Thursday, June 28, 2007

Going to Cincy weeeeeeeeeeeeeek. I' diiiiiiiiiiiiial...up.

I'll be in Cincy on Saturday - Tuesday, but I'll try to post my photos of the games on Wednesday.

Don't forget:
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Happy birthday, America. You would be a much better place if Jerry Narron were not a Major League manager.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A favor, a plea

Dear Barry,

Please go on a homer tear. I will be in Cincinnati on July 3 when your Giants are in town, and I'd very much like to see historic blast number 756. I think I'm sitting in rightfield, so if I catch your homer, you can have the ball, as long as you give me another with your autograph. No, I won't sell it. I'd put it among my most prized possessions, right next to my Barry Larkin ball, my favorite player for so long.

I am a big fan of yours, ever since I lived in California and watched the Giants play for a couple years. You hit more than 110 homers in those two years and you got to go to the World Series. I did, too, for one game. Those were some pretty magical seasons with the World Series and you hitting 70 homers and all. I missed you hitting number 600 - I went the day after you did that. I really don't want to miss this milestone.

So please, Barry, hit six homers this week. I know that's asking a lot. I guess it's seven if you count number 756 you'd hit next Wednesday. You have Boomer tonight - launch a couple off his lard butt. I know you guys are playing San Diego and Arizona before heading into Cincy, but look at it as an opportunity to make up some ground. I don't like Arizona anyway. I always root for the Giants to win the NL West.

And if you do happen to hit the coveted ball when I am in attendance, look for me as you round the bases. I'll be the one cheering the loudest, the first and last one standing.

Thank you,

A baseball fan

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Last night was a beautiful night

Even if it did result in crappy outcomes. So now, as I recover from the 40 miles of bike riding I did today, I will leave you with images of last night.

A crappy night

Well, I am glad I am about to go to bed to end this day. It started off as a good day. I went for a long bike ride, going all the way down to the Mall and climbing the hill to my house without having to stop or walk my bike or anything, which is a great sign about the shape I am in, finally. I had a nice lunch at a little cafe I'd never been to, and I had the Nats game against the Indians to go to in the evening.

Then the evening came. Jon, someone I was supposed to go to the game with, never showed up. I get home and his excuse is "I'm sorry I didn't make it....driving to the Metro...I got rearended by some chick in a ford explorer..." Right. And you can't call so I can call someone else to come meet me before the game starts? I hate liars.

So I'm at the game, alone on a Saturday night, pretty pissed about the whole ordeal except the night was so beautiful it was difficult to stay pissed. Until Cordero gives up a three run homer in the ninth to put the Indians up 4-3 where they would stay. So I'm all pissy leaving the stadium and I walk down East Capitol Street back to my car, only my car isn't there. I'm pretty much cursing aloud thinking my car has been towed for no reason, as I'm far enough from the stadium that the parking isn't restricted, and I walk around for about 15 minutes before I remembered that today I parked on Massachusetts instead. When I finally get into my car and start driving, I get behind some kid who no doubt is not old enough to drive - I thought it was an aged senior citizen at first - and it takes me forever to get home.

I do get home, however, just in time to see the Mariners take an 8-0 lead. Oh yeah, this night just keeps getting better.

Fortunately for me, the clock just flipped over to the next day, so I'm going to go to bed and wake up fresh tomorrow for my bike ride to Mount Vernon. Tomorrow I will post some shots of the RFK skyline I took. At least I got something good out of it. (And my god, the night was almost painfully beautiful.)

Here's a photo I took today. At least something else good came out of the day. Boy, I sure am in a bad mood...

Friday, June 22, 2007

On Junior

Now's as good a time as any to write about my long Griffey fandom and the beautiful Mariner's poster that used to hang over my bed in high school. I graduated in 1995, so I guess you could say I was an early follower.

