Separated at Birth???

Left:  Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.  Right:  Top Chef head honcho Tom Colicchio.

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July 28, 2007

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July 26, 2007

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**** Mets

I found this picture today and I can’t resist.  Biggio is too boring to Photoshop anyway.


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Dodgers vs. Mets, Dodger Stadium

I’m skipping past the two teams the D-men played between theAll-Star Game and the Mets, because honestly, I have nothing to say about the
Phillies and everything that could possibly be expressed about the sweep of the
Geriatric Giants has already been said. (Even
Vin Scully, usually the king of “If you can’t say something nice about someone,
don’t say anything at all”, couldn’t resist commenting “Folks, this is a very, very old team.”)

I was excited about the Mets series because a) inasmuch as I
can like any team other than the Dodgers, I like the Mets and b) I had tickets
to the first game of the series on 7/19. Not just any old tickets, friends and neighbors. Good field seats down by the
first base line and the Mets dugout. On
the aisle, even. I obtained these from a generous friend and
invited my aunt Kelly to go with me. Although she was a bit apprehensive about being hit with a foul ball,
she agreed to make the trek. That’s
twice in one month that the girls of the House of Baseball Heritage have made
the trip to Chavez Ravine. Alert the
paparazzi!

Although Kelly boasted that she’d had seats in the field
area sometime previously (probably around the same time Fernando Valenzuela was
a hot item) it was my first venture out of nosebleed territory and I was like a
hick farmer turned loose in Peewee City on a Saturday
night. The first ticket checkers we
spoke with on the entrance level directed us to the elevators in the
semi-respectful tones they save for the big spenders. The elevators led to a lower level which led
to a escalator entrance where our tickets were checked carefully to make sure we were actual
members of the Elite and not just tacky gatecrashers. Duly admitted to the holy escalators, down into the
bowels we went, to emerge in an entirely new world. One where people sipped beer instead of
chug-a-lugging it. One where most people
appeared to be fully dressed and over the age of 18. One with grilled Dodger Dogs. Stepping forth into this brave new world, we
were amazed to find that the trip down to our seats did *not* involve death-defying
degrees of steepness. Instead, it required nothing more than a gentle slope that went down, down, down to the field itself,
closer than I’d ever seen it. What was
most impressive, though, was the fact that the seats themselves were at least
an inch wider than the seats in pup-tent-and-canteen territory up top. Instead of being wedged in tightly like a
sausage in a casing, I was wedged in loosely and able to move my legs slightly
from side to side. This was the life!
 

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Aside from a slight glint of sun in our eyes for the first
few minutes we were there, our new digs were highly satisfactory. But there was a downside to being so close to
the opposing team’s dugout. We had as
neighbors a surprisingly large number of Mets fans, mostly male, sporting visible
signs of Mets partiality and letting their affiliation be known even before
their boys came on the field. Since I
have a fondness for New York Guys ™ I was willing to tolerate these interlopers
but I wondered how long it would take until they showed their teeth. I didn’t have to wonder
long.

Unlike the Dodgers who warm up tardily and reluctantly, like overweight children (except for Juan Pierre and Nomar, who can be counted on to perform vigorous Jack LaLanne-inspired calisthenics, as if to make up for the lethargy of the rest of the team) the Mets came out of the dugout and took to right field like it was their own. (Considering how many of them are ex-Dodgers, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.)  Not only did they form teams and run relays, they also performed death-defying feats such as running backwards (Jose Reyes) and karate-style kicks and chops (Ruben Gotay.)  The Mets fans in the crowd went wild.  And we hadn’t even sung the National Anthem yet.

 

In the midst of these antics David Wright and (Caught Looking
caption victim) Paul Lo Duca suddenly approached the wall to sign autographs for fans
not fifty feet from my chair.  Realizing that this was
my chance to be a Baseball Photojournalist, I leapt to my feet and headed down to the wall along with twenty or thirty other brave souls, most of them wearing blue and orange.

