By Josh Mosley
Feeling a little melancholy today, Swingers. Last night was the season, and hopefully series, finale of my favorite television show of all-time: Scrubs. Andy and Danny both partake in the goodness of the show but neither is probably as invested in it as yours truly. It’s one of a hand full of shows I’ve seen wire to wire and, for all intents and purposes, is what a sitcom in this day and age should strive for: a good mix of comedy and drama that possesses some odd ball moments but is steeped in realism.
Last night’s episode, and for that matter this entire season, was like that. I’m not going to recap the entire thing but I’ll just say that it was the way the show should have ended. A reflective conclusion with accompanying music that, in the show’s tradition, sums up the moment perfectly. Plus you learn the Janitor’s name. Or did that crazy bastard fake out J Dizzle one last time? I guess we’ll never know.
But since I don’t want this to be all gloom and doom, I have found a way to incorporate some baseball into this. Like television shows, baseball players leave the game in memorable or not so memorable ways. And since I hope to Jesus H. Television that was indeed the Scrubs finale, I am going to list the top 5 goodbyes in the history of baseball. Before I get started, I’m going to preface this by saying that this list isn’t just scandalous send offs or fond farewells. We write what we want here at the Worldwide Leader of the NL Central and, with that in mind, I will create this list the way I see fit. Deal with it, lemmings!!!!
No. 5: Lou Gehrig: We’ve all seen Gehrig’s farewell speech at Yankee Stadium on the fourth of July 1939. It’s been played ad nauseum as being one of the great sport goodbyes of all time. And don’t get me wrong: it’s a great speech that is best remembered for the famous phrase “Today. I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” After contracting a disease that would eventually bare his name, he told the world to not feel bad for him and that he would rise and do big things again in the future.
But still: I want to give a huge screw you to Lou Gehrig’s disease. The guy was five RBI’s away from 2000 and 300 hits away from 3000. Plus there was that whole playing in 2,130 straight games. I guess that was cool, too. He’s still statistically one of the best players in major league history. But the disease couldn’t have held off until he retired? Weak sauce, disease. Weak ASS sauce.
No. 4: Michael Jordan Despite the fact that Brett Favre is starting to make Jordan look better, we can’t discount the fact that his “Airness” walked out on the Bulls in the prime of his career to strap on a helmet and play baseball. Really?!??!?! I mean I guess I could quit something I rule at to try something I’m completely unproven in. And when I get super good at something I’ll let you folks know what that would be. Anyway, it wasn’t so much that he had a spectacular baseball career. He ended up batting .202 with 3 home runs and 51 RBI’s in the White Sox farm system. But I put this goodbye on here because it eventually led him back to doing work for the Bulls and made all of us feel better knowing that Michael Jordan is bad at something. You know, something other than masking his gambling addiction.
No. 3: Mark Mc Gwire You had me at andro, Mark. Coming off one of the great three year home run stretches of all-time (which we can only assume was chemically enhanced) Big Mac limped through 2000 and 2001 with a bad back. Probably from carrying all that steroid baggage. AMIRIGHT?!?!?!! Anyway, McGwire peaced out of baseball at the end of 2001 citing nagging injuries. Yeah….why was this goodbye so great? Because he got out while steroid speculation was still squarely on Bonds shoulders and before anyone could pin anything on him. Now if he could have just avoided that whole Congress hearing in 2005. But we salute you Mark McGwire: you roided up, PR savvy, frightening ginger you.
No. 2 Cal Ripken Jr: You can’t mention Lou Gehrig and not mention Cal Ripken. It’s true. There’s a law written somewhere about it. I don’t have it off hand but I can search the web and give you an address. Either way, Ripken broke Gehrig’s streak in September of ’95 and played everyday up until September 20, 1998. With all the hoopla about Bonds in 2001, Ripken quietly retired at the end of the season with highlights such as a start in the All Star Game and socking a dinger in his first at bat. Nice way to go out, Cal. Which is something I can’t say for the number one guy on this list…
No. 1 Barry Bonds: Like history, Barry Bonds jokes write themselves. There’s nothing I can really say that is witty and refreshing about Barry so we’ll just say he’s number one with a bullet…or a syringe. HAHAHA!!!! Eat it, Bonds.
But seriously, if his career is over, the best part about Bonds’ goodbye is that it is not on his own terms. Like fine art in a museum, nobody wants to touch Barry. You don’t know what you’re in store for if you give him a roster spot and he has backed himself into such a corner that he can’t really expect any team to give him a shot. He’ll retire as the all time leader in home runs but obviously that’s in question. He was a sure fire HOF’er before 2001 but now even that’s in the air (for the record, he should get in and would if I had a vote). The tragedy that is his career still makes me laugh. Way to ride off into the sunset, Barry. Don’t let Tonto and the Lone Ranger kick you in the nards.