Friday, November 25, 2011

Slaughter Rule: Friday Rerun

I read a lot, and it's often surprising how I can be reading from two wholly different sources (e.g. the internet, and an old book, or the 1946 Farmer's Almanac...) and notice a thread of thought, a continuity between the two sources. It's like when you're reading an old book that gives you a way to make ice cream and then, later that day, you see an interesting recipe somewhere else for ice cream topping.

So, it was interesting to me to read in the Sun paper that erstwhile Raven, and current Cleveland Brown, Jamal Lewis is stomping his expensively-shod feet rather mightily because the coach of the Browns, Eric Mangini, is working the team way too hard in practice. Pressed for details about the horrid conditions of his employment, Jamal said that the team is often forced to practice three to three and one half hours per day.

Oh, the humanity.

It would be far too easy to point out here that the Browns are paying old #31 to the tune of 2.4 million semolians to play football this year, on top of shelling out 3.5 million clams to him as a bonus this past March. That comes to 5,900,000 greenbacks this year- that's a lot of smackeroos!

Jamal said the entire Browns team was all up in arms over being forced to work so hard, but he decided to speak up because he plans to retire after this season, anyway. I should imagine so! There's just so much a man can take!

And you know what I thought of at first? Those people that you always see on the TV news in August, up on the roof of some building slopping hot tar with a mop, or paving a road with hot asphalt, or working at the blast furnace, or fighting fires, or whatever. You can bet that they have to put in more than 3 1/2 hours a day at their chosen field.

No, that's not even the point here. Here's where I came across something else. There was an article about the old baseball player known as Enos "Country" Slaughter in a book of essays, and this story told of how, in the 1946 World Series, Slaughter scored from first base on a single, scoring the winning run after a delayed relay throw by the Red Sox's Johnny Pesky. This play was named #10 on the Sporting News list of Baseball's 25 Greatest Moments. The story went on to say that as a minor leaguer in Columbus, Georgia, Slaughter was dogging it running back to the dugout one day. Dogging it so much, in fact, that he was walking. His manager, Eddie Dyer, told him, "Son, if you're tired, we'll try to get you some help." Thereafter, Slaughter ran everywhere he went on a baseball field, and so goes the legend.

I just thought I'd write this to ask if there could possibly be a cooler name for a ball player than Enos "Country" Slaughter.

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