Will Venable, Sculpin, and Me

Last evening, as the Padres crawled back to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th inning, sleep deprivation began to take a wicked toll on my body. I commented on Twitter that I was tired and needed to go to sleep. My body simply did not need extra innings. I set my handheld device down and readied myself for a much needed slumber.

But I just couldn’t do it.

I walked back to the TV where the Padres mounted a rapid assault against the Seattle Mariners. With the Vedder Cup on the line the Padres loaded the bases with no outs for Will Venable. Venable wasted little time slapping a single to RF, giving the Padres a walk-off 3-2 win against our rivals from the northwest.

I picked up my phone to gauge the reaction of fellow fans, only to find that my Twitter mentions had completely blown-up with gems like these:

and

Right. Something funny.

I imagine people have wondered why Will Venable and I have such a cantankerous relationship. This association, if you will, possesses a unique back story, full of silly inside jokes.

People will often see Will Venable’s name incoherently scribbled as vILL weNABLe during the course of a game. This phenomenon is not without cause.

The connection between Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA and myself is bandied about with such frequency that it might appear to be paternal, or dare I say, preordained. This too is not without reason.

You see, last night wasn’t the first time Will Venable faced a bases loaded situation with the game on the line.

On July 8th, 2011 Venable came to bat with the bags full and 1 out in the top of the 9th inning at Dodger Stadium. Mat Latos had pitched a brilliant game but had surrendered 1 run in the bottom of the 8th. As the Padres loaded the bases in the 9th, the best that the young hurler could hope for was a no-decision.

I had been watching the game at Randy Jones’ BBQ with a cast of the usual suspects. I had drank a few Sculpin IPAs that evening when Will Venable stepped to the plate in the 9th.

There would be no drama. Venable struck out on 3 pitched and then Jason Bartlett lined out to CF to end the game. The Padres had lost 1-0 after loading the bases with 0 outs. In the politest of terms, it was a pathetic experience that encapsulated the 2011 season. But on July 8th, 2011 . . . I didn’t feel so polite.

On that particular occasion I went home and immediately started banging on my keyboard, producing an alcohol infused tirade called “F&^% You Vill Wenable”. Preserved for future generations, it reads as follows:

THE PADRES. THEY HAD THE BASESLOADED….

DISCLAIMER….. I JUST DRANK 17 BALLAST POINT SCULPIN IPA””’S. DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW MUCH THAT ITS? AT 7.5 % ALCHOlol PER PINT THAT’S LIKE 127% OR SOMETHING. I’M NOT SAYING I’,M DRUNK…. JUST THAT I’M WILLING TO SPEAK FREELY. WILLL VENABLE…

I’VE HAD ENOUTGH OF WILL VENABLE. PEIPLE KEEP WANTING TO GIVE HIM A FREE PASS. OOOOOOH…. HIS DAD IS Max VENABLE. OOOOOOOOOH… HE’S A LATE BLooMER ON ACCOUNT OF BEING A BASKETBALL PLAYER. OOOOOOOOH… HE’S ARTICULATE AND sHIT. HE’S A GOOD F#67#ING INTERVIEW? F*uCK PRINCETON! LET’S GET REAL.

WITH THE BASES LOADED, WILL VENABLE AND ONE OUT WILFRED LOOKED AT 3 PITCHES. HE FOULED OFF TWO AND THEN ASWUNG AND A MISSED AT PITCH ####3. YOU RIDICULOUS JERK.

IT’S ONE THING IF YOU’RE NOT GOOD AT BASEBALL… WHICH YOY CERTAINLY ARE NOT… IT’S AnothER THING IF yOU’RE A DICK ON TOP OF IT ALL…. WHICH YOU CERTAINLY ARE. OHHHHHHHH…. I KNOW. YOU;RE A DiCK. EVRYONE RAVES ABOUT HOW NICE OF A GUY YOU ARE BUT I KNOW…. YOU’RE A REAL diCK. YOU ARE SO LICKY THAT BASEBALL REFERENCE DOESN’T HAVE THE GAME LOG FOR TONIGHT UP AND SHIT… I’M SURE THAT THE PADRES CHANCE OF TYING THE GAME WAS LIKE 107% WHEN YOU CAME TO BAT IN THE 9TH…. AND YOU blew IT!!!!!!!

YOU’RE ON NOTICE VENABLE. NO MORE FREE PASSES BECAUSE YOU’RE ARTICULATE AND SHIT!!!!

So that’s the story of Will Venable, Sculpin, and me.

I don’t cheer against Will Venable, ever. But I know who he is as a baseball player and this helps to properly temper my expectations. Last night was a huge win and I’m glad Venable could experience a proper mugging by his teammates after rounding 1st base. It was a good win.

So the next time Will Venable does well and you see the twitterverse trolling the f*ck out of me . . . well . . . you’ll know why. Kick back with a Sculpin and enjoy the show. Or you could join-in. It’s kind of fun.

I contribute to Padres Public on Thursday mornings and when I’m feeling particularly inspired. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM where I comment on the validity of the Vedder Cup, 7 days a week.

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  • I find it remarkable that, in that caps-locked display of beer-and-indignation fueled fat-fingering, “vILL weNABLe” did not appear unto the world. Apparently, that came later, putting the cherry on the ice cream sundae that is the Legend of AJM, Sculpin and viLL weNABLe.

    (We need another ballad, I think)

    • Hmm… “Ghost Writers in the Sky” perhaps?

      • Or “The Typewriter Has Been Drinking” (substitute “Piano” for “Typewriter” to find Tom Waits’ original).

        Lines like:

        ‘Cause the bouncer is a sumo wrestler
        Cream puff Casper milk toast
        And the owner is a mental midget
        With the I.Q. of a fencepost

        are ready made for a little modification.

    • The vILL weNABLe thing began after I posted the rant that Friday night and then took to twitter for two hours.

      • And now the story is complete. Thanks.

        Except…how long before the T-shirts came along? Genius, that.