Monday, September 8, 2008

Jiminy Cricket Plays Ball

The people have casted their vote and it would appear that 57% of baseball fans agree that Julio Lugo is the spitting image of Disney star Jiminy Cricket. 28% of the people have admitted to alcohol dependency and are seeking the help they need. A surprising 14% of the people did not know who we were talking about. It was not clear whether it was Julio Lugo or Jiminy Cricket they were unfamiliar with, but based on the fact that Jiminy Cricket is a cultural icon, it must have been Lugo. So for the 14% of baseball fans who do not know who Julio Lugo is, I'll give you a brief biography.

Julio Lugo was born in the Dominican Republic on November 16, 1975. As a teenager Lugo moved to Brooklyn, New York where he attended Fort Hamilton High School, but found it hard to fit in, because he was a little different.

"I remember, Julio." Said former school mate Pedro Garcia. "He used to run around with a wooden puppet and a little umbrella. Even on sunny days. Really weird kid he was."

Lugo was drafted in the 43rd round of the 1994 player draft by the Houston Astro's who believed he could use his magic powers to turn his teammates into real baseball players. Lugo was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2003 after his magic powers were replaced by free agent Roger Clemens and his proven "workout" plan. With the Devil Rays, Lugo suffered one lossing season after another until 2006 when he was traded to the Dodgers. The reason for the trade was that new manager Joe Maddon got sick of Lugo's odd ways.

"He would leave his puppet in other peoples lockers and then be like 'Oh, that's where you went. You need to be a good boy, if you want to be a real boy. Thanks for finding him Carl (in reference to Rays outfielder Carl Crawford).' I don't know how Pinella put up with it. Then he kept putting fake noses of varying sizes on it, and would tell us that his puppet lied. I never understood it, and it was kind of creepy. Players would come to me in private and tell me that he's really scaring them. That he told them his puppet's killed before, and will do it again. I had to get him out of here."

Despite his odd quirks, Lugo picked up a substantial free agent contract from the Boston Red Sox of 4 years for $36 million. Boston general manager Theo Epstein looked into the incidents Joe Maddon referred to, but found little cause to be alarmed.

"We interviewed Lugo thoroughly and he explained his side of the story. Its little more than a misunderstanding."

Lugo's side of the story?

"I don't know what happened with my puppet. I came home one night and found open cans of paint thinner, a loaded .45 caliber pistol, and plastic trash bags filled with money. He told me he hadn't killed before, and his nose grew. Then he promised me he wouldn't kill again, and his nose grew even more. Then he said, he was possessed by evil spirits, and his nose didn't grow. Every night he sits on my bed and whispers 'Kill. Kill.' in my ear all night. I keep saying 'No, no, I won't do it.' but sometimes the urge is too strong."

Theo Epstein was satisfied with Lugo's answer: "You can't do much about a possessed puppet. That's not his fault. Plus you have to think about what he brings to a team. He brings a possessed puppet. Does Derek Jeter bring a possessed puppet to the Yankees? No. So you have to weigh the benefits of a possessed puppet versus the negatives, and clearly there are more positives."

Lugo won a championship with the Red Sox in 2007, and is currently in his second year of his 4 year contract. Hopefully, all baseball fans now know who Julio Lugo is.


Anonymous said...

Billy Wagner out not just for the rest of this year, but next year as well. He needs surgery.

Fernando Alejandro said...

I heard that, and as Pete Abe said that just made the closer market that much tougher. K-Rod's getting paid.

Anonymous said...

Chucky and Julio will be best of friends.

Fernando Alejandro said...

I think so too Raven. I don't know why they haven't hit it off before.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's because Chucky never beats up his bride.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Ha! Good line.

Anonymous said...

K-Rod is getting paid, and the Mets might be the ones to do it.

Fernando Alejandro said...

You think the Mets will bite? I mean, they have the need and the money so it makes sense, but that's going to be a huge contract. I also see them being front runners in the Teixeira sweepstakes so I guess I just didn't see them pursuing two big free agents.