Sunday, July 10, 2005

Torturing Infidels

Call me an arrogant Yankee fan if you want, but I feel that it's the job of members of the Empire to torture all the infidels you know. Not total strangers because that's how you get your ass kicked or worse. But your friends, family and significant others are all fair game. It might get you a dirty look or even mean cold showers for a week, but trust me, it's worth it.

My latest victim was the Indians fan affectionately known as Cleveland Julie. She is the Princess Leia of Infidels. There is noone that hates the Empire more than Julie. Several of my friends hate the Empire as much as CJ. My friend, Metstradamus comes to mind. But noone hates us more than CJ. So when asked by CJ if I could score tickets for one of the Yanks-Tribe games, I couldn't resist.

Her hatred of the Yanks and their fans can seen in this exchange after the game. She's going on and on about some soldiers on leave who were sitting behind us. One of them says that the batter should look for a pitch to hit because it's 2-1 and it's a hitter's count. She goes on and on and on about the fact this fan is an idiot because 2-1 isn't a hitter's count. I told her that technically she's right, but that the batter should expect a strike because the pitcher doesn't want to be in a 3-1 the soldier has a point. This goes straight over her head and she proceeds to call all Yankee fans idiots. I remind her that it's wrong to generalize and also remind her that I've forgotten more baseball than she'll ever know and that I can name a dozen Yankee fans who can do the same. I also reminded her that it's probably not wise to call someone stupid when she didn't know who was pitching for the Tribe on Sunday among other basic facts about her team. She gave me the bullshit excuse that she works a lot and doesn't have time to check on her team and then proceeded to whine about how tough it is to follow her team in NYC.

I reminded her about an invention called the internet and that I knew tons of people who worked more hours than her who still followed their teams religiously. Went straight over her head.

Bigtime Pet peeve; I hate it when someone who really is only a casual fan of the game tries to make out like they're Jon Miller or Jim Kaat. Just because you can follow the game and strategy doesn't make you Bill James. And it doesn't give you the right to call someone stupid because they don't know as much as you. Please. You should definitely shut up when the best excuse you can muster about why you don't know basic facts about your team is that you work hard.

I get two tickets in the Right-field upperdeck for Saturday's game. Two quick notes on this; First I hate the seats in the Rightfield upper deck. You can't see the jumbotron to the right of you and you can't tell if a ball is a hit or an out in the corners until you hear the crowd react. Sucks big time. Second, I hate Old-Timers day. I know that's sacrilege to some, but I feel that this is a young man's game. If you can't play it anymore, than you can't play. Step aside for the boys who can. Watching these guys try to get around the bases and the field is beyond sad. It's like watching your dad's team play softball only you're paying for it. Thankfully, the baseball gods took pity on me and the rain clouds cut the game short.

Now you're probably asking how were you able to torture Princess Infidel? The Yanks lost 8-7. Well I'll tell you. First off, this was the one game in the series that I knew would be a problem. Righties are batting over .300 vs Darrell May, so I knew it was probably going to be a high scoring affair if we pulled it out. So when we were down 7-2 early, I wasn't surprised. Elarton is a decent pitcher but I knew if we could keep it within 5, we had a chance later in the game. Enter Arthur Rhodes aka Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, to face Godzilla Matsui. I believe you know what happened next. A three run shot in the right-field seats.

Why do teams still pitch Rhodes against us? Why does he keep going out there? He is absolutely awful. Horrible. I don't care what his ERA is. He's awful in the clutch. I want to come back as a left-handed pitcher in my next life. I can pitch forever and make a shitload of money. I'll never have to do an honest days work in my life.

The look on her face after Matsui's homer was worth the price of admission. She had that "constipated, where's the prune juice" look on her face. Awesome. The Indians added another run vs Sturtze in the ninth to make it 8-6. But when Big Rube put a charge in one to make it 8-7 and the Yanks had two men on and noon out...the look comes back. Priceless.

Alas, it wasn't to be as the Yanks fell short. But seeing her angst was worth it. I reminded her that this was the game that her team had to get. And that they barely got it done.

I also knew that the way the boys were playing that we would take the final game and win the series. And we did. So whatever gloating she could did on Saturday, that I would have the last laugh as I always do. When the Yanks lost 22-0 to the Tribe, she sent out a dozen obnoxious emails to every Yankee fan she knew to remind us in case we weren't watching. Those emails stopped when we won the next two games and the series. That's the wonderful thing about this game. You can get destroyed one game and win 2-1 the next. Or vice versa. It keeps you honest.

Yeah, she saw her team win. But it's like having a shot with a hot girl or guy but blowing it. You were at the gate, but it's never going to open. Kind of like the Tribe in 1997 in the World Series.

So she won a battle barely. I, as always, won the war.

Gone is the angst of earlier in the year. We're hitting well, playing solid defense and our pitching is keeping us in the games.

Giambi's hitting has put a new jolt in this lineup. He's hitting good pitching and destroying bad pitching. But he's still taking his walks and not forcing the issue. Hitters 3-6 in our lineup absolutely frightening right now. The back of the lineup is shaping up as well.

We're two and half back with a series in Fenway after the break. I like our chances. I really do.

More infidels to torture for the summer. This time, they won't get off so easy like CJ.

One note about Sunday's game. I really liked the teaming of Singleton and Justice. Kenny does a decent play by play and offered some strong insight during the game. He also reigned David in, who's good, but has a tendency to ramble. Hopefully, we'll see more of it.


Blogger Karen said...

I know there are Obnoxious Idiots in our Empire of fandom, but good lord, we do not have the market cornered on that by any means. EVERY fanbase has them.

As for Justice, I'm not sure I'm sold on him yet. He's upbeat, which is much better than Kay's moodiness in the booth, but there is a bit of talk-too-muchness going on. It makes me worry it's an ego thing and he just likes the sound of his voice, but perhaps he's just still learning.

And I love Old Timers' Day -- makes me appreciate being a fan of a franchise that has so much history to it, and that the team is willing to give its props to the past. If they're going to talk the whole "steeped in tradion" thing, they'd better walk the walk, if just for one day a year.

4:46 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Old Timer's Day is great, especially for the older fans who have brought their kids to the game that day. They can point out the players that they were fans of when they were growing up and their kids get to see those players in uniform for a day. When I watched Justice when he worked for ESPN I thought he was pretty bad; he seemed to stumble over his ego a bit too much.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

The jerks I can handle. I just don't understand the folks who get more pleasure out of our team losing than watching their team win. My friend says she's an Indians fan, but I think she's more of a Yankee hater.

I think David is still in his "I have to let everyone know that I know my stuff phase" of his career. His delivery is a little choppy, but he makes some very good points at times. I think he'll be good if you give him time. He's seemed to have developed the ability to make fun of himself that's nice to see.

I have no problem with a Old Times appreciation day. I just don't need to see them play. Have them out before the game for a ceremony of sorts. But I don't need to see them play anymore.

12:11 AM  
Blogger vcougar said...

I live with a Yankee hater, and he is merely following a tradition established in the 1920s, which culminated in a musical, "Damn Yankees," and continues today. They hate because it gives them something to live for--something they can always count on (unlike their team)!!

3:36 AM  

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