The book: “The Psycho 100: Baseball’s Most Outrageous Moments”
The author: Steve “Psycho” Lyons (with Burton Rocks)
How to find it: Triumph Books, 224 pages, $14.95
Where we’d go looking for it: Steve Lyons’ garage sale later this summer.
The scoop: The premise is fun — 100 things that were goofy, crazy, nutty, spectacular and special that happened in baseball.
Like, like, like … remember the time when Steve Lyons was playing for the White Sox, and he slid into first base, and he got all that dirt down his pants, so he … oh, you already know about that. Well, he tells it all again. In the very first chapter. It’s the first event that he rates — a 9.7 on a scale of 1-to-10, in a story entitled “Psycho Becomes a Household Name.”
“How many times do you think I’ve told this story?” he begins in telling the story again. “Do you think I’m tired of telling it? Well, to answer that question, I’ll pose another: Does Mick Jager get tired of singing ‘Satisfaction’?”
There’s your answer. Still, his biggest accomplishment in life, by the way. So much so that rarely do any of the other 99 incidents in the book either tie or surpass that 9.7 rating on his “meter.” Why would something else be better than something he did?
The story of Babe Ruth’s “called shot” — only a 9.2.
George Brett and the pine-tar bat — nope, just a 9.0.
Randy Johnson kills a bird with a pitch — just an 8.9.
Pedro Martinez goes psychotic and bodyslams Don ZImmer — a meager 7.9.
Robin Ventura’s noogies from Nolan Ryan — sorry, 7.8.
Juan Marichal goes after Johnny Roseboro with a bad — pfffff… try 8.4. (Even dumber, Lyons names this incident: “Johnny Roseboro Attacks Juan Marichal”)
That wasn’t the most psycho thing you’ve ever seen?
See where we’re going here?
OK, there are a couple things actually worth mentioning that either match or surpass 9.7 — when John Kruk gave up hitting against Randy Johnson in the 1993 All-Star Game ties the mark.
When a minor-league team managed by Buck Showalter hit into a triple play — without anyone on the other team even touching the ball (which team and when it happened? It’s never researched enough to verify it’s even true) … that drew a meter-best 9.9.
How about the time Lyons tried to speak Spanish in the Fox broadcast booth, and was fired the next day?
Hijinx should ensue. Hilarity should prevail. Humility would be better at this point.
Lyons has now milked every ounce of his nickname out of himself for financial gain, and reinforced the idea that the more he thinks he knows about baseball, the more someone else needs to spellcheck, factcheck and check the alcohol content of his pregame beverage.
Hey, Jay Johnstone just called and wants his schtict back.
Spare us any sequels. Or further embarassment of having to hear the pants-go-down story again.
How it goes down in the scorebook: E-(whatever position Lyons played most in the field).
By the way, there’s a June 9 booksigning scheduled for the Barnes & Noble at the Grove in L.A. at 7:30 p.m. Show up with a copy of his book and try to sell it back to him.