At first, I thought this was just another Sign of the Times:
The Houston Chronicle has apologized after publishing an article that directly quoted broken English from Houston Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez.
In the article written on May 4, Brian T. Smith placed much of the blame for the Astros’ early struggles on Gomez.
And what did Smith say Gomez said?
“For the last year and this year, I not really do much for this team. The fans be angry. They be disappointed,” said Gomez as he roamed center field against the team with which he spent 2008-09.
I suppose I could point out that baseball been berry, berry good to Gomez, but actually we’ve been here before, a hell of a lot earlier than any SNL catchphrases. The setup:
We pick up the story from H. Allen Smith, live from 1934:
You may remember that Mr. Baer struck Mr. Carnera with great force and great frequency around the face and head. When the Italian giant reached the dressing room he had large lumps all over his forehead, and his jaws were swollen. They took his ring clothes off and propped him up on a rubbing table, and he kept looking around the room without apparently seeing anything. His handlers faded back and left him sitting there beneath the light. Nobody made a move to do anything, so I stepped up to him.
“Did he hit you hard?” I asked him.
He stared at me for a full minute. Then his lips moved.
“Holy Jesus!” he said.
“Do you want to fight him again?”
“Holy Jesus!” mumbled Carnera.
“Do you think you could lick him if you fought him again?”
“Does your head hurt?”
“Do you think Baer can lick Schmeling?”
At this point half a dozen or so of Carnera’s proprietors came crashing in, and the press was ordered out of the place. I was well satisfied. It was one of the most revealing interviews I had ever had. I was quite startled, however, the next day when I picked up the papers to see what the sports writers had to say about it. One of them quoted Carnera as having said:
“Max’s blows were very hard. He hurt me several times — I have to admit that. But I sincerely believe that I could defeat him and I would like to have another chance. I want to regain the championship.”
Carnera couldn’t have uttered those thirty-eight words in that sequence if he had gone four years to Harvard. Yet the other sports writers had composed the same sort of sheep dip with slight variations.
Boxing been very, very good to Primo Carnera. And Baer had licked Max Schmeling — the year before.