It all started with baseball cards. When I was in 8th grade, a friend of mine who happened to be a boy got a lot of my Griffey cards. Junior was in his second season when I started the school year, and I knew about him only because his father was playing for the Reds at the time. I knew about Senior and the Big Red Machine, of course, as my awareness of that team pretty much had come when I saw all the hoopla about Pete coming back. By the time Junior put on a Major League uniform, Pete had disgraced himself and was out of baseball for good. I'll never forget the scandal and the impression it made on my young mind. But I digress.

This friend of mine, Jeremy was his name, traded for most of my Junior cards, which of course were rookie cards. Back then, the American league was pretty foreign - the Mariners more so because they were so far away from Dayton, Ohio. But soon after I traded my cards, I began to wonder about what was so special about this guy that made Jeremy want those cards. Yeah, I know, I wondered too late - should have thought about it BEFORE I traded for all of those Paul O'Neill cards. Sure, Paul was a great player, but he was no Junior!

I also noticed that Junior was gracing the cover of every sports magazine. (I'm glad I saved a bunch of them.) I read everything I could about him, and very early in his career I began to dream of him coming home and playing for my - and his father's - Cincinnati Reds. I bought a beautiful Costacos Brothers poster of him, lots of Mariner teal and green, and hung it above my bed. He was right in the center, where not even Barry or Brett Boone hung. It was there for several years.

One Saturday night when I was gone, so were my parents, and my sister had a party. Someone stole that poster, which today could probably sell on ebay for $$$. I don't care about that, though. I want that poster. My sister bought me another poster to replace the stolen one, but it wasn't the same. I've tried looking for a copy of the poster but have never found one. (Perhaps I should post on Craigslist Seattle?)

The day we got Junior was one of the greatest days in my life as a Reds fan. Junior was going to be wearing red when he broke Aaron's record, and I just knew I would be at that game to see it when it happened. Seven years later, we all know what heartbreak this has been, but you know what? I don't regret Junior coming to the Reds - quite the opposite. I feel lucky that I've been able to see him play on a regular basis, not like when he was in Seattle and the odd Mariners game came on ESPN.

This year we are getting to see the Junior we have waited to see for so long, and it has been a blessing. But that 'what if' will always poison any success he has as a Red, for he has missed 350 games since he's donned the Cincinnati uniform, and 350 games is a lot of home runs!

I hope Seattle fans give him a five minute standing ovation when he is announced this evening. I plan on watching the game tonight. Even with the heartbreak, he's had an amazing career.


Poor O's fans

The more I think about the Orioles' situation, the more I can sympathize with O's fans. I think Reds and O's fans are sort of kindred spirits, two storied franchises with winning pasts who have been gutted by poor ownership. At least us Reds fans have a new guy who seems committed to winning, even if he refuses to FIRE NARRON! The O's seem to be stuck with Devilos for all eternity. Whatever sin did you commit, O's fans, to put you in such an inferno?

The latest pow to the jaw for them is Tejada's fractured wrist. It's a shame that his consecutive games streak may stop at 1152 games if he is unable to play this evening. Back when I used to live near the Bay Area and Tejada played for the A's, I was amused at the Tejada cheer fans used to do to the tune of "Tequilla!" Now when I see Tejada play, I think back with a sense of sad nostalgia about the lack of "Tejada!" because living in California was great even if the circumstances which put me there were not.

I spent my first two seasons in DC watching O's games. It was pretty strange for me to go to so many American League games after a lifetime of National League baseball, but I enjoyed it all the same. The best moment was probably when I saw Raffy pass Mantle on the all-time HR list. Unfortunately, Devilos' treatment of the Nats caused me to undertake a personal boycott of the team, and I haven't set foot in Oriole Park for two years. I'd like to go back, though, now that the Nats have owners and a television station.

Know, O's fans, that you have my deepest sympathies about Tejada and the deplorable state of your franchise.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Not baseball related (except maybe being a band called The National from Cincinnati), but I saw The National last night at 9:30 Club. Awesome show, and you can hear it here, as it was broadcast on NPR. Pretty cool to be able to hear the show you just saw.

