Well, Don Denkinger died last Friday. Denkinger, for you who don’t know your baseball, was a Major League umpire who famously missed a call at first base that arguably cost the St. Louis Cardinals a World Series, in 1985. (As a Cub fan, no skin off my nose; but Denkinger got death threats and never lived the blown call down.)
The New York Times obit pointed out that Denkinger had a great, long career otherwise—flawlessly calling some of the great games of his era. Alas, whenever he was recognized, the call is all anyone wanted to talk about. Denkinger once said, “It’s life, and it goes on. I’m obviously reminded constantly that I made a mistake. You know what? I was an umpire for more than 30 years in the major leagues. I know I made a lot of mistakes. That one was just blown out of proportion.”
Which of course put me in mind of the old Greek villager, asked by a tourist about his grouchy demeanor.
You see the boats in de harbor? I build all de boats!
Do they call me Dmitri the boat-builder? No.
You see the roads in de town? I build all de roads!
Do they call me Dmitri the road-builder? No.
You see the houses on de hill? I build all de houses!
Do they call me Dmitri the house-builder? No.
But you fuck one goat …..