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Randy Johnson's Perfecto and Ian Curtis RIP
by Jim Sells
Advance warning: I wrote this one the way a lot of former/current Marines talk with expletives taking the place of some common punctuation. Sorry. We'll be back on track next week . . .
I have never seen anyone throw like Randy Johnson and I've watched a helluva a lot of baseball. The way older people who saw him play and talk about Koufax pitching like a house on fire, that's the way we're all gonna be in twenty years about the Big Unit . . .
You think Lou Piniella was hitting the booze pretty hard after watching that bullpen o' his collapse Monday? I mean, giving away a yeoman-like performance by Jason Marquis (who may have finally grown up) with some solidly shitty so-called relief from Ohman, Cherry, Cotts and Wuertz, Attorneys At Law? What the fuck was that? Where was Dempster or Howry or Eyre? If they were too tired to go, and they may have been, then Lou better rest the living shit outta them 'cause the rest of the bullpen is suckin' it . . . HARD. I can just see Lou, cig in hand, looking for liquor stores that deliver to Waveland Ave. I bet he's a brown liquor man . . .
Thank God that John Smoltz's finger was dislocated and not broken. John's tough (he's been pitching with a retread elbow for years now) and won't even miss a turn. He's set to match up with Daisuke Matsuzaka on Saturday the 19th. That'll be worth the price of a ticket, I promise. And, if at all possible, catch Skip Caray callin' it on the radio. Those fucks who bought all the pieces that were once the proud empire of Ted Turner ran Skip Caray, Chip Caray, Don Sutton and Joe Simpson off so SomeSorryFoxBastardOfTheWeek could come in and completely fucking blow. Boycott Fox's regional announcers at all costs . . . it will be good for your soul.
The Braves are still my favorites in the NL East and probably in the whole NL, no knock on the BrewCrew or the Dodgers. Tim Hudson and Smoltz are a deadly one-two punch and, with James and Davies continuing to improve, it all adds up to a pretty damn good staff. Ya know, me and Big Bob Wickman have been on the all-sausage rehab diet and it worked wonders on Bob (the stress fracture in my right knee is another story, however). He should be back sweating his way through save situations as y'all read this. Godamighty, that man sweats more than my brother and that's saying something . . . Die, Mets, die! . . . Bonds closes in on being dissed by the entire baseball world outside the Bay Area - stay tuned . . . oh yeah, one more crappy stretch for the Yanks and it's over; the Rocket may have latched onto a serious loser here. There's potential for a meltdown the likes of which haven't been seen since Billy Pt. Four. If it all falls apart, it will not fall quickly or quietly. The NY Post has got to be having wet dreams about the back page possibilities of this . . . Tigers and Indians in a cage match for the AL Central. Where's Mick Foley when ya need him? THAT man is a true original and we are richer for his presence . . .
And we are poorer for Ian Curtis's absence, more so every passing day. I'll spare you all the purple prose, pro and con, that have been laid on him, Joy Division, and their musical legacy; I'll just state, honestly, that hearing them absolutely changed my life. Why? Because I could never again think of music and what it is and what it can sound like and how close to the bone you could cut with your art and . . . anything like that in the fashion that I did before I heard them. Period. Everything shifted and colors changed and the two hemispheres of my brain switched sides - it was that powerful. I feel lucky in how powerfully music affects me. I'm not Suzi Quatro-I don't have orgasms on stage-but it is a primal force, ripping through chakras located at the base of my spine and rippling throughout my body, twitches in muscles, gooseflesh, involuntary smiling (which I just DON'T do much). Music that powerful makes any drug better; any drink stronger; any sex more carnal; and any breath of air the first oxygen of life. There. And if it doesn't hit you that way, if you're not a music person, I truly feel for you - you are missing out.
Joy Division. Black Flag. Deep Purple. Chris Whitley. The Jam. Sonic Youth. Steely Dan . . . a partial list of who blew my mind, so let's go out like this:
Who changed your life? Did Led Zeppelin (I didn't list them because everyone my age had their world changed by Led Zeppelin and if they say they didn't, they are FUCKING LIARS) make the Earth move or was it Carole King? Oasis? NKOTB? Sorry, that last one was to see if y'all were still with me . . . anyway, list your best and any comment/story you may have about how you and that artist crossed paths. Then, next time around, I'll pick some of the better ones and cross-pollinate them with the strange ooze bubbling up in my brain and we'll have Mystery Surprise Casserole Column next time. Call Emeril - that bitch owes me money.
Gotta go y'all. Me and Smoltzie are gonna get scatological on Austin Kearns . . . hell, he doesn't even play for a real team; nobody'll notice.