Slump Busting In The Serengeti

January17/ 2000

… For not the first time in Internet history, a confluence of two subjects with absolutely ZERO tangential relationship.  (1) Lost in the yadda yadda over Jose’s tell-all about his steroidal teammates is his public revelation about “Slump Busters”.  This long time baseball “tradition” has Maureen Dowd all atwitter … … Twittering MoDo is always good.  (2) Meanwhile in Chapel Hill, Dickie Baddour has tied another pork chop around his neck and is skipping thru the pit bull cage. 

   I thought everybody knew about “Slump Busters”.  Of course I also thought everybody knew that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a bad day to travel anywhere, and that Hillary Clinton and Mickie Krzyzewski are twins separated at birth.  Apparently everybody does not know these fundamental “of courses”. 

… Our favorite titan-tressed dyke with her finger in the little Dutch boy … Maureen “MoDo” Dowd of the New York Times … is OUTRAGED.  (Yawn!) No, this time it’s not over the celebration of Christmas, the re-election of George Bush, or Michael Douglas’ not admitting he made a mistake picking Catherine Zeta-Jones over “MoDo”.  This time it’s over the long-standing baseball tradition of “Slump Busting”.  Best divert the eyes of the young’ans. This one’s going to get “carnal”.

   “Slump Busting” is the baseball superstition ritual of a player going out and dancing the horizontal mambo with the “ugliest” example of feminine pulchritude he can run his hands all over.  It’s closely tied to “coyote ugly” and “double bagging”.  If a player is in a hitting slump, he does it to change his luck.  If the team is in a losing streak, a designated player agrees to “fall on a grenade” to change the team’s fortunes. As a baseball tradition it predates the invention of the fungo bat.  Not that “MoDo” knows anything about “fungo bats” unless Tavern On The Green is offering the little critters on a bed of baby spinach leaves drizzled in a raspberry vinaigrette. 

…“MoDo” thinks this silly wretchedness is “demeaning to women”.  This from a woman with a picture of Bill Clinton taped to the ceiling over her bed in her Manhatten highrise.

   Professional baseball players are professional athletes.  They are paid a WHOLE lot of money to entertain baseball fans by “playing baseball”.  Unless your company’s pension fund is heavy into Cracker Jacks or the manufacture of batting cages you should restrict your “give a damn” about “baseball players” to what happens on the field while you are watching them play.  Think of them as human sausage factories. … The current scandal over what foreign substances they put into their bodies is ugly enough.  Now “MoDo” is hot and bothered over what ugly bodies they cuddle up to on those 4 day layovers in Milwaukee.

   The term is “Baseball Annies”.  The NFL, the NBA, the PGA, NASCAR, and the PRCA have their own names for the same “tradition”.  These are the ubiquitous gathering of virtueless and self-esteem-deprived women who hover outside locker rooms and in the lobbies of “team hotels” wherever professional athletes travel.  Their intended purpose has been the same since the Sodom Red Sox and the Gomorrah Desert Rats played home and home series. 


   WHOA WHOA WHOA … slow down BobLee … (1) What is PRCA … A: Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association.  Their ready and very very willing female fans are called “Buckle Bunnies”. … (2) How do I know about “Baseball Annies” … A:  You forget, boys and girls, that from 1976-1980 I ran “THE #1 Pro Sports Team Hotel in America” (Sports Illustrated 1978) – The Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City.  Billy Martin quit as manager of the Yankees for the 2nd time, and called George Steinbrenner a “convicted liar” for the 1st time just outside my office.

   With marginal respect to the recently blown out pickled brain of Hunter S. Thompson … you want freakin’ “gonzo journalism” I’ll give you freakin’ “gonzo journalism”.  I don’t need Wild Turkey and peyote to make up stories.  I live’em.    


   August in ’78 or ’79 … Seattle in town for a 4 game series with the Royals.  I’m walking thru the lobby and “Zero” McGee, my front desk manager, gives me the high sign.  Two “Stew-types” are giving one of our desk clerks a hard time.  “Stews” are what we used to call “flight attendants” back in the “coffee, tea, or me” days.  “MoDo” was pretty constipated back then too.  

   Cathy “Bedpost” Belding was the clerk and “Bedpost” hardly needed my help but this had potential as “good column fodder” in 25 years .  

   “What’s seems to be the problem, Ladies?”

   “We flew in to surprise our husbands and this clerk won’t give us their room #s.”

   “Well Ms Belding is just following our procedures.  Maybe I can help.  Let me guess, your “husbands” are with the Mariners.

