The Enumerative: Honoring the Fat, Old DH

Welcome to our incredibly innovative feature, The Enumerative. ↵Because lists are awesome, plus effective time killers, in this space ↵we'll provide a top five based loosely on something that has recently ↵occurred in the sporting world.
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While baseball and I had a nasty break up over 15 years ago and haven't spoken since, I still think about her sometimes. The way she didn't mind if you fell asleep in the third inning; the curve of my interest in her, a voluptuous arc beginning with a peak in mid-May and then declining every month thereafter; ah, that woman, she had ways. Then she developed this horrible drug problem, and I started dating other people. It happens. ↵

↵I do remember something else about our relationship: the glory of the fat/old DH. Ken Griffey will likely be occupying this role for Seattle in what must now be like the third or fourth twilight of his career, and bully for him: the fat DH is the single best job in baseball, the cush corner office belonging to an old guy so entrenched in the company no one has the balls to tell him he can't take a three hour nap head down on his desk. ↵

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↵I had many favorite fat/old DHs, but a few deserve a moment of reflection and recognition in this space. ↵

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↵Dave Parker. Both fat and old. The ultimate fat DH, Dave Parker not only was caught smoking in the dugout on a regular basis, but probably had a clearly visible red solo cup full of beer under the bench, too. Parker, svelte in his early career at Pittsburgh, had piled on a respectable life preserver of cheeseburgers and beer weight by the time he hit Oakland, where his primary occupational hazards as DH for the Bash Brothers A's were stepping on Mark McGwire's and Jose Canseco's discarded needles and wearing white pants as a fat man. He earned a World Series ring for his efforts, too, proving that the ultimate performance enhancing beverage comes in 12 oz. doses available at any local pub or drinking establishment. ↵

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↵Cecil Fielder. Fat, and then old. Cecil Fielder started at first base, but soon became so massive playing first base became impractical when baserunners died from exhaustion attempting to sprint around him. Fielder helped the Tigers and Yankees save money at the margins on concessions, as his naturally appearing sheen of mustard was credited with saving both teams substantial sums. ↵
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↵Steve Balboni. Mostly just fat, but always seemed old. (Pleistocene might be a better term, since he was geologically slow.) I don't remember much about Steve Balboni aside from him a) striking out a lot, and b) looking like the thing that ate Steve Balboni sometime in his early minor league career, and c) having a mustache. Balboni hit home runs, or he struck out. Whining Moneyball types will say this is inefficient. Men like Balboni beat down ninny nerds like this with a 32 oz. slab of ribeye covered in spiced butter, step up to the plate, and strike out eight times in a row before jacking an impressive home run with no men on base in the eighth inning of a blowout. Men like this live life correctly. ↵

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↵Don Baylor. A video game legend in RBI Baseball, Don Baylor earned our eternal admiration for refusing to back away from being hit by pitches. His head was immense, too; if you were to read his hat size, it would be “DAMN and 5/8th.” Baylor also looked like he could kick your teeth in with his little toe. ↵

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↵David Ortiz.Notice David Ortiz smiling like a fiend in every picture every taken of him? This is because he is being paid hard cash for doing very little work, and this tends to makes people very, very happy. The inspired laziness -- er, efficiency -- of this is enough for him to make the list, and to serve as an example for all men looking to hang on as long as they can while doing the least possible amount of effort. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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