Friday, January 30, 2009
The Anonymous Hurler, A Little Less So Now
On the greatest day of his life, Matt McCarthy took a call from a Major League baseball scout named Byron, who told him he had been drafted to play baseball for the Angels.After getting cut by the Angels organization, McCarthy went to Harvard medical school, and is currently an intern.
"Now, you went to Yale," Byron told him, "so I'm sure you're a smart kid. But please don't do anything stupid once you get out there. Don't make me look bad."
"Of course," McCarthy told him.
At least, that's the account in McCarthy's book, Odd Man Out. It's a tell-all of his year in the Angels' farm system, from the racial divide in the clubhouse to the oversized sex toy players touched for good luck; from players making fun of handicapped kids to guys using steroids.
It comes out next month and it's a book that, if we're honest about it, makes Byron and the Angels look bad. "I'm sure there will be a defamation of character lawsuit filed by someone, as well there should be," a former teammate, Heath Luther says.
But, McCarthy swears, that was never his intention. He says he roots for the Angels. He calls them the best organization in sports. The question, then, is how he could write such a brutally revealing book.
But, as McCarthy found, in A-ball the notion of the team barely exists.
"These friendships are very transient," he says. "You're sitting next to your chief competitors."