Shohei Ohtani and Elly De La Cruz are the same fans we are

Shohei Ohtani and Elly De La Cruz are the same fans we are

Most baseball players, and really most pro athletes, will tell you that they stopped being fans long ago. It is a job now, and any star on another team becomes an obstacle eventually. They’ll tell you they respect other guys in the league, and that’s probably true, but they don’t see them as anything other than coworkers. They can’t.

But the facade will break down a lot of the time, and these guys have the best seat in the house and a unique perspective to see guys do the things that amaze us. And sometimes there’s a player or two that is just too good, or just too sparkling, for their fellow professionals to treat as they would any other:

A recap of this conversation.

“I just wanted to make sure you were real, bud. There was a chance you weren’t.”

“Me? You see that fuckin’ ball you hit with your ass going the wrong way? You don’t think I’m real? What about you?”

Baseball should be fun, even for the guys actually playing it.

Pro wrestling legend Terry Funk dead at 79

Legendary wrestler Terry Funk passed away yesterday. I am certainly nowhere near a talented enough writer to eulogize him properly. Nor have I been a fan long enough or deeply enough for long enough to try and encompass his whole career. The thing is, no one is, so it’s not a personal failing. Funk is just that immense.

Funk’s career lasted 50 years, and not in a Ric Flair, dragging it out way past the point it was sad or weird way. And Funk was so good, so thorough, so necessary that he isn’t identified with WWE or WCW or any company really. Sure, he wrestled for both, along with just about everyone else, but he’s not nor ever was WWE legend or WCW legend Terry Funk. He was just Terry Funk, and those two companies were blessed to have him for whatever length of time he was there.

There isn’t an area of wrestling Funk doesn’t touch. From the Double Cross Ranch to Japan, he literally did it all. Technical prowess to death match insanity to the best promo in the business to feuds that will live forever and all the silly, barely explicable shit in between that makes wrestling wrestling. Southern pathos with Flair or Dusty and then blood pouring out of him like a waterfall in Japan, there’s nothing he didn’t do nor facet he not only touched, but either invented or made relevant to a whole new audience.

A list of things you should look up would take a week. His “I Quit” match with Flair is obviously on there, as well as the match with Ricky Steamboat on the path to that. There’s probably a half-dozen from Japan. There are 25 more from anywhere to look up, and you can walk your own path. For some reason, this is the promo I find myself quoting all the time:

Terry Funk’s Beautiful Dream

While Funk certainly had the best wrestling brain in history and knew everything it should be about, the barely contained lunacy that he conveyed at all times is why anyone watches wrestling. Whether that was his matches going off the hook, or his promos bordering into ravings, or just the threat of that happening while he remained in control, or just the outright silliness if you even take a second to really think about it always bubbling right beneath the surface, Funk carried it all at every moment. Which is why he lasted so long. Every other wrestler who has a career that spans decades has to reinvent themselves every so often, and come up with a new shade of character or style or presentation. Funk never did. He was just Terry Funk. He already contained all those gear shifts. It just felt like him doing another part of an industry where he already got better than everyone.

Sometimes I struggle with the phrase “rest in peace.” There are people who wouldn’t be happy resting, even if Funk has earned one more than just about anyone. Still think he’d be happiest, wherever he is now, doing what he always did. Which was definitely not at rest.

Lionel Messi does it again

Speaking of the best to ever do something, the Lionel Messi train kept rolling last night as Inter Miami escaped their US Open Cup semifinal on penalties, again. Messi-led teams that are definitely wonky getting through on penalties is probably the sport’s leading theme the past year.

While MLS-agnostics have just been dismissing Messi’s dismantling of the Leagues Cup as purely evidence of the manure-laden defenses Messi was facing, most others have been just pointing out that’s what Messi does to everyone.

Last night, however, FC Cincinnati definitely hit pause on their motor functions to give away the equalizer in injury time:

Solid approach there, letting Messi have all the time he could possibly want to survey and pick out a cross, as well as not marking Leonardo Campana in any fashion nor trying to catch him offside. What exactly did they think was going to happen here? One can’t help but think of Herve Renard again.

Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky

Original source here

#Shohei #Ohtani #Elly #Cruz #fans

About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.