Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wide Open Spaces

We're closing in on the southwest itinerary now—but because of the distances involved (and because there are a couple time-consuming nonbaseball attractions, about which more later), it's going to be our least baseball-dense trip ever. Here's how it's shaping up:

Thursday, 4/28: Las Vegas 51s / Sacramento River Cats
Saturday, 4/30: Arizona Diamondbacks / Chicago Cubs
Sunday, 5/1: Tucson Padres / Colorado Springs SkySox
Tuesday, 5/3: Albuquerque Isotopes / Omaha Storm Chasers
Possible bonus game, Wednesday, 5/4: Las Vegas 51s / Reno Aces

Two games a week apart in Las Vegas? Only the need to return the rental car makes this sensible at all....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Season Preview

Pitchers and catchers are just a little ways off now, so here's the rundown of what we're considering for this year. If we're coming to your part of the world, represent!

1. An amuse bouche of New England games in early April:
  • Boston Red Sox: My childhood team, now just another Evil Empire
  • New Hampshire Fisher Cats: In my youth, I would have killed for a team in my own state. But a fisher cat appears to be some sort of weasel.

Friday, February 11, 2011

You Gotta Have What?

In anticipation of a possible trip together to see baseball in Japan, Melvin gave me a copy of Robert Whiting's, You Gotta Have Wa, accepted as the authoritative English-language work on Japanese baseball.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Windy City Crab Bids JU Adieu

If you spend enough time contemplating contemporary mainstream book and movie reviews, first of all god help you. Second, you may notice that the zeitgeist is a self-reinforcing thing. Mainstream reviews tend to be written by middle- or upper-middle-class urbanites, and they therefore privilege whatever it is that class has been led to believe is important at a given moment. The avatars of this phenomenon are dull people like The New Yorker's David Denby and The New York Times's Michiko Kakutani (although she's really in a special class of cluelessness), and their subjects inevitably provide frameworks for other lazy writers of similar ilk. I'm not telling you anything Stuff White People Like hasn't already, and I do truly wish I had a better or more original take. But there are some icons so mysteriously beloved that I can't figure out how to account for them other than by some quasi-mystical projection/identification complex perpetrated by minimally talented white people —I'm talking about you, tuneless Rufus Wainwright... and you, whiny and smug David Sedaris... and most of all you, dead John Updike.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Fat Lady Sings (Again) in Portland

Popular culture holds that an aria by an operatic soprano, Brünnhilda from Richard Wagner's Götterdämmerung most typically, can help us determine that, at last and unequivocally, the end is finally here. On December 21, 2010, the proverbial fat lady sang the song that signaled the end of the 21-month long opera that has been the demise, again, of the Portland Beavers baseball club.  That is too bad; Portland has a long history as a baseball town.

I also feel a personal sense of loss.  Unlike most of my ballpark visits, which are one and done, I've seen three games at beautiful PGE Park.  The Portland Beavers were one of the first minor league teams I saw.  They were also the first team Melvin and I wrote about when we started this blog.