— Where BTF's Members Investigate the Grand Old Game
Thursday, October 09, 2003
October 10, 2003
Mixing PCP and baseball can be hazardous to your health.
I am Mark Renton. The television is the most horrible toilet in Britain. Baseball is junk.
It is 8:12PM. The television stares dumbly at me. It is not on. I know the baseball is in there. I know the baseball is no good for me. But it is in there. All I have to do is turn it on, to climb down in there, swim through the Fox and the McCarver and the fingernails-on-the-chalkboard of my soul that is a happy stadium full of happy Yankee fans, and there it is. Baseball. Junk. One last hit to come down on.
Time moves. We discuss things with ourselves. We begin suddenly to think of ourselves in pluralities. This can?t be good.
Sigh. Remote. Click. Sigh.
Oh god oh god oh god oh god! McCarver is talking. Mute! Mute, mute, mute, mute!!! Okay. That?s better. Second. 1-0 Red Sox. The Stadium looks quiet and dour. I like when that happens.
I have found a way to approach the rest of October that allows me to remain sane. It is a two-fold strategy. Firstly, I anesthetize myself with the shallow inevitability that at least three of these teams will go home heartbroken. Yes, one of them will call themselves “World Champions” for a calendar year, but at least three of them will not. Three of them will end their 2003 campaigns sullen and long-faced, cross and despairing. Three of them will feel my pain. Schadenfreude? Yes. Comforting? Damn skippy.
The second prong of my attack is, if possible, even more cynical and bitter. It involves the second certainty of this post-season. No matter who wins the 2003 World Series, I will hate them for it. This assures me a long and vital off-season. My winter cannot be empty. Regardless of what team actually is left standing, I will have weeks? worth of moaning and complaining lined up for them. Being that I do so love moaning and complaining, this assures me of a productive December and January, at which point I will be ready to embrace “what the Braves should do this year.”
Ah, crap. Nick Johnson, welcome to my #### list. It?s not that I have anything, aside from Derek Jeter, against the Yankees. But I can?t stand seeing Yankee fans in celebration. Actually, I don?t much like watching any fans in celebration. Truth be told, I don?t even like seeing Braves fans celebrating. You probably won?t believe me, but that damned chant annoys me more than it ever could annoy you. Because I?m sitting there, trying to see a baseball game, and Chuck and Sophie from Morningside are flailing bright red foam tomahawks, functionally blocking in its entirety my view of home plate. During the NLDS Game 2 I was relegated to watching an inning with nothing by Andruw Jones? body language in centerfield as my cues to the action on the mound.
Stand with hands on hips. Look over at Chipper. Laugh. Hands back on hips. Lean in. Shift of body weight towards left field. Karros is a right-handed batter, so the pitch must be inside. Stand back up. Hands back on hips. Check scoreboard. Strike one. Aourrrrrr-ah-aoorrahhhhh, Aourrrrr-ah-aoorruhhh! I will feed you that damned thing, woman. Lean in. Shift body weight in?.
Granted, I felt vaguely superior to almost everyone in the stadium simply because I could follow the game in such a manner, but still. I shouldn?t have to. I really ought to be able to view the pitches of a game I?m bothering to attend. Plus, I always feel vaguely superior to almost everyone anyway, so it?s not even a special feeling.
Oh crap. How did the Yankees get another run? Is that Aaron Boone? Oh please, that wasn?t a real HBP. There wasn?t even blood! Least I could get out of this deal is blood! Is that Bret Boone doing secondary commentary? How very odd. I hate Bret Boone too, but that goes back a lot farther than the 2003 post-season.
Why is there sound on my television? The wife must have de-muted one of her design shows while I wasn?t looking. There is no way Roger Clemens will ever be the hardest throwing retired pitcher in the history of baseball. Somewhere there is a flame-throwing reliever with no control who is, technically, retired. Why am I conversing internally with Tim McCarver? Mute!
Doorbell ringing. Now who the heck is that? Oh, what do you want? I?m not talking to you. No, I don?t care if you apologize. It?s pointless now. Well that?s too damned bad, now isn?t it? I already have forsaken you for another. Well clearly, if I were concerned with Commandments I wouldn?t have done so, but then again, if you can?t be bothered to help a brother out with a measly 11 game run through October I?m not sure why I should bother with your little list. Look, I don?t want to hear about free will and human actions bearing out their own destinies, I want another freakin? World Series banner and I want it now! Don?t call me petulant. There are plenty more where you came from just waiting for my call! Yes. For your information, I have Loki on speed-dial, thank you very much.
Fine, you want back in so badly, make Andy Pettitte?s head explode. Right now?s when! Why not? See, you?re all talk about reconciliation and ####, but when it comes down to the goods, you just won?t perform. Do you know how much good could come from a nationally televised explosion of Andy Pettitte?s head? No, in fact I have not forgiven him for 1996, nor do I plan to any time soon. Where the hell were you then, huh?
Stage aside. The purpose of Andy Pettitte is actually pretty clear to me. He exists specifically to make me understand how much Mets fans hate(d) Tom Glavine.
Returning to conversation. Why didn?t that go out? Do you have something against Manny?
What is it, the fifth inning or something? It?s 10:04PM and a game between two east coast teams is only in the freakin? fifth? Oh great. Chris Rock. John McEnroe. Thank you, Fox. I really needed to see a shot of John McEnroe.
Hey, that was nifty! It?s like jai-alai. I didn?t know gloves could stretch like that.
You know, no matter how hard I try, I just can?t hate Bernie Williams. For this, I despise him.
Listen you, just lay off the “dangers of living a life in exclusive opposition” speech. I don?t need it.
Who was running more slowly, there, Bernie out of the box or Manny into the gap? I think I can hear Bernie?s knees creaking all the way to Georgia?
GODZIRRA! Ugh. I can?t watch happy Yankee fans. I have to work tomorrow anyway. No, you may not crash in the guest room. I?m not speaking to you.