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Not a Jock – Jeremy Guthrie

December 3, 2008
Nice guy, nice bike.

Nice guy, nice bike.

I’ll use the Plaxico Stupid story as a launching point for the new feature “Not a Jock,” which profiles a professional athlete who does non-jock type things. Like, for example, not abuse wives /girlfriends / potentially gay teammates, maybe not carry loaded firearms out in public without a permit, not disparage ethnic differences by making “Chinese eyes”, and generally exhibit non-jocklike qualities while maintaining high levels of athletic ability.

Today it’s Jeremy Guthrie, the Orioles pitcher who’s emerging as a fan favorite and solid starter. Yeah, he did the Mormon mission and probably wears the magic underwear, but the guy practices what he (literally) preaches. Guthrie bikes to work. This is remarkable. And his reason for biking to work is actually environmental, as evidenced by the bumper sticker on his Camden Yards locker which says “One less car,” and his eminently quotable,

 I hate cars, I hate driving, I hate doing something I don’t have to do. For me to drive downtown is a waste of gas; it’s a waste of my time. I can ride faster than I can drive.

This is unlike, say, teammate Luke Scott, who bikes as well, but says,

I have an Infiniti QX 56 — it’s a large SUV… I get about 14 to 18 miles per gallon, but I’ve saved hundreds of dollars just from biking.. … The gas prices are so absurd that for some people, they make enough money just to drive to work.

So Scott does it to save, uh, money. Not, say, the planet. And he still has a preposterous vehicle which he drove all the time when he played for the Astros. Nonethewho, it’s still refreshing to see that Guthrie’s had a positive impact on some of his teammates, when the sight of Cadillac Escalades streaming towards stadium parking spaces is the norm. Christ almighty, Escalades. I wish I could pull the banana in the tail pipe stunt whenever I see these in the city. If you own a car that gets under 13 miles per gallon, you should have to pay environmental taxes. And if you own a non-hybrid light truck in the city and conduct no business outside of said city, you should have to, like, give massages to the homeless twice a week. Or eat a boiled foot.

Guthrie participated in and spoke at National Bike to Work Day back in May with the mayor of Baltimore.
Ooooh, sidebar (and The Wire spoiler): The mayor of Baltimore, Sheila Dixon, was city council president and succeeded Martin O’Malley; O’Malley jumped from the council to the mayor’s office, and used Baltimore as a stepping stone for Annapolis’s gubernatorial seat. Council president Naresse Campbell on The Wire was also intent on the mayor’s office, and succeeded Tommy Carcetti after he became governor. Yes, both Campbell and Carcetti were (presciently) based on their real-life counterparts. Nobody’s based on Jeremy Guthrie in The Wire. Well, maybe Wee-bey. No, not Wee-bey.

Guthrie’s story is also kinda interesting; he was a (bad) pitcher during his freshman year at BYU, went on a two-year Mormon mission in Spain, transferred to Stanford, and became a first-round pick for the Indians. But regardless of tithing to golden plates, here’s a big hurrah for Jeremy Guthrie.

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3 Comments
  1. Aaron permalink

    I went to High School with Jeremy, and I am proud to say, Mormon or not, good pitcher or not, he is a STAND – UP guy. He was always friendly, outgoing and nice to anyone who ever approached the guy. I am especially proud of him for upholding the Oregon way of life so many of us appreciate…”one less car” is a way of life, man…I was a pedestrian until I was 30…and even then, only because work and family required me to get with the vehicular masses. Way to go Jeremy!

  2. Andrew permalink

    If you ever get to Oriole Park (Camden Yards) early, right when the gates open, you will often see Guthrie playing catch with fans in Left Field. I just hope he stays in Baltimore!

  3. The intriguing history regarding the jockstrap… We have to visit all the way to the 1870s, and a Mr. Bennett of Chicago, who has been plainly *very* concerned concerning the injury which cobbled roadways did to street bike courier’s nuts. All that out of hand bouncing about kept him up at nighttime. Poor Mr. Bennett. Nevertheless fortunately for the street bike messengers (and also ‘jockeys’), Mr. Bennett had a concept, and he named it after them. The ‘jock strap’ came into this world. Fast-forward fifty years into the 1920s, and a youthful Canadian named Jack Cartlege. Jack beloved his hockey *almost* just as much as he cherished slipping on his most liked jock strap, but it wasn’t until one fateful day in 1927 that Jack realized (the hard way!) that his jock strap wasn’t any competition for any hockey puck inside the genitals. Jack wasn’t enormously keen on reproducing the experience, and who blames him, so he came up with the ingenious idea of slipping a hard cup on the top of his jock strap. The design was quickly patented and production begun. Males do not had to live in being nervous about a stray puck, ball or studded shoe. Jack’s mix of jock strap and shielding cup took over as anchor of boys’ high school sports kit the world over through out the twentieth century, right up until under garment manufacturers such as Andrew Christian, C-in2 and Addicted started off reinventing the typical style and design. Out went the ugly colour of off-white and also the unattractive waistbands, and in came a whole new range of innovative cuts and models, and fun colors. These contemporary jock straps will be the ideal balance between trend and performance – as great around the track or in the gym because they are under a pair of jeans, or suit trousers if you’re game for it. Business at the front, party in the back!

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