The author and owner of many leather bound books, Jeff Pearlman is kind of a big deal. He has written, in my opinion, one of the best baseball books of the last 25 years in "The Bad Guys Won" - a chronicle of the 1986 Mets. He also recently released "Boys Will Be Boys" about the 1990's hooker and coke happy Dallas Cowboys. Jeff was good enough to tolerate by hard line of questioning.
Jimmy Dugan: As the resident expert on John Rocker, the misunderstood, enlightened philosopher of the 1990's, what would he say about the state of the New York Yankees going into the 2009 season?
Jeff Pearlman: He'd probably say, "I like what they're doing with the pitching staff. Now would you like fries or onion rings with that?"
JD: Is Torre a complete traitor or does he deserve to vent after years of being caged by Steinbrenner?
JP: There's no loyalty in corporate America today, from the powers that be to the employees, so why should Joe Torre show loyalty back? He had a great run, the Yankees had a great run, he has opinions and he's being paid much money to do so. I have no problem with that.
JD: If the Yankees pick up Manny Ramirez will the Yankees become the University of Delaware to the Mets version of Delaware State?
JP: No, the Yankees would be USC to the Mets' DeVry.
JD: Imagine you are Brian Cashman. Is the answer for center field already a Yankee?
JP:Well, they have such a great lineup that it's the sort of thing where the team can afford to have a good glove with some speed out there, and just hope he hits .250 with four homers and 20-to-30 steals from the eight hole. In other words, I'd say Yes.
JD: We have noticed that you recently moved from ESPN to SI. Were you the "player to be named later" in the deal for Rick Reilly?
JP: I wasn't even an empty can of Mr. Pibb.
JD: What do the Yankees do if Posada's shoulder just doesn't respond?
JP: What they always do—spend huge amounts of money to steal someone else's catcher.
JD: Since you are the biggest Barroid expert this side of Pedro Gomez, i ask you this: is he the least likeable character that you have written about? Personally I can't see him as anything worse than on par with Keith Hernandez.
JP: He's 8,000,000,000,000,000 times worse than Hernandez. Hell, he's worse than Rocker. Yes, he's a terrible, terrible human being.
JD: As a professional journalist, does your jaw drop like mine when you find out deplorable things about the Cowboys in the 1990's?
JP: No, because I've seen the insides of locker rooms and clubhouses. I've heard the stories for years and years. Truthfully, nothing surprises me anymore. It just entertains me.
JD: My readers may not know this, but you and I actually hail from two towns on opposite sides of a bitter rivalry in upstate New York. I attended Carmel High School while you were a student at the clearly inferior Mahopac High. Share a fond Rams-Indians sports memory with us.
JP: Hmm ... this isn't a sports story. But it's Carmel-related. As a high school junior I'd never kissed a girl, and I was invited to the 1989 Carmel High junior prom by Jody Cohen. I knew Jody from Hebrew school—beautiful girl, always had a little crush on her. Anyhow, all night I was thinking, "Tonight I'm finally going to kiss a girl." The prom ends, we go back to my house in Mahopac. I pull my dad aside and say, "Let me drive her home. Please." Well, my dad could be strict about certain things, and I had yet to earn my senior license. In other words, I couldn't drive alone past 9 pm. So my dad drives us to Jody's house, and as I walk her to her door, the car's running, headlights on, my old man sitting there watching. I pussed out, didn't kiss her. Kills me to this day.
The Fowl Balls would like to thank Jeff Pearlman for putting up with us. You can buy his books here, read his work on si.com, and be sure to check out his blog, jeffpearlman.com. He has a link to the history of farts. Brilliant.