They paid me their money, and I knocked the men down
I haven’t watched a wrestling match since I was about 5 years old. I was a Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake fan, but only when he was a bad guy. He became a good guy at some point, and I lost interest in his wrestling career (which, I can only assume, has since ended… perhaps Brutus went back to cutting hair).
Well, while standing around in the clubhouse tonight, waiting for an interview that never happened, I had the … pleasure? … of watching a WWE video featuring a championship match between John Cena and Some Other Guy Whose Name I Didn’t Happen to Catch.
This fight dragged on for about 45 minutes. Each guy was knocked unconscious several times by either A. a ladder, B., a chair or C. a table. The goal was to reach the championship belt, which was dangled above the ring (hence the need for easy access to ladders). Cena had his hand on it for a second, but SOGWNIDHC pushed the ladder over, causing Cena to fall on a suspiciously well-placed table outside the ring. Then, SOGWNIDHC summited the ladder, only to reach the same table fate on the other side. Then some female wrestler, presumably fresh from an appointment with her plastic surgeon, got involved, in SOGWNIDHC’s defense, but Cena, who is not exactly a gentleman, slammed her to the ground with extreme prejudice. Then he grabbed the belt, and everybody went nuts. Long live the Champ.
If you’re interested in watching this fight for yourself, you can get the DVD, “WWE: Best of the Ladder Matches.” I wish I were making this up, but that’s the name, according to clubhouse attendant Josh Ball, who also informed me there are 14 total hours of footage. Go crazy, folks, go crazy.
This has the makings of a dead night at Progressive. The Cavs are finishing off the Wizards (we hope) next door, and it’s bone-chilling cold. But baseball’s hottest pitcher, Cliff Lee, is on the mound. If he tosses a complete game and gives up just one earned run, his ERA will actually rise. In the lineup, Travis Hafner and Jhonny Peralta are both getting a day off.
INDIANS: CF Grady Sizemore, 2B Jamey Carroll, 1B Victor Martinez, DH Ryan Garko, 3B Casey Blake, RF Franklin Gutierrez, C Kelly Shoppach, LF Jason Michaels, SS Asdrubal Cabrera. LHP Lee goes for five straight.
MARINERS: CF Ichiro Suzuki, 2B Jose Lopez, LF Raul Ibanez, 3B Adrian Beltre, DH Jose Vidro, 1B Richie Sexson, RF Wladimir Balentien, C Kenji Johjima, SS Yuniesky Betancourt. LHP Jarrod Washburn on the mound.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY:
- Lee’s career ERA has dipped from 4.64 to 4.46 this year.
- Martinez has only had 20 plate appearances with RISP this season. By comparison, Sizemore has had 21 in the leadoff spot.
- The Indians have three of the top 10 ERAs among starting pitchers (Lee, Carmona and Westbrook).
- Last year, fans voted Victor Martinez the Tribe’s “Work Hard, Fly Right” MVP on Indians.com. For winning the award, Martinez received 1,000,000 frequent flyer miles from Continental Airlines. Martinez turned right around and donated those miles to Esperanza, a Hispanic non-profit organization here in Cleveland. Two twins boys from Honduras who were badly burned by a fire when they were infants used the miles to fly to Cleveland and have cosmetic surgery performed. They were on the field for batting practice. I’ll have a story on them in next week’s issue of Game Face Magazine.
UPDATE (8:40 p.m.): My good buddy Marc Lancaster of the Tampa Tribune informs me Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake is only semi-retired. My apologies.