Wednesday, June 27, 2007
GAME SEVENTY FIVE: Poot on you.
A brief history of J.J. Putz*
March 25, 1894: Bertram Schmeidel Putzburger arrives at Ellis Island with his wife, Dagma, seeking a better life. An immigration official with a bad sense of humor offers to change his name to Putz to allow for easier assimilation into America, holding back laughter. Chatzekel says the name is pronounced "Poots." Chatzekel can't understand why the immigration officer breaks into uncontrollable laughter.
February 22, 1977: Joseph Jason Putz is born.
October 14, 1982: Tired of calling Joey Pooty Stink Pants, young J.J. gets in his first real fight against kindergarten bully Steve Jenkins. He not only loses the fight, but wets himself; his nickname becomes Pooty Stinky Pee Pants. Angry at the world, J.J. stops playing during recess with his few friends, spending his time throwing rocks at a wall. At home he does roughly the same thing, when he isn't rewatching a VCR recording of the "Thriller" video.
June 4, 1983: Steve Jenkins gets on J.J.'s nerves for the last time; instead of fighting Steve, J.J. throws a rock at him. The rock scars his face. J.J. is Pooty Stinky Pee Pants no more, and Steve becomes Creepy Stevie.
April 1, 1989: Against the Raymond Brothers Hardware Athletics, J.J. throws the first known perfect perfect game, striking out 18 on just 54 pitches, all strikes. Screenwriter Andrew Bergman happens to be in the crowd, watching his nephew Dave flail away along with the other Athletics. Adapting a Roger Angell article into a screenplay, the idea of the perfect perfect game returned to his mind: the nutty pitcher of his screenplay, Steve Nebraska, throws a perfect perfect 9 inning game. The movie sucks. Actually, it sucks and blows.
June 26, 2007: J.J. Putz, a full-blown ace reliever with utterly filthy stuff, finishes off the Red Sox in an 8-7 Mariners win, one of the few pitchers in the game with no runs to his name. His 1.2 IP includes a perfect, 3 strikeout 9th. Future Hall-Of-Famer Manny Ramirez, in to pinch hit, exerts himself so strongly trying to catch up to J.J.'s fastball that he actually shits himself. For the next week around the Red Sox clubhouse, he is known as Manny Manny Poopy Panties.
*No research went into this history; any semblance of fact is wholly accidental.