hillenbrand, I'll ride it out.

David Roth: If they're going to build a core around Middlebrooks and Saltalamacchia, I think the region's letter-merchants and custom jersey-makers who charge by the letter will be given quite a boost.

David Raposa: New Era is totally lobbying Benedict Cumberbatch's agent for a career change.

David Roth: It's about job creation, at the end of the day. Curt Schillng knows what I'm talking about.

David Raposa: I'm surprised Schilling hasn't hung himself with a fake bloody sock yet, given the way things have gone for him of late. Though I guess his willingness to abdicate any blame for his video game company going belly-up speaks volumes about his will to keep on.

David Roth: I heard good things about the one game they managed to put out.

David Raposa: Yeah, and Melky Cabrera had 51 hits last month. Shit happens. Schilling's willingness to go all in (either with his own money, or Rhode Island's) is admirable, but it looks like he went too hard way too fast.

David Roth: Him somehow blaming The Media and, like, Eric Holder for the fact that he burned through tens of millions of dollars is the most Schilling thing imaginable. The one thing, and it's not a small thing, is that you know Schilling wasn't embezzling any money to spend on haircuts or nice clothes. He dresses like he raided the non-monster wardrobe room for CHUD.

David Raposa: His lack of palatable fashion sense just speaks to his gamer bona fides. Though I guess keeping it real with Kotaku commenters and a couple tens of millions of dollars gets you a bankrupt video game company.

David Roth: I wish he'd worked harder on the aesthetic part of that. I would've loved it if he could've pitched with a long, lank ponytail, black jeans and a Frank Zappa t-shirt.

David Raposa: Those are the guys in the art department. Who might moonlight as bassists in your run-of-the-mill world-renowned noise duo.

David Roth: So, Jarrod Parker almost threw a no-hitter.

David Raposa: Ehh, no-hitters are so last week. Let's talk about the more amazing thing about that game: Oakland has 10 runs?

David Roth: Most amazing thing. In that or any game.

David Raposa: Between this and the Mariners dropping 20+ on them, the Rangers' claim on the Best Team In Baseball throne might be slipping. Clearly any helping of Scott Feldman is #TooMuchFeldman

David Raposa: At least the Rangers having the best record in the AL makes sense. The Dodgers, though, at 34-21? Despite missing Matt Kemp for three-plus weeks? A starting infield whose combined OPS would have trouble making a respectable SAT score? Chris Capuano pitching like prime-era Johan Santana? A.J. Ellis picking up the offensive slack?

David Roth: Also, Dee Gordon is Tom Gordon's kid? I should've known that, and might have had Tom Gordon not been, in my mind, still a thirtysomething-year-old Major Leaguer.

David Raposa: How much of your hair fell out once you learned of Dee's provenance?

David Roth: I am currently asking my doctor about a bunch of medications. I watched a commercial about a guy who pees too much and then gets medication for it so he won't keep ruining golf for his buddies, and it all felt way too real.

David Raposa: If you need a discount on clawfoot bathtubs, gimme a buzz. The only thing that wouldn't surprise me about The Los Angeles Dodgers of Anaheim is discovering Todd Coffey finishes off the post-game spread by the third inning every game.

David Roth: I am so happy someone's paying Coffey. And not just because I'm not relishing the inevitable Unfortunate Occurrence At Panda Express that will take him from the bigs forever. I fear that we will both live long enough to see Major League baseball without fat relievers. I don't want to live in that world.

David Raposa: I doubt that. Even when the robot umps hack into SkyNet to overthrow Bud Selig's disembodied head module, there will always be a Rich Garces III or Fat Jamie Moyer to take the hill and "gut" out a hold.

David Roth: There are a lot of things to like about baseball, but frankly busty beardos carving out multimillion-dollar decade-long careers gives hope to us all.

David Raposa: The hell with dads teaching their sons to throw lefty. Teach them to grow absurd facial hair and carbo-load. And maybe develop WWE-worthy behavioral/sartorial tics.

David Roth: That's why I'm going to name my firstborn Fetters. Look at this zaftig motherfucker.

David Raposa: Suddenly, the notion of nipples coquettishly poking through fabric has lost its allure.

David Roth: Got those Blake Lively curves, but not the way you wanted. That's some real Wishmaster shit. "You said you wanted to make out with a curvaceous specimen." /Corny evil genie cackling.

David Raposa: The accursed monkey paw saves its unkindest cuts for mop-up relievers.

David Roth: Can this possibly be a real photo? The head-to-body ratio just seems off.

David Raposa: There's a drop-and-drive pitcher if I've ever seen one. Meaning you drop the free weights and drive to Arby's.

