By popular demand, the literary spirit of Larry King will be commandeering the Weekender column every other week during the 2007 season. Larry himself hasn't signed off on it, but that's what's cool about spirits: They pretty much do what they please.
So sit back and marinate in the channeled musings of cable TV's most connected talking head as he downloads his thoughts on all things big-league ball.
I know it's silly, but I giggle just a little every time I see Boof Bonser on the bump for the Twinkies. Boof. Go ahead and say it out loud a few times. I do it just about every morning, right after my green tea and strawberry Go-gurt. "Boof! Boof! Boof!" Makes me feel like I'm winning a fight in a Batman comic book.
Sat down for an interview with Tyra Banks the other day, and let me tell you that the credibility of this I-am-woman-hear-me-roar doll has been put to question far too much lately. It's simply unfair, and it reminds me of the wishy-washy bandwagon-bozo treatment my pottery-class partner Aldo Rodriguez is getting in the Bronx.
Ty-Ty and A-Rod, keep doing what you're doing and don't give in. You're far too charming and talented to be brought down by all of this nonsense. Be strong, say your prayers and drink a little orange juice at 9:45 on the button every night like I do. We'll all get through this storm together.
I took advantage of the godsend that is MLB.TV the other night and finally got a gander at Timmy Lincecum of the S.F. G-Men. Goodness gracious, can this kid sling the rock. And he looks like he's 14! I wouldn't hesitate a single second to give him a couple bucks if he showed up on my doorstep in an Eagle Scout uniform looking to raise money for those wayward whales stuck in the Sacramento River.
If you're a Giants fan, you've gotta be looking at a rotation anchored by Thin Tim, Matty Cain -- both just 22 -- and Barry Zito for the next several years and smiling like Don Cheadle on the red carpet in Cannes.
Have you seen this guy J.J. Hardy swing the pole yet? If not, get your buns to Milwaukee ASAP, shell out whatever dough it takes to get into the cavernous yet still comforting ballyard known as Miller Park, ask one of the kind-hearted concessionaires to pour you a lukewarm Leinie's Amber Light, then sink your teeth into an overcooked brat with extra secret sauce and get a load of this whippersnapper.
Finally healthy, J.J.'s dropping head -- good friend Bobby Uecker taught me that phrase -- and clearing fences almost every day. And he's got the confidence of a young Macaulay Culkin, who, by the by, deserves a shot on the next "Dancing With The Stars." Anyway, couldn't be happier for J.J.. Solid citizen. Brings fresh-baked muffins to local nuns every Sunday morning.
When I look at the class with which Mark Teahen moved into the outfield for make room for hot-shot Royals rookie Alex Gordon at the hot corner, it makes me think one thing: This is the guy who can straighten out Lindsay Lohan, once and for all. ... Oh, and one quick thought on Lindsay topping Maxim's list of the 100 hottest: Movie studios control everything.
Lookit, I'm kind of getting used to this easy-on-the-eyes-and-ears Barack Obama guy on the tube, and I might even be moved to punch the chad for him come November 2008, but his name sure is hard to pronounce. Kind of reminds me of the struggles I've had through the years with ballplayers like Joe Charboneau, Alvaro Espinoza, Cecilio Guante and Andre Ethier.
Makes me pine for a simpler time, when you could score a pack of Topps with a stick of gum for five cents, take the subway all the way to Coney Island for a quarter and get a full-body shiatsu for $1.49. A prideful, classic time.
I've been hanging out lately with Ludacris, of all people, and in addition to giving me a Dave Winfield throwback Padres jersey, Luda's teaching me a little street lingo. So big ups to adorable Jordin Sparks for winning "American Idol," and mad props to Elliott Yamin on the new grill and fly makeover he rocked on last week's show.
Kinda whack that Elliot's subtly saucy mom wasn't in the house, though. And am I crazy, or is John Kruk of "Baseball Tonight" trying to bite EY's game? Step off, dawg.
If there's anything better than a 7:05 p.m. start on a summer night at Safeco Field in Seattle, I sure haven't found it. Give me the Ivar's salmon caesar with an extra-large portion of dressing, a glass of Walla Walla cab, a seat in section 128 with my vintage 1984 Orioles cushion, Cha Seung Baek on the hill, Amy Winehouse on my iPod and an Alvin Davis bobblehead by my feet and I'll sing Chris Cornell tunes at your nephew's junior-high graduation party for a Dixie cup full of pretzel nuggets and a bottle of Sunny D.
Ever feeling really, really low? Give Sean Casey of the Motor City Kitties a call. The man they call The Mayor has a mug -- and the best hug since the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald -- that could make even Michael Chertoff crack a smile.
Caught the red-hot Angels the other night, and since I'm also a big hockey fan who's been checking out the NHL playoffs these days, I couldn't help but comment to Lil' Emma Jean that their manager, Mike Scioscia, could fit right in as a championship goalie.
You just know that if you tried to sneak one by that bull of a man by going top shelf that he'd have the surprising legerdemain to knock it out of the way.
And if you crossed one of his teammates, by golly, he'd sentence you to a week's worth of orthodontist visits in a half-second with a single swat.
The other night on the Windy City's South Side, as the ailing Athletics of Oakland stretched as a group just off the batting cage, Pale Hose skip Ozzie Guillen essentially did five minutes of stand-up comedy for the visitors. Strong move by a strong man. The A's have a medical chart that makes Evel Knievel look like a hypochondriac -- 10 men on the DL -- and could use a few belly-shakers.
Then again, the injuries opened up a spot on the Oakland roster for Hiram Bocachica, whose last name brings memories of a wild night in Florida with a Brazilian salsa dancer flooding back. I still don't know what the Paso Doble is or what it means, but it sure felt right.
If loving Jimmy Leyland is wrong, I don't want to be right. Not only does he have the best mustache in sports, but he also understands the rules of the game better than most historians, let alone crusty managers. And he isn't afraid to spit some venom in your direction if you cheese him off.
I'm not afraid to say this reminds me a bit of my father, bless his heart. Pop might have stiffed me on my allowance for a few weeks in '38, but nobody made a better homemade Italian ice in all of Canarsie, nobody explained the infield-fly rule with such clarity, and man, could that cuss throw him some darts.
Before I go, indulge an old man. Give me a recorded loop of Bob Sheppard saying, "Derek Jeet-ah," a hand massage from feisty Elizabeth Hasselbeck, three cans of Clamato, a pack of sunflower seed kernels and the promise of Delmon Young of the Devil Rays in this year's Home Run Derby, and I'll drive your grandmother and her three friends to the local senior center for Tuesday bridge for the rest of the summer without taking even a single run at the looker of the group. Scout's honor.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. Doug Miller of MLB Advanced Media's entertainment division contributed his insanity to this column. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.