The cries of Whodey in the crowd were amusing. (At least they were at first.)

Oh yeah, and FIRE NARRON!!!!

On pinch hitting Juan Castro for Josh Hamilton


You know the trade deadline is looming when... see Ken Griffey Jr. on a silent television in the corner of a restaurant and your heart sinks because you think he's been traded.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

“Some people say my momma..some people say my momma..was on crack but when I was in her stomach”

Yes, Elijah, it seems quite possible. And if you came from your momma's stomach, she's got some physiological issues she might want to get checked out.

I sure hope that Dukes to Nats rumor is dead.

Someday in Cooperstown, we can say, "I was there. I watched him through the minors, watched his first start, watched his entire career."

I'm happy again.

I've made no secret that office life is misery to me. I've looked for new jobs, found some leads that went nowhere, whined, took some sick days on brilliantly blue skied days, whined, and whined some more, but even as I sit here temporarily fighting the swarm of papers which are fluttering around my desk in this darkened office, I feel a sort of contentment.

Yeah, my Reds are basement dwellers. Worse than basement dwellers, actually, more like sewer-under-the-house dwellers, because they lie rotting at the bottom of the National League, barely treading water above the horrendous Texass Rangers for worst in the Majors. Thing is, the team is not that bad. Something is rotten in the state of the bullpen, but the rest of the team, including the offense, which ranks number 4 in the NL in runs scored, is not bad - it's actually pretty good. The starting pitching has been inconsistent and Bronson Arroyo has yet to show up to pitch this year, but Harang and Belisle have been good, and Lohse, well, you never know which Lohse you're going to get. But now, a spark has come to the rotation, someone who has made me put down my new content-making hobby for a few hours every five days and turn my full attention to the Reds again. Since 2004, we've waited for this guy to do exactly what he did last night: pitch a brilliant baseball game.

So what's with the photo of the bikes, you might ask? Well, it's a long story how this came about, but the short of it is that I wanted to ride my bike, but the bike was in horrible shape. The saddle and seat post had been stolen two summers ago, and I had stored it outside for awhile after that, so everything rusted. I decided to try and fix it up, go on Craig's List to look for parts, end up buying a new bike but still want to fix up the old, and voila! A basement full of bikes to fix. I like doing it. It's like Legos for adults. I fixed up one bike I bought for $25 and sold it for $100, so I went on Craig's List and asked for donations of old bikes and bike parts, and now I am the owner of 10 bikes, some more whole than others.

What I am more excited about, however, is not the mechanics of deraillers and cranks, but the paint jobs I have planned for some of the old frames I have. My old bike, for example, is currently undergoing a paint job resembling something from an aboriginal art show. As Homer was throwing his gem last night, I was throwing some green acrylic paint on top of a fluorescent yellow frame, swirls and lines and shapes randomly flowing from my brain onto the blazing metal.

And what do bicycles have to do with baseball, you think, as you swell with impatience because I am as slow to the point as Vicente Padilla is to deliver a pitch? Be prepared for a bad analogy! You see, using my eye for photography, basic internet technology, a car with a bike rack, some paint, some tools, and my newly grease-stained hands, I think I can start a mobile used bike store which caters to the plethora of university students in the District and beyond. There's potential there to end this misery of office life, this spiritual losing streak, just like Homer has the potential to lead this team out of its six-year misery, probably not this year, but for next year and many years to come. (I told you it was a bad analogy, but I did have to explain my pseudo-absence from quality blogging!)

There is something cool about working on machines which were the source of inspiration for the invention of the airplane. Here's to Homer taking off and having a long, special career, one about which we can say we watched from Draft Day 2004.

Bike and bike part donations are welcome! Have an old bike you want fixed up to ride? Perhaps an interesting and unique paint job? Let me know.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Three's a charm?