   “Why yes they are.  How did you know?”

   “Lucky guess, and the fact that most ladies wearing 4” stilettos, leather mini-skirts, and with no visible luggage except a Dillard’s shopping bag are usually looking to surprise their pro jock husbands.  Why don’t you join me over here in our Lobby Bar?  Thank you Cathy, I’ll take care of these ladies.” … Now, the Mariners are due to arrive in about two hours.  They will come right thru that door over there.  If you ladies are sitting right here you can pick yourselves out a couple of husbands to “surprise”.

   “Thank you soooo much Mr ______ “

   “Swagger Ma’m, BL Swagger.  Oh, and ladies, the White Sox will be arriving Wednesday night around 10:30PM.”     


   As usual, MoDo is pretty much out-of-touch with pretty much everything beyond the boundaries of the East and Hudson Rivers.  Either that or she has shut down too many bars at closing time and her own “love life” is below the Mendoza Line.  Ben Affleck has struck out on his last few movies … maybe a “date” with MoDo could bust his slump?

   I am not advocating the unbridled hedonistic lifestyle of professional athletes.  Hardly, I have a general disdain for the species that you cannot imagine.  But, yea verily, if any pro athlete “on the road” goes to bed alone it’s because he chose to, not because there were not ample options available to him.  Those options run the gauntlet from “hubba hubba” to “slump busters”.  While any pro athlete could easily afford to “pay for it” they don’t have to, unless, of course, they want “professional services”.  As in life, one gets what one “pays for” in this “NEVER kiss’em on the mouth or give’em your home phone # ” ritual.  

In MLB, the “Angles” aren’t really angels and neither are any of the rest of’em.

   The only difference between a pro sports team and a rock band is that with the exception of a couple of notorious NBA teams, jocks don’t go for the group orgy scenes, opting instead for the relative privacy of a hotel room with usually no more than 3 or 4 others present in the room.

   What can be fun to watch is when a sports team is sharing a large luxury hotel with a “convention” of Willie Loman-esque sales guys.  Every bimbo in town knows the jocks are in town so they flock to the hotel bars with visions of collecting new sexual adventures for their collections.  Do the math … 25 ballplayers and 75-100 bimbos.  Allowing for a few hearty appetites and schedule juggling (“you are Miss 11:45, you are Miss 12:30, and you are Miss 1:15 w/ stay all night privileges …”) that leaves 50 or so dirty-legged bimbos left over for Willie and his auto parts selling buddies from Omaha.

   The best analogy is a watering hole in the Serengeti Wildlife Preserve.  The jocks are the lions of course and get first choice of anything they want.  As they mosey off for whatever, the law of natural selection takes over.  The owners of the auto parts stores (buffalos) outrank the salesmen (wildebeests) and the younger, fitter salesmen (hyenas)  outrank the threadbare guys in the corfam shoes with the comb-overs (hyenas w/ comb-overs).

   Everything is relative … the pathetic hyena goes back to Platte City, clicks on his favorite message board and brags about his wild night in the hotel bar with his new best friends, the Cleveland Indians, and how this “hot chick” (aka ultra skanky 16 y/o with a cheap fake ID) mistook him for Joe Charboneau and promised him a “night in paradise” if he could get the bartender to validate her parking ticket.

   I really WAS going to talk about Little Dickie and the UNC Student Fee Ruckus but somehow I got off track.  That part about weird little guys in hotel bars at closing time reminded me.  Now it’s too late.  We’ll do that some other time really soon. I promise.


Swagger’s Stumper

What position did “Blade” play in the first “Major League”?

What was his character’s name?


   Has anyone found ONE PERSON on Franklin Street that can comment on the recent Coach K documentary on FoxSports without exceeding the legal F-bomb limit?

   We said Herb needed to go 2-2 versus UNC and Wake.  He can’t do that now.  It’s not a nice situation.  Wuffs tend to be ill-tempered little beasts under ideal conditions.  NCSU BB is not “ideal” these days.

   George Jetson worked for Spacely Sprockets.  Swampy even remembered his robot maid’s boyfriend.

   Watching Duke, UNC, and NCState … all three coaches have been successful in discontinuing “excessive urban cultural celebrations”.  With the exception of that one overly-discussed enigmatic one we no longer discuss.  Kudos to the coaches. It’s a good thing.

   We finally got around to watching “The Terminal” this week.  Yes, very good movie.  I don’t care for Michael Douglas but picking Catherine Zeta-Jones over MoDo was definitely a no-brainer.

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