The Associated Press issued a chilling report Saturday that has ominous overtones for women and journalists everywhere.
The AP headline: Phils’ Myers regains swagger in minors
As a public service, we present archival video of Myers exuding his trademark swagger during a gentlemanly tete-a-tete with Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Sam Carchidi on Aug. 25 of last year:
After witnessing Myers in full-metal-bravado mode, you might find yourself wondering, how did the Philadelphia Phillies’ sultan of swagger regain the sense of invulnerability he’d so recently lost?
After racking up a 3-9 record and a 5.84 ERA in 17 excruciating starts and leading the majors with 24 home runs allowed, Myers was dispatched to the minors on July 1 to search high and low for a swagger commensurate with his $8.58 million per annum salary.
And in a three-city, three-league tour of nostalgic triumph worthy of a Leni Riefenstahl epic, Myers pulled off an unlikely hat trick: In the process of regaining his swagger, he managed to lose games in Triple-A, Double-A and Single-A.
Impressive by any standard, I’m sure you’ll agree. Brett certainly does.
“I had to get my swagger back,” told the AP reporter. “I felt like I accomplished that.”
Oh, Brett Allen Myers, how we’ve missed you.
When he left on his sojourn of self-rediscovery, he was the worst starting pitcher on a team with no shortage of candidates for the dubious role. That miscreant Adam Eaton (3-8, 5.71) took advantage of his absence and did his level worst to overtake him.
But after taking the Brett Myers challenge and getting shelled for 14 runs and 17 hits in two execrable starts, Eaton has been banished to the bullpen as a reward. He’s been placed by a portly mediocrity by the name of Joe Blanton.
Swagger or no swagger, it seems that Brett could face stiff competition in his quest to maintain his status as the worst starting pitcher on one of the shakiest, wackiest staffs in the major leagues.
Take Blanton, please. He’s compiled a nifty 5-12 record for an Oakland team that is 46-34 this season in games started by pitchers not named Joe Blanton. He has a 4.96 ERA. Better still, if you you subtract the interleague victory he picked up against the swooning Phils (which of course must’ve made him seem like Bob Gibson on a Ben & Jerry’s bender to the Philly brass), this is what Joe’s done this year: 4 wins, 12 losses, 5.18 ERA. Then there’s Kyle Kendrick, whose ERA soared to 4.87 after getting clubbed by the Marlins on Saturday
As for the reinvigorated Brett Myers, well, he’ll stroll into Shea Stadium next week with the old rock star swagger. How he strolls out is another question entirely.
“It’s good to see old faces you hadn’t seen in a while, and they tell you what’s wrong with you and how you used to be,” Myers said. “It opens your eyes a little bit, and you say, ‘What the heck have I become?’ ”
What has he become? He said it was unprintable.
Well, you have to admire him for his honesty, if not his swagger.
And hopefully, that renewed swagger will be confined to the ballpark and there’ll be no further charges of domestic violence.
If you missed the first one, a little satire from a group that calls itself the Fearless Hyenas will get you up to speed:
And don’t look back, Brett, because there’s a new kid in town with a swagger all his own …