Well, well, the Cincinnati Reds, owners of the worst record in the National League (spared the distinction of worst in baseball by the Texass Rangers), have had their third NL Player of the Week. Congratulations, Mr. Adam Dunn. I sincerely hope Wayno doesn't trade you away. I would be thoroughly depressed when I go to see the Reds in a week and a half in Cincy if that were to happen.

Wayne, I don't want to go through that again. Last year was really bad. Please don't trade Dunn or Griffey.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Dear Anyone and Everyone in the Reds Organization

Yesterday was a terrible day. I woke up a little late, missed the empty bus, had to hop on the crowded bus, got to work late. As a result, I was in a pretty bad mood. But at 12:30, the Reds came on with Homer Bailey pitching. Through six innings, my day became better. I even noticed in the hallway window that the sun had come out after a couple of days of rain. But then, your manager did something to change everything. Even though Bailey was at 90 pitches (after pitching 114 last time), he was sent out to start the 7th inning.

Now, anyone with observational skills better than a rock knew what would happen next like a bad mystery novel. Even if Bailey pitched fairly well, there was little chance he would pitch the entire inning. And when Cincinnati relievers come into a game in the middle of an inning, bad things happen. Look it up if you don't believe me. Our relievers fair far better when they start off an inning fresh. When Homer put the first two on, we all knew the lead was lost and with it, Homer's second win. We just didn't know how bad it was going to be until we saw him.

Gary Majewski.

Mr. Majewski, owner of a now sparkling 15.88 ERA, has an opponent batting average over .500. Do I need to look up more stats for you? Yet your manager (he's not my manager) has used him in 5 of the last 7 games. And he put him in the game yesterday with two on an no outs. Then, when he gave up a hit to his first batter, your manager kept him in. Bases loaded, no outs. He proceeded to walk in a run. Did your manager take him out? NO. Soon, the score was 8-5 when it had been 3-5 before the inning began. And poor Homer, who pitched so well, had another two runs attached to his ernie.

Oh, I was so angry. I don't think I've ever felt angry because of a baseball game before - certainly not to this extent. I was so angry I had to get up from my desk, leave my office, exit the building, and walk down the block and get a Coke. I came back to a big, fat 9 where a lead had once been.

The rest of my day ended as it had started, and I was happy to go to bed last night. But when I woke up this morning, I came to the startling realization that the anger was still there, as fresh and fiery as it had been in the seventh inning of yesterday. However, it isn't anger at that game anymore, I've come to understand. This anger is a culmination of six and a half losing seasons, continued incompetence of your manager in using a bullpen and a bench, and something far, far worse. You see, yesterday during the seventh inning, that little box of Pandora's was reopened again, and that last article escaped from it.

Most likely none of you to whom this letter is addressed reads what I write here, but if you do, you might know that I am the positive one. I'm the one who kept saying the season isn't done, they're going to come back, and I provided the evidence to support my claims. However, the fact that the losses continue in the same manner - a pathetic bullpen - and very little is being done about it has eroded my enthusiasm and, as I have stated, aroused such an anger that I am not sure I want to watch any more games.

You could tell me I don't work in baseball, so I don't know, like Wayne told that reporter. But you know what? I saw my first Reds game when I was a year old. I've been a Reds fan since birth. I grew up during the eighties when we finished second place all of those years until the end of that decade finally culminated into that glorious 1990 season, which sadly is approaching the two decade mark. I go to other parks and see other teams celebrating their last World Series wins 25, 30 years on, and I think how pathetic that is, but then I see that big old 17 after Cincy, a franchise with a winning tradition and a team that can be mentioned in the same sentence as the '27 Yankees, and it thoroughly depresses me.

Due to career circumstances, I haven't lived in Ohio since early 2000, the last winning Reds season (if I moved back, would things change?), yet I still attend more Reds games than the average fan. This year, I've seen them twice already - in Pittsburgh, the only place they've played near me so far (and by near, I mean a 4 hour drive). I have tickets for six more games this season and will probably make it to a couple more. Since 2000, I've seen the Reds play in Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Philly, and here in DC every single game they've played at RFK. I also make it back to Cincy once, twice, even three times a season.

