Archive for April, 2010

My one lazy eye

Ever wonder why you don’t see too many cross eyed people anymore?  It seems like I haven’t seen anyone with strabismus (cross eye) since I was being treated for amblyopia (lazy eye) in grade school.  Just before the 2nd grade started I was diagnosed with lazy eye.  To treat it, my eye doctor made me wear a gauze eye patch over one eye and eyeglasses on top of the whole mess.

I can still remember the first day of school.  The horror.  I lived right across the street from school, so I walked there with my trumpet case in one hand and books in the other.

As I approached the school on my right side, I felt the sudden impending doom of 400 school kids playing in the playground all zoning in on my gauzed up eye and military issue frames.  They looked like this:

But with my natural dorkiness and the cotton eye patch, it made me feel like this:

The closer I got to the school entrance the more self conscious I became and almost involuntarily I put my trumpet case on my shoulder — carrying it how an 80’s breakdancer lugs his boombox and cardboard dance floor.  Of course, the moment I made the right turn into school, my classmates got full view of my half mummified face. Years of therapy and endless amounts of beer later, I can laugh about this but what I’d give to kick the crap out of that optometrist.

I’m convinced that while the glasses over the patch did next to nothing to cure my lazy eye, it probably scared off dozens of would be abductors and allowed me to roam the neighborhood un-menaced by playground bullies and overly aggressive homeless people.  That aside, I’d’ve rather just walked around with a baseball bat in my hand and sharpened wood chisel in my pocket vs. wearing scuba gear on my head.

Needless to say, I’m glad kids and parents have medical alternatives to this today.

Now to get rid of band camp.

– Jose Mallabo

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There are only two kinds of people

For a while I was brainwashed into believing that there were multiple kinds of people.  As I’ve bumped along in this current life, I’ve come to see the light and now accept that like Chuck Klosterman says, there are only 2 kinds of people.

Those who know what this is …

The venerable four seam fastball

… and those who do not.

The people who can, on their death bed, identify not just this grip but the time and place to throw it during a baseball game aren’t just my kind of people — they are God’s kind of people.  I know that because God is Nolan Ryan.  For it’s that level of attention to art and science that I think makes life worth living.  If you can sit 200 yards away in the bleachers watching a ballgame and call the correct pitch that the pitcher should throw in a specific situation, you deserve a place in eternity.  And, in my man cave (if I had one).

My only goal for the second half of my life — that I’ll simply call “when I’m a legitimate old fart” — is to toss one of these bad boys over the home plate at Angels Stadium.  It’s a simple yet lofty goal as the only old farts allowed to stand on the hill are either in the Oval Office or former ball players trying to rehabilitate their public image.

I could care less about a white Mercedes or house on some body of water that’s too far away from emergency services to be ideal for old folks.  But to hear the pop of a mitt at a big league park from a pitch I’ve tossed — bring that shit to me, man. Then bury me under the mound.

The people who do not understand what this is or why generations of fans like me cut out of work in April to see a 1:05 p.m. game are probably the same folks playing with their BlackBerry or iPhone while sitting behind home plate.  Too bad that screen is there to protect you.  Maybe you can go to the Genius Bar and look for an app that makes a sinker sink and 4-seam fastball rise.

I love baseball.

Jose Mallabo

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I have 2 words for Tiger

Simply. Boring.

I kept my mouth and blog shut when he was beating on his Escalade and TV shows were running sound bites of him leaving voice mails to one of his concubines.  Yes, I said concubine. Look it up. During his faux press conference I may have uttered the word “staged” and “ridiculous” forty three hundred times in the post mortem of that unfortunate event (not sure really what to call that other than an event).  But, somewhere there has to be a publicist or PR person hanging from a rope for selling that fiasco into the Tiger camp.

Now that it seems he’s back to playing golf, I can’t keep my keyboard shut.  Off with the gloves and on with the truth.  The capital T truth is that Tiger is a formulaic cliche anymore. As boring as watching soap disintegrate under the drip of a shower head.

See if you can fill in just about any sports star gone bad into this timeline below without changing the formula (I’ll even help you with these names — Andre Agassi, Magic Johnson, Mark McGwire, Kobe Bryant and for you older farts Steve Howe).

1) Prodigal sports talent takes pro level by storm

2) Young pro becomes larger than life celebrity on and off the field

3) Star starts lifting weights (Magic did this after he contracted HIV)

4) Fall from grace caused by drug abuse or one too many visits to the concubine farm

Tiger, I’m bored with you dude.  Do something interesting like try a new sport.  While MJ underestimated what it takes to play on the diamond, at least he wasn’t boring.  Until then, I’m yawning at you and am starting to miss John Daly.  He at least had a personality and had the balls to be himself 24/7.  Light up that smoke John and swing at it like you wanna hurt its soul!

– Jose Mallabo

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We talkin’ about practice?

One of the most epic post game interviews ever.  Allen Iverson and practice.

Iverson challenges the media's question. God love it.

A lot of people think Iverson is a thug. Who knows?  Who cares? I don’t. I just know he’s a flat out great ball player who throws his body around with abandon.  I’d pay the absurd NBA price for tickets to watch a 6′ tall guy play wall to wall for 48 minutes.

From a PR perspective he tries very hard to do what all PR people in a turnaround situation try to do — change the conversation. He makes a couple of tactical errors — largely baked in the mistake of repeating the question around ‘practice’ in his answer, not once but over and over — but God love his approach.  If not, I do.  Challenge the damned question and don’t roll over to an uninformed missive pointed your way.

That said….

Are we really talking about the iPad?  It’s a tablet PC.  A tablet PC.  We talkin’ about a tablet?  Not a game.  Not a real PC.  A tablet?

As Allen would say, ‘c’mon man!?’ It’s a tablet.

Let’s call a duck a duck.  The only reason that people are taking what would be a chubby BMW car payment and putting it into an oversized iPhone, is because its design is pretty slick, not because they really need it.  It’s frightening to me that in an economy like this where California still has an unemployment rate that is second only to Michigan’s, people are dropping stupid money into a toy they don’t really need.  What would that money do for something really worthy? Like rebuilding Haiti or something closer to home, like rebuilding the hideous Interstate 880 freeway that looks like something a 3rd world country would be proud of (barely)?

These 2 iPads will go right next to the 2 Betamax players I bought from Crazy Eddie's

People. We talkin’ about practice? We talkin’ about a tablet? This device will not make you taller and it will not serve as a proxy for having a personality that makes you more attractive (except for in certain parts of San Jose).  It will not fill that chasm in your lifeless overworked lives.  You’ll need humanity for that.


– Jose Mallabo

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