Tuesday, December 1
The first time I ever saw Ed Farmer in person was June 20, 1980. I was in 3rd grade, at my friend Eric Jones 9th birthday party at Comiskey Park. The Sox were playing the Tigers. It was a night for family fun on the South Side!
For a few innings anyway.
Farmer was on the mound against Al Cowens. Even though my brain was like a baseball computer at the time, able to remember lineups, stats, pitching match-ups, upcoming schedules, you name it...I had no idea that Farmer and Cowens had a history.
It was a piece of information you dont exactly find on the back of a baseball card.
The previous year, when Farmer played for the Rangers and Cowens was on the Royals, Farmer pitched a tad inside on Cowens, breaking his jaw and forcing Cowens to miss 21 games. If that wasnt enough, Farmer also hit Cowens roommate Frank White in the same game, breaking his hand. White would miss 33 games.
Needless to say, there was a little bit of tension.
Again, I had no clue. I was probably on my third hot dog and fifth Coke. I am sure I was eyeing the cotton candy for about 7 innings. I still hadnt bought my White Sox batting glove. I had a lot on my mind.
So did Cowens.
The Tigers outfielder hit a grounder in the infield and started running towards first base. But halfway down the line, Cowens did something completely unthinkable, certainly for these eyes. With Farmers back to him, Cowens suddenly took a sharp left turn, and headed straight for Ed.
Up until this point, this 9-year-old child from Flossmoor had never heard of a bench-clearing brawl. But in a matter of seconds, I was going to see one.
What followed was complete mayhem, and 29 years later, is still on my mind. I probably need to talk to someone about this. Well, today I did.
Ed Farmer, the man partly responsible for damaging my childhood.
So today, I called up Farmio while he was doing some shopping with his wife in California. The brawl with Cowens was just one of the many topics we discussed.
We also hit on:
What will happen with Scott Podsednik?
Is Chone Figgins still a possibility? (I doubt it, but Ed doesnt think so)
Eds BFF...Charlie Weis. They're cell phone buddies.
And whatever you do, make sure you listen around halfway through when I quiz Ed about his pitching career. The man has a Rain Man-type memory about every hitter he ever faced. Its equally impressive and downright scary.
To hear the conversation, hit the tiny, gray listen button under that snazzy photo of yours truly. I know its tough for some of you to see. Were working on it.
Ill be in Indianapolis next week for the Winter Meetings. I expect Kenny to sign Figgins and Matsui and trade for Roy Halladay by lunch on Monday.