So yeah, I do know a thing or two about baseball, as do a lot of fans. People can learn by observation, you know. If you told me that my organization was screwing up by focusing too much on corporate governance and not enough on association building, I'd ask you for the evidence, and if it showed you were probably right, I'd agree with you, so I can say such things about your organization. I'm still a little miffed that Wayne had the gall to tell someone he didn't know because he didn't work in baseball, even if that someone was an annoying reporter. I think as a fan we have a right to demand a quality product. After all, without us, there is no such thing as Major League Baseball.

So are you going to continue to keep Gary Majewski on a Major League roster? Are you going to continue to let your manager use Mike Stanton in important situations? Are you going to keep said manager in the dugout? If I screwed up as much at my job, I'd be fired.

You know, even through my anger right now, even as I sit here typing a letter that its addressees won't read, I can't help but think that I may have caught the tail end of that last little article escaping from that box in my heart, that it is struggling to wriggle itself away. I still can't make myself give up and let go of this season, because I still believe you aren't just going to sit there and do nothing. Milwaukee is only six games over .500. All it takes is one good win streak to get back into this race. But I can't say that much longer - the season's about half over.

Being a fan is a funny thing. It's like a bunch of strangers are part of your family just because they wear a particular type of clothing. I can't explain why I have such a fierce attachment to a bunch of guys who play a game for a living, but baseball is like that. It has a lot to do with childhood memories, going to the ballpark with your family, and just the joy of all of the senses coming to life as you escape the problems of the real world for a couple of hours. It's no escape when your heart breaks time and time again.

I will be in Cincinnati to see the Reds play on June 30, July 1, and July 2. I'm really looking forward to it, but at the same time I have to wonder - will those games even matter? Will I have to suffer the heartbreak of another blown win in person? How long do I have to continue to put up with this inferior product? Will I be able to have a good time, to enjoy a few hours of that great game of baseball, to be rewarded for my insane loyalty?


A lifelong Reds fan

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Did I already say this?

Gary Majewski? Really?

Mr. November

It used to be that American presidential campaigns began about a year before the actual election. Then, candidates started to announce their candidacies in the summer before the election year. Now, we had candidates announce two years before. By the time the election comes around, we are going to be so sick of my-opponent-is-a-poopyhead television ads, harassing my-opponent-has-an- illegitimate-baby telephone calls, and his-opponent- wet-his-bed-in-second-grade newspaper articles that we are going to want to say "Screw it - give us a king so we don't have to bear this torture anymore!"

The trade deadline is getting to be like that, too. Here we are, June 14, and trade deadline rumors have already been swirling for a month. I find myself saying, "Screw it- just let Norris Hopper play and trade Dunn so I don't have to hear about it anymore!"

Of course, I don't really mean that, just like I don't think we should scrap democracy. It will be a depressing day if Dunner is traded, especially if it turns out like last summer's disaster.

The Trade is dead! Long live the Trade!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My old glove

I took some photos to sell some old gloves on Craig's List and liked this picture. It's my old softball catcher's mitt. Although it's worn out for fastpitch, it can still be used for beer league softball.

Yeah, that's a little 5 after my name. It was my number. Yeah, that's why.

I wonder...

If baseball fans know that the Nationals have crept back into the race. Only 10 games under .500 at 27-37, they are 9.5 games back of the faltering Mets. But - unlike the Sausage race that is the NL Central, the NL East is not anyone's to win. The Mets will pick it back up again. Still, this Nationals team has become intriguing...

