Hot Air: Both Sides against the Middle

By playing it safe, the City of Bloomington now finds itself in hot water — nay, boiling water — with both sides in the Farmers Market/Schooner Creek dustup.

The SC gang filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday claiming the city denied the vendor its constitutional rights over the summer while a mini-hell broke loose at the fresh grub outdoor mall outside City Hall. The city, the Schooner filing asserts, allowed protesters to raise cain gratis while denying SC the same comp so that they might tell the world how fabulous the white race is.

This after Mayor John Hamilton and the city decided to take no action to evict SC when the vendor was shown to be run by folks who belong to a supremacist organization, something called the American Identity Movement (no link because fuck them). AIM is the shiny new name conjured by the more public relations savvy among its membership; the groups’s orig. monicker was Identity Evropa. By any name, the org. has been ID’d by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

Not to be confused.

Odd the AIM should have chosen its new acronym considering those three initials long have been associated with the American Indian Movement. I’d guess the Identity clique would feel the Indian advocates would be anathema inasmuch as Native Americans had the damnable temerity to occupy the future American continent that, after all, had been deeded by the Holy White Father himself to European caucasians.

In any case, it was clear Hamilton and his law dept. decided to take no action against SC for fear the vendor would sue the city to high heaven. Angry protesters howled and demonstrated and branded the mayor — as well as anybody who dared suggest SC had a right to sell its greens even if its owners did spout detestable racist nonsense — racists and Nazis.

No doubt the furor this past summer gave Hamilton and city attorney Philippa Guthrie night sweats. They surely crossed their fingers that SC would not apply to vend at the 2020 Farmers Market but the farm did do so the other day. And now — wouldn’t you know it? — SC has sicced its attorneys on Bloomington et al after all.

After playing it timidly, the mayor and the city have found themselves in a bigger heap of manure than ever before.

The Flavors of Baseball

With baseball’s spring training beginning this past week, I feel it is imperative to note that The Philadelphia Phillies have just acquired an outfielder named Kyle Garlick.

When he broke into the big leagues last year with the Dodgers, he joined an illustrious group of herb- and spice-named players throughout history. There were, acc’d’g to Baseball Reference, no fewer than four players with the surname Pepper (Don, Laurin, Ray, and Bob) as well as Pepper Martin, born Johnny Leonard Roosevelt Martin and known as the Wild Horse of the Osage. I won’t go so far as to count that colorful nickname among the herbal all-star roster although I was tempted by the -sage part of it.

There also have been Jarrod Saltalamacchia (AKA Salty), natch, and Salty Parker. Saltalamacchia, BTW, was noted mainly for possessing the longest last name in Major League Baseball history, at a hefty 14 letters.

There has been Frank Fennelly, even though his name is more an adjective than a noun.

Jason Bay played in the bigs in the early part of this century and Harry Bay in the early part of the last.

Pickles Dillhoefer

Pickles Dillhoefer was a catcher for several teams from 1917 through 1921.

Pitcher Arthur Chivers never made the majors but did earn a paycheck in the minor leagues for a couple of years around 1950.

Pitcher Steve Mintz had a couple of cups of coffee with the Giants and Angels in the 1990s.

The closest I could come to marjoram was catcher Mike Marjama who appeared a few times for the Seattle Mariners in 2017 and ’18.

Lemon, OTOH, has some MLB props. There have been Chet, Jim and Bob Lemon and even Mark Lemongello which is the only flavor palatable in my opinion.

There have been no fewer than five players named Curry (Steve, Tony, Jim, George, and Wes).

Ginger Beaumont, Ginger Shinault, and Ginger Clark all logged big league playing time.

No one named Chicory ever played big league baseball although nine players sported the now-non-PC nickname Chico and one was named Matt Chico. It should be noted Chico Salmon played for nine years in the 1960s and ’70s as did, while we’re at it, Tim Salmon, during the 1990s and ‘aughts. I’m not so sure chicory goes well with fish, though.

Stephen Yarrow was an infielder in the Giants’ minor league system not long ago. Yarrow, the herb, was used to flavor beer in the Middle Ages and today is used to add a bit of zing to certain spirits and bitters.

Julia Sawalha as Saffron in “Absolutely Fabulous”

The only Saffron I can think of is Edina’s priggish daughter in Absolutely Fabulous.

Billy and Vic Sorrell and Chick Sorrells have been professional ballplayers. Sorrel of course, is a salad vegetable.

Valeriano Fano played baseball in Cuba immediately after World War II. Valerian root is touted by herbal medicine enthusiasts as a natural remedy for sleeplessness and restless leg syndrome, although no scientific studies indicate it does anything of the sort.

Pat Caraway was a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox in 1930, ’31, and ’32.

Brandon, Sam, and Pete Woodruff made their separate ways to the majors. The flowering herb, woodruff, is used in Germany to flavor may wine, punch, brandy, jelly, jam, a soft drink called Tarhun, ice cream, herbal tea, and sherbet powder.

Thinking of baseball and herbs makes me hungry. I’ll make myself a hot dog and sprinkle, in true Chicago style, some celery salt on it. Celerino Sanchez, to conclude this pointless exercise, was a third baseman for the New York Yankees in the early 1970s.

Oh, and seven players named Herb by their parents played Major League Baseball, the best of them being pitchers Herb Pennock and Herb Score. Bob Spicer pitched for the Kansas City Athletics in 1955 and ’56.

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