Home for Thanksgiving, we stopped by the old little league field with the kids. I conveniently left out the fact that I never hit a home run here, and that I may have been a slow, opposite field slap hitting catcher. That is disclosed on a need-to-know basis only.
Perhaps one of our favorite works of contemporary art of the past year is this greeting card shown at LAND, the creative outpost of the League Treatment Center in our home neighborhood of DUMBO. This simple piece brought a huge smile to our face on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The caption, if you can't discern, reads "Marilyn Manson, Hillary Duff, Mariah Carey, and Derek Jeter in Goth would like to wish you a Happy Birthday". That is quite an infield. As well as a work of artistic genius and immense humor.
We made it to our first ever opening game yesterday, and while it ended well (though we were home by that point) there was something off about seeing both the Yankees and nightfall before even the ceremonial first pitch was thrown.
Our thoughts and some more pictures after the jump.
Sunday, April 4th is Opening Day, a night game on ESPN. Forget for the moment the repulsion at an "Opening Day" game being played at 8pm on a school night (kids are supposed to cut school, not sleep through it) – we've been invited to attend by our parents, in place of one of them (they have two seats). Opening Day is a tradition for my Mom and Dad, they have been going regularly for at least the years since I went off to college in the late 80s. As such I have never been to an opener at Fenway, something I have always hoped to do.
So: do I go? Do I abscond with one of the tickets to view the pomp and circumstance and the opening pitch against the hated rivals? Or do I do the magnanimous thing, let tradition hold in our parents' 70th year (and 48th together), and watch the first two innings on ESPN while hitting the sack at a reasonable hour?
Baseball is not big here in Indonesia. The national sport is badminton. You also see a lot of young guys playing soccer and futsal. As far as American sports, basketball rules the day, especially among teenagers. High schoolers sport Lebron or Kobe jerseys. There is always a basketball game being played at the Menteng Taman courts a few blocks from my home. On the other hand, baseball is rarely played here. I've heard there is an expat softball league, and the American International schools have baseball teams. But, for the most part, this place is not a baseball town.
You miss many things when you leave a your home city: family and friends, your favorite restaurants, your routines, the weather. One of the things I've missed the most has been being surrounded by baseball fans. I've yet to meet anyone who cares about baseball. This is probably a good thing for me as it forces me to think about other subjects. Perhaps I'll be a more healthy and emotionally balanced person as a result. But it's still frustrating that nobody I talk to here is capable of appreciating the funny way Alvaro Espinoza wore his hat. It can make one lonely.
So how do two jewish guys from opposite sides of the baseball fan universe work things out? They eat pork. Lots of it. YF and I (along with both families) headed to Sunset Park this weekend to smooth out the rivalrous tension, and also to fill our bellies. We may disagree about baseball, but we both agree that cheap, bountiful chinese food is a key to happiness. More pics after the jump.
Football, football, football. And soccer. And hockey. And women’s basketball. Twiddling through the various incarnations of ESPN as well as all the other networks this morning, there was scant baseball to be found, despite the fact they are in PLAYOFFS. MLB classics was replaying the ’95 LDS Sox-Tribe game one — a series in which the Sox got swept out which is a cruel shiv to twist twixt the ribs at this particular moment — and was the only baseball on tv. ESPN News was talking on and on about college games that haven’t happened yet, making it ESPN Preambles, not News. Every other ESPN outlet was also talking college football with some chatter about Sunday’s NFL games, except the Ocho, which was playing the dodgeball tournament according to the guide. But I don’t get that channel. And I also don’t get that every feed of the de facto sports outlet of the United States devotes every resource to football. I like football. I love baseball. I am a dinosaur.
I need more glove.
Here’s your open Saturday thread to talk about snow in Colorado, NLDS Dodgers/Cards in St. Louis, and yes: college football.
This won't exactly put a dent in Jonathan's wallet but as a Yankee fan who only follows the big headlines about the Sox it intrigued me because I was not even aware that this is an on-going issue for the Boston closer. I can't recall ever thinking that Papelbon takes a particularly long time to deliver. Maybe that's because I only watch the Sox when they are playing the Yanks and those games always take 5 hours anyway so what's a couple extra seconds here and there? And if fines have been regularly handed out for this kind of thing, I expect Bernie Williams to have racked up millions for loitering at the plate and Robbie Cano to be well on his way given the world tour he takes after strike calls he doesn't like. And don't get me started on the mid-inning arias at YS. But back to Paps - if this gets him to cut the pucker out of his pre-pitch routine, I will be a happy man. And this raises the question:
What preparatory routine do you wish MLB would start fining?
For me looking at the Sox it is Paps' pucker and Youkilis' constipated belly-dance at the plate. As for the Yanks: Swisher looking up at the heaven's moments before every pitch and A-Rod's sleepy-eyed/semi-puckered lips when he's "cooly" collecting himself after a swinging strike.
Bali, Indonesia. A cliff jutting over the Indian Ocean, and the monkey and I are as about as far from the Bronx, New York as humanly possible. The Yanks are about a bazillion and one since I left Amerika (the Bahasa Indonesia spelling) and stopped watching them. It occurs to me, following the monkey's lead, that I have no control over these things. The Yanks win without my help. They have always won and lost without me. Does this mean that when I screamed at Pat Kelly all those times, he didn't hear me? It seems so.
This past weekend the Yanks and Sox played. I wasn't nervous or irritated any of those days. I did not experience the elation of a Derek Jeter double off the green monster or the low point of a Kevin Youkilis homer. They played and I didn't watch. Instead, I climbed the steps of the Buddhist monument, Borobodur, near Jogja. Was it reaching the stage of enlightenment, the total withdrawal of desire for earthly matters, that made me feel so at peace? Or was it the simple fact that I don't have the major league package yet and ESPN played the freaking Little League World Series instead of the Sox-Yanks?!!