One hundred losses? I think not.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On Jeff Conine

Back in the winter, when DeWayne Sweaterpants The Trade Krivsky signed Jeff Conine, I thought it was a good idea. The um, what are the people who hate old people called? Gerisomethings...anyway, they hated him because of his age. I didn't think it mattered much, because players are playing better at older ages than in the past thanks to nutritional and health technology. I'd always kind of liked him for some reason - even put his baseball cards in plastic pages back in the day. I could look

Well, today, in light of Chad's bringing to my attention the fact that Jeff Conine is on the photo of the World Series matchup post (scroll down), I looked up his stats. It was more to kill the last few minutes until I was allowed back into the free world from the confines of the office.

Jeff Conine is 48 hits away from 2000 career hits. A milestone to look forward to!

Ok, I'm really only half joking. Just think about it. In the whole history of the game, only 245 players have had 2000 hits. That's not a lot. Jeff Conine has a very solid Major League career, hitting .286/.348/.446 with 212 HR and 1056 RBI. Not too shabby. So when he hits number 2000 sometime this season, if he hasn't been traded, let's all give him a standing O!

And now...tick...tick...tick...freedom! At least for a few hours! Woohoo! Time to go home!

It's like lawn mower repairmen questioning an auto mechanic's ability to fix his own car.

Brad Ausmus writes in ESPN The Magazine about the insanity of the media these days. It's a good read, and makes me feel sorry for what the players have to go through.

I am reminded of that television commercial where A Rod and another player (Guerrero maybe?) sit and watch someone in a meeting in a conference room. Could you imagine having spectators while you're working? (Might actually have to do more work!)

I make campaign buttons advocating the firing of poor performing players, managers, and general managers. I make photoshops. I complain about said performances and write bad poetry about them. But I can't imagine talking about players personal lives unless they do something scummy like beat their wives or if their story is exceptional, like Josh Hamilton, and those are on very rare occasions. It's not difficult to be respectful of others. Why are there so many journalists out there with no scruples?


Today on, there appears a screen entitled "Classic reunions: Series stir Game 7 memories."

No they don't.

First of all, it is June, not October. Secondly, what the heck does a team who played in the World Series two decades ago have to do with a team today, especially when a team like the 2007 Royals is one of the jokes of baseball? Thirdly, with the exception of the Royals-Cards series (due to the Missouri factor), not a single one of the other series mentioned is interesting. Yes, that 1991 World Series was a good one, but I'd hardly call the 1997 or 2001 Series memorable for anyone other than fans of the teams involved.

I still like interleague play, but there's too much of it, and there's too much hype about dull series like these. And I hate how all of these interleague series are bunched up! Half of June feels meaningless because of them.

I am looking forward to seeing the Suburb of Los Angeles, California Angels of Orange County play because they are a good team I rarely get a chance to watch, but if there was any faux hype about this Reds-Angels series, I'd roll my eyes at that, too!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Praise be

If the Nats really do pick up Elijah Dukes, they can have a prophet to go with the two Jesuses and the Church...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I love this game. Did I tell you?

So I'm dropping off some library books today, which are late, by the way, and I pay my hefty fine and check out a couple of other books. I'm walking back to my car when I see a sign that says among other games "Reds-Indians." I thought I had missed the game today because I had another event to attend, but the game was still in the 10th inning when I passed, so I went in and watched innings 10-12.

There was another Reds fan who seemingly was rooting for the Reds but thought I was a crackhead or something for screaming when Hobbs threw out that guy to save the game. That was an amazing throw that said to me, "damn, we've got some awesome players on this team!" Aside from the pen and Jerry Morron, of course.

I love my Reds. To be walking past a place that is actually playing the game several hundred miles from Cincy is awesome. (I was in a place that played the game last night, too!) But to take two of three from one of the best teams in baseball proves to me that this team is not dead. In fact, I think Homer's arrival is the spark plug this team needs.

