Great. Just great. I leave for Sacramento for four days to take the California Bar Exam, and everything goes straight to Hell. Here’s my week in clauses:
“The rule against perpetuities . . . destructibility of contingent remainders . . . the Angels pick up Texeira?! . . . the Eerie doctrine . . . strict scrutiny analysis . . . the A’s get swept at home by the Kansas City Freakin’ Royals?!! . . . protectable property interests . . the Angels morph into an indestructible juggernaut comparable to Virtual Mike Tyson from “Punch-Out” from the original 8-bit Nintendo. . . reasonable expectation of privacy . . . is it asking too much to win one lousy game??!!! . . . the 4th Amendment.”
So it was a rough week (and for reasons of common sense and decency I am not getting into the flu, the bedbugs, or the Berkeley Law grad next to meet who felt that bathing and personal hygiene are uncalled for in Bar Week). So how does one recover from the most intellectually, emotionally and psychologically draining three days of one’s life? (Well, one drinks for 36 hours straight, usually. So how does one recover if one is a good Mormon who doesn’t really understand this whole “alcohol” thing and wouldn’t know where to start anyway?) Minor league baseball, baby!!!
Allow me to share:
Top of the 2nd
Poor freeway construction and Sacramento’s obsession with one-way streets make me late to the ballpark. The Sacramento starting 9 look . . . familiar. Too familiar. I strain my mind to remember where I could have possibly seen them before. Wait for it . . . wait for it . . . it’s on the tip of my tongue . . .
SP – Joey Devine
1B – Daric Barton
2B – Donnie Murphy
3B – Gregorio Petit
LF – Matt Murton
CF – Eric Patterson
Oh, that’s right. They’re actually the 2008 Oakland Athletics.
Bottom of the 2nd
Due to what must be a labor shortage in the minor league coaching industry, Gio Gonzalez is coaching first base. I am excited, until I come to the startling realization that I have at least two inches and forty pounds on him. Does anyone else find it disconcerting that one of our shiner hopes for the future appears to be about fourteen years old?
Top of the 3rd
The visiting Nashville Sounds choose to bunt with a man on first and no outs. Predictably, the bunt is popped up into the waiting glove of Rivercat pitcher Chris Gissell. Eager to impart wisdom, I shout “Bunting is dumb!” No one listens.
Top of the 4th
It’s a slow stretch in the game, so I’m going to take this time to reflect on how happy I am to hear Bay Area sports talk radio again. I’ve been listening to sports radio in either Los Angeles or Salt Lake for some time now, so I’m used to getting my sports news with a heapin’ helpin’ o’ homerism, but it’s soundly invigorating to finally hear it in favor of the A’s. I listened for less than ten minutes before hearing someone say “Oakland is still in reach of the Wild Card” without a trace of irony in his voice. He’s a moron, I know, but it’s still nice to hear.
Bottom of the 4th
I make a food run, and Daric Barton respectfully responds with a near-400 foot shot that comes in just left of the right field foul pole. It brings to mind the ancient proverb, “If Barton hits a homerun and I don’t see it because I’m waiting for my hot dog, does it really happen?”
Top of the 5th
Midway through the game, a thought occurs: Why not let Ziegler hit?
Bottom of the 5th
The Angels are leading the Yankees 97-0, and my faith in the basic goodness of mankind and cosmic justice is taking a real hit.
Travis Buck looks glum. I know just how he feels.
Top of the 6th
My spirits are lifted by probably the greatest double play I have ever seen. One out, man on first – Tony Gwynn Jr. (!!) clocks in with a base hit to left, base runner going on the pitch. Murton fields and responds to a wide turn at first with a throw to Barton, getting Gwynn in a pickle between Barton and Murphy at second. Runner Ozzie Chavez starts heading from third to home, leading Barton to interrupt the pickle with a throw to Petit at third, getting Chavez into a pickle of his own. Catcher Justin Knoedler tags out Chavez, and, spying Gwynn now trying to capitalize on the chaos and make it to third, flings it to Barton, who covers third in time to beat Gwynn to the bag. Jack Cust is granted super powers by a magical genie. Torii Hunter is arrested for murder. Barry Zito remembers how to pitch. Osama bin Laden is discovered in Hank Steinbrenner’s midtown loft. Scientists find that mozzarella sticks make you more attractive. Inning over.
That was awesome.
Bottom of the 6th
More local radio thoughts (sorry, but listening to sports radio in the car has been my only release this week. Except for stop lights, when I studied Wills & Trusts, and slower traffic jams, which were Remedies Law. People who haven’t taken the Bar Exam think I’m joking).
Anyway, my question is this: is Ralph Barbieri actually on the air twenty-four hours a day, or does it just seem that way? Not that I’m complaining – I like him. I am enchanted by the lilting, pixie-like intonations of his voice.
Top of the 7th
Now pitching for the Sacramento Rivercats: Chris Farley. He lives!!
Top of the 8th
Barton just took a grounder and threw out the runner at second heading to third. I understand that I’m looking at an insanely small sample size here, so I’ll hedge my comments accordingly: Daric Barton is not only ready to return to the Major League roster, but he’s ready to become the greatest first baseman alive and the first man ever enshrined in the Hall of Fame while still an active player. There. How was that?
Bottom of the 8th
Breaking news: Chris Farley has been demoted to the Midland Rockhounds. First person to work “Midland” or “Rockhounds” into a “van down by the river” joke gets a prize.
In other news, Gio is back to coaching first, and he’s cold. Would anyone judge me if I rushed the field to lovingly drape my sweater around his shoulders? I think not.
Bottom of the 9th
Final Score – Nashville 4, Sacramento 2
So what else is new?
“This Manny to the Dodgers thing, I tell ya – it’s like at the end of Predator 2, with all those Predators invading Los Angeles.”
Local radio is awesome.