foo to yoo

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I hated Kirby Puckett

October 26-27, 1991 in particular. I grew up an Atlanta Braves fan, so the 1991 season was like water to a man dying of thirst in the desert.

And then. Kirby F---ing Puckett and Jack F---ing Morris screw it all up for the men of destiny. When I think back on the Braves long run, that series probably mattered more than I imagine. First, you see the character of the Braves under Bobby Cox is not to will the other team into sumbission when they are down-- Cox's Braves let the other team return from the dead in Minneapolis. At the time it seemed like it could be the jitters of a playoff rookie team versus a team of veterans. Now I think it is just the Bobby Cox way-- one that I admire for it's success over time-- but one that lets a more desperate team up off the mat to come back and beat you.

Kirby Puckett came off the mat and beat us in game 6, and Morris did in game 7. Puckett was on the national stage one more time, winning the All Star MVP award in 1993. He continued to have a great career, then suddenly retired in spring training 1996 due to blindness in one eye caused by glaucoma. His post-baseball life stripped much of the Kirby Puckett sainthood from him, with allegations of sexual abuse, obvious infidelity, and obvious "issues" with self discipline becoming clearer via his weight problems, personal issues, and the like. Many people saw him as a tragic figure-- he had such joy in playing baseball that most could, even wanted, to forgive and forget.

Not me. I hated that bastard for his 1991 World Series work. I never got over it, and that may be the cruelest thing about baseball sometimes-- you are forced by circumstances to hate that which you would find admirable, even lovable, due to your feelings for your team and against their enemies. (As an example, I find Derek Jeter to be roughly equivalent to Josef Mengele, but then I have a bit of an ingrained yankee hatred).

Updated due to comments from Mrs. Ackfoo that "I hope that there are no children reading this.."


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