David Roth: Are we going to have to get used to the Orioles and Dodgers being good? Because that would be a weird World Series. For Jay Gibbons, I mean. Also for me, and everyone else. But I imagine it'd be especially weird for him.

David Raposa: He'll have to wear one of those split-alliegances hats. Never a good look.

David Raposa: The White Sox, meanwhile! Funny what happens when previously cratered hitters bounce back and/or you give your opinionated jackass of a manager his walking papers.

David Roth: Again with the illogic. "We were the only team to realize that Orlando Hudson should be a starting Major League corner infielder. So you could say we're playing our own version of Moneyball. Hold up, I have to go extend Alex Rios."

David Raposa: The current starting third basemen for the top two A.L. Central teams: O-Dog and Jose Lopez.

David Roth: The Indians are my favorites. Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana (No Smoothio) are actually good.

David Raposa: Don't forget about Shin Soo Choo!

David Roth: But the rest of the team is basically Shane Spencer in various disguises. But somehow they win. Sometimes.

David Raposa: I want to believe, but having the pleasure of Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson walk the concessions stand on my fantasy squad every five days, I am a little less bullish.

David Roth: Yeah, Ubaldo is Oliver Perez Suck.0, somehow. When he was good, he threw the coolest and most unhittable pitches I've seen maybe ever. Now he is like Albie Lopez without the endearing Gummy Bear physique.

David Raposa: And this is when he was playing for the Colorado Death To Most Starting Pitchersers.

David Roth: He has not been good in Cleveland for even a minute.

David Raposa: Obviously, he's upset because Rick Dees isn't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

David Roth: He and Lonnie Chisenhall are planning an act of massive resistance. Lou Marson breaks out an "Another World Is Possible" banner while a balaclava-clad Shelly Duncan forces the PA guy to play “Disco Duck.”

David Raposa: And Chris Perez, because he's a dick, is playing Gotye on the clubhouse boombox 24-7.

David Roth: I am of two minds on Chris Perez. I kind of understand where he's coming from, and dude did back his talk up. Closed a game while everyone booed him and yelled "It's really expensive to go to baseball games and our whole city looks like an exterior shot from Death Wish III." But also maybe if you're not paying to go to games yourself you should shut up about people not paying to go to games.

David Raposa: Yeah, the team's winning, but there's not much going on, if that makes any sense. It's one thing if these guys fielded a lineup like they did during their Jacobs Field heyday. But when your line-up is two-thirds AAAA lifers and the ghost of Grady Sizemore, there's not much reason to go through the turnstile.

David Roth: I was looking at some of those teams the other day. The 1998 team is so great. And not just because there was so much Burba in the monitors.

David Raposa: Omar Vizquel: Offensive Contributor! Richie Sexson and Russell Branyan on the same roster (briefly)!

David Roth: They had a folk duo at the time called Two True Outcomes.

David Raposa: Jesus, they had Cecil Fielder, too! They were trying to corner the market on every flavor of windmill. See also: Shawon Dunston. And, of course, Jeff Manto "The Freshmaker." (I was Chris Berman in a previous Blues-Traveler-afflicted life.)

David Roth: I wish my name was Travis Fryman. I would've accomplished so much in life. Won a bunch of bass-fishing tournaments, been elected to the Senate during Reconstruction. Invented a portable device called The Travis FryMan that fries things, then going broke after it was revealed to be extraordinarily dangerous.

David Raposa: Owned a handful of successful marital aid stores.

David Roth: Although I don't imagine it'd be all fun. In my darker moments, over my fifth scotch of the evening, I could imagine confiding to Russell Branyan that I wish I'd just been born Dean Palmer, or not been born at all. "Travis, stop talking like that, you're scaring me. Come on, man, there's so much to live for."

David Roth: "Sometimes I feel like there's only one true outcome, Russell. Death."

David Roth: The bullpen was Mike Jackson and Jose Mesa, right?

David Raposa: Yep, good old Joe Table. And everyone's favorite proto-Balfour, Eric Plunk.

David Roth: I imagine the players-only meetings looked like Chamber of Commerce get-togethers. The Paunches And Bearclaw Society of Northeast Ohio.

David Raposa: Every month, they would ravage the local Cracker Barrel.

David Roth: Total destruction. A free-swinging apocalypse of caloric intake. The shrieking of tortured belts and elastic waists. Wickman and Rumors of Wickman. Thome sitting in the ashes where the restaurant used to be.

David Raposa: The panic. The vomit. The chicken and dumplings.

David Roth: I AM JI



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I'm still bummed I fell asleep at ~8pm and missed the no-hitter. The next morning I went back and read through my Twitter feed and felt chills, legitimately thrilled for all my Mets-fan friends.

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