The first thing that struck me was how weird it seemed that fans are allowed to get that close to the players.  I’m a security specialist with a government agency, so perhaps I’m a tad paranoid, but my first thought was "What if one of these kids whips a tire iron or a bowie knife out of their shorts?" However, my fears were apparently unwarranted as the kids and their parents milled in a more or less orderly line to get their balls and programs signed.

I noticed that Wright was working the crowd like a sideshow barker, flashing his pearly white, tusk-like teeth at the giggling groupies wearing tight Wright t-shirts and rumpling the hair of the children as he casually signed a few balls and backsides.  Lo Duca, on the other hand, took a workmanlike approach to fan fulfillment, signing balls silently and mechanically without looking up, and wearing an expression that said "I better not see these turn up on Ebay."  As I stepped back to get a better angle on Lo Duca, it occurred to me that he and I were standing more or less on the same level and he was definitely no taller than I was.  Hmmm…his MLB.com roster page calls him 5′ 10", and I’m 5′ 6" on a tall day.  Could it be—??   

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Not only was the man flirting with Danny DeVito territory, he also had a  serious case of Tyrannosaurus Rex arms. At the same time, his head appeared slightly too large for the rest of him.  I’d vaguely noticed these, ahem, features before on television; standing a few feet away from him, though, it was dead obvious.  Since I’m no looker myself, I sort of liked him more for these imperfections.  Tiny twig arms and real-life bobblehead and all, he can still be on my list of future ex-husbands.  He’ll just have to get some lifts for his church shoes. 

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Almost as soon as I took my snaps, he and Wright called it a day and headed back to the dugout. Eventually the game did get underway and if you’re a Dodger fan, you already heard that it went down twisted.  The Mets scored 6 before we were even out of the first inning.  The Dodgers battled back to score 4 by the end of the second, but with Derek Lowe getting the hook in the third inning after close to a hundred pitches, the whole thing took on a bizarre "guess who will come out of the bullpen next inning" rollercoaster ride.  We were always a few back, but never quite out of the game until the last inning. The Mets fans were howling like banshees, the Dodger fans were hollering back, and people were getting ejected left and right.  Beach balls were bouncing everywhere, and I managed to catch this one mid-bounce right before it came down on my head:

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Some hours into the game (which would have made it around the fourth inning) a particularly rambunctious Mets fan a few rows behind us began a constant barrage of insults that continued on until the game’s last gasp.  He had the advantage of being extremely funny, which helped offset the fact that he was extremely irritating.  His friend seated next to him, also garbed in Mets gear, was entirely silent, and at many points along the way had a "I can’t believe you said that" look of mixed embarrassment and admiration on his face. 

Mets Fan #1, not satisfied with taunting the various Dodger players and fans in the vicinity, began harassing a particularly corpulent peanut vendor around the top of the fifth.  I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I think it involved a peanut shell being thrown onto the vendor’s burly back. The vendor (who I had felt a pang of pity for earlier, before I noticed the iPhone hooked to his gnome-like leather belt) whirled around and threatened Mets Fan #1 with an ejection.  I believe his exact words were "Keep it up and you’ll be sorry, wiseguy."  Kelly and I tittered nervously.  Sure enough, Mets Fan #1 continued his jibes and men with headphones and walkie-talkies soon approached.  Using his Spidey powers, Mets Fan #1 somehow deflected the blame for the peanut incident on a nearby Dodger fan, who was led away, crestfallen.  Mets Fan #1 had the nerve to say "Awwww, I almost feel guilty!" as he continued to harangue nearby fans, leaving his seat at times to better deliver his evangelistic message:

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Fortunately, not all the locals were so unfriendly.  The two guys on our other side were in a festive mood, posing with my Dodger sock monkey, Moe:

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Moe, not used to being manhandled, had to cool off with a refreshing $5.50 beverage:

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There were many heartbreaking moments, as chances were missed and errors were made.  The gamut of emotions was run.  We laughed.  We cried. 

