Imperatively Speaking

BagwellIt?s imperative to understand that some names aren?t just names. They?re imperative sentences. Just ask Blue Jays right-hander Justin Speier (Just inspire!), Indians southpaw C.C. Sabathia (C.C. Sabathia!), White Sox right fielder Jermaine Dye (Jermaine, die!) and Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell (Jeff, bag well!). …

Wily Mets right-hander Orlando Hernandez is often referred to as the ?Master of Deception,? which sounds more like the name of a cartoon supervillain conglomerate than a tribute to a pitcher?s cunning on the mound. I can hear it now: Tune in next week as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe battle Skeletor, Orlando Hernandez and the Masters of Deception in a showdown that will settle the score between good and evil and determine the fate of Eternia. ?

Speaking of masters, the ?Master of Disaster? ?- Apollo Creed?s nickname in the ?Rocky? movies ?- never really made much sense to me. Sure, it sounded cool, what with the basic rhyming scheme and ?- speaking of which ?- implication of domination. But what in Balboa?s name is a master of disaster? How would one go about mastering disaster, and why? Disaster is something you should avoid like the plague, not embrace as a self-defining area of expertise. Now ?Master of Disaster Control,? that?s a title worth shooting for. Calamity regulation and diffusion, after all, is a noble occupation. But a plain old ?Master of Disaster,? though phonetically menacing, is no more worthy than a ?King of Catastrophe,? a ?Duke of Debacle,? a ?Tyrant of Tragedy? or a ?Fuhrer of Failure.? ?

LiottaCurious how the White Sox drafted southpaw Ray Liotta with their
second-round pick in the 2004. After all, it was Ray Liotta ?- albeit a
different Ray Liotta ?- who played former ChiSox outfielder ?Shoeless?
Joe Jackson in ?Field of Dreams.? Of course, Ray Liotta the baseball
player ?- he of the 1-5 record and 7.82 ERA for Class A Winston-Salem
?- is no ?Shoeless? Joe. Unless of course he?s been acting all this
time. …

It’s been mere days since the Yankees broke ground for the new Yankee
Stadium, but superlatively self-indulgent members of the Yankees
Entertainment System broadcast team -? better known as the YES men ?-
have already dubbed the event the greatest of its kind, the most
groundbreaking groundbreaking ever. ?

Three strikes and you?re out. It?s become a staple of American jurisprudence, a pillar of the lexicon that extends far beyond the game of baseball. And rightfully so; it has quite a nice ring to it and an easily understood analogousness that the great American pastime tends to afford. But sometimes, three strikes is one too few to call a man out. Sometimes, the batter deserves another chance. And sometimes, ?four balls and you walk? is the more appropriate policy.

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