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Willie Bloomquist is the Pavement of baseball players

Feb 7, 2012, 9:29 AM EDT

willie-bloomquist-diamondbacks Getty Images

After that Madonna post I feel like I sort of need to come back quickly and re-establish some form of musical credibility. So, now I will tell you all about how great I think the Pet Shop Boys are …

Kidding!

I offer you a link (sorry, subscription only) to Baseball Prospectus in which Geoff Young uses the band Pavement — which I like a lot, I swear! — to explain why it is that people seem to have such a fascination with gritty, scrappy players like Willie Bloomquist and David Eckstein.

The upshot: psychological studies have found that stars whose gifts, such as they are, seem attainable evoke inspiration and love. In contrast, stars whose success seem unobtainable often leave observers feeling cold.

We like Willie Bloomquist and David Eckstein because they don’t seem all that different than us. We feel distant from Barry Bonds (or whoever) because there was some high-level genius going on there that we can’t quite grok.  Same goes for Pavement, who sometimes aren’t too concerned with, you know, musicianship, while it’s harder to warm up to a band full of virtuosos. Like, I dunno, Yngwie Malmsteen or Rush.

Now all we have to do is to forget two things:

1.  There are a lot of reasons to not like Barry Bonds, Yngwie Malmsteen and Rush separate and apart from their virtuosity; and

2. That, however normal and attainable they appear to us, Willie Bloomquist and Pavement actually have extremely developed skills that we could never, ever hope to replicate.

There. Now we can dislike them once again with a clear conscience.

  1. danteshepherd - Feb 7, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    I buy the Willie Bloomquist – Pavement comparison. After all, he does seem like the type of guy who would be cast as an extra in the movie adaptation of the sequel to his life.

  2. proudlycanadian - Feb 7, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Leave Rush alone!

    • kiwicricket - Feb 7, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      Even Len wouldn’t defend Rush.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 7, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        I am not a big Rush fan, but since they are from Toronto, I still say “Leave Rush alone”.

    • cur68 - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      Yeah. How could he diss on Rush like that? After all they’ve done for him. Stick with insulting Yngwie Malmsteen. He can play him some guitar, but he’s not today’s Tom Sawyer, nosiree.

  3. acheron2112 - Feb 7, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Keep talking, man, the tunes say it all. http://www.theonion.com/articles/congress-debates-coolness-of-rush,3430/

    (Says the guy with “2112” in the nickname.)

  4. nogoodtomedead - Feb 7, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Pavement is the best.

  5. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Maybe Willie is also like Pavement because he doesn’t take his success in MLB for GRANITE!

    #badumching

  6. cur68 - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Well if Craig can confess to liking Madonna I can confess that I have a strange and somehow embarrassing like for Willie Bloomquist. Not because of any baseball skill he possesses (or does not posses) but because of his name. He’s got a counter baseball culture name. David Eckstein has a better baseball name: the sort of name that when said over an echoing loud speaker sounds cool. Willie’s name does not come off like that. It always sounds like they’re announcing a cartoonist or feature editor for a ladies magazine is coming up to bat. I’ve always enjoyed the incongruity of it.

    • The Rabbit - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      Cur,
      If you ever decide fo follow World of Outlaws, late model, dirt track racing, you already have a favorite: Scott Bloomquist…and I’m ashamed that I actually know that.

      • cur68 - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        Rabbit, there is no way someone named “Scott Bloomquist” drives dirt track racing. No way. If he’s even there at all, its because he took a wrong turn on his way to his meeting with his new lodge brothers for The Society For Left Handed Dentists with Lisps and Astigmatisms. Poor man is terrified out of his mind being chased ’round a track by a bunch of hooligans in their hot rods.

  7. muckthefets23 - Feb 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    I wish you could thumbs up from the iPhone app. Cur that may have been one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard on here. Also, Rush is awesome and I’m not even Canadian. People just get pissed off because Geddy Lee sounds like a girl, but I think Neil Peart makes up for it being in the top 5 best drummers of all time.

    • cur68 - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:13 AM

      Thank you & no worries, Muck, but you can thank the Bloomquists of the world: a funny story is only as good as the material one has to work with.

  8. nelsonsaint - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    How this post has gone on this long without mention of this is beyond me.

    What about the voice of Geddy Lee?!?!

    • mplsjoe - Feb 7, 2012 at 9:17 PM

      How did it get so high?

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