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All we were missing was a Lo Duca meltdown, but we were robbed, because he was lounging uselessly in the dugout for most of the game. The catcher on this night was Ramon Castro, a big, beefy boy who bore a strange resemblance to a certain seasonal favorite of mine:

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Although theoretically it should have been easier to follow the game from the field level, in reality it was harder.  Not just because Kelly and I both kept losing the ball in the lights, but also the proximity of the players kept distracting us.  From where we were sitting, we had a perfect view of first base and we noticed that each Dodger tended to fall into a particular "Pants Category". 

Gonzo, Nomar, Kent, Saenz, Saito, Grady and Honeycutt:  Overly snug pants.  Can they breathe in those things?  Are they pants or leotards?  The boys need to breathe.

Loney, Pierre: Overly big pants.  These guys are both Happy Meals swimming in a Super-size.  Doesn’t someone in the dugout notice that they’re wearing Jonathan Broxton’s pajama bottoms?

Furcal, Kemp, Ethier:  Overly long pants.  The fit isn’t bad but if your inseam is 33, don’t order a 36 in the hope it will make you look taller. 

Hendrickson: Just plain weird looking pants.  They probably have to sew two pairs together lengthwise to make them long enough, though, so I know I should cut him a pass.  However, it doesn’t help that at the same time he appears on the mound in his ill-fitting pant-things, his roster picture on Diamond Vision flashes thirty feet tall and reminds us that he looks like he’d be more at home in a pair of coveralls with a toothpick in his mouth and the theme from Deliverance playing on the 8-track.

Russell Martin:  Special multi-mention for pants that are not only overly large and overly long, but from our spot behind first base we were able to discern a patch in the vicinity of his left leg between the knee and the buttock.  We theorized that this was the same pair of pants he wore in the game earlier in the year where he fell down and tore them.  We think it must be a superstition thing and that he had them repaired.  Either that, or the Dodgers are too cheap to buy him another pair. 

The Dodgers do have a perfect pants role model right in their very own dugout.  From our strategic vantage point, we were able to compare and contrast the sorry state of the pants of most of the Dodgers players with the flawless propriety of first base coach Mariano Duncan’s trousers.  Neither too tight nor too baggy, conservatively tailored and immaculately pressed, Duncan’s slacks set an authoritative tone that the younger men on the team would do well to emulate.

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Whatever the state of their pants, the men in blue fought valiantly but  when the Mets made their 13th run in the 9th inning, it was all over.  We went down swinging, though, and the final 13-9 score wasn’t so bad, considering all we’d had to do to get that far.  Even though we lost, it was a heck of a fight.  Everyone walked out laughing and muttering, and the Dodger talk wrap-up we listened to on the way home described it as "one of the oddest games ever". Although my experience is limited, I’ll second that, but nevertheless say I’m glad I was there.

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Dodgers in the All-Star Game, 7/10/07

Well, my aunt warned me that the All-Star games aren’t the most exciting to watch, and she was right.  Nevertheless, I did travel to the House Of Baseball Tradition (aka my grandpa’s house) so we could watch the game together. 

Before I get to the game, let me say that the night before, I caught the Home Run Derby and enjoyed it more than I’d thought I would.  The contestants had a suitably devil-may-care attitude, and everyone in AT&T Park appeared to have benefited from the influence of a few adult beverages, from the spectators to the crazed teammates to the oddball mentally handicapped guy who was handing out face wipings and hugs to everyone who got up to bat. Just about every player  scheduled to take part in the All-Star game was camped out in a Barcalounger on the field, usually with two or three small children in tow. It was interesting to see so many players, including the usually deadpan Dodgers, caught in moments of frivolity.

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I found myself pulling for Vladimir Guerrero in the HR Derby, because even though he’s an Angel, he’s a Southern California homeboy and therefore rootworthy.  Well, a Southern California homeboy by way of the Dominican Republic.  After he received that bat from Big Papi (doing his best Don Corleone imitation), there was no stopping the man with the dirtiest batting helmet in baseball.

