This the only picture I took of Roger McDowell at the MAB Mets fest on Saturday because he bugged the crap out of me.
I was a big fan of Roger McDowell and I still say the Mets traded their heart away when they sent he and Lenny Dykstra to the Phightin' Phils for Juan Samuel!
On Saturday, I asked Roger for two autographs: 1) On a baseball sweetspot with "86 World Champs" inscribed, and 2) On my 1986 team signed World Series baseball.
Roger took this as opportunity to inspect the baseball and question why Davey Johnson's signature wasn't on the sweet spot. The exchange went like this:
Roger: "Did you tell Davey to sign his name there instead of on the sweet spot?"
James: "Yes, I asked him to sign it exactly where he wrote his name."
Roger: "Why didn't you get the manager to sign the sweet spot? He's the manager."
James: "Because I'm holding that spot for the World Series MVP, Ray Knight."
Roger: "But Ray doesn't hit the home run if Davey doesn't put him in the line-up."
James: "And you're not a World Champion if Knight doesn't hit the home run in Game 7."
Roger: Nodding his head in agreement, McDowell signs the baseball, hands it back and says, "protocol - that's all I'm saying."
James: "Thanks Roger."
Unreal . . . Roger McDowell questioning what I'm doing with my collection. Has this happened to anyone else?
Maybe I should have asked Roger:
"Hey Roger why did you give up that September, 9th inning home run to dead-center field at Shea to Terry Pendleton in 1987? If you hold the lead, get the save, and we win that game, the Mets are 1 game out of first place with Doc Gooden pitching the next day. Instead you gave the Cardinals a 3 game lead and pretty much handed them the 1987 NL East Division Title. Pendelton hit 12 home runs all season and you served him the biggest one."
"Hey Roger, how did you give up nearly as many earned runs in 1987 as you did in 1986, but pitched in 40 fewer innings? Maybe your protocol should brought you to the knee of Mel Stottlemyre for a little more pitching help that season. His expert tutelage could have served you well against Terry Pendelton in September."
Maybe I should have just asked:
"Hey Roger, are you worried that Terry Pendleton will eventually talk to his old friend Bobby Cox about your crap pitching technique. How does a sinker-ball pitcher give up a home run in one of the deepest centerfields in baseball to a hitter that only hit 11 previous home runs all season during the biggest series of the 1987 season? Maybe TP will tell Bobby to bring Leo Mazzone back to Atlanta and take your job since you seem to be giving it a crapbag effort down there?"
I could have referenced his pathetic, washed up routine on MTV Rock-n-Jock Softball games by asking:
"Hey Roger, why were you a better pitcher against the Baldwin brothers in MTV Rock-n-Jock Softball games than you were against Terry Pendleton in 1987?"
Instead, I made my point and said "thanks." But I do feel better after writing that.