Opening Day 2007: Hour 6

3:09 — NESN does an in-game promo for the Boston Globe’s online store without mentioning the actual web address. Guess everyone in New England is supposed to know already.
3:15 — My afternoon snack is Pringles Select potato chips. Yes, upscale Pringles that come in a bag. Now that they’ve had Lays in a can for a while now, I guess the reverse was inevitable.
3:18 — Some company is donating $100 to a food bank for every Rockies home run. It’d be a little more charitable if they were making a donation for every run, period.
3:23 — The wind suddenly kicks up at Coors Field and hot dog wrappers start blowing around, which allows the announcers to awkwardly transition to offering their best wishes to people affected by a recent tornado in Colorado.
3:26 — Okay, NESN does the “scorecard” graphics, too, like TBS. So they’re partially forgiven for their score bar.

3:30Oakland A’s at Seattle Mariners (FSN Northwest)
At last, another game starts.
3:34 — Listen, whoever was responsible for this FSN promo, you need either the dollar sign or the word “dollars.” This says “six million dollars dollars.”

3:42 — Wow, it’s a new rule that batters are supposed to keep one foot in the batter’s box when they take a time out. I predict that this rule won’t be enforced very vigilantly.
3:53 — Looking forward to the new Belle and Sebastian song “Piazza, Oakland DH.” He strikes out in his first appearance as such.

Gary Bennett, the gods have chosen to smile on thee

After Gary Bennett‘s out-of-nowhere performance against the Cubs this weekend (.700/.750/.833, with a homer and a game-winning single Saturday and a game-winning grand slam Sunday night), I hope each player on the Cardinals roster–including the guys on the DL–bought him a stiff drink last night.

And then I hope he staggered around the bar, drunk as a lord, shouting, “Don’t you mess with me–I’m freaking Mike Piazza!”

And another note

From the Post-Dispatch today:

La Russa, asked how Marquis should approach this start, said, only half in jest, “If it was me, I would approach it like it was the last start of my life and if I lose that game, I’m going to die.

“You don’t want to die, do you? Of course, I hit under .200 and nobody ever played me.”

Meanwhile the Cubs, trying to win their second game out of their last fifteen,

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just gave up a three-run homer to Mikey P., turning a 3-1 lead into a 4-3 deficit.

Life outside the diamond is a wrench

There’s one former Dodger in the title, and another former Dodger alluded to in the lyrics, and half of was in the audience, so of coursePiazza, New York Catcher” was performed in Los Angeles — even though Stuart Murdoch had to refer to a cheat sheet a couple of times for the lyrics. Of course, it now refers to a bygone era, but replacing “New York” and “Mets” with “San Diego” and “Padres” would break the rhythm.

Incidentally, $30 for a concert, not including the Ticketmaster “convenience” charges that brought it up to nearly $45, and I didn’t even get to sit down! Baseball is truly your best entertainment value, although it’s somewhat unlikely that you’ll hear a lot of Scottish art-school alterna-pop at a baseball game. (But if you are very lucky, you will hear “Walk Away Renee” — referred to in “Piazza, New York Catcher” — played on the organ.)

Which reminds me…only two weeks till the season starts.

Important background information

For those of you who will be watching the All-Star Game tonight, there’s a bit of information about tonight’s National League battery that you should know:

About four years ago, Roger Clemens hit Mike Piazza in the head with a pitch. And then later, in the World Series, Piazza broke his bat on a pitch and the head of the bat flew onto the infield, CAUSING CLEMENS TO ANGRILY TOSS IT IN PIAZZA’S GENERAL DIRECTION!!!!!!!!!!!*

I felt like I ought to pass that on, because I was worried that Joe Buck and Tim McCarver might not think to mention the incident tonight, or show the clip, or mention the incident, or show the clip, or mention the incident, or show the clip, or mention the incident. They might also not think to mention that Clemens and Piazza have put it all behind them.

*I know that using all caps on the Internet is thought to be rude, because it’s considered to be like shouting. But I used all-caps anyway, because the story was so big that I HAD TO SHOUT!!!!!

Original comments…


Dan: Also, mind you, Piazza was something like 5-for-12 off Clemens with four or so homers before Clemens nailed him in the head. So it wasn’t like Clemens accidentially hit him… he had no desire whatsoever to face him. Clemens remains a redneck asshole, all these years later.

I will submit, however, that perhaps my favorite Clemens memory: back in 1986, before I had genuine hatred for the guy. The Mets had just won the World Series (I’m pretty sure this was after Game 7, not 6) and they cut to Clemens in the dugout, head in hands, weeping. Good for him, that loser asshole baby.

Levi: You know what I bet they won’t show? I bet they won’t show those old Pert Plus ads that Piazza used to do when he had all that great hair.

Thinking about those commercials makes me realize even more clearly how great the ads with Piazza and Alf are: who would have thought that Madison Avenue could top the image of Piazza’s freshly-conditioned hair flowing in slow motion? Yet they did, and they did it by reviving a long-dead rubber-suited Melmackian whom no one had given a thought to in decades.

maura: i dunno, piazza was looking pretty shampoo-ad ready at the press meet and greet yesterday. i wish i could find a photo somewhere…


I’d hit it.

maura: woo!