So, on to the All-Star Game.  This being the first one I’d watched, I was unaware that there would be an hour’s pomp and circumstance before any balls got pitched.  We had to get through Willie Mays and various and sundry other touching moments before we got to the lineups, When the Dodger men were introduced, great joy reigned in the House of Baseball Heritage.  I felt somewhat akin to a proud parent who spots her children onstage during a dull school ceremony.  "Look! There’s Brad!" I hollered.  "He’s smiling," my aunt said in shocked amazement. 

The game finally got underway and the National League players did not disappoint.  It felt a bit strange to be cheering for the starter, Peavy, who I’d just seen triumph over the Dodgers the week before at Dodger Stadium, but I quickly adapted.  Brad Penny and Saito acquitted themselves well, although the dimwitted hosts called him Takashi Sayito (rhymed with Dorito–guess they’ve had too many seasons of trying to pronounce Puerto Rican and Dominican names).  Tragically, Russell Martin had a less than stellar first All-Star game.  Every time he got up to bat, the boos of the boorish Giants fans in the stadium were drowned by the enouraging cries of fans all over the Southland, but it did no good.  When he struck out, the hearts of fans all over Los Angeles broke a little along with his bat, knowing how disappointed he’d be.   It’s amazing how much everyone, even cynics like myself, love this guy.  He’s everyone’s son-who-made-good, even when he cusses and spits.  No one wants to see his spirit broken.  As long as he never gets caught with a dead girl or a live boy, he’s got it made in this town.

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We were lucky they let him go as long as they did.  I guess even the powers-that-be wanted to see him be the MVP, but it wasn’t in the cards this year.  Around the sixth inning they took him out and faith and begorrah, it was you-know-who from the Atlanta Braves.  Must I really look at a leprechaun for the next three innings?  Aye. 

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Things weren’t looking good for the National team for most of the last half, but suddenly in the 9th, the players rallied and it almost looked like we could break the American League’s 9 game winning   streak.  But it was not to be.  The AL won, and Ichiro Suzuki got MVP for the inside-the-park home run.  I fail to grasp the magic of Ichiro Suzuki, fabulous though he may be.  Most baseball players look like they have to buy their uniforms off the Big N’ Husky rack; so far he’s the only one I’ve seen that has to shop the boys’ department.  Call me shallow.  Go ahead.  Everyone else does.

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Now for the second half….

Dodgers vs. Various, Dodger Stadium

Early July, 2007

I knew we were in trouble when I saw the Atlanta
Braves. I just had that feeling.  They
had the lean, hungry look of men who intend to win. And we had the desperate, agonized look of
men for whom the All-Star break could not come soon enough. And sure enough, we
lost two out of the three.

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The Braves
have the ejection-prone Bobby Cox; I hoped for some kind of altercation to distract myself from our poor playing, but no
such luck. The hits just kept coming and they weren’t heading our way.

 

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The Braves also have a
catcher with a serious case of leprechaun face. I can’t help it; I’ve had a serious dislike of little red haired men
since I was in third grade and a red-haired boy named Mike Leiber tried to
steal my Welcome Back Kotter lunch box.  It’s bad enough that I have to look at this one during the three-game series; I have to look at him during the All-Star game too?

Then it was on to the Marlins and another two-out-of-three
loss. The Marlins are also a team full
of young eager players, and I was particularly impressed with Dontrelle Willis,
who, while not all that young, certainly made for entertaining watching. Although admittedly I’ve not been following baseball
long, I’ve never seen anybody pitch like that. Ever one to value the unusual, I marveled at his unique delivery and apparent total indifference to the presence of the camera.  Most pitchers seem to have a self-conscious awareness of being televised, deliberately limiting their self-expression to a) dramatically narrowing their eyes and b) doggedly wiping their faces on their sleeves.  Chatting either to himself or to his catcher 60 feet away, gesticulating freely, and gnashing his teeth, Dontrelle was certainly a refreshing change of pace. I clearly lipread the following: "Huh? say that again?" (to the catcher throwing signs) "Oh, man! I can’t believe it!" (shaking head in the direction of the batting coach) and "Praise to God" (to Him, apparently, since no one else was nearby.) Extra wack points to
Dontrelle for almost falling over while making a shot put pitch in the sixth inning.  Love him!

