Sporadically providing half-formed thoughts since 2006!
What comes to mind when I think of Warren Cromartie? Not pro wrestling, although this story is the height of cool. Warren seems to like Japan and seems to maintain his notoriety there, which is kind of neat itself.No, when I think of Warren Cromartie, I think of The Expos Inside Out by Dan Turner, and Jim Fanning's screwing around with the Expos' lineup in 1982. But I'll let Turner tell it:"Warren Cromartie was inserted into the second spot in the batting order, behind Raines. Batting second meant taking strikes, moving the runner over, bunting, and the like. Could Cromartie handle the pressure? 'When you've got a guy like Raines with a 90 per cent steal ratio in front of you,' replied Fanning impatiently, 'you could be Humpty Dumpty and hit second. All I want Cromartie to do is pull the ball through the hole. With a runner on base the whole right side of the infield is open."Unfortunately Warren had fallen into something of a slump (.256) and all the king's men couldn't put his bat together again."And there were other factors that made one wonder. Cromartie had always hit best when he was going to left center most of the time, and Fanning was asking him to pull to right. He was also a terrible bunter and had messed up badly on two simple sacrifices the previous week. Both Fanning and batting coach Billy DeMars were well aware of his deficiency. DeMars contended any major leaguer could learn to bunt if he practised, while Fanning thought it was probably too late to teach an old crow new tricks. It really didn't matter who was right, because Cromartie wasn't about to practise."Now, Turner goes on and on with lots of whining about how the lead-off batter's job is to get on base, and the second place hitter's job is "to move the lead runner over whenever he got on." This is Gene Mauch baseball, and it's a load of hooey. You want cro-magnon baseball, in the style of Billy Martin, when you have two or three guys at the top of the order who can get on base, and piss on the notion of having the number two batter do a lot of bunting.Anyway, I shouldn't get off track. We're here to celebrate Warren Cromartie and his new wrestling career, damnit.
Announcer: [A fan] from Frederick, Maryland, wants to know why you don't go out and get some more team speed.Earl Weaver: Team speed, for Chrissake, you get BLEEP god damn little fleas on the bases getting picked off trying to steal, getting thrown out, taking runs away from you. You get them big BLEEP who can hit the BLEEP ball out of the BLEEP ballpark and you can't make any god damn mistakes.
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