Thursday, August 23, 2012

Felix Non Culpa!*

Roughly a week ago, Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (King Felix, to his fans and acolytes), pitched a perfect game1 - a rare feat indeed, having been accomplished a mere 23 times in the 135-year history of Major League Baseball (though, oddly enough, three times already this season, which is just weirdly inexplicable2), and after he got the last strike on the 27th Rays batter to end the game, he struck this pose:

Striking this celebratory pose has caught on and it has a name:

It's called "Felixing"3.

It's taking the place of Tebowing, which is that annoying Look-at-Me-I'm-Praying-to-God-Because-He-Loves-Me-So-Much-That-He-Takes-a-Personal-Interest-in-My-Winning thing that Tim Tebow does4. As you may be able to tell, I have very little patience for an athlete or anyone else who tries to mask his hubris with this transparent display of "humility" - public display of "humility", I should say. Because they're sooo humble, these people, just Servants of God, y'know ... but what good is that if you can't see their piety?

Hello there, pitcher Mike Dunn, seen here "humbly" (and not at all ostentatiously) praying on the fucking pitcher's mound in front of a crowd of 40,000 before throwing his first pitch! Question: Why does Jesus, who unquestionably loves you, want the Marlins to be in last place and you to have an 0-1 record with a 3.50 ERA and a craptacular WHIP of 1.5? I mean, if that's evidence of His love, what would He do if He hated you? Turn you into a Yankee, like A-Roid?

Tonight, the Phillies play the Reds and they have to face Cy Young-candidate pitcher Johnny Cueto, which means Cole Hamels may have to pretty much pitch a perfect game if the Phils want to win. I'm fairly certain Jesus doesn't give a fig about who wins this game - nor should He.

But if the Phils win?

You can bet I, heathen that I am, will be Felixing in celebration, just like Eddie Vedder:

* A note on this post's title: Felix Culpa ("happy fault"; or, loosely, "fortunate fall") is how Catholics since the time of Augustine have referred to The Fall of Man (when Adam ate the forbidden fruit), the fall being fortunate because it necessitated God's sending His Only Son to be needlessly tortured and killed - y'know: for our sake - because of a sin that God Himself could have just not allowed to happen, but for some reason decided to allow to happen and somehow that's my fault, your fault ... O, just everyone's fault. Except God's.

See, even though God is omniscient, omnipotent, all-loving and Infinitely Good - which you are not, Reader, nor am I - nothing bad is ever his fault according to the Ostentatious Prayers like Tebow.

And I guess that's why you'll never hear Tebow or Mike Dunn or any of the other Ostentatious Prayers say, at a post-loss press conference: "Yeah, God really fucked up when He, in his Infinite Wisdom, made me throw that interception in the last 10 seconds of the game. So I'd like to call Him out publicly and asked that coach consider benching Him next week."

Felix NON Culpa, of course, just means that King Felix was faultless in his perfect game.

As for the time he hit A-Roid in the hand? O, Felix Culpa! Happy Fault! Hahahahahahaha!

1 According to Teh 'Bro, this is the second best thing King Felix has done this year, the very best being breaking Alex Rodriguez's hand by hitting him with a pitch in a game against the Yankees. King Felix hit quite a few that night, including his newly-ex-teammate Ichiro (who'd just been traded from Seattle to the Yankees), and yet still won the game. I think it's kind of funny that Teh 'Bro ranks King Felix's 2012 accomplishments thus - because the Yankees are just so easy to hate, even for me ... and they're not even in the same league as the Phillies. I feel this way more because of Yankee fans, who tend to be really dickish, even by New York standards, New York Fan Dickishness being the Gold Standard of Sports Fan Dickishness, of course. (This is not true of all NY, or even Yankee, fans, of course.) It's also funny because steroid-user A-Roid is easy to dislike, and not just because he's a Yankee. Of course, the Yankees don't want you to mention A-Roid's history of cheating with drugs. Former Yankee Reggie Jackson was ostracized by the Yankee organization recently when he had the nerve to point out that some people might look askance at the "great numbers" put up by people like A-Roid because ... well ... they cheated to achieve those numbers - admittedly cheated. And to give you an idea of how fucked up the Yankee organization's priorities are ... it was Jackson whom they viewed as being at fault here.

On the other hand, it's hard to laugh when anyone gets hurt being hit by a pitch after reading this.

But look on the bright side, A-Roid! Maybe the treatment for a broken hand is ... steroid therapy!

Hahahahahahaha! I was wrong! Even after reading that article on the horrors of getting hit by a pitch, I still think it's funny when A-Roid gets hit! I guess that makes me a typical Philadelphia Sports Fan!

2 Possibly odder still: There have been six in the last four seasons, starting with Mark Buehrle's on July 23, 2009. But wait, it gets weirder still. There really should have been seven, because on June 2, 2010, a pitcher named Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game but, on the very last out - a ground ball to the right side of the infield that obliged Galarraga himself to cover first to get the toss for the last out - the umpire mistakenly called runner Jason Donald safe. (See an animated gif of that out here; Donald is out by nearly a full stride.) It gets still weirder, because the umpire who made that bad call, Jim Joyce, is consistently voted by the players as the best umpire in the league. After the game, Joyce watched a video of the play and readily, tearfully, admitted his mistake, sincerely lambasting himself for robbing the poor kid Galarraga of his chance at immortality. It gets still weirder, because at the next day's game, Joyce's crew was still doing the Tigers-Indians series, and the Tigers sent Galarraga out to home plate at the beginning of the game to hand Joyce the Tigers' line-up card for that day - a duty normally handled by the manager - and Joyce once again tearfully apologized to Galarraga.. But the weird just keeps coming, because Joyce and Galarraga wrote a book together about this experience, which I think pretty much shows that Galarraga forgave Joyce, but that's not the weird part - the weird part is that Teh 'Bride, who cares fuck-all about baseball but heard about this bad call nonetheless, didn't forgive Joyce; and this gets even weirder because a few days ago, Joyce, the self-same umpire of the Galarraga non-perfect game debacle - fucking saved some woman's life by performing CPR on her for 20 minutes after she collapsed with heart failure and when I told Teh 'Bride about this, she said: "Not good enough. He's still a dick."

Moral of the story: Don't get on Teh 'Bride's bad side because seemingly it would be easier to pitch a perfect game than to get off her bad side.

3 Although maybe it should be called "Wilding" because evidently King Felix stole this pose from Maurice Sendak's book:

4 Sorry - no picture. Fuck you, Tim Tebow, and anyone else who has a Teboner for him. Also? I'm not really sorry about it.


  1. Not enough discussions of theodicy in baseball, I think. Personally, I think of evil as an absence, like darkness isn't really anything, just an absence of light. Evil, then, is simply being separated from God's infinite goodness, which is merely an illusion. But I'm a Protestant, so I can say any stupid thing I want and get away with it (much like a certain politician's recent comments on rape).

    The perfect game thing is probably reflective of the seesawing of batters and pitchers, home run records being shattered every year 20 years ago (give or take a syringe).

    As much as I hate the Yankees and their fans (and that's about as much as theoretically possible, even with parallel universes), Duke basketball fans are probably worse.

  2. I believe I'm infinitely good. But not the omnipresent thing.

    Absolutely hate the Yankees - always have, always will. Kind of like hating the Dallas Cowboys in football. It is just right.

  3. I love the photoshop job on King Felix! You know how I know it is a photoshop job? There are shadows and we know there isn't sun in Seattle.