We're making an honest effort to not write a story every time the World Champion San Francisco Giants rejigger their lineup with a player transaction. You probably won't see the words "arbitration" or "Mike Fontenot" here for a while.
But the resigning of Pat "The Bat" Burrell transcends the sporting page. Yes, Burrell is the veteran local boy the Giants picked up off the scrap heap who turned in a damn solid regular season (his nightmarish playoff performance will always be an afterthought on a Series-winning team).
But, beyond that, even Giants General Manager Brian Sabean kinda-sorta outed Burrell as "The Machine."
And this -- this is a big deal.
For those not in the know, "The Machine" is a character in the dreadful movie 8MM who enjoys killing people on film and wearing leather gimp attire. For one reason or another, Giants closer Brian Wilson is obsessed with this character, and brings him up whenever offered the opportunity by the national media.
Most illustriously, a man wearing only leather undies and a gimp mask walked through the shot of Wilson's interview on the FOX Sports show The Cheap Seats. Rumors abounded that the leatherman in question was none other than Pat the Bat -- and Sabean stating that The Machine "is the left fielder" essentially confirms that.
That this gimped-out leatherman became part of the team's lore -- and was mentioned prominently by our governor and even nominated for mayor by Wilson to the delight of hordes of fans -- is just one more thing to love about the 2010 Giants. And San Francisco, when you think about it.
There's another reason locals should be glad Burrell is returning, however. The handsome, strapping outfielder is, perhaps, the ballplayer who has amassed the greatest number of possibly apocryphal tales of his off-field fraternization -- including claims that Burrell and Najeh Davenport have more in common than you'd think. Plenty of athletes have dossiers regarding their off-field conquests. But Burrell's are blessed with a swashbuckling verve others lack.
In any event, the next time Wilson utters "Where's The Machine?" the answer should be relatively easy. If he ever asks what The Machine allegedly did to that poor girl's floor -- God only knows.
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