Fast Eddie has been holed up in a Tempe hotel room for two days, existing on a diet of pork rinds and Jagermeister mixed with pink lemonade while listening to nothing but the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new LP on his I-Pod. He says he’ll come out when the Red Sox are eliminated from playoff contention. Fast Eddie was always a fuck up, but I am a bit concerned for his sanity. The hotel is a block and a half from his house. Why he wants to terrorize hotel maids instead of making his statement in his own home remains to be seen, but I an sure he has visions of FBI choppers circling the hotel. Fast Eddie hasn’t been right since he stopped doing cocaine.
I told Fast Eddie I’d drive out to see him and take him to see Moneyball. That goof didn’t even know that Moneyball had been made into a movie. “Brad Pitt as Billy Beane?” he asked. “Holy shit, the statheads won the Revolution. Ten years ago, who would have thought Pitt would be on the big screen preaching about the virtues of OBP? Fuck me — what are the scouts going to say? The Arizona Fall League is going to be a kick in the ass this year with those guys crying about Pitt. You coming out? Oh wait, your wife hates me; you might be coming this way, but not to see me.
“My wife doesn’t hate you,” I lied. “She just doesn’t like me spending time with a guy who has done hard time, and she knows you have cut people. Plus, the Revolution has been over for years. Even minor league parks put OBP on the scoreboard. Sure, some dickheads are still fighting the war, fancying themselvess some sort of Old School vanguard, but there are still twits in the South fighting the War of Northern Aggression. Guess who are the only people I’ve seen pan Moneyball? Keith Law and Baseball America.”
“Tell your wife that it doesn’t count as prison if it was in a third world country. If the war is over, it hasn’t been over long, and no one told the scouts,” Fast Eddie interrupted. “Besides, anyone who calls himself Old School is just an old white geek trying to be hip — most scouts. But, dude, Brad Fucking Pitt is playing Billy Fucking Beane. Not even a numbers freak like you could have seen that coming. Hey, remember that time….”
Yes, I remembered that time — it was before Michael Lewis even thought about convincing Billy Beane to write that book that would infuriate Joe Morgan. Fast Eddie was still a few months away from going to a Dominican prison for six years for sticking a guy. Fast Eddie was still employed by a major league baseball team. Fast Eddie, a fuck up since high school, still had a future.
Growing up, Fast Eddie was one of the few minorities in a white bread Indiana county that was a notorious Klan hotbed. Fast Eddie was Filipino, not black, so he never found a noose around his neck, but he was always paranoid even though his parents were pretty damn wealthy. He earned his nickname because he was a pool player and a cross country runner. “It beats ‘Darkie’,” he shrugged at the time.
One of Fast Eddie’s college jobs was cleaning up some old dude after that guy shit the bed. Fast Eddie was some sort of hospice worker for this old guy — Fast Eddie’s dad, a doctor, got him the job. Fast Eddie was making very good money for a college job, but he was cleaning up an old guy’s shit. However, the old dude’s son was a big scout for the Royals, and Fast Eddie and that guy hit it off. Yes, you guessed it, cleaning up that old man’s shit was how Fast Eddie got into the scouting business, and Fast Eddie became very good at discovering live arms.
Jump to October 2001. Fast Eddie and the Yard Gnome are chopping lines on a sink in a bathroom at Scottsdale Stadium. The country is jagged because of the planes flying into buildings thing, and Fast Eddie was a mess because his relationship with a Broadway actress was coming to an end. The Yard Gnome was torn up because he was on the fourth day of a blow bender. I was standing at a urninal, pissing out my breakfast, wondering when the cops were coming through the door.
The Yard Gnome had put his cocaine in my backpack, so that meant his eightball was nestled between my Stadium Mustard and a copy of the Total Baseball Encyclopedia we used to end all arguments. Meanwhile, Sir Jolters was ranting about Jeromy Burnitz Tribe jerseys and Cleveland hipsters — something about how Burnitz jerseys off the discount rack will one day be what the pseudo-cool wear to create a false impression that they wore something other than status quo when they were young. Then the Yankee and Astro’s scouts came throuugh the door, and things went to shit real quick.
Next: Stats versus Scouts; Jackalope Style