Illusions shattered…

If you’ve read this space for awhile you know about my utterly irrational hate-on for Darin Erstad. Each and every time I’m subjected to a close-up of this man on my TV whilst watching a game I will put a hand up in front of the screen and say, “get that odious troll off of my television.” I find him repulsive. He looks like he’s perpetually got food in teeth (although the reality is far more disgusting: chewing tobacco), and last season I actually witnessed the man walk onto the field, as lineups were being introduced at the Oakland Coliseum, with stains on his uniform. These were not stains one acquires from fielding drills or warm-ups. No, the odious and unkempt Mr. Erstad actually had stains on the right front and shoulder of his jersey from what was obviously the careless spitting out of tobaccos juice. *bleah* And let’s not even get into his questionable grooming habits. I’ve speculated once or twice that he has a special razor designed just for him that only cuts every third hair on his face so he can get that proper Yasser Arafat look going before a game.

Erstad is all the more odious and intolerable because, well, I’ll be honest, he’s damned good. He’s nearly impossible to get out at the plate and he’s a Gold Glove-winning first baseman. I’d probably be able to tolerate him if he, say, played for the A’s (I’d still complain though – no professional should show up for work looking like he’s been chewed on by a dog). Trouble is, he plays for the Angels, who are basically just in the way in the AL West as far as any A’s fan is concerned.

Alas, I may have to find someone new to irrationally hate on now. It turns out that Darin Erstad, while odious and unkempt, is actually a pretty cool guy, if this account on Deadspin is to be trusted. I mean, really, you have to be a pretty cool cucumber to get tossed around in a porta-potty by total strangers and not jump out and instantly open a can of whoop-ass on them, not to mention joining their tailgate party when invited.

So anyone got any suggestions for a new player to irrationally hate-on?

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