Phil Plantier
Even the name sounded enticing to me. I would dream about it. He was my secret weapon, Phil, phil, philip. Plantier. I loved thinking about his stance, his homeruns, his plays in the field (although, even at age 13, I knew he looked kind of awkward out there). He was handsome, like Mel Gibson, as it said on the back of his Upper Deck card. I liked his '90 Stadium Club card, standing with the bat on his shoulders, looking powerful. I constantly was projecting his '91 numbers into a full season. Even if you went by the number of games he played, he would still hit like 33 homeruns. If you went by at bats, it gets into the mid forties. And his age: he was almost as young as Griffey Junior. Junior was born at the end of 69, Plantier in the beginning. But still the same year. In my mind that put him on the same level as Junior. In fact a higher level because Plantier hit for average.

I looked at his minor league numbers, and there was no way in my mind that he wouldn't be a great homerun hitter. He hit 27 homers one year and 33 another.

All these thoughts and more went through my mind as I devoured "Beckett" price guides looking for a card I didn't have.

I would bring my cards over to my friend's house for a sleepover and I would lay them out on the floor and sort and stare at them. He had his prospect too. He liked Ryan Klesko, he was young, born in '71. But Klesko looked fat to me and hadn't done shit at the major league level. He hardly had any baseball cards because he was such a young, lower minors prospect. It was easy to collect all his cards, there were only a few. My friend was just copying me, but my obsession was real, his wasn't: Plantier would be a superstar. There could be no doubt, just look at the numbers. Plus I had watched it, when there wasn't a whole lot on the Red Sox to cheer for, I witnessed his bat crank all sorts of pitches for doubles and homeruns. I heard everyone marvel at his funky stance. I liked Mo Vaughn too, but Mo was over a year older and hadn't hit as many dingers in the minors or the majors. I remember hearing Plantier, when questioned about a game in which both homered, saying "Mo hits 'em high, I hit 'em far." I thought high sucked, and that they were really like popups. Far was the way to be.

But I had some doubts. His average kind of tumbled a bit in the latter part of the year. It was around .370, and then in the last week and a half, he lost 40 points. And he didn't seem to be hitting as many bombs either. My 13 year old mind couldn't comprehend the notion of small sample size--that any big league hitter could hit like crazy for a month. My experience also suffered from small sample size--I was just a young kid. It's no wonder that little leaguers always list as their favorite player as some young hot commodity. To them, the fact that Sammy Sosa hit 66 homers in '98 means nothing. Six years ago is ancient history.

Spell It Out

When you say you can think of a million reasons why to/not to do something, you could probably only come up with about 30.



I guess you could say that he's come to another crossroads.
This meaning-junkie.
I'll try my hand at this narration nonsense, just to convey this day as it occurred, July 28th, 2004. I don't believe in narration for its own sake, nor do I fancy fictional stories of any kind. Music bothers me. These things all boil down to someone else's expression. Some other person's feelings, opinions, thoughts. Unless it conveys existence or has pragmatic value, it's not worth experiencing. Now don't mistake me for some sort of super pragmatist, like a medical doctor. Notice I could have said modern-day doctors, but I didn't because it is unnecessary--the actual distinction is meaningless: doctor's haven't changed their pragmatic ways since their inception.

I've reached the point of boredom, and I'm begining to feel disgusted with your inability to understand me. I don't think I'll tell you at all about my memorable day. And when I don't it will be lost forever, as I will never speak of it again, and the memory will fade as the days disappear. This is caused entirely by your insolence which I cannot abide by any longer.