If only Mike Stinkton would be DFA'd.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

More proof that God is a baseball fan

I had just watched Homer Bailey strike out David Delluci in the fifth inning with the bases loaded, the last batter he would face on the night, and he needed that out to qualify for the win. I saw the standing ovation Reds fans gave him, then it was time for commercials, when BOOM! A flash of nasty lightening and then the power went out. Noooo!!!! How would I know if Homer would get his first Major League victory???

Funny how it happened when Homer was done pitching. I had to laugh a bit at that. Zeus held his lightening bolts until he got that last out - but how to find out about the game? If my laptop hadn't died, I would have gone to a cafe to use the wireless.

I got out the flashlight and dug around for a transistor radio. 700 WLW comes in DC sometimes - would this be one of those times? Yes! Though every lightening flash brought bursts of static, there was Marty's voice, sometimes weak with fuzz, sometimes strong enough to move the radio from my ear.

...and this one belongs to Homer Bailey!

Friday, June 08, 2007

A pitcher of Homers

Somehow it was in the upper nineties today and I felt no need to complain about the air conditioning in my office - I didn't even have to use a space heater for once. Now I am home, sweat pouring down my face in the furnace I have for a room (we rarely use the air conditioner in our house for environmental reasons), but I have one very tasty way to cool down: The Homer.

Yes, I have finally decided on the ingredients for the drink I wanted to create to honor David Dewitt Bailey, Jr., forever to be known as Homer. Get out your blender!

You will need:

Bailey's Irish Cream
Triple Sec
Strawberry Ice Cream with chunks of strawberry
Fresh strawberries (optional)

Fill half the blender with ice. Fill it the rest of the way with ice cream. Pour 30 ounces of Bailey's followed by 10 ounces of Triple Sec and 5 ounces of milk. Blend. Pour in margarita glass, serve with fresh strawberry on glass. Enjoy. Put rest of pitcher in freezer for next inning.

The key to the drink is the quality of the ice cream. You can't just buy the store brand - you need the good stuff. Why strawberry? Because strawberries are red! And it goes quite well with the distinctive flavor of Bailey's Irish Cream. And no, you can't get the cheap imitation crap - you need Bailey's, duh! It's for Homer!

He's here, he's really here!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fun with technology

Google just launched a new service called Street View. For select places in the US, you can take a virtual tour of nearly the entire city. I went to San Francisco today (love that place!) and inevitably ended up at my favorite ballpark in the world, the park I had known as Pac Bell Park back when it was my playground but should rightfully be called Mays Field forever. Here's a view of Willie Mays Plaza.

What a great city.

Forgive me, Padres, for I have sinned

I committed a horrible atrocity last night, one for which I am very ashamed. It is one of the most terrible sins a true baseball fan can commit: I left a baseball game before it was over. (Gasp!)

It was the eighth inning, the Nats were up 5-2, and I was bored. Though I had the tickets in my bag, I hadn't really wanted to go see the Pirates (zzzzzzzz), but as I was standing at the bus stop waiting to go home, I looked up at the beautiful blue sky and decided that it was a nice night for a ballgame. I got to the stadium just in time for the National Anthem.

By the fifth inning I was checking the clock every fifteen minutes or so, wishing the game would go faster. By the seventh I was contemplating leaving. When the eighth came up, I thought about how long it takes me to do the whole Metro to bus thing to get home, and being tired from not sleeping well the night before (stupid Deadbirds), I got up and did the thing that makes me look at people with a burning hatred when they do it: I left.

I am so ashamed and must do penance for my sinful deed. I'll sacrifice something to the baseball gods to appease them. How about sacrificing Tony La Russa on an alter of cold, hard stone?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Save us, Homer

Last night, I dozed off around the bottom of the eighth inning and woke up with a runner on second and one out in the bottom of the ninth with So Taguchi at the plate. I had a bad feeling about it and closed my eyes again, hoping that I would go back to sleep before the bad ending. But I couldn't, and the Reds lost again.

