Brian Asselstine

May 28, 2008
Minutes of 5.28.08 Pitch Meeting, Cardboard Gods Industries

Meeting Chair: Josh Wilker

Attendees: Anger, Going Through Yet Another Heavy Bob Dylan Phase, The Pretentious Promoter of the Hackneyed Voice of Childhood, Apocalyptic Panic, Disgust, Compulsiveness, The Baseball Guy, The Guy Who Loathes Josh Wilker

Could Not Attend: Easily Inspired, Zen Calmness, Humor, Confidence

Agenda: Brian Asselstine Profile


Josh Wilker (Meeting Chair): Thanks for coming. I well understand the tedious nature of these meetings, and I appreciate your sacrifice. Anybody got anything?

The Guy Who Loathes Josh Wilker: Why are we even here? I’ll tell you why. Because you can’t handle what is a one-person job, if that. Give a monkey a typewriter and he’ll do better than you. You’re a disgrace. You didn’t even spring for donuts!

Compulsiveness: All I know is we’ve got to get something up there on the site today or . . . or bad things will happen.

Anger: [Glares at previous speaker]

The Baseball Guy: Can’t we just string together a paragraph about Asselstine’s brief, mediocre career and call it a day?

The Pretentious Promoter of the Hackneyed Voice of Childhood: But surely there must also be some way to connect to the realm that the poet Rilke declared to be the wellspring of all great art, the numinous pastures of long lost memory, where innocence and wondrous awareness combine to—

Anger: [Lands punch in previous speaker’s solar plexus]

The Pretentious Promoter of the Hackneyed Voice of Childhood: Oof!

Compulsiveness: What about something about his facial expression. Oh, I wish Humor was here to quickly come up with something about how he looks like he’s evacuating his bowels. Is that funny?

Disgust: Yes, yes, let’s produce yet another This Guy Looks Like He’s Doing This Instead of What He’s Doing essay. That will surely add to the advancement of civilization.

Going Through Yet Another Heavy Bob Dylan Phase: (humming) Goin’ to Aaa-ca-pul-co, goin’ on the run . . .

Apocalyptic Panic: Disgust is right. Civilization is doomed and we’re here trying to write about the baseball card of a guy taking a swing in a batting cage thirty years ago with a look on his face like he just hit another warning track flyball and he’s worried that his failure to go any deeper than that is going to banish him back to the minors, doomed is sort of what he looks like, as if he’s us with the soaring gas prices and melting ice caps and endless war and teenagers getting shot every two seconds and—

Josh Wilker: Uh, did anyone else notice the heart shape on the left shoulder of Brian Asselstine’s uniform? That’s kind of odd, I thought.

The Pretentious Promoter of the Hackneyed Voice of Childhood: Yes, perhaps we can weave together some sort of heartrending narrative that touches on whence the tender touch of romantic love first—oof!

The Guy Who Loathes Josh Wilker: Don’t try to change the subject with your pedestrian observations, Josh Wilker. You’re worthless. You add nothing to the world but just sit there eating tortilla chips and watching sitcoms.

Disgust: My stomach.

The Baseball Guy: I know nobody at these meetings cares what I have to say, but don’t most people who might read whatever we come up with want to read about baseball?

Disgust: Is there a gas leak in here?

Compulsiveness: How about instead of a regular essay we just slap the meeting minutes up there?

Disgust: [Vomits]


(Love versus Hate update: Brian Asselstine’s back-of-the-card “Play Ball” result has been added to the ongoing contest.)


  1. 1.  Zen Calmness had just stopped by last week. He said that he’d be back for the next meeting, but he can’t find his plane ticket home.

    He didn’t seem overly worried.

  2. 2.  A simple ass/name joke would have sufficed.

  3. 3.  Goofing Off At Work: Way to go, fellas.

  4. 4.  It would appear that Humor, despite his refusal to note his own attendance, took the minutes at this meeting. I believe that Compulsiveness’s reference to Humor’s absence is just slight of hand by Humor. Good work, Humor.

  5. 5.  Josh Wilker Groupie: “Wow, I love Goin’ to Acapulco! Did you hear that hot version of it that they did in I’m Not There?”

    Everyone Else: Stony silence.

    (Some vaguely melodic humming coming from that guy in the corner staring out the window, however.)

  6. 6.  5 : That was a good version. The guy from My Morning Jacket is using his Nashville-Skyline-era-Dylan voice to good effect, and I think a band called Calexico is backing him.

  7. 7.  6 Too bad that movie, with the exception of Cate Blanchett’s performance, was hot garbage.

    Good soundtrack, though.

  8. 8.  brilliance. sheer, unadulterated brilliance. thanks for making my day, josh. rgds, will

  9. 9.  Calexico is a brilliant band. (So is MMJ, for that matter.) That whole soundtrack is tremendous.

    And speaking of brilliant, well done, Humor.

  10. 10.  Asseltine. It’s like Ovaltine for your ass!

  11. 11.  But then which ova is Ovaltine for?

  12. 12.  That old Atlanta hat with the lowercase ‘a’ always threw me. That, and the lowercase, multicolored ‘m’ from the Expos hats… They just bucked the trend of capital letters on the caps, had a funny cursive look to them, and just didn’t compute in my head…

    It doesn’t make sense to me now, but when I was six or eight or whatever, these things perplexed me. I literally didn’t recognize the ‘m’ on the Expos hat as an ‘m’.

    Oh, and Josh, you neglected to tell us if Despair was in attendance or not. I would think he makes regular contributions…

  13. 13.  Giggling like a schoolgirl here.

    Brilliant stuff.

    Even when you think you have nothing, you have something.

  14. 14.  12 Oh, and Brent- it took me decades to see the glove on the old Brewers logo as an lower case “m” and “b”. Felt stupid when I finally saw that.

  15. 15.  The “MB” was brilliant. But the Expos “M” was really a crime upon humanity, and, I have no doubt, a major reason the baseball fates saw fit to sweep the team clean from the face of the earth.

    It looked like “elb.” There’s no way you could get an M out of that.

  16. 16.  How many other caps have featured lower case letters, anyway? We have the Braves and Brewers already mentioned above. I feel fairly confident in asserting that the Angels used a lower case “a” back in the day.

    Any others?

    And I wonder why the Orioles never felt compelled to use “B.O.” as the Brewers used “M.B.”?

  17. 17.  Those Braves unis look so softball that there almost cool.

  18. 18.  10 : This card has been at the top of the pile for months, and for most of that time I also was seeing his last name as “Asseltine” instead of the awkward actual spelling with that third “s”: “Asselstine.”

    11 : Despair was on speaker phone, weeping.

  19. 19.  Brian Asselstine was the first player I ever heard described as “knowing only one way to play”. As ever, that “one way” was “all-out, all the time”, often to his detriment. He tore up his ankle getting it caught in the outfield fence in Atlanta, and by fence I mean chain-link. They added an outer plexiglass layer the following year. Too late for Mr. Asselstine, who hung around for years being called what might have been, but I don’t know. We had pretty low standards for prospects up until then (although that was about to change, thanks to Murph). I think it’s likely that Asselstine was Ryan Freel without the speed.

    (The heart-shaped thing on the shoulder is the bottom half of a rather mystifying interpretation of a feather)

  20. 20.  19 : Always interesting to have the picture fleshed out by a hometown fan. Thanks for that.

  21. 21.  The combination of the “heart” shape and what looks to be sergeant stripes above it reminds me of some of the logos used for the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” movie.

    But I’m really free-associating on that one.

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