Here’s an example of the damage Sanjaya Malakar is doing to America:
Way out West, the bizarre Sanjaya Malakar/”American Idol” drama is tearing at the fabric of a once-strong bond between friends and former teammates.
After Dan Haren was traded to the A’s in December 2004, he found a mentor and soulmate of sorts in then-Oakland ace Barry Zito. Now Zito is with the Giants, and the two aren’t just on opposite sides of San Francisco Bay. They’re on opposite sides of the Howard Stern-led movement to “vote for the worst” — i.e., the musical car wreck that is Sanjaya.
“I voted for him 50 times,” Haren said during the final week of Spring Training.
Told of his buddy’s vow to help make a mockery of the “Idol” process, Zito fired off a classic, indignant text message that read, “Unreal. These people want to prove that it is a joke, but it only is when people like them are dishonest in voting. So they’re proving that dishonesty skews it. Congratulations.”
Responded Haren: “I just want to see [Sanjaya] get a record contract.”
The once-great Zito is in the twilight of his career over there on the wrong side of the bay, and it’s sad to see his mind going soft like this. Get that boy some fish oil.
Meanwhile, back in golden Oakland, rookie Travis Buck has just hit a triple to lead off the fifth inning in a game where the A’s trail the White Sox 1-0. A’s fans are excited, knowing that a man on third with nobody out has a 93% chance of scoring. But Mark Ellis and Jason Kendall ground out weakly to the pitcher and Shannon Stewart files out to right and the A’s come away with nothing. Buck is probably thinking: “send me back to Triple A ball, these m!@#er f$%&ing geezers stink so bad I don’t want to get any on me.”
But it’s a big, fat, setup. Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth, with the score tied thanks to a three clutch singles by the A’s and Buck coming to the plate. This guy is a rookie and the league leader in strikeouts, but Crazy Ozzie don’t care ’bout the numbers, he gives him an intentional walk, loading the bases. And up comes Mark “weakly hit ground ball to the pitcher” Ellis, who proceeds to bounce one
off the left field fence, then off Scott Podsednik’s head, and then onto the outfield grass. The A’s win.
That’s good for baseball.
The Chicago papers show the White Sox GM to be a bit of a prophet:
“…if we play well, we’re in the ballgames, and if we give ourselves a chance to come out of these first few weeks .500 … we get some guys starting off well and their confidence grows, we’re going to be really special.
And I’m seeing some of that, especially with the bullpen. I mean, we can still go out there and blow up against Oakland because you’re not going to have success every day.”