Andy Van Slyke, purveyor of the straight dope

>> Wednesday


For Matt's enjoyment (and for the sake of posting some filler), I wanted link you baseball fans to this BP interview with Andy "Typical White, Non-Latino Ballplayer" Van Slyke, in which he addresses some interesting subjects (yes, including race) with a bunch of strange answers.

The highlights:

  • Van Slyke says that Tommy Herr was probably the most underrated player on the 1985 Cardinals but then immediately implies that he was an underachieving chump for not driving in more runs that year with Ozzie Smith and Vince Coleman hitting ahead of him.
  • He calls Mike Scott (partly tongue-in-cheek I would hope but can't say for sure) "the best pitcher to ever pitch in the big leagues," citing his 1 for 38 lifetime line off of him, and then promptly accuses Scott of rampant cheating throughout his career.
  • Van Slyke assumes that Barry Bonds was only "trying to be funny" when he called him the "great white hope" because Bonds had a white wife--evidence that Bonds is not racially prejudiced (unlike Van Slyke).
The main highlight, though, is his bizarre, sprawling rumination on the state of baseball to close the Q&A. He says:

There are so many issues going on today in the game. Is the World Baseball Classic a good thing? There are steroids. There are so many things to talk about that I don't even know where to begin. I think the state of the game is solid. When the game starts, it still reflects, maybe in a lot of ways, where our society should be going. Unfortunately, those are some of the things our society is going away from. Pure competition leads to your own success or failure. I mean, if Obama was the commissioner right now, he might be trying to spread 25 points of batting average to somebody else so that they can have a better arbitration case. I think that baseball, at its core, is the purest form of capitalism that we have in our society. There is no favoritism. There is nobody pointing with a curve, and that's the way it should be.

[emphasis added]

Where the heck did that come from? Regardless, I'm not sure how apt the analogy is. I think it would be more like Obama would require Albert Pujols--and Albert Pujols alone--to go back a base on every extra-base hit he compiled beyond his first extra-base hit each game. Then he would have the league buy out all the bad Juan Pierre-like contracts and auction these players off to new teams for pennies on the dollar. Then he would have the league assume control of the most unprofitable franchise(s) by replacing high-level management and setting executive pay. But of course, nothing like this would ever happen in baseball.

4 comments:

Anonymous,  1:43 PM  

You know what was awesome? When you guys wrote columns from the perspective of Uno the dog. That was funnier than anything on the internet, funnier than this one video I saw on youtube of a guy accidentally crapping his pants. Please bring Uno back.

Stephen

Paul 8:57 AM  

Wow, that interview is ridiculous. It seems like he's got quite an ego. Basically the first three questions he talks about how good he is but how underutilized he was.

Vinnie 12:52 PM  

Yeah, I love the Whitey Herzog question where his answer is basically, "He was a great manager except for the not-playing-me part."

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