Sunday, July 20, 2008

52 52 52 Week #22: New Jersey

In which I examine crappy local sports journalism on a state-by-state basis, progressing through the states in terms of an alphabetical ordering of the heights of their tallest points. Because I can.

You know what's delicious? Irony, that's what. As I may or may not have let slip over the course of my writings here, I happen to hail from the great state of New Jersey. This week's post should have been my magnum opus, a self-indulgent celebration of myself and the state I happen to reside in. It would have been grand. It would have been opulent. It would have been unreadable. I mean like James Joyce unreadable. Late period Joyce.

But, as it happens, I'm in central America, I'm actually doing shit during the day (there aren't even basements here, my mother's or otherwise), and the internet is spotty. Hence this post will be an utter cop-out. I mean utter. Oh, and I'm also probably suspending the other two weekly features until I get back. I don't have the material for Comics & Sports, and I don't really have time to develop ideas well enough for the Column Thingy. Hopefully Passive and Djmmm will be able to step up.

So yeah, let's get this shit-show on the road. New Jersey's highpoint is, well, High Point, a 1,803 foot highpoint that's, you know, high and shit. Here are your requisite three facts:

1. It's the highest peak in the Kittatinny mountains. I live in the fucking state and I've never heard of this particular range. It clearly needs a better publicist.

2. It's a state park with a 200-foot monument at the summit that memorializes those killed in war. Which is very, very laudable. Of course, since this is Jersey...

3. ...the governor wants to shut the park down. Always knew that guy was a commie.

Our article this week comes from The Star Ledger. It's a fun little paper, I guess, and I've proudly never read it. Since this is New Jersey, there's only one thing it could be about - the Yankees, and the fucking awesomeness thereof. Or, in this case, Kyle Farnsworth. Dan Graziano has the floor.

NEW YORK -- They didn't boo Kyle Farnsworth at Joyce Kilmer Elementary School. Second-graders generally aren't the booing kind, and anyway Farnsworth wasn't there to pitch.

Not there to pitch? Ba-ZING!

This was back on May 21, when Farnsworth couldn't so much as warm up in the Yankee Stadium bullpen without getting booed. So the trip out to Mahwah to talk to the kids about a couple of his favorite topics was a pleasant respite.

May 21st? Even I wouldn't touch something that old. Well, other than that one time I did. But that was to do with Michael Tunison! Sweet, beautiful, resplendent Michael Tunison.

"Kids that age are little sponges," Farnsworth said. "They take in everything they can."

Other ways in which kids are like sponges...

1. They're both eukaryotes.
2. You can use both to clean yourself. Although only one doesn't usually involve a visit by the authorities.
3. They're also called "poriferans."

Farnsworth wasn't there to talk about the Yankees, or about life as a big-league relief pitcher. Sure, some of that came up, but his real purpose for being there was to educate the youngsters on fitness and nutrition.

I'd like to think the questions the second graders did ask about the Yankees were of the following variety...

"Hey, Farnsworth? Fuck you!"

OK...that's only kinda a question. But hey, it's Jersey.

"This is something I care about," Farnsworth said. "So I can tell them a little bit of what I know. Fitness, working out, but also nutrition. That's the most important thing. You can work out all you want, but if you eat bad food, it's not going to do you any good."

Oh...so that's what I've been doing wrong. Also, I don't work out.

Who'd have thought it? Kyle Farnsworth -- man with a message. And a worthy one at that. It may not be enough to make the guy a fan favorite, but it's at least something to think about the next time you boo him.

Kyle Farnsworth thinks fitness is good. This alone should earn him your veneration. After all, A-Rod spends weekends force-feeding chocolate sundaes to already full children.

In three years as a Yankee, Farnsworth has built a poor reputation with the fans. He's seen as a weak link -- a blower of late-inning leads, an unreliable performer whose balky back occasionally renders him useless when they need him most.

But...because he was once a Cub plus some other random reason, my brother fucking loves Kyle Farnsworth. Like he's probably reading this post right now without pants on.

But slowly, as this year has progressed, Farnsworth has begun to rehabilitate himself. He has taken over the eighth-inning setup role, flourishing as the man in front of Mariano Rivera since Joba Chamberlain moved to the starting rotation. He received a huge vote of confidence from his new manager, who also happens to be one of his former catchers, and he has so far justified it.

Let's assume I just made a really juvenile gay joke. You know, because the word "catcher" was used. Goodness, I'm mailing this shit in big time.

Farnsworth acknowledges having had a tough time his first couple of years in New York, but he says the fans' booing isn't anything that's bothered him.

"Nothing I can do about it," he said. "The important thing is that I never lost confidence in myself and what I can do."


That may be the most cliched thing I've ever heard. I'm just saying is all.

Farnsworth is as fit as any player in the major leagues. He works out five days a week in the offseason, a little less during the season. His typical lunch is grilled chicken and rice. His typical breakfast is eggs and/or oatmeal. He'll mix in a steak here and there for dinner, or a baked sweet potato. He'll even have a cheeseburger every now and then. He has no sweet tooth, so he's able to lay off the desserts -- you're far more likely to find him sipping on a protein shake than dipping into the clubhouse's ice cream freezer -- but most of his nutrition program is sensible.

So, he talks to second graders, and "most of his nutrition program is sensible"? Wow, this was really worth writing a column about, wasn't it?

I feel pretty much the same way about this post. Let me make it up to you with a YouTube clip that is guaranteed to cause infinite happiness...



Come on...wasn't that awesome?

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

What do you mean probably? How well do you know me?