Later, Zim.

Don Zimmer (1931 - 2014)

Truth be told, when the Yankees hired Joe Torre and Don Zimmer in 1995, I didn’t know much about either guy. The extent of my knowledge came from my baseball card collection, and borrowing baseball almanacs from the library.

I quickly fell in love with both of their styles — Torre making more tactful, tacit comments, and Zim with his blunt, “old school” remarks. I’ve always tried to be a straight shooter, and Zimmer was the epitome of that.

In this republished Esquire article from 2001, Scott Raab has a great passage about him.

Zimmer managed Tom Yawkey’s Red Sox from 1976 to 1980. Between parties, the Boston media and fans roasted him without mercy.

“Every day,” Zim says. “I left the ballpark one night, and sittin’ right by the dugout is my wife and my daughter–she lives up in New Hampshire, but it’s only, like, forty-five minutes north, and I’m drivin’ her up to her house. My wife’s sittin’ in the front, and my daughter’s in the back and she’s cryin’. I turned around and said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ She said, ‘Daddy, I’m so tired of people booin’ you in this town, and I’m worried that yer gonna get fired.’

“I said, ‘Don’t go to the game no more. Stay home. If it’s gonna bother ya, stay home.’

“Don’t tell me it didn’t hurt–day after day, hour after hour, the same shit. It’s gotta bother ya. But it’s baseball. If you don’t like it, get out. Get a job. That’s the way I looked at it. And that’s the way it was.”

There is old school as a slogan of self-advertisement and then there is old school as the baseball way of life Zimmer still loves too much to leave behind.

“Yeah. Yeah, or I wouldn’t go back. When last season was over, I got the goddamn flu, last day of the World Series. I was on my back for three weeks. I was sick, and my knee still wasn’t right, and I was ready to give it up. I got over the flu. My knee I can manipulate–” and I’ll be damned if Zim doesn’t roll up one pant leg to display a bony spur jutting just south of the ruined joint. It’s a tame phrase, “knee replacement,” but this looks ghastly. And painful.

“I can get by. I get by,” he says.

That’s how he always was. You play 162 games a year, and if you have a tough loss, it’s time to move on and look at tomorrow’s game. Something you planned didn’t work out? Tough shit, it happens, and you can’t let it bug you.

It’s refreshing to find a guy like him. Sometimes players don’t relate to the fact that they make a living playing a game, but Zim knew. He was humble about it too.

“I didn’t wanna make no big thing of it,” he explains. “I came in very quiet, and that’s the way I’d like ta go out.”

“Hey, it’s been a great ride for me, a great life. Everything I have I owe to baseball. Baseball owes me nothin’. Ain’t nobody has to give me nothin’. I would be embarrassed if I had a day somewhere. I don’t want no day. I want friends, to live my life the way I wanna live it.”

It’s great advice, isn’t it? Keep your head down, do your thing, and be happy with what you could accomplish.

I get melancholy when ballplayers pass away. I’ve never met the guys, but when you spend so much time involved with their professional lives, you feel really connected to them. One of the great things about baseball is that it’s perpetual, and the names live on forever.

That makes it so much harder when one of the guys you really cherished moves on.

Random stuff from around the ‘net.

I didn’t find any one thing I wanted to talk about today, but I figured it was time to get back into the blogging habit. I took a few days off after my marathon of posting at least once a day every day last month, and I was missing it.

IMG_7_verge_super_wide

First up is this NES/Famicom system, carved out of solid block of aluminum. It’s $500, and to have an adapter that upsacles it to 720 or 1080 is an additional $50. Same goes for a new controller or a custom, anodized color. The two things really throwing me off on this is how clean and modern the console looks, and the price. I’m all for a clean aethstetic, but it really conflicts with my nostalgia bias here.

For this price, you can wind up with a really solid mid-level gaming PC that plays NES roms…

il_fullxfull.559995503_lf8v

Next up is this charming trio of Pokemon pixel art prints. TheDailyRobot crafted the outline and filled it with Kanto inspired landscapes. So neat!

Hoang_Tran10

Lastly, these crayon sculptures are fucking amazing. The details are made all the more impressive with the added color accents. He melts down other crayons to fill in. Make sure you check out the article that image came from for more examples, or check out his Etsy shop for even more.

Cellphone Photography

My phone has been fucking up lately, and I wanted to wipe it clean and flash a new ROM over a clean slate, and I figured it’d be a fun time to go through the pictures on there and pull out my favorite ones.The last time I did a full wipe on my phone was in late June last year, so these pictures fall somewhere between 6/25/13 and 5/1/14.

I trimmed down over three hundred shots to 48 favorites. Check ‘em out!

I never understood booing players.

Look at all these douche bags.

I love how quickly they change their tune when he steps out from behind the picture. What a bunch of inconsistent babies. They’re the guys that watch a bar fight from across the room, and then carry on for half an hour about how those guys were lucky they didn’t come over here and start something with them. Oh yeah, you’re such a big man until the action actually comes to a head.

The bigger problem I have with it is the booing of Robinson Cano as a sellout. Let’s reflect on that for a moment. Yankees fans booing someone for being a sellout. Yankees fans. The Yanks are the team that always overpay to steal talent away from other teams. The one time someone does it to your guy, you flip shit? Get a grasp on reality, moron.

I love Robbie as a player, but the Yanks have signed so many bad contracts for that duration/amount of money for people on the wrong side of thirty. I applaud their discretion for once.

I’ve been working out.

I’m going to turn 31 in June, and I’m leaving the “young invincibles” group. In late January, one of my molars chipped, due to severe decay. To that point, I had no thoughts of anything being wrong inside my mouth. I have never had any tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweets, so this issue was pretty shocking. I eventually needed a root canal because the tooth became abscessed. It was a strong wake up call, and a major impetus of starting to take better care of myself.

At the end of February, I purchased my first scale (yup, I had that little data about my weight all this time) and began using Dorena’s treadmill. As a stats nerd, I did some measurements to check in with as I made progress.

Date Weight Neck Chest Waist Mile Time (Minutes)
2/28/2014 312.7 19.5 54.5 58.25 50
3/28/2014 292.1 19 53 56 35
4/28/2014 278.4 18 52 53 15

Yesterday, I did my normal half hour workout on the treadmill, which mixes inclines and speeds of walking/jogging and I felt really good. I decided to push myself and see what I could do while jogging as far as I could when I wrapped up my normal workout.

I did a mile in fifteen minutes, which is a major milestone for me. In high school, I believe we were expected to run a 13 minute mile. My best time was between 18 and 19 minutes. It’s nuts to think that after two full months I’m in better shape than I was 13 years ago.

All of this because I was a douche and didn’t take care of my teeth the way I should have. I know that regardless of the original motivation that it’s important to keep up the good work, and I’m going to. During my physical going into college, my weight was 215.

Here’s a picture of me on the way to my senior prom, in May of 2001. Look how scrawny I looked!

02-22-2009-01;55;20PM_01

I don’t really have a target weight as a goal. I’m just going to go until I reach a point where I feel comfortable. Part of me likes being a big, intimidating dude, so maybe we’ll aim for the 220s somewhere, so I still have some girth. Whatever, I’m done here, so you are too. Get outta here, ya little scamp!