The funniest thing about Ubaldo Jimenez hitting Troy Tulowitzki in the elbow during a spring training game and causing a bench-clearing half-brawl is not, surpisingly, everything about this sentence. The funniest thing is actually Rockies manager Jim Tracy’s attempt at calling out his former ace Jimenez in a press conference after the game.
Tracy is a calm dude. He’s prone to vague philosophical statements and he has exceptionally long arms. When he was the Dodgers manager he used to wear a gold wristwatch on the outside of his long-sleeved undershirt. His tremendous arms dangled so gloriously that my friend Ryan and I liked to compare his length to that of gangly wayward NBA journeyman Darius Miles. Jim Tracy is not as tall as Darius Miles.
Anyway, after the game, Tracy spoke to reporters about the incident (of which way too much has already been made). His rage, as reproduced in the Denver Post, came off as somewhere beween contrived and contrived:
“It’s (expletive). I watched exactly took place,” Tracy said. “I give our player all the credit in the world because he looked out at him and asked him what the (expletive) he was doing? And that’s exactly what I would have said to him. Now this guy starts marching down off the mound. And you don’t think there was some intent when we were warming up to pitch this afternoon’s game? That’s intent right there. That’s intent.”
Surely all those (expletive)s were words like bologna and heck. Tracy is no Bob Brenly, who famously used the word “chickenshit” like fifteen times in a row to describe the act of breaking up a Randy Johnson no-hitter in the eighth inning with a bunt single. And he is certainly no Tommy Lasorda:
Tommy Lasorda could out-swear Jim Tracy even if his entire vocabulary was limited to the repeated, heart-felt usage of the single word "Bevacqua." But this is not about who can say "fuck" the best. This is about Jim Tracy's other verbal tick. He likes to ask himself quesitons. Then he likes to answer them. After the game Dodgers blogger Chad Moriyama reminded me of this when he tweeted out the following:
“Surprised Jim Tracy's comments weren't something like: "Was it gutless? I think so. Have I lost respect? Absolutely."
The tweet, in turn, reminded me of an ancient (pre-blog?) website called Dodger Blues, which performed the valuable historic act of captured Tracy’s greatest moments of interviewing himself*. Here are some selected Jim Tracy quotes from the site:
I'm not going to talk about it. Was there a meeting? Yes.
Will I discuss the parameters and expound on it? No.
Is there more I want to accomplish for the organization and the fans? I've gained a very fond affection for this organization, and for the fans.
What I wonder is, if you give him too much left-handed pitching, do you mess up what he's doing against right-handed pitching?
We brought him here for some left-handed hitting situations. Does that mean that tonight I'm going to rush him out there against Todd Helton? I'm not going to say yes, I'm not going to say no. We'll just see how things go.
Does he have a very good chance of making the club? Without pinning me down, I'd say it is favorable.
Have I managed every game perfectly? Of course not, but no manager ever has.
*Something Lasorda also does in his legendary Opinion of Kingman’s Performance rant:
“What is my opinion of Kingman’s performance? What the fuck do you think is my opinion of it? I think it was fucking horse shit. I don’t fucking... Put that in. Opinion of Kingman’s performance. Jesus Christ, he beat us with three fucking home runs."
Forlorn Jim Tracy drawn by Patrick Truby.