Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blue Jays 5, Yankees 1

Roy Halladay has owned the Yankees pretty much since he was pitching at Exhibition Park (he was the starter the night Dave Winfield offed the seagulll, right? And do you remember when Canadian authorities held up Winfield at the border on some animal rights' charges . . . I mean, a frickin' racoon with wings . . . and manager Billy Martin, in one of his more genial moods--famously defined by Stick Michael as more or less between Scotch number four and Scotch number seven--offered to mollify the Canucks: "We'll give the bird a funeral of honor. We'll have a day for it and bury it out in Monument Park next to the Babe.")

So, anyway, I spent all day waiting for Halladay the way a kid who partied on finals week waits for the dreaded envelope stamped GRADES ENCLOSED next to the address.

So, no surprise.

For the Rockets, not so much a surprise. What amusement I'm getting from the game is how Bakley is in all those T-Mobile commercials, and how at the end of every commercial they play the familiar four-note tinkle, which is precisely the tone that Astro-Girl keeps on her cell phone and refuses to change. So every time we come to the end of a T-Mobile commercial, the tone plays, and Astro-Girl comes charging into the living room.

"Where's my phone?" she asks.

"Commercial," I say. I mean, this happens every time.

So, getting back to the Yankee game, I cheered myself up by reading this item over at Deadspin, by Will Leitch, who writes a column for Sporting News (link:)

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, after writing a column making fun of the two New York baseball stadiums, I invited SN readers to email me their pitches as to why their stadium was unappreciated. I would "reward" the best pitch by buying them and me a ticket to a game this year. I received some impassioned pitches for Detroit, Arlington, Philadelphia, Toronto, even Tampa. But the contest was kind of rigged: I really wanted to go to Pittsburgh.

This was for two reasons. First, I've heard from numerous people that PNC Park is a gorgeous stadium where it's easy to procure great cheap seats because the Pirates play there. But mostly: I had slated May 12, today, as my travel day for the game, and the Cardinals happened to be in town that day. That's cheating, but whatever, it's the Cardinals.

Anyway, I was primed to proclaim the first person to email me about PNC Park the "winner," but, because the Pirates have no fans left, nobody sent me a thing. Then, they day before I had to make a decision, I received an email from some guy, whom we'll call "Robert." His note was not inspiring — "The reason that PNC Park is different is that it's the most beautiful stadium of any sport in the entire world and it's parking lot is located near our pre-Forbes stadium, Exposition Park" — but who cares? I had my Pittsburgh resident! I emailed him posthaste, told him he won and asked if he could make it May 12. "I'll buy the tickets," I told him. "We can just meet there. My hotel will just be a few blocks away. I'll buy the booze too!"

I was on deadline, so I began to worry when I didn't hear back from Robert for a few hours. I kept needling him, saying I needed him to confirm so I could file my next column and buy the plane tickets. I kept offering him plenty of booze in Pittsburgh: Nobody fails to act when booze is on the line, I figured. And nothing. So I finally gave up. I chose Minnesota, because I've always wanted to see the Metrodome, which is in its last season, and because I thought I would seriously try to talk the Twins into making me their general manager because that would be HILARIOUS. And then I didn't think that much more about it.

Three days later, I received an email from a woman named "Barbara." She informed me that she was the mother of ... Robert. Who was 13 years old. Who had told her that "the man from the magazine" had invited him to "meet" him at the Pirates game, that his hotel was right by the stadium, that he would buy his ticket and buy him lots of booze.

"He was a bit overwhelmed by your kind invite," she said, and I really, really hoped she'd seen the magazine, the column and the "contest." Because I had just invited her 13-year-old son to come meet a stranger with alcohol at a baseball game. With my hotel "just a quick walk away."

Man-Boy love humor. Dig it.


SunDevilJoe said...

I was also looking forward to the game but was not surprised we were dominated by Halladay. However, the pain of the loss was eased somewhat by the Celtics and Bruins win. I'm still not used to those two playing this late in the season.

The Deadspin article reminds me of the young writer in "Almost Famous".

Anonymous said...

Or the zit-faced kid Elaine brings booze to on Seinfeld.