Now if Radano could learn how to spell he’d be dangerous.
*** Media-favorite and former Phillie, Yankee, Cub, Giant, White Sox, Indian, Brave and Astro, Kenny Lofton, was back at the ballpark on Friday night.
Kenny is currently on the disabled list with the Dodgers.
*** On my way to the press box lavatory, I literally ran into Jay Johnstone. No one was hurt, but the first thought that popped into my head when nearly trampling the Dodgers’ broadcaster was, “Hey, I read your book when I was a kid.”
The book was called Temporary Insanity and it wasn’t too bad for jock-lit. There were plenty of good stories about all the crazy things baseball players like to do in their free time, including some of the finer details about Johnstone’s time as a Phillie farmhand where he spent most of his energy terrorizing his manager Jim Bunning.
Bunning, of course, is currently the senior Republican senator from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and based on a conversation I had with him in 2003, he still has not let go of the mental anguish Johnstone caused him.
My favorite story from the book was when Johnstone caught wind that Bunning had been trying to nail him for any team rule infraction he could. So just to steam his manager even more than already necessary, Johnstone spread the word that he was organizing a wild, beer-drinking and card-playing night in his room at the team hotel. Thinking he was finally going to get his chance to burn Johnstone once and for all, Bunning showed up at the room after curfew only to find Johnstone sitting on his bed and reading a book.
During our conversation in 2003, Bunning said he campaigned for Johnstone to be called up to the Phillies so he could be rid of him. That turned out to be a pretty good move because Johnstone hit .303 with 33 homers, including going 7-for-9 in the 1976 NLCS, in five seasons with the Phillies.
Getting traded from the Phillies (to the Yankees for Rawly Eastwick) turned out to be a good move for Johnstone’s career. After leaving Philadelphia in the middle of 1978, Johnstone went on to win two World Series rings with the Yankees (’78) and Dodgers (’81).
*** Based on the volume of the boos, it sounds as if Scott Rolen is more disliked by the Phillies fans than J.D. Drew. In fact, it sounds like Drew would fit right in with the home team -- it wouldn't be any worse than the reception David Bell or Mike Lieberthal receive every time they dig in at the plate.