Guest post by Luke, links by me

Says Hanger-on Luke, referring to yesterday’s Cubs/Dodgers game:

If I had a baseball blog I’d write about the fan I sat in front oftoday. He was a real piece of work, a young man clearly mentally disabled but both in love with and enraged by his Cubs, sort of a Rain Man with amean streak and Cubby-blue blood.

When I got to my seat he was already ranting–to nobody in particular–about Corey Patterson and how he’s not a lead-off batter. Then he was going off on how Aramis Ramirez should be starting: “Dusty, you are nota doctor! Aramis is not hurt!” Once the umps took the field, he started yelling at them, reciting from memory the rule book’s description ofthe strike zone.

All this from Aisle 534.

He kept a tally of questionable balls and strikes. With each one –more than 20 of them — he’d explode: “This is ridiculous! We’re going toreplace you with a computer! With QuesTec, Fox Box AND! OR! a fifthumpire in the booth AND! OR! instant replay! And we’re sending you to the eyedoctor! And we’re sending you back to umpiring school. AND WE’RE GOING TO CALL THE COMMISSIONER! 1414! 225! 3900!”

Every. Single. Time. After the fifth time the entire section could mouth along with him, as not a single word — nor his intense volume — would deviate over the course of the game.

He also was very displeased that the Commissioner was not there asscheduled for Greg Maddux Day, as he had a few things he needed to tell Bud. He expressed dismay that Jim Hendry never wants to talk to him.

Another screed: “Dusty is the stupidest manager ever. Why doesn’t he want to win? I have an IQ of 120 — I am smarter than Dusty! We will always hate you, Dusty! WE WILL ALWAYS HATE YOU!”

And you should have seen him go nuts when Farnsworth came in and proceeded to implode.

Since he wasn’t swearing or threatening fans, there wasn’t really anything security could do, other than try to get him to calm down. He would not.

It gets better: When he wasn’t yelling at the umps or Dusty, he was calling up ESPN radio and other sports media on his cell phone and leaving long messages calmly describing Dusty’s many felonies — occasionally pausing to scream toward the field. It seemed, however, that every time he did this, the Cubs would proceed to do something good. Thus, Monday morning some schlub at ESPN is going to have to listen to all these messages, and as he listens to this fan moan about Corey Patterson, he will hear in the background Corey Patterson rapping a single to center. As he listens to a rant about the bullpen, he will hear in the backgroundKent Mercker getting a strikeout to end the inning.

It was nothing short of amazing. I think I was the only one in my section who appreciated him, even though he was yelling right into my ear. I had to concede he was one of the best-informed fans in the stadium. Much better him than some drunk frat boy yelling “You suck, Pujols!”


Original comments…

Jim: Much better than the guy Matt Bailey and I encountered on L.A.’s Red Line on Sunday who heard us comparing the L.A. subway system with the Chicago ‘L’, the D.C. Metro, and Atlanta’s MARTA, and proceeded to semi-coherently mumble something about taking the subway to other countries. He was speaking quietly, though, and ended up getting off the train at Vermont & Sunset.

Later, a friend of Matt’s who was in Chicago called him, and told a tale of woe about his companions who bought tickets to the Cubs game from a scalper for $80…and soon discovered the tickets to be counterfeit.

Levi: According to a couple of reverse directories online, the phone number the guy was shouting doesn’t exist. Or if it does, it doesn’t turn up a listing.

I suppose I could test by calling it, but Bud Selig might answer the phone, and I wouldn’t like to have to be responsible for my behavior in that situation.

Luke, hanger-on: Whoops, I misremembered the phone number, which is remarkable considering how many times it was bellowed into my ear: It’s in fact (414) 225-8900.

Steve: Quien es mas retarded? The guy described in the above post or the dudes who bought $80 counterfit tickets?

Levi: Mas retarded? Kyle Farnsworth. Hands down.

Or is that mas estoned?

More honorary hangers-on, and the July stats

Jason, Jenn, and Cat came over to my place today to watch Greg Maddux go for his 300th win, mainly because Cat is a big Greg Maddux fan who is bereft of WGN. In a secret ceremony involving Hostess Baseballs, I named them honorary hangers-on for the trip, especially if Cat ever remembers to visit this web site.

Now, here’s what happened here in July: the most visits came on Monday, July 12th, with July 13th right behind. Clearly, everyone was very interested in my Yankee Stadium pictures. The lightest day was July 17th, a Saturday. The busiest day of the week was Friday, although that’s skewed by the fact that there were five Fridays (and Thursdays) in July, and only four of the other weekdays.

The most popular hour was, once again, the hour Levi gets to work (that’s what it says on the statistics page now). The most “foreign” visitors came from .au (Australia). was the domain with the most visits. (me at home) would have beat it slightly, although it’s likely that I wasn’t the only visitor coming through

Interesting searches from the past month: “mcsweeney’s fantasy baseball,” “dierdre pujols,” “all star game burned out bulbs,” “chip carey quotes,” and “jeremy sumpter in foul ball.”

Original comments…

maura: there weren’t many visits?

maura: maybe i’m just not aware that i now have a job where i am actually (shock horror!) BUSY AT WORK.

Jim: Does perhaps get its Internet connectivity from Verizon? That’s the only New York-looking thing that shows up as having been a frequent visitor.

What just happened?

Saturday at Wrigley Field, I saw Greg Maddux throw a shutout in 2:05, which I think is the shortest game I’ve ever seen. If the Cubs hadn’t scored some runs in the 8th and thereby forced a pictching change, it would have been around 1:45.

If all the games we see on our trip move that quickly, Jim and I might have to find some nearby minor-league games, just to keep busy. How does 21 games in 11 cities in 10 days sound, Jim?

Original comments…

Jon Solomon: I went to a Yankees game on opening day in the late 1980s. Yanks won 2-0. Game was over in +/- 1:50. Rafael Santana hit into an around-the-horn triple play to end the 8th.

Jim: It could be 21 games in 21 cities with the minor-league games added. Now, some are close — the Clearwater Phillies and Tampa Yankees aren’t too far from St. Petersburg, home of the Devil Rays; and I think you know about the locations of the minor-league teams in the Chicago area — but as far as I know, the Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees are the only minor-league teams to be in the same city limits as a major-league team.

Jon Solomon: I am proud to report that there are FOURTEEN minor league teams within 2.5 hours of my home in Lawrenceville, NJ. Trenton. Camden. Lakewood. Montclair. Reading. Wilkes-Barre. Harrisburg. Wilmington. Atlantic City. Somerset. Newark. Augusta. Brooklyn. Staten Island. Woo!