Monday, October 09, 2006

Joe blow

What’s the expression? Success has many mothers; failure is an orphan? Well, the Los Angeles Dodgers failure to advance in the playoffs—failure to win even one game against the Mets—is far from motherless. There is plenty of blame to go around: Rich Donnelly, J.D. Drew, Kenny Lofton, Brad Penny, and Brett Tomko all had a seriously sub-par series. Wilson Betemit, Jonathan Broxton, Greg Maddux, and Rafael Furcal were mixed at best. Grady Little’s choices for pinch hitters, defensive substitutions, and relievers at any given time could easily be questioned. Even Jeff Kent, who was a hitting machine in the three games, can be called on the carpet for failing to score from second on Russell Martin’s hit off the wall in game one.

But I think, if the goat horns are going to be handed out for the mess that was the NLDS, they have to go to a Dodger that never saw game action this post-season, to a Dodger that never even made it onto the post-season roster: Joe Beimel.

Beimel managed to go from a non-roster invitee sent to AAA Vegas to start the season to an essential piece of the Dodgers relief corps, appearing in 62 games as a lefty specialist and the set-up man’s set-up man. It’s the kind of success that deserves a toast. Alas, Beimel decided to toast himself.

Reports have it that on his first night in New York, Beimel, and maybe a couple of other Dodgers, went drinking. Curfew for players was 12 midnight, but at 2:30 Tuesday morning, Beimel was still in a Manhattan bar. It was there (and not in his hotel room, as he initially told team officials) that Joe gashed open his pitching hand on a broken glass.

Napkins, towels, and, later, a team trainer’s stitches failed to stop the bleeding. Beimel could not grip a baseball and had to be left off of the Dodgers’ official 25-man roster. It wasn’t until he was sent back to LA for plastic surgery that Beimel admitted to cutting his hand in a bar, and not in his hotel bathroom. He also apparently told the LA Times before he told team officials.

With a key component to his bullpen missing, Dodgers manager Grady Little was forced to improvise—and it didn’t come out so well. . . in fact, it really sucked.

If initial comments by players and management are to be, well, interpreted, if not exactly believed, then Beimel won’t be a Dodger next year. . . but that wont settle it for me.

You see, I want to know: What Manhattan bar? What New York nightspot was so hot that this Broadway Joe had to stay for a nightcap. . . or two. . . or three? What Big Apple boite is so much fun that it supplants your first taste of playoff action?

Where did you go, Joe? I really want to know.

Now, I don’t really expect Joe Beimel to tell me, or anyone else for that matter, where he sliced open his left hand and sliced out the hearts of so many Dodgers fans, so I turn to the blogosphere: Name that bar.

I’ve googled a million permutations and read about as many versions of the same article. . . but I can’t find a name. So, you out there, loyal readers, and those that just entered search terms like “baseball,” “playoffs,” “Dodgers,” “Beimel,” and/or “total fuckup,” please help me. I am in New York and I want to know where this place is.

Hey, maybe Beimel was set up—this is hostile territory after all—maybe the bartender slipped him a dangerously cracked glass. I can research this, but only if I know where to look. Help me name that bar!


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