Bret Boone = The Boone
Bret Boone has dropped some revealing details from his past in recent days, the most notable being his brush with alcohol problems. And that's obviously not all that funny, and good luck to him dealing with that.
What is funny? The fact that he has repeatedly referred to himself in the third person. From today's AP story out of Mariners camp:
Mariners manager John McLaren was there for Boone's boon. He was the bench coach for the star who once walked into spring training with Seattle and declared, "Don't call me Bret. Call me 'The Boone.'''
"To this day, I call him 'The Boone,''' McLaren said Tuesday, laughing. "He calls me up and it's, 'Hey, The Boone. What's up?'''
And later, there's even more third-personing:
During his Seattle heyday, Boone was once irate over being ordered to bunt on consecutive nights.
"Boone doesn't bunt. Boone gets paid to drive in runners,'' he told McLaren.
McLaren has been helping The Boone during his struggles with The Alcohol, and the Seattle Times's Larry Stone goes into much greater depth about these problems, revealing that Boone went into an outpatient alcohol rehabilitation program near his home in San Diego and quoting him thus:
It just became commonplace to go drink six, eight, 10 beers. It was a normal thing. You get into a routine. And you do it for years. When you're young, you can handle it. You rebound from it. And it's not an issue.
"All of a sudden with me, it became a little bit of an issue. And I needed to take care of that. And I did that."
Which is good. But back to the third person; this has been going on for years. This was from his retirement story two years ago:
Closer Eddie Guardado remembered how, in 2003, Boone reached down to golf a low split-fingered fastball from Guardado, then with the Minnesota Twins, for a double. Both made the American League All-Star team that year and Guardado asked him how he managed to reach the low pitch.
"He told me, 'Boone gets those sometimes," Guardado said with a laugh.
And this 2005 column, which, sadly, includes reports of Boone and friends ordering vodka shooters on the golf course, includes this Boone quote about accusations of verbal abuse to golf course employees:
"It's complete ka-ka," he said. "I would never say that to anybody out of the blue. ... One hundred percent, 1 million percent, Bret Boone did not open his mouth on the golf course. That's my God-honest 100-percent word ...
Like I said, I sincerely hope the alcohol stuff is behind him, but Dan Steinberg now completely and earnestly endorses the prospects of The Boone to make the big league roster. And Dan Steinberg seriously can't believe how bloggable this team might turn out to be.
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