What would the sports world have looked like had Deadspin been around 20 years ago? Well, exactly the same as it looked back then, of course, but we still would have found a ridiculous amount of joy in making fun of the sports planet's more ridiculous humans.
This got The Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society of Gentlemen thinking: Should there be a Veterans Committee for the Deadspin Hall of Fame? Therefore, throughout 2008, TSASHSOG will be stating the case for several figures from the past, and at the end of the year, we'll vote on them all. Today's nominee: Pedro Guerrero, after the jump.
The nightmarish (but not-quite-Nightmare-Ant-ish) Y2K-scenarios that occupied the minds of so many at the turn of the century were not as far off base as most remember them. True, no planes fell from the sky, and to the extent that governments did stop functioning, it wasn't the fault of computer programmers who failed to acknowledge the dangers of the number 2. But as 1999 flew by and the film "Gladiator" hurtled toward undeserved immortality, an Internet related disaster was, in fact, developing. Retired major leaguer Pedro Guerrero had been re-unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. And in a pre-Deadspin age, no one was around to properly immortalize the event on the web.
The following is our attempt at righting that wrong. Pedro Guerrero, when the robots have taken over and all that remains of mankind is what the sentinels are able to siphon off Gawker's servers, You Will Be Remembered. You, Alexey Vayner and the Assimilated Negro.
It was 1999. The earth continued its gradual cooling after the O.J. Simpson verdict and had already, for the most part, gotten over the 14-year Major League Baseball career of Pedro Guerrero. A five-time All-Star and co-World Series MVP with the Dodgers, Guerrero had retired in 1992 as a Cardinal and slunk off into relative obscurity. Or so we thought.
On October 10, 1999, a 911 operator in Dade County Florida responded to the following call:
Operator: "Where's your emergency?"
Simpson: "We have a problem here. I'm trying to get a girl to go to rehab..."
Operator: "Does anyone need rescue?"
Simpson: "She's been doing drugs for two days with Pedro Guerrero, who just got arrested for cocaine, and I'm trying to get her to leave her house and go into rehab right now."
Operator: "Is anyone hitting anyone right now?"
Simpson: "No, no. It's nothing like that."
Operator: "Does anyone have any weapons?"
Simpson: "No, no..."
Operator: "Does the girl need a rescue?"
Simpson: "No she doesn't need a rescue..."
O.J. Simpson's new ladyfriend, who looked startlingly like someone else from his past, had apparently quarreled with her infamous (and possibly murderous) beau, resulting in a 911 call that both parties would later downplay. But what of Pedro Guerrero? Guerrero had been charged with a cocaine related conspiracy just days earlier. Was he so bold, or so addled, as to do it again so soon after his run-in with the law? Just as importantly (and much more hilariously), what about Pedro Guerrero was so terrifying as to make the prospect of his girlfriend doing cocaine with him for two days worse than the thought of her doing cocaine for two days alone?
The question was somehow further muddled several months later when Pedro Guerrero was acquitted on those drug charges — for being too stupid to commit the crimes alleged. A Miami jury believed Guerrero's lawyer's claim that, with an IQ of 70, the former slugger was incapable of making his bed or writing a check, let alone arranging a $200,000 shipment of blow.
Potential comment extravaganza? Potential comment extravaganza! And now, through the wizardry of modern science and creatively deployed anachronism, we get to see it happen.
Retro-Projected 2000 Deadspin SHOTY Finish
Guerrero would have had a difficult path to the SHOTY title. We've run the year 2000 through our Deadspin Retro simulator and come up with the following Final Four:
(Ed. Note: We think Rocker's tragically underseeded.)
As you can see, Leon Smith - the dud of a high school draftee who eventually overdosed on Aspirin and claimed to be an "Indian fighting Columbus" would have been upset by French basketball player Frederic Weis. The former Knick dud draftee's only accomplishment in 2000 was getting dunked on by Vince Carter. But in an age in which millions of everyday Americans were just getting acquainted with Microsoft Paint, consider Frederic Weis the proto-Ned:
Guerrero's general stupidity is objectively funnier than John Rocker's 1999 xenophobic stupidity, and so Guerrero would have coasted into the final. But a nuts in the face are nuts in the face, and so an honorable run would have ended there.
Retro-Projected Deadspin Hall of Fame Plaque
Voters have become more discriminating over time, but back in 2000, this would have been an easy call.
Retro-Projected Stephen A. Smith Wisdom
According to the folks at Wikipedia, Stephen A. Smith wasn't known beyond Philly until 2005—well after the Pedro Guerrero saga. It is difficult to imagine a sports issue of any sort without Stephen A. Smith to offer his considered opinion. Fortunately, thanks to advances in retro-projective science, we don't have to do so. Behold, the Retro-Projected Stephen A. Smith Wisdom:
Until next time.