Jai-Alai Chalk Talk Hall of Fame

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Here's your shock...

Posted on August 10, 2012 at 09:58:46 PM by 4decadepro

I can say I never intentionally threw the pelota into the pad or into the overhead screen...because I was already in the money. I will say that there were times when I was pissed that I had game point...and just maybe didn't care that much whether I finished with place or show. But it was never because I stabbed at the serve or grabbed the serve and blasted the pelota into the pad, threw a wild costado off the court because I was 'already in the money?' That sounds absurd to me...but then maybe I learned 'court etiquette' a little differently. Like Gino says...the manager is watching you. And my first manager...Pedro Mir...did hand out fines for 'lack of effort' which was in his own judgement...unlike what Bada-Bing heard about no fines. Fines were posted daily...sometimes for cursing, disputing the judge or hitting the pelota after the point...some of the greatest players got fined for 'lack of effort'. BUT it wasn't because they were already in the money...they were just pissed and didn't care whether they finished 2nd or 3rd. It was drilled into us...that wasn't fair to the betting public...hence the fines. And those fines were one of the stiffest...100 bucks or more! That was a lot...believe me...maybe you thought next time...what would I prefer? A 'show' finish for some money in your pocket or a fine for big money out of your pocket...

After a 25 year career...I've forgotten more of the 'lowlights' than the 'highlights'...but one example is etched into my memory. I was about 15 years into playing...I was considered a veteran. I was playing with a backcourt legend (no names mentioned, but he had been around twice as long)...we had been in 'show' playoffs several times and each time he got the serve he would try something 'out of his style'...like a remate, a side arm 2 wall shot or an outside placement...all from the 13 line and right to the wood. He didn't give a crap about me, the crowd, the 'show' money or the money bet on us...frustrated, I waited for my next opportunity and when it came...I was not going to let the serve go by me...no matter what. I went for a serve I normally would let go...I caught it, threw costado for a winner. I got the 'show'...looked at my partner as he walked off the court with a smirk on his face. He didn't care one way or another.

Now under those circumstances...if I had missed the serve or thrown a bad shot...would you have considered that I was 'fixing' the game?


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