Thursday, August 04, 2011

Matt Stairs, Retire in Peace

Former Pirates (and about a dozen other teams as well) giant-bat-swinging wish-he-was-on-my-softball-team veteran journeyman Matt Stairs announced his retirement on Thursday. There's a fine post-mortem over on America's favorite conservative-morals-machine sports internet.

I think Matt Stairs is easily the best Canadian to have ever played for the Pirates, probably the best to ever grace the majors with his oh-man-that-guy-is-awesome beer gut, casual demeanor, and always-swing-for-the-fences attitude. I feel like such a dude for liking him, but that's the way it is.

I try to keep my enjoyment of professional sports complicated (there's a lot not to like), but I--and this comes from liking music, being a musician, I think--do like the fact that sports is a way to see people who are really good at something do that thing that they're really good at. And think of how good Matt Stairs really must have been to keep himself in the majors for 18 years on little more than his ability to hit home runs (that he was never even that good at (he does hold the MLB record for pinch-hit homers, and he hit 20 homers for the Pirates the year he was with us, but that's still just more than one pinch-hit home run per year played)). Maybe not the most well-rounded of players, but, seriously, that's a hell of a career.

And, of course, most of you know Stairs only more recently for his heroics and awesomeness for the Phillies. But I've been on the bandwagon since he was a Pirate, and I'm sad that he's not playing anymore. Earlier this summer, I was in Pittsburgh, watching a Buccos game against the Nationals on TV, where Stairs hit a pinch-hit walk-off single against the Bucs, that was what should have been a home run that instead just bounced off the right field wall. Still won the game, but I had the thought then that, oh man, he was getting old. But I didn't know he'd be out of the game this soon.

Way, to go, Matt Stairs. Baseball sucks now.

And, yes, there's also this:


Blogger Nick Marino said...

hahahaha I remember this press conference. CLASSIC.

8/19/2011 9:14 PM  

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