March 28, 2007

I am thinking Potato

A thoughtless and unprofound post.

-One of the smartest plays in baseball, The Decoy Potato:

Carlton Fisk’s game-winning home run in game six of the 1975 World Series. Reggie Jackson’s three straight homers in the Fall Classic. Joe Carter’s ninth-inning, championship-clinching smash to end the ’93 campaign. All great moments in baseball history.
...Bresnahan says he casually mentioned to his teammates the possibility of throwing "something other than a baseball" into the outfield to entice a runner on third to come home and be tagged out. "Everybody laughed and said "Why don’t you do it?" Bresnahan recalls. "It started out as a dare, became a challenge, and I eventually did it."
The perfect opportunity presented itself in the fifth inning of game one. With a Reading runner on third, Bresnahan called timeout, told the home plate umpire something was wrong with this catchers mitt, and ambled over to the dugout to retrieve another mitt. Only this mitt contained the infamous potato.

"When I picked up the potato glove that was the cue for everybody on the Bills that it was going to happen," Bresnahan says. "I called for a slider away, so the batter wouldn’t hit the ball. During the pitch, I had to move the potato from my glove to my bare hand. After catching the ball, I rifled the potato over the head of the third baseman in to the left field."

The runner on third jogged home thinking he was going to score an easy run. But Bresnahan had a surprise as the rest of his teammates put their snickering faces in their gloves. "I tagged the guy out, "Bresnahan laughs.

"It (the potato) looked like a ball," confirms Williamsport Sun-Gazette Sports Editor Jim Carpenter, who was sitting along the third base line that night with his son Keith. "It had a good likeness to a baseball. Thinks just happened so fast. I was not thinking potato."

Neither was Scott Potter, the home plate umpire.

-Mexico once had an Emperor. WTF?
It is true. Two actually, during non-consecutive terms. But unlike Grover Cleveland, neither attempt went well. The first sort of rose up the ranks of the military and was eventually selected to be Emperor, like Napoleon I. He lasted a year. But the second guy was an Austrian who was just randomly appointed to the "Mexican Throne" (if they had one) by the conservadores and managed to be so lousy that he was executed within several years. Still, there is a crown collecting dust somewhere in Mexico right now. Waiting perhaps...

-Slate's Explainer, as it often does, led me to an article on cannibalism. If you scroll down about halfway to you will find a shockingly lucid account of what people taste like. The site name is "Food Resource" so you know it is worth checking out. William Seabrook's tale (about 60% of the way down the page) is especially worth reading. Anthropologists are rarely good for anything, so I for one found the story both refreshing and morbid. You cannot deny that you have always wanted to know. I won't give it away beyond mentioning that much like spiders, each one of us consumes, on average, roughly twelve human beings in a year.