Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Subhelmet Hat Alliance: Dion James

I like beer. All kinds of beer. Some more than others, but as a general rule, I’ll drink pretty much any beer. I may even be willing to give Genny Cream Ale another shot. Genny Cream Ale was the first beer I ever drank and it was years of wine coolers (I know) before I was able to wander back to the land of men from the land of pansies.

When I’m out among friends it’s usually the typical bud light/ miller lite type stuff. You can have 1, 2, or 14 of those no problem. But they aren’t among my favorites. There are some beers that I’m not too fond of that others seem to like. Heineken (although Heineken Light is pretty good), Rolling Rock, and Yuengling are among them. For some reason my father in law, a great guy, has gotten it into his head that I like Heineken. So I get to drink that while he drinks Coors. I’d much rather have a Coors but I don’t have the heart to tell him after so long. Yuengling, if you haven’t heard of it, is “America’s Oldest Brewery”. You’d think they would have figured it out by now. The only thing I can figure that these beers have in common is that they are either in a green bottle or they are brewed in Pennsylvania. I don’t know if it’s the stench of Pittsburgh or what, but PA beer sucks, Iron City Beer being just about the most putrid shit I’ve ever tasted. But they seem to like it there. Hey, whatever floats you boat.

Now, I’ll list a few great beers, or rather breweries. First is Bells from Kalamazoo Mich. As much as I dislike the land up north, this is fantastic beer. I haven’t had one that I didn’t think was excellent. Try the Amber Ale or the Kalamazoo Stout; two ends of the spectrum.

The best brewery in the USA is Great Lakes Brewing Co. I’m crappin’ you negative, and it’s not just because I live in Cleveland. They make some of the best beer I’ve ever had anywhere, period. Around December they release their Christmas Ale. It is so good they ran out last year. People where buying up cases wherever they could find them. The easiest place to get it was on eBay but you had to pay twice as much. I highly recommend you try it.

My favorite beer for a long time has been Corsendonk. I’ve been drinking it when I can for a long time now. It used to be something that was hard to find, but now it’s fairly prevalent. It’s brewed in Belgium by monks, supposedly. I’ll tell you what, those monks know how to brew it, man. Just fantastic stuff. Pick up some Abbey Brown in the big bottle with the cork. You won’t regret it.

“Why the hell” you are asking yourself “is this idiot blathering on about beer?” Well, I’ll tell you. It’s because of Guinness. Everyone loves Guinness. Guinness has those cool cans. Everyone drinks Guinness draft. Guinness, Guinness, Guinness. I’m about the only guy I know that doesn’t like Guinness.


OK. Keep your pants on Susie. Because everyone likes Guinness except me; because it always looks good; because it’s not bad if you’re doing a car bomb; every year or two I try it again, convinced that I’ll finally be able to taste what everyone else tastes. I should like it. So I order a Guinness…and I still don’t like it.

That, in a nutshell, is the career of Dion James, second member of the Subhelmet Hat Alliance. Coming into the league he was a first round draft pick of the Brewers in 1980. He was in their organization for a while and even showed some promise, but never really lived up to the Brewers expectations. They didn’t really like him. He got traded to Atlanta for Brad Komminsk in ’87. The Braves thought he looked good enough to give up a decent player for him. But after 2.5 years the Braves decided that they didn’t really like him either. Cleveland, in ’89 thought “Dion James looks good” and traded another pretty good player for him in Oddibe McDowell.

Well, after a little over a year the Tribe had tried Dion James and didn’t like him. He was released. The Yankees thought “Hey, this guy’s alright” and signed him in ’92. Then released him in ’93. Then tried him again in ’95. Then released him again in ’95.

The Expos got in on it. “This guy SHOULD be good”. They released him in 1 month. The Yankees gave him ANOTHER shot. Released him in 1 month.

Dion James came full circle with the Brewers in June of ’96. They released him in 3 weeks. Baseball as a whole had finally come to the point that I have come to with Guinness. They were done fuckin’ around with Dion James. I’m done fuckin’ around with Guinness. What the hell took either of us so long, I’ll never know.

So here is Dion James in all of his sub helmet hat glory. Look at the separation on that thing. It’s fantastic. The best one I’ve run across. I doubt that this look is what got Dion James released all of those times. But, it sure as hell couldn’t have helped.


Dinged Corners said...

Fantastic post. His wild eyes and the fact that Dion's hat-helmet partially blocks the team name may further add to this card's glory.

dayf said...

The terms "Brad Komminsk" and "decent player" do not belong in the same galaxy. Dion was kind of a decent player, at least for the Braves in 1987. Thing is, giving a fourth outfielder regular at-bats on a terrible team will sometimes result in a nice season. The rest of his career he was a fourth outfielder. You need fourth outfielders in baseball, but they can burn you if a team becomes convinced that they are a starter.

Great beer post too. I'm not a huge drinker and right now I'm quite frankly too busy to drink, but I don't really care what beer I drink as long as it's on draft. As the immortal Fred G. Sanford once said: Bottle beer makes me burp. Guinness is cute, and is occasionally enjoyable in a black & tan, but I also agree that it's not that spectacular a beer. And it HAS to be on draft. anything else is criminal. Great logo though, I have a shirt and a bar towel.

Motherscratcher said...

Yeah, I probably should have looked up Komminsk BEFORE I wrote this post. I just knew that I'd heard of him, so how bad can he be, right? Pretty bad apparently.

I stand by Odibbe, though.

As far as Dion, I just thought that it was funny that the Yankees signed and released him 3 times.

Gellman said...

Hey, I need your address again.

Dubbs said...