The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

It's Obvious - Isn't it?

When Jack McKeon chose to use Todd Hollandsworth to pinch hit for Chad Fox in the eighth inning last night, my initial reaction was that it was a mistake. Hollandsworth (H’worth in your boxscore most likely) hasn’t been much at the plate this year, and frankly hasn’t looked like much of the player that many of us thought that he would be seemingly eons ago when he won the National League Rookie of the Year award with the Dodgers.

This move was surprising, because (as everyone later found out) Mike Lowell was available on the bench. Fortunately though, for the Fish, Hollandsworth came up with a double.

But Trader Jack obviously knew something. Jack has been pulling all of the right switches and pushing all the right buttons the entire year – well, for most of the year. The Marlins didn’t find Jack at his retirement home until the middle of May, but that’s another story all together.

I think what Jack knew is that he has a deal with the devil (and the devil may in fact be Marlins President David Samson – although I would expect in human form that the devil would take on a more imposing form than the Marlins diminutive dweeb) and that it didn’t matter who he used to pinch hit during the 8th inning (this I am sure of because if the devil has a deal with Jack McKeon, he surely has a deal with the people at Fox, who would bargain nearly anything for a dramatic ending and high ratings – thus everyone involved knew extra innings would be involved from the outset).

So Jack saved Mike Lowell, giving him precious more time to sit on the bench to let his broken hand heal. And heal it did – at least well enough to lift a fly ball just high enough and just hard enough to peak over the basket in centerfield and land just above Kenny Lofton’s head.

Hopefully for Jack and the Fish the magic will continue. I haven’t quite pieced together how this arrangement Jack has with the devil also involves the Cubs’ infamous Billy Goat and the Red Sox curse of the Bambino, but with the way things seem to be playing out this postseason, I’m sure they’re involved in the plot too (think about it – it’s entirely possible – Jack is old enough to have personally known all of the key contributors to the alleged curses). Eventually I the rest of this will become obvious to us all.


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