Random Musings Don’t Always Have To Come Around On A Weekend

Usually I’ll do these little wrap-ups (which are my way of essentially saying, “I want to mention these things, but I don’t want to devote some long column to them”) either going into or coming out of a weekend.  But there’s just been too many things happening in the last day or so that I thought needed mentioning here.  And even though it’s technically Tuesday, I haven’t gone to sleep yet — so that’s still just like it’s Monday, right?

— So the score is apparently: U.S. Navy 1, Somalian Pirates 0.   Hey — it’s just like watching the real Pirates lose!  Except with a little more bloodshed (though I wouldn’t want to underestimate the violence capabilities of long-suffering Pirates fans around the nation).

This just in — the Navy SEALs are bad-to-the-bone.  Frankly, the first thought in my mind when I read that other Somalian pirates were vowing to retaliate after the daring rescue of American captive Richard Phillips was, “Really?  Well, then bring it on people!”

The Rock doesnt care WHAT the Somali pirates think

The Rock doesn't care WHAT the Somali pirates think

Frankly, if the world’s largest and most powerful Navy can’t handle a few guys in a rowboat with automatic weapons, then we’re shouldn’t even be on the water in the first place.  The U.S. has talked about cracking down on pirating on the seas — and this was a good place for us to start by making an example out of these thugs who got exactly what they deserved.

— A sad day in baseball on Monday, as Harry Kalas, the longtime voice of the Phillies and NFL Films, passed away shortly after collapsing in the broadcast booth before the team’s game in Washington today.

Kalas had one of the most recognizable voices in the business, and he was a joy to listen to.  Not having grown up in Philadelphia, I didn’t get a chance to hear as much of Kalas’ work until just the last few years, but he was truly a treat to the ears and a treasure to the game itself.  Of all sports, baseball lends itself more than any other to its announcers becoming just as much of a team’s identity as any of the players themselves, and no better example (except perhaps, Vin Scully with the Dodgers) could be found than in the relationship between the Phillies, Kalas, and the fans who loved them both.  The only solace I can take in such a sad moment like this is that Kalas got to see the Phillies win the World Series last year, and the last game he was a part of on Sunday was a dramatic ninth-inning win against Colorado.  R.I.P to a legend of the booth.

— Also making news was the death of former Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych yesterday in an apparent accident at his farm in Northborough, Massachusetts.  “The Bird” was truly one-of-a-kind — a superstar that captivated those who watched him pitch, and whose career, like a meteor in a dark sky, blazed brightly but burned out far too soon.

Fidrych burst onto the national scene in 1976, winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award en route to dazzling the baseball world with not only his baseball skill — which was considerable — but his eccentric behavior, which included talking to the baseball and meticulously grooming the mound in between hitters.  “The Bird” drew fans wherever he went, bringing in sellout crowds to whatever venue he pitched — but his career was shortened by injuries, derailing him into retirement after just 29 major league wins, only 10 of which came after that glorious rookie season.

I’ll remember Fidrych as one of the first players I ever became familiar with when I first started playing baseball, and as a small boy, I loved the antics and the showmanship he exhibited more than I appreciated the skill that he showed on the mound.  I can only wonder what type of phenomenon Fidrych would have been in today’s day and age, and be saddened that he was taken from us so soon.

— And as if this hasn’t been a morbid enough look at events for you, adult film star Marilyn Chambers was found dead at her home in California at the relatively young age of 56.

21-obit_chambers_02embeddedprod_affiliate138The story most people think of when Chambers’ name comes up is of her being on the boxes of Ivory Soap when she made her adult film debut in the X-rated Behind The Green Door.  The soap company removed her from their product, but Chambers’ own career would skyrocket as the porn industry made a huge leap into mainstream America during the early 1970’s — and the bombshell blonde would be one of the genre’s biggest attractions.

chambers-ivoryI knew Marilyn first, not from any X-rated fare, but from two low-budget R-rated forays she made into films, David Cronenberg’s Rabid, made in 1977, and the soft-core Angel of H.E.A.T., which she made in 1983.  Both were a staple of late-night programming in the early 80’s on Showtime, and the latter movie represented one of my first opportunities to fully … ah …. appreciate the female form to its greatest extent.  I remember being completely shocked when I found out, at a somewhat older age, that Chambers had a whole “other” movie career I hadn’t known about at the time.

Without attempting to pass judgement on her or her chosen profession, I’ll just say that one of my adolescent fantasies is no longer with us, and that makes me feel, if nothing else, a little bit older today.

— Hopefully we’re done with bad news for the week.  Unless you count Isiah Thomas possibly getting hired to coach again.  But that we’ll tackle later in the week.


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