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The Dodgers finally grabbed one on July 8th and it wasn’t a minute too soon.  These men are (mostly) old and tired and they need rest.  I’m glad we ended on a high note.  Hopefully the best is yet to come.

 

Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres @ Dodger Stadium

(Please note: the first half dozenentries on Caught Looking were originally on another blog I started at
the beginning of baseball season 2007.  When I moved them over here
today, I noticed that they all received the same timestamp of
7/7/2007.  I can’t find a way to change the date, so I’ll have to live
with it.  Enjoy.)

6/30/07

Instead of watching the game from the comfort of my living room, I got to see this one live and in person.  We headed to Chavez Ravine where we were relieved of $15 by the parking attendants and waved into a slot with a beautiful (though hazy) view of City Hall.  It was perfect weather to squeeze yourself into a small metal seat and watch your favorite team lose.  But before there was the losin’, there was Penny vs. Peavy.  The local news stations had been hyping this game as a pitcher’s duel and it didn’t disappoint.  Although the Padres got a run early on and Nomar finally hit one out of the park, which tied it up, it was a battle that stayed pretty much a mind game until the end.  After Penny left we had Joe “If I Weren‘t A Baseball Player, I‘d Be A Rock Star” Beimel in the eighth, and Jonathan “I Just Have Big Bones” Broxton in the ninth.  J-Brox is one of my favorites, and I was crossing my fingers Grady would use him.  Sure enough, he chugged out of the bullpen like a baby elephant who’s caught the scent of peanuts on the air.  A few 99-mph pitches later, the inning was over and the score was still 1-1.   

I was hoping they’d let Brox keep going, but instead they sent out Saito, which was unexpected.  I love to watch him pitch on TV and it was even better to watch him in person.  There’s a funny little hesitation and hitch to his delivery that is exactly the same, every time, and he never gives anything away until he’s finished the job, when he takes the mask off and lets loose with his goofy little victory fist pump.  I’d change his entry music, though…..Kung Fu Fighting would be the perfect setup song for the Jedi master.

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Unfortunately, the fist pump didn’t happen on this particular night.  We couldn’t score in the tenth so Grady did rock-paper-scissors in the bullpen and came up with Tomko for the 11th  I always *want* Tomko to be great, because he seems like such a sweetheart, and Vin always reminds us that he’s an artist and all, but he’s been psyching himself out lately and this night was no exception.  Tomko’s face had that look of a man who’s aware that he’s in over his head, but who knows resistance is futile.  My heart broke to see his pained expression as the Padres pretty much stampeded past him to take the game 3-1.  Things weren’t helped when the redneck in back of me screamed “Kill Tomko!” in a bray loud enough to carry to the all-you-can eat pavilion.  I feel your pain, bro, but **** it up.  There’s no I in team.  Like approximately 49,000 of the 50,000 people leaving the stadium, I walked out feeling disappointed, but dropping $$$ on a foam finger and a t-shirt at the fan shop on the way out helped some. 

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P.S.  I got to see the Padres’ Adrian Gonzalez in person (if that’s the right term–I was in the infield reserve, so I had the binoculars working).   As he came up to bat I pointed him out to my aunt, and said “Look, that’s the one I think is good looking.”  At that very moment, AG’s roster picture flashed up on DiamondVision and she recoiled in horror.  I truly think that there must be some type of “look as bad as you can for your roster picture” tradition out there, because every player’s headshot looks like they’re posing for a booking photo at the county jail.  Even baby face Russell Martin looks like a hardened criminal in his.  Anyway, Adrian’s roster photo bore a strange and unfortunate resemblance to a cross-eyed Herve Villechaize.  I’ll never look at this guy again without thinking about a midget in a tuxedo.  Sad.

