Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kyle, Blanks

Yesterday I watched the first, of what I assume will be many, meaningless ninth inning at bats by Adrian Gonzalez and Kyle Blanks. The Padres were down 6-1 and after Tony Gwynn (Jr, he's fucking Tony Gwynn Jr.) and David Eckstein flew out to begin the inning it became clear that a comeback was not in the cards. And so I got to sit back and enjoy a tradition like no other, watching awesome but pointless home runs by two Padres sluggers, one a veteran with a smooth swing and the other a monstrous rookie with the courage to ignore his last name and become a hitter and not a pitcher.

When I was a kid I was like most kids, imagining myself hitting in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded. I would imagine the headlines, "Chandler Makes 'Friends' With MVP Trophy," "Sloppy Joe Serves Up Three Homers" or "Hey Joe, Where You Going With That Bat In Your Hand." It was never about actually playing the game, it was about what that life would be like if I did. Fortunately for all of us, Kyle Blanks had the courage to ignore that voice in his head. That voice was screaming, "Be a Pitcher!!! Think of how it will sound on the cover of the Tennessee Gazette 'Kyle Blanks Red Sox.'" As adults we know how often we would see that headline and how quickly we'd become exhausted by it, but as a child when you're making the choice of what profession to pursue, how do you resist that voice and its siren call?

We can't even be sure that the voice wanted him to play baseball. Maybe the voice was begging for him to be a Jeopardy contestant and asking him to fail so spectacularly that Alex Trebek would turn to the other contestants and say, "Looks like Kyle Blanks on Words with Q, Monica, it's your board?" But Kyle was brave enough to not listen.

Can you imagine having the last name "Blanks?" Think of the allure of being an NHL goaltender with that last name, or the deep-seated desire to become a firearms expert, or even the temptation to get a job as an employee at an arts supply store? But Kyle stood up to that voice when he picked up a bat and yesterday that bravery was reflected in a meaningless, mammoth home run. Had his name been "Kyle Blasts" today's Union-Tribune headline would've read, "Kyle Blasts Off," but the headline will simply read "Padres Lose, Blanks, Gonzalez Homer." And that is why I love Kyle Blanks.

That and that he's going to be an absolute disaster in Left Field and there's nothing quite like Mammoth Home Run Hitters who play terrible defense. They're the best.


red said...

I love him, too, but not for the reasons you mentioned. More because I want to have 10,000 of his babies.

Joe said...

best of luck to you.

Kyle "Billy" Blanks said...

Tae Bo helps me mash.

Sean O'Donnell said...

if he ever tries to get his wife or girlfriend pregnant and is unable, she will ride that "kyle, blanks" shit till then end of time.

Joe said...

fuck... you're a genius. wish i'd thought of that idea.