Sunday, February 8, 2009

Jayson Stark's Weird Take on the 1998 Home Run Chase

Stark is a pretty legit baseball mind/writer. It's rare he appears on FireJay (although I did enjoy writing this unfunny post about him way back in the blog's infancy). But I think I have to call him out for one part of this A-Rod article. What he says is so strange that it sticks out like a sore thumb and serves as a glaring distraction from his point.

At times like this, I always tell the story of what it was like to follow Mark McGwire around in September 1998. I saw this man hit 17 of his 70 home runs that season. I saw records topple. I saw powerful numbers rise and fall.

But more than that, I measured the feat I was watching by who else showed up to catch the show. And by that I mean Bruce Springsteen. And Bruce Hornsby. And Barbara Walters. And MTV. And "Good Morning America." And many, many others just like them.

Springsteen- a pretty legit inclusion. Everyone else on that list- what? Hornsby had peaked in relevance about ten years earlier. Walters was more relevant then than she is now, but still. MTV? Who gives a fuck about MTV in the context of sports? Unless they're throwing a rock n' jock celebrity softball game, I sure as hell don't. I have no idea how you could possibly gain access to lists of people who attended baseball games more than ten years ago, but if you could, I bet a five minute scan of it from Cubs and Cardinals games played the fall of 1998 would yield at least ten more relevant names than Bruce Hornsby or Barbara Walters.

I guess Stark probably made this list based off of celebrities/networks/shows he actually interacted with that fall rather than just celebrities/networks/shows he heard were in attendance. Still really hurts his article, in my opinion. "A-Rod... steroids... tainted records... holy shit, did you know Bruce Hornsby was there when Sosa hit his 64th home run in 1998? That's when you know your sport is getting big: when Hornsby starts watching."

Bruce Hornsby. What the fuck?

13 comments:

Chris W said...

though it seems heaven sent, we ain't ready to see a black president.

Bengoodfella said...

Bruce Hornsby did peak in the 1980's...a good 10 years before.

In defense of Jayson Stark, maybe he was saying that the homerun chase was so exciting even previously thought to be dead ex-celebrities came out of hiding to observe. Or maybe in less defense of Jayson Stark, he thinks it is the mid-80's and is surprised he hasn't seen Paul Young attend games lately.

Chris W said...

Bruce Hornsby hit .424 once

Passive Voice said...

No, i'm pretty sure that was Rogers Clemens.

Bengoodfella said...

My memories of the summer of 1998 are mostly just rememberances of how much Sammy Sosa annoyed the hell out of me. Also, I was too busy paying attention to my favorite team having an awesome year to care about two teams that were fighting for second place in the Central Division.

Yep, I was one of 6 people who was not riveted by the homerun chase. I guess I am an ass.

Chris W said...

I hated Sosa. Was generally in favor of McGwire, but that was mostly because he used to be a bash brother with my main shit Jose Canseco.

Times has changed

Biggus Rickus said...

Madeline Rain is always timely, for it is timeless.

rondoman said...

Maybe cuz that's just the way it is. . .

www.brucehornsby.com

Larry B said...

It's Mandolin Rain, Ruckus. But you're right about it being timeless.

dan-bob said...

This was a great post. It receives the dan-bob seal of approval.

If a "Bruce Hornsby" label gets made, I will find a way to use it.

Biggus Rickus said...

"Banjo wind" makes so much more sense now.

dan-bob said...

Rickus brings up a good point:

Is it more honest to listen to the musical version of a song and then construct a song meaning based on what the words the author SOUNDS LIKE he/she is singing?

Or is it more honest to just google the lyrics?

Biggus Rickus said...

If a song's lyrics are actually meaningful, then I think getting them correct is the fair thing to do. If the song is "MMMBop" or "She Loves You" or anything from the Black Eyed Peas catalog, then fuck it, just make shit up.