Then, I was wide awake from the frustration and disappointment. How many runners had the Reds left on? Thirteen? (I could look it up, but nah, I know it was a lot.) So as I lay awake thinking about the loss and the losing, I started to write a blog post in my head. I thought to myself, "I should really write this down. Nah, I'll remember what it was about in the morning."

Well, here it is, morning, and do I have the foggiest notion of what the post was about? No. As I sit here craving a latte from the coffee shop across the street but not wanting to pay three point five bucks for something that costs them ten cents to make, I am racking my brain trying to recall what inspired me so in the waning hours of yesterday. Alas, 'tis something to go down into the forgotten annuls of time.

All I know is that Friday is the most excited I've been about a Reds game in weeks. I'm even developing a drink called "The Homer" made with Bailey's Irish Cream, strawberry (or cherry - haven't decided) ice cream, and a couple of other ingredients. I'll post the recipe when I am satisfied that "The Homer" represents the young prospective phenom it is supposed to.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Beach (like the book)

Sorry for lack of posting - once I found the hidden beach, everything else around me faded...I suppose it is because I spent the first five years of my life on the beaches of San Diego, but I feel most at peace while lying on sand and hearing waves crash against the shore.

There used to be a train line that ran directly from DC to Chesapeake Beach, as it was a popular place for DCers to go in the summer. The Depression killed that, and the last train chugged in there in 1935. Now, it is "Maryland's Best Kept Secret." What a wonderful last Saturday afternoon I had, sitting on a beach, watching the sailboats, reading a book, contemplating life, and not bothered by a crowd of people or anything else in the world. So nice to get away from DC for a day - it feels like another planet out there on that beach, and it reminds me of the little lakes in Ohio with small cottages - nothing fancy except the appreciation of being near the water. And those crab cakes at that restaurant I've been going to...the thrill of getting a tiny piece of shell to prove the freshness of the crabs! What a wonderful diversion from the absolutely appalling state of my baseball teams!

Once I was enslaved by this blog - I felt like I had to post something every day or else everyone would disappear. Somehow the shackles have been loosed; perhaps it took a pathetic early season for me to remember there was life outside of baseball? I really like blogging about baseball, though. Losing stinks, doesn't it? And though I still feel like things can turn around, and though I am ecstatic that Homer is starting this weekend, and though Griffey is reminding me of younger times, I must admit that I haven't been watching every game.

But I will not miss Homer's MLB debut for anything. Not even the beach.

Friday, June 01, 2007

It's not a faster car

I was talking to someone yesterday about how games seemed shorter this year. The guy is a Red Sox fan and looked at me like I was crazy. Then I thought about it for a second and realized that the two teams I root for have had a lot of games where they just don't hit. Like Wednesday's Nats game, when they got a whole three hits. And the Reds have let pitchers take no hitters into the fourth and fifth innings several times this year.

And I thought the games were just getting shorter. My teams are just getting worse. Sigh...

Public Service Announcement

You may have seen this in other places, but I'll post it here in case you have not.

The Reds/Hoxworth Blood Drive presented by Entertainment Solutions

On Monday, June 4, 2007 from 1 to 7 p.m., the Cincinnati Reds and Hoxworth Blood Center will "hit a home run" for patients in local hospitals by hosting the inaugural Reds Community Blood Drive at Great American Ball Park, presented by Entertainment Solutions.

The first 100 donors will receive a free Reds ball cap and gift bag containing Reds promotional items and coupons. All donors will receive free parking in the Great American Ball Park garage. Look for the parking attendants near the Pete Rose Way garage entrance.

Donors reserve a donation time at: or by calling (513) 451-0910.

The summer months can be very stressful on the blood supply. Major accidents and traumas can increase blood usage at local hospitals, while blood donations drop off considerably. Your donation at the blood drive will go directly to patients in greater Cincinnati hospitals.

The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) will be at the drive to sign up donors to the national bone marrow registry for free! ($52 value)

The LifeCenter Organ Donor Network will have representatives at the drive to speak with donors about the importance of being an organ donor.