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Dodgers vs. Devil Rays, Tampa

(Please note: the first half dozen entries on Caught Looking were originally on another blog I started at the beginning of baseball season 2007.  When I moved them over here today, I noticed that they all received the same timestamp of 7/7/2007.  I can’t find a way to change the date, so I’ll have to live with it.  Enjoy.)

June 24th, 2007

How do the Devil Rays get away with their team name? Didn’t the Moral Majority get all riled up? Where were the protesters? Anyway, if they possess great talent or good looks, I wouldn’t know, because I happened to be in my car at the time of the game and heard it on the radio (barely).  About the most exciting thing I heard was that Nomar was sent back to the hotel with “flu-like symptoms”.  It wasn’t until I got home and caught the last inning that I realized they were having “Turn Back the Clock Day” and wearing the old Brooklyn uniforms. Since I love the look of vintage baseball uniforms I was sorry that I’d missed most of the game.  I must say the men looked mighty good in retro gear….particularly Ethier and Martin, who never normally wear short pants (why?) Even old farts like Jeff Kent were rocking the knickers look with good grace if not dignity. The exception (and you know there had to be one) was poor Luis Gonzales. Gonzo’s style is more California casual than retro.  You know this dude’s natural habitat is a pair of flip flops, raggedy shorts from Old Navy, and a threadbare t-shirt that probably says “Dad’s Day 10k 1997” on it.  I swear he’s going to end up being one of my neighbors one day, watering the lawn and hollering at his kids to quit stepping on the hose. So bottom line, his Brooklyn Dodgers uniform had the unfortunate appearance of a costume, which was a tad distracting.  Oh well, can’t win them all. 
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In “speak of the devil” news: Paul Lo Duca’s ejection from the 6/23 Mets @ Oakland game, complete with finger pointing, bat and cap tossing, and equipment being ejected from the dugout. Didn’t I just say he was the compleat New York Guy? MLB.com has the best video of him with his eyes nearly bugging out of his head, but **** them, they won’t let me link to it. Best I can do is the YouTube video of a fan who was at the game.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QXUyWKT0cc
It’s not perfect because it doesn’t show the run-up to the equipment-flinging, which is priceless. For that, you’ll have to visit mets.com, I guess.

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We have one more shot against the Rays today. Because it’s a day game, and with the funky time difference, I get to watch baseball (nearly) first thing in the morning. Men in uniforms—it’s what’s for breakfast. Tasty!

Dodgers vs. Various, Mid June

(Please note: the first half dozen entries on Caught Looking were originally on another blog I started at the beginning of baseball season 2007.  When I moved them over here today, I noticed that they all received the same timestamp of 7/7/2007.  I can’t find a way to change the date, so I’ll have to live with it.  Enjoy.)

6/20/2007

I’m slumping. I’ve been doing nothing but work, although I make time to watch games. I find that being a baseball fan makes me a better teacher. I somehow work in a mention of the Dodgers to every class, and every class will have two or three people out of thirty-odd students whose eyes light up and who start talking about the game and can’t stop. It’s cute. I teach adults, and most of them are from very different backgrounds than me. I sometimes feel that we’re from different planets, but some of the planets apparently get the game on the satellite dish, so we have this tiny little place where we meet on equal ground. It’s pleasant. Last week a student approached me during lunchtime and started talking all about baseball and how when he was on his tour of duty in Iraq last year, the only things that got him through the bad times were pictures of his wife and daughter, and baseball news. He said he treasured every scrap of information he could get, “even about teams like the Giants who I hate.” Every couple of months he would get a big box of magazines and news clippings from friends back home, and he would ration them out, reading them in order, making them last until the next box came. What’s remarkable is that this guy has never spoken three sentences in class before.  I had always thought he was either sullen or dimwitted. Turned out he was just quiet after all those months in the desert. Now I know how to get his attention.

