Thursday, June 5, 2014

Evil Twin

We recently subscribed to Amazon Prime. The shipping perks were certainly nice, but the primary reason was to give us another entertainment option. We have subscribed to Netflix for a few years now and though the two offer many of the same shows and movies, the recent announcement of Amazon's partnership with HBO closed the deal. It has also given me a chance to finally check out the comedy Eastbound and Down.

It didn't take long to realize that the Kenny Powers character resembled former Brave, A's, Brewer, Met, Blue Jay, White Sox, Angels and (*catch breath) Expos catcher, Charlie O'Brien. The hair, the goatee, the build. I think the two even played for the same number of teams, but I'm not sure.  Hopefully, Charlie O'Brien is nothing like the Powers character. Rumored to be based upon former major league relievers Mitch Williams and John Rocker, Powers is crude, crass and simply an ass. He's everything opposite of who I try to be- and yet, I find myself rooting for him in his comeback attempt. I'm at the end of the second season, so, please- no spoilers.

Up From the Ashes

As a member of the 1994 and 1995 Braves team, O'Brien got the chance to catch the first and second of four straight Cy Young Award Winners (Greg Maddux, followed by Pat Hentgen and Roger Clemens, while with Toronto). That was the time period, of course, where the MLB season crashed and burned-only to rise again, much like Kenny Power's career. Had Charlie stayed in Atlanta a few more years, he might have been teammates with the inspiration for Power's character, John Rocker.

Following his playing career, O'Brien had a moment that could have been taken from the HBO comedy: he was called as a witness in the Roger Clemens perjury case. Taking the stand in a hot pink shirt and a black-and-white stripped tie, O'Brien spoke of needles containing vitamin B12 being readily available in the Toronto trainers' room and sprinkled his testimony with jokes and stories that some might view as irreverent to courtroom etiquette. At one point, when speaking of facing former Yankee starter Orlando Hernandez, Charlie spoke of being dominated by "El Duque." Forgetting the pitcher's name, Charlie turned towards his former teammate and asked, 'what is his name, Roger?' drawing laughter in the process. Of course, had it been K.P. on the stand, there would have been much more colorful language involved.

And now... music from Eastbound and Down. Mr. Freddie King, "Going Down"

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