I’m not even close to understanding this one

Cidu Bill on Oct 26th 2012


Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, In the Bleachers, Steve Moore, baseball, comic strips, comics, humor | 14 responses so far

14 Responses to “I’m not even close to understanding this one”

  1. Kilby Oct 26th 2012 at 12:49 am 1

    It’s clear that “closer” is intended to mean the “jailer” responsible for opening and closing cells, but I still don’t see how this is supposed to make this panel funny.

    P.S. There’s a character with these duties in the Wizard of Id that the Spook always called “Turnkey”, as a kid I misread the name as “Turkney”, which confused my understanding of many Id-Strips for a surprisingly long time.

  2. rain Oct 26th 2012 at 12:49 am 2

    Some relief pitchers are considered kind of eccentric, even “wild”, such as Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky back in the 70s/80s.

    That’s about it, as far as I can tell.

  3. rain Oct 26th 2012 at 12:51 am 3

    A “closer” in baseball is a relief pitcher who usually is brought in to get the last outs of the game, i.e., closing the game.

  4. Jeff S. Oct 26th 2012 at 03:06 am 4

    Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams was another famous closer. He was given the nickname because he had serious control issues, not because he was truly wild and belonged in a cage.

  5. James Pollock Oct 26th 2012 at 03:59 am 5

    I thought maybe a rodeo/baseball crossover thing (since relief pitchers are held in the “bullpen”, maybe they’re like the bulls the rodeo guys get thrown off of.

  6. DemetriosX Oct 26th 2012 at 05:05 am 6

    And Brad “The Animal” Lesley, who went on to be a big TV star in Japan starting with his role as a bad guy on Takeshi’s Castle.

    But that doesn’t really explain the look of evil glee on (what I presume is) the bullpen coach’s face.

  7. farmer Oct 26th 2012 at 08:11 am 7

    For the non-Americans/non-baseball fans, a “closer” is a pitcher who’s called in for the final inning of a game if the score is close. They’re supposedly the elite, guys who stare down bullets, that kind of stuff. Think of it like the soccer/football players you just know will bury that PK. So this just takes it a step farther to presume the closer is a wild-eyed animal who will just mow down batters in his rage/mania, so is kept in a locked cage until needed. The main coach is calling the bullpen (the baseball term for where relief pitchers prepare during the game, and it really is done on an old-school landline like that) to ask for the closer to be sent out. Thus the manic grin on the other guy’s face, as he contemplates unleashing this beast on their rivals.

    All those words for a really weak joke, accentuated by weak art.

  8. fj Oct 26th 2012 at 09:20 am 8

    Farmer wraps up this one perfectly.

    As rain noted in #2, baseball has a tradition of sorts of somewhat eccentric relief pitchers. John Rocker was an example. Although he is out on the disabled list after undergoing Tommy John surgery, my guess is that this was inspired in part by Giants closer, Brian Wilson. (Just google images “brian wilson giants,” and no, he’s not a Beach Boy).

  9. AMC Oct 26th 2012 at 11:10 am 9

    The Closer is a TV show on TNT.

    I don’t watch the show, but I believe the leading character is a woman who comes in to question a suspect at the end, and gets a confession, or something incriminating.

    And they go to jail as the result of her efforts.

    Here is a blurb on it:

    “They’ll bring you in. She’ll make you talk.” Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) is a police detective who transfers from Atlanta to Los Angeles to head up a special unit of the LAPD that handles sensitive, high-profile murder cases. Despite a tendency to step on people’s toes, Johnson manages to convert even her strongest adversaries with her unique ability to get to the truth. A TNT original series.”

  10. Jeff S. Oct 26th 2012 at 11:27 am 10

    …WAS a TV show on TNT. It ended this year, and the spin off, Major Crimes, took over. Kyra Sedgwick is gone and Mary McDonald is the new deputy chief. If you haven’t seen The Closer, I highly recommend it. This was the first season for Major Crimes, but it seems pretty good too.

  11. CaroZ Oct 26th 2012 at 03:15 pm 11

    Closers in baseball have a reputation for being fierce or intimidating. Doesn’t seem as if there’s really a joke in here, though, other than “our closer is REALLY mean.”

    Indicentally, the wavy motion lines outside the cage first looked to me like “shiver” lines so I thought the cage was actually a refrigerator — leading me to think the closer was being chilled instead of warmed up in an attempt to sabotage him.

  12. MollyJ Oct 26th 2012 at 06:15 pm 12

    He’s gonna catch him a baseball player.

  13. Proginoskes Oct 27th 2012 at 04:04 am 13

    @ Jeff S. and AMC: But since there’s no mention of anything related to the legal system, that’s not an explanation.

  14. AMC Oct 27th 2012 at 10:38 pm 14

    The guy in the second panel is locked up.

    At the end of a typical “The Closer” the guilty person was locked up.

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