Yeah, sure, I dig the fiery, feisty stuff as much as anyone, especially when it leads to production between the lines. Yeah, sure, Bowa was part of a World Series-winning team with the Phillies. He was a good-field, sometimes-hit spark who seemed forever embattled with proving himself, leading to an admirable version of on-field determination and, at times, whack-job attitude.
As a member of my favorite team growing up and manning the position I played in Little League at the time, the Phillies shortstop many moons ago was a fixture in the hearts of fans, including my own. Forever labeled the “Mouse That Roared” for his one-time feat of grand-slamming against the vaunted Big Red Machine that spurred on yet another Daily News classic headline, Bowa caught the fancy of most and the loyalty of all – and that’s fine.
Even with starting to grow up and realizing that veteran shortstop was nothing more than a .260 hitter with production skills that made Phil Rizzuto “pop” numbers look like Babe Ruth’s by comparison (sorry, Bowa Hall of Fame proponents, your guy averaged .260-1-38-71 every 162 games while Scooter averaged .273-4-55-86; give it a rest), he was one of the guys decked out in red pinstripes.
But once he got dealt to the Cubs, Larry’s legend faded for me much like my adolescent passion for hockey.
His bluster and blather at that point, good riddance.
Which leads me to now and this ever-beholden clinging by so many around here to what they think Bowa was, or even is.
One question: Why?
Following a “meh” stint as manager here, Bowa is back as a coach and, every once in a while, he does the emotionally-charged overkill eruption … that brings out the “golden memories” for so many as they regale us all with tales of Larry’s temper, spinning it as charming and combative at the same time. Like he’s a bad-ass with a noble, higher-level, “teaching” purpose to his madness.
Ugh. Puh-leeze. He’s about as dangerous now as a 70-year-old man as he was a 155-pound pipsqueak back in his heyday, and the rants and spaz-outs, they’re about as non-self-serving as a politician on stage.
If we’re going to hold players accountable for their immature actions in the face of authority, how about we do the same with those who are supposed to be showing the same players the right way?
Spare your knees and skip the misguided genuflections.
MIKEY MISSED: In taking on Heath Evans Wednesday for the NFL analyst’s critical comments about Chip Kelly, his offense and his overall philosophies, the Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli short-circuited much of what may be his limited credibility. Calling out someone for making quick judgments? Holy cow, kettle meet pot. Mikey Miss, as most in the sportstalking (and sportswriting) biz, ain’t exactly shy in elevating or eliminating athletes and teams after a single performance, if not play. That’s his prerogative. But he’s a hypocrite for getting on someone else for the same thing, and criticizing the guy’s knowledge when his own isn’t spot-on, either.
For the record, Kelly was at Oregon for six years – not three as M2 proclaimed. He was the head coach for four of those and ran the show on offense the other two. Frankly, the sheer basis of M2’s argument is as lame as he’s stating the criticism by Evans is. Kelly’s success or lack of it is no better or worse than that of thousands of other coaches who haven’t won a title. Gee, what a ringing endorsement … and how dare Evans has an opinion, especially if it differs from M2’s – at that moment.
THAT BEING SAID: I’ll still take M2’s show over the revamped Josh Innes “experience” during the afternoon drive-time slot. WIP, for me, totally whiffed by teaming Spike Eskin and Hollis Thomas with Innes. The three sound like three freshmen forced into a frat ill-suited for each of them.
I’m disappointed, but not surprised.
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com