I’ve been playing competitive sports since I was nine. From St. Clair, Mo. little league to Lonedell Bobcat basketball, Seckman HS hoops, CYC hoops, flag football, T-Bartels slow pitch, and to this day on a men’s rec league basketball team called Charlie’s Mangels. And I, in over 25 years of competitive sports, have talked a lot of trash. I’ve yelled sentences at complete strangers on the basketball court that would make a south city bartender blush. I have had things screamed at me that would have had men flogged in the middle ages. But I have never, never, heard the smack talk to beat all smack talk… “Who does your laundry???!!! NO ONE!!!”
Skipper, Mike, Mr. Matheny, we have had our differences over the past half-decade or so. But, for one fleeting minute last night, you were my guy. I swear to the old gods and the new that Matheny yelled, “Who does your laundry???!!! No one!!” (Please tell me if I’m wrong, Google the video now. I had the audio cranked in my ear buds)
I don’t know what that means, but it is amazing. It’s also amazing that the broadcast team at Fox Sports knew that the Redbirds have the only manager in the bigs that you can leave a hot mic open on when he is screaming. But, back to the point. What does it even mean? This may be the first time in the history of the English language that one grown man screamed at another grown man, “Who does your laundry???!!! No one!!!”
So, here are four theories as to the mystery that is, “Who does your laundry?”
1. Matheny is leaving Boston and wants some info: In the umps defense, his uniform was sharp last night. So, Mike, our fearless leader, had just gotten tossed and needed some actionable knowledge to leave this encounter with. These men all crisscross the country for 6-8 months a year and a good dry cleaner is as precious as dragon glass.
2. He forgot how words work: If there are two things I understand above all else, it’s words and rage. And ohh the beautiful tapestry of language and fury I can weave once the dormant beast at the bottom of my soul is brought forth. (This usually occurs when A. I drop something B. I pour a bowl of cereal only to find there is no milk C. every time Ray Lankford isn’t mentioned directly after Ken Griffey Jr.) The skipper may have the opposite reaction. We’ve all seen this, like when your mom or grandma gets mad at you and lists off 5 names before landing on yours. A typical calm and collected Matheny would have formed a cogent sentence, but incensed Mike Matheny has the vocabulary of a drunk Incredible Hulk?
3. He wanted the ump to think he is clinically insane: This one passes the smell test. The sentence itself, in the context of the 9th inning of an intense game is utterly without sanity. One of the quickest ways to instill fear in the heart of your enemy is to convince them, through whatever means, that you are not right in the noggin. If this was Mike’s plan, then he may have succeed. And, in turn, may be a far greater strategist then we can imagine. Which leads to my final theory…
4. He is playing a game of strategy far above anything we could have possibly imagined: Think about it for a moment. No one fears this club. All you have to do to beat them is simply hit the ball back over the net and they will eventually commit an unforced error. So, Matheny is playing the long game. “No one fears us. We are predictable. They know our moves before we do. I therefore must instill fear. To instill fear, I lay in wait for the perfect moment. This ump is a joke. Yadi is losing his temper. Time to pounce. “WHO DOES YOUR LAUNDRY!!!!!!!””
Fear of pure insanity instilled. Club runs off a 16-4 clip over the next 20 games. I want this to be the case, more than I want Brett Hull to take me out drinking after the Blues win a Stanley Cup. If the Birds on the Bat hang another banner at Busch we can all thank this one moment. This one speck of sand in the desert that is the St. Louis summer. The eloquent simplicity that was, “WHO DOES YOUR LAUNDRY???!!! NO ONE!!!!!”