Apparently Siciliano's still has friends in high places. Very high places.
Dear readers of the Buzz,
Those who have read my previous posts (here and here) know that the section of heaven I’m in charge of guarding (fourth hall, seventh) is reserved for professional baseball players, but I don’t want you to get the impression that everyone who makes a buck playing The Great American Pastime automatically gets to spend eternity here. The rules for admittance are quite complicated. For example, if a player’s lifetime batting average is below the Mendoza Line, he won’t be roaming the Elysian Fields of these friendly confines unless the patron saint of baseball, Santa Rita, intercedes mightily for him. A minor leaguer who never gets called up to the Show usually is flat out of luck, and if the only time a minor leaguer gets called up is in September (when the rosters are expanded), generally he’s a no go too. There are exceptions of course. All the players from the old Negro Leagues are here as are those players, regardless of stats, etc., who happened to hit a grand slam on a Sunday, had the name Jesus, or were practicing Irish Catholics.
Then there are the guys who had fine careers in the Majors but were denied a locker in this exclusive clubhouse because they dishonored the game. With the exception of Shoeless Joe Jackson, the guys involved in the Black Sox Scandal are hanging out with politicians who had extra-marital affairs. I’m guessing Pete Rose will end up in that section too even though Santa Rita seems to have taken a liking to him. (Got to hand it to old Charlie Hustle. The last time I checked he had belted out 4,256 prayers to Santa Rita, an all-time record.) Rumor has it that when the guys who used steroids begin croaking they’re going to be sent to fifth, twelfth, the section of heaven reserved for television evangelists and professional ping pong players.
Shoeless Joe is here because the Old Man knows he got a bum rap. “I’ll let The Lord be my judge,” Shoeless Joe once said. Well, when the Old Man examined the facts—twelve hits in the series, a .375 batting average, no errors—He determined that Joe was innocent but obviously that hasn’t meant squat to the Hall of Fame committees. But I have a feeling that Shoeless Joe Jackson will someday be enshrined in Cooperstown. Santa Rita has been tirelessly working the phones so to speak and she’s a damn pit bull when she sets her mind to something.
While we’re on the subject, it is my opinion that you folks should be soliciting the help of patron saints a whole lot more. There are currently 7,274 of these haloed intermediaries up here in heaven and most of them are just lying around waiting for something to do. Do your homework—you’ll find that there are patron saints for just about everything, several for brewers, and even one for hop-pickers. Often all it takes is a well-placed prayer and problems with stuck fermentations, infections, boil overs and carbonation issues will magically disappear.
Until next time and, as always, peace and love,