We’re getting ready to switch shifts, and I’m going to be working evenings for a few weeks.  NOT HAPPY. Not only will I miss games, but all my baseball buddies will be on the other shift. I’ll be stuck with the other nighttime teacher, who considers baseball “too violent” for her sons.  A far cry from my daytime cronies, who love to chew over the previous night’s game, and debate topics like “Which Dodger could last the longest in an Ultimate Fighting Championship tournament?” (The vote went to small but scrappy Furcal with big bad Penny close behind.) 

So, to catch up a bit: The Dodgers came home on the 8th after the road trip to Washington, Pittsburgh and San Diego, and played against Toronto and the Mets at Dodger Stadium before taking on the Angels in interleague play.  I have nothing to say about the Blue Jays, but the Mets have two of my future ex-husbands, Shawn Green and Paul Lo Duca.

Shawn Green was on my radar several years back, before I evolved into “baseball chick.” I remember listening to my grandfather gripe about him when he was a Dodger. At the time, I found him weird but cute, in a geeky way, and though the years have transformed him into a sinewy Abe Lincoln lookalike he’s still agreeably geeky. During the first game of the series there were “words” between him and Brad Penny.  Shawn was on first base and Penny thought he saw him watching Russell’s signs and tipping off the batter. My heart was beating with terror! Poor Shawn! Brad could break him in half with those beefy forearms of his, and just when Greenman was getting over that broken foot. I don’t doubt for a moment that Shawn was guilty, though. You just know he‘s been working that Boy Scout angle for all it‘s worth since he was a rugrat.  He was probably the kind of kid who would break a window and then blame it on Billy, the troublemaking neighbor kid from a broken home.

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My other favorite Met is Paul Lo Duca. I just enjoy watching him, as I’d enjoy watching a rare and unusual species of animal in a zoo. I don’t personally know many people from New York, but I picture native New Yorkers as being exactly like Paulie (as Vin calls him). Small, quick, always with the grumpy scowl or the brow furrowed in thought, restlessly hitching up his pants at the plate, pointing his stubby finger, shooting off his mouth. He is the classic New York Guy.   

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Anyway, after three Dodger triumphs over the Mets (and after Kuo pissed off Lo Duca by flipping his bat in sheer disbelief over hitting a home run–his first in MLB) we took on the Angels, which started off well and ended up dreadful. Personally, I was horrified when a throw to second by Russell Martin ended up whacking poor Casey Kotchman on the head in the middle of Saturday’s game. Not only does that hurt, it also robbed the Angels of their one semi-attractive player. Not fair. They won anyway.***** Angels. Here’s Casey on the ground. His goatee is still looking good!

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Then the next day poor Loney was playing right field and crashed into the wall.***** Vladimir Guererro just kept running. Heartless sumbitch! You know, if this sport was played by women we would have all dropped the game and raced over to aid our fallen comrade (even if she was on the opposing team.) My co-worker was in the all-you-can-eat pavilion at the time and swore he could feel the vibrations from Loney’s smashup shaking his seat. I was glad to see Crazy Eyes (according to Joe Beimel, that’s Loney’s nickname; he definitely has beautiful light eyes) back and apparently no worse for wear later in the week.  Poor thing.  More than any of the other young players, he seems nervous and vulnerable—he always looks like he’s gulping as he gets up to the plate.  My co-worker met him a while back and said that he was one of the nicest, friendliest players he’d ever met. I hope he remains a nice guy and I really hope he remains a Dodger, because I think he is going to be huge.

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Then it was back on the road to play the Blue Jays, in Toronto, which means the games were on at four in the afternoon California time. I had KFWB 980 cranked up on the way home from work, listening to the boys beat the pants off the men of the Great White North. It’s kinda sad that some people live on a frozen tundra and have to have a covered stadium, innit?

From there we go to Tampa and the Devil Rays and then Arizona, and then back to Chavez Ravine. Next homestand I plan to see at least one game. Stand by for action photos of good looking men like Grady Little and Tommy Lasorda (who we spotted last time we went to a game.)

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