Friday, May 31, 2013

Post-Game Show

The Mets are still not a good team* but even the most soured fan had to enjoy the four-game, home-and-away sweep of the Yankees this week.  Beyond the pleasure derived from the outcome, I was also amused by Yankee fans' post-game comments.  There was a remarkable uniformity, as if a new memo was distributed on a daily basis.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

All Aboard!

A transit theme?  I can get on board with that!

Dontrelle Willis, the 2003 National League rookie of the year, is nicknamed "The D-Train," a subway line in New York City.  After nine major league seasons, Willis signed with the Long Island Ducks this spring and a friend and I hope to see him in Islip.  He pitched the Ducks' home opener and has gone 2-1 in five starts, with a 3.71 ERA.

The G train, by contrast, is not named for Mets right-hander Dillon Gee. Nor was Gee on the mound when Byways follower T-Bone saw the Mets lose to the Reds on Monday, May 20.  Pitching that night was Shaun Marcum, earning his fifth loss in as many starts (6.59 ERA, 1.57 WHIP).  Jay Bruce took Marcum deep to lead off the sixth, ultimately the winning run in the game.

Many Brooklyn residents are happy the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) extended G train service to Church Avenue.  T-Bone is among them but on May 20th she would have been better off finding another way home.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Give It to a Kid

Here's the nephew on the Wrigley Field tour, a few hours before the blessed events described below.
They haven't said good things about Greg Dobbs over the years. "Limited," "minimal," "failure," and "collapse" are words you often see used in descriptions of his performance and tenure in the Major Leagues. Now in his tenth season, Dobbs has appeared in only about 855 games over time with the Mariners, Phillies, and Marlins—making him on average a half-time player. But Dobbs—who today, to the surprise of many, is the regular first baseman for the Miami Marlins—now has a major fan in Lima, Ohio, and he's OK in my book, too.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Red Green Show

Continuing the theme of transit and baseball, we see here some Chicago Transit Authority workers changing the signs at the Harrison station on Thursday afternoon. The sign on the left that says "Ashland/63rd" is new, replacing one that said "95th."

Who cares? White Sox fans, that's who. Until sometime in October—and, let's face it, there will be no baseball on the South Side this October—the Red Line station at 35th Street will be closed (along with every other station south of Roosevelt). Red Line trains will stop a few blocks to the east, at what is normally the Green Line station at 35th and State, but it's less convenient and the platforms are notably narrower. Then again, to judge from the desperate weekly emails I get from the Sox, it doesn't seem like much of anyone is going down that way anyway this year.

On a side note, why is the Sox stop called "Sox/35th" but the Cubs stop just called "Addison"? Does everyone already know where Wrigley is? To judge from the hordes of nervously laughing suburbanites and uncomfortable tourists on northbound Red Line trains around game times, I'd wager not.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Number Two" Gets Number One

Some prospects we remember; most we forget.  Melvin and I remember Corban Joseph because of the endless heckling he took at the April 8, 2011 game between the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and his visiting Trenton Thunder.

"Number Two! Number Twooo! Num-ber Twoo-oo!," brayed the ass in the suite above us at frigid Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, in Manchester.  "Nice cut!  Looking real good there, Number Two."  From the time he entered the on-deck circle until the end of each at-bat, Joseph withstood non-stop verbal abuse.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Stones in My Transitway

Meet me in center field, I'm a little boulder there.
Photo: Scott Gleine, Could You Be More Pacific

It is not that I ever thought that there was some underlying natural order to Angel Stadium. It is, after all, in Los Angeles Anaheim, home to the most influential assemblage of faux environments ever constructed. Nevertheless, having watched only a handful of Angels games in my life, I did have the idea that the giant rocks beyond center field there were somehow rooted in the experience of the place—that there were, say, more such rocks outside the stadium, or that the stadium sat more or less in an at least somewhat landscaped environment, as does Dodger Stadium, with its sculpted terraces.

Sadly, this illusion, too, has now been shattered. I took the train from San Diego to Los Angeles last week, and from the stop at Anaheim, its now clear to me that those rocks probably are fiberglass, and that any grass, trees, or water in the vicinity are there purely by accident or inattention. I now don't know why I thought otherwise.