I'll be the first to admit that I've been less than kind to Astros first baseman Carlos Lee over the last four years or so. On my radio show, privately joking with friends and at times in this space, most notably my open letter to him a couple of seasons ago which succinctly summed up the Carlos Lee Era in one short four-letter command as to what Carlos Lee could do to himself.
The letter in particular wasn't one of my classier moments, but then again, a $19 million-per-year left fielder loafing around the outfield like he's playing in a beer softball game can make a normally classy individual like myself (...hey, pass the nachos, and put it back on Cinemax, please!...Thank you) say and do peculiar things.
So I think it's only right that I give kudos when Carlos Lee does something that makes me happy.
As reported by Chron.com's Zachary Levine, in the seventh inning of the Astros' 8-1 Wednesday afternoon rout of the New York Mets, former Astro reliever Tim Byrdak got into a bit of a shouting match with the Astros dugout. Apparently, the Astros were upset over what they thought was Byrdak trying to quick-pitch them, which (as stated somewhere in the hundreds of unwritten pages of baseball's unwritten rules) is a no-no:
"There's going to be a big discussion always about when a pitcher quick-pitches. Always," Brad Mills said. "Nothing was being said to him; it was being said to the umpire, and then Tim took offense to us saying something to the umpire, and he started yelling. It really didn't become much at all. I don't see anything happening down the road at all. It's kind of funny more than anything else."
Byrdak apparently failed to see the humor in the whole thing, which is weird because when it comes to barely funny occurrences, Byrdak would appear to be the resident expert:
(By the way, how do you know a Hulk Hogan impersonation by an actual Major League Baseball player was a total dud? When it still only has 308 total views a month after being posted on YouTube.)
Anyway, Byrdak responded to the Astros' "quick pitch" contention by yelling back at their dugout, and that's where the Carlos-related fun began. Carlos saw an upset Byrdak on the mound and decided to fire back:
"I saw him upset, and I just started screaming at him. I don't even know what I started screaming, but I started screaming," Lee said, going into his best Brick Tamland. "I didn't see what happened. I saw everybody yelling, and I'm like, 'I'm going to yell too.' "
If you need any more solid proof that Carlos is really just a humongous eight-year-old, there you go. He saw someone on the other team upset and yelling, so without knowing why the guy was screaming, Carlos just decided to start screaming back at him for the sole mission of pissing him off. If Carlos had a Facebook page, I'd be clicking LIKE this instant. (As opposed to before the yelling incident, when I'd have been going to Carlos's Facebook page and posting various fudge recipes on his wall.)
In a season that has probably exceeded expectations for fans on many fronts thus far -- Wandy is a Cy Young candidate, the team can hit a little and the bullpen is solid -- maybe the greatest miracle in 2012 is that the baseball gods found a way for Carlos Lee to give a shit about something.
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Who cares if that something was irritating the piss out of Tim Byrdak?
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.