VORP? More Like SCHWING! by Me, Rob Neyer
Okay, okay, I know it's all over the Internet that my Unified Theory of Baseball doesn't work -- stupid Nook Logan and his 6th-inning scratch singles! -- but that's okay. I've had some dark nights of the soul in the last week; luckily, since I'm so damned genial, it was only two nights, and the second one wasn't so bad because that one softcore porn movie with the girl who used to be Rachel Meyers on "Saved by the Bell" was on HBO3. (Man, you should have seen the IM conversation I had with Billy Simmons about that!) But I'm a lot better now. There's more to baseball than numbers and statistics; I've said so all along. Baseball is a LOT more than just math. Baseball is actually played by human beings. Which are not, in fact, numerals. They are bipedal mammals.
In fact, since the demise of the UTB, I've met some. I've been getting out of Chez Neyer a lot more. (Tough to do in the five oh thrizzy, with all this crazy rain, but hey, that's why the good Lord and Phil Knight made the Nike Megabrella!) I've also had some fascinating IM conversations with some of the BBTN guys. At first, they gloated about my theory going all tango uniform (oh that Kruk!), but then they toned it down, and we actually got down to brass tacks. I think some of them were impressed with my memory and some of my anecdotes about players from back in the olden times. Sometimes.
So I've been having a whole chain reaction of epiphanies lately. The main one has been, surprisingly: NUMBERS CAN BLOW ME. All they are are symbolic representations of stuff. And symbolic representations are hardly something to get upset about. Plus, I got to see that "Saved by the Bell" girl all grinding on a dude. That was cool...and the only numbers there were 36-26-38! VORP? More like SCHWING!
It's actually kind of thrilling to remember that I'm a journalist, after all. Just like in the old days, as a young baseball fanatic growing up in Kansas City! Before the Internet! When Washington still meant the Senators instead of the Nationals, when the Padres wore doo-doo brown instead of camouflage, when guys were named Boog instead of Boof! So I got back on the ol' horn (the telephone, Reynolds, get your head out of the gutter) and made some calls.
And, you might be shocked to learn, I still got it! And I want to share. So here are some exclusive stories that I have on the highest authority, published here for the first time. This stuff is so juicy I should salt it and pepper it and call it a mango! Here we go...