Thursday, January 29, 2009

The problem with being Chase Wright

When Andy Pettitte's contentious negotiations with the Yankees ended with an agreement this week, it was good news for pretty much everyone involved. Well, except for Chase Wright, who was designated for assignment yesterday to make room for the veteran left-hander.

Wright -- if you know your 2000s Yankees trivia -- is basically famous for one thing, that being his April 22, 2007, start at Fenway Park in which he served up four consecutive homers to the Red Sox. Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek all connected off Wright that night, and by the time the fourth blast cleared the Green Monster, the idea of "Chase Wright - Top Yankees Prospect" essentially disappeared over that famous wall as well.

Wright has made just one more appearance in a Yankees uniform, a relief outing five months after the Beantown bloodbath. Sometimes the Baseball Gods can be a cruel lot.

A little over a week shy of his 26th birthday, the 2001 third-round draft pick has entered waivers. If no team claims him -- a young left-hander should get claimed by some pitching-starved club -- he'll end up back in the NYY minors purgatory. Wright's career is at a crossroads, and I for one hope he can become known for more than one really bad night.

Wright's circumstance got me thinking today about parallels in other walks of life. More to the point, who else is remembered for one really terrible thing beyond anything else? Here's what I came up with.


Right Said Fred - An English-pop duo formed in 1989, RSF scored a worldwide hit with "I'm Too Sexy" in 1991. A stunning artifact of the cheesy early-nineties pop landscape, it was agreed even then that "I'm Too Sexy" was pretty awful. As for Right Said Fred, they dropped off the face of the earth after their signature hit, doomed to periodic references on bad VH1 clip shows. I just Wiki'd them (I find it freaking amazing that someone spent several hours building a page in their honor) and there's a picture of the pair playing the 2008 Gay Pride Parade in Vienna, Austria. This is the equivalent of Chase Wright returning home to throw a no-hitter in his Sunday morning arcball league.
Honorable mention: The "Macrena" guys, Uncle Kracker, Jesse Camp & The 8th Street Kidz


Yahoo Serious
- Australian actor who received major advertising push from MTV for his wacky 1988 comedy, Young Einstein. The movie was a dud in the U.S., and Serious has appeared in just two movies in the 20 years since. Both those films, 1993's Reckless Kelly and 2000's Mr. Accident, were written and directed by, you guessed it, Yahoo Serious.
Honorable mention: Anyone associated with The Blair Witch Project, the kid that always itched his nose in Dazed and Confused.


Monica Lewinsky
- President Bill Clinton's, um, girlfriend. Became famous for her, um, oratory skills, and was branded with a deserved scarlett letter. Went on to make handbags.
Honorable mention: Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wilkes Booth, President George W. Bush


XFL - A professional football league founded by WWE owner Vince McMahon, the XFL (Xtreme Football League) folded after just one season in 2001. Featured some of the worst freaking football (and ratings) you've ever seen. Tommy Maddox was the league's marquee player and MVP. Did lead to the NFL using the wire cam above the field (which is cool), but mostly existed as an example of McMahon's stunning hubris.
Honorable mention: O.J. Simpson, Gus "I Headbutt Walls" Ferrotte, Ruben "I Steal Stuff" Rivera, Peter McNeeley

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