More from Whitey Herzog's 1999 You're Missin' a Great Game:
One day, an old buddy of mine, Herb Fox, and I took Jack Clark out on the back lake at Herbie's farm. It's a seventy-acre strip-mining pit, and the three of us were out in a fifteen-foot bass boat early in the morning. We caught a little bluegill and bass and talked some baseball, some hunting, some fishing. It's a real pretty spot, nice and quiet with the sun rising up over the cattails.
Well, Jack must have had a fine day, because next afternoon at the ballpark, he comes up to me, all worked up, and tells me he's bought himself a new boat. I thought that was wonderful. "A new boat? I'll be damned, Jack. What kind you get?" I said.
"The number-one boat. It's a Ranger. A twenty-two-foot wide-body!"
"Twenty-two foot?! How big an engine?"
"It's 200 horse!"
Nobody on a strip pit ever needed that kind of power, so I'm already starting to laugh. "Two hundred horse? What the hell you gonna do with all that?" Jack looks at me with those killer black eyes and says, "I like speed."
God almighty: He likes speed! Well, I don't blame him; if you ever saw any of my ballclubs, you know I like it, too. But that still didn't tell me what he was going to do with a motor the size of Fenway Park.
Our next day off, Herbie and I are out on the lake again, sitting there in the calm waiting for some nibbles. I'm fishing topwater with my trusty White Rat lure; Herbie's going down deep. It's early in the morning, nice and quiet, the mist rising up silent and pretty like it does around dawn. Next thing you know, here comes Jack, with his wife and two kids and his new boat trailing behind his Chevy Suburban, right over the hill. I mean to tell you, that was a hell of a rig! They were making more racket than a sellout at the Homerdome. And Jack plops that monster in the water and fires up the engine, all 200 horse, and revs the hell out of it. I'm telling you, stuff was flying -- water, weeds, old car tires, maybe even a few large-mouths too. He turned the lake over. Later on, when he's done, he backs the Suburban up to the edge, and the boat's so big he can't get the damn thing out of the water. It was a sight!
Well, no question about it: That boat was a beauty. But you have to ask yourself a question: How big a rig do you need? On Herbie's back lake, where a johnboat, two hooks, and a couple of hours will fetch you a good lunch, all that extra juice is just going going to stir up the neighbors and scare the fish away. Power's great, but without proportion, it won't help you a bit.
That's a perfect description of modern baseball.
Tags: Baseball, Whitey Herzog