Here’s a scorecard as kept by baseball announcer/television writer Ken Levine, whose work has been referred to on this blog before (he co-wrote the “Dancin’ Homer” episode of “The Simpsons,” mentioned here early on).
In the opening segment of last night’s episode of “The Simpsons” — the episode that was incessantly promoted during Fox’s baseball coverage — an attempt to speed up a baseball game ends with the entire universe being destroyed, so there.
Actually, the whole thing was completely unbelievable, because it depicted a World Series game, broadcast by Fox, that was not only being played during the day, but also had Harry-Shearer-imitating-Vin-Scully doing the announcing, rather than Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Come to think of it, if the universe is going to be destroyed anyway, that wouldn’t be the worst way to go out.
First of all, on last night’s “Simpsons,” astrology was described as “the Tampa Bay Devil Rays of the sciences.” True enough.
Now, then, a while back, someone asked about baseball trips this summer. Sorry to say Levi and I aren’t doing a big baseball road trip this year like we did last year. But — unless gas goes above $4.00 a gallon — Jason and I have a Western trip planned for July, involving fewer games than the trip last year…
Thursday, July 7: St. Louis at Arizona
Friday, July 8: Memphis at Albuquerque (Pacific Coast League, class AAA)
Saturday, July 9: Salt Lake City at Colorado Springs (another PCL game)
Sunday, July 10: San Diego at Colorado
We’d have done a slightly longer trip, but the baseball schedules didn’t permit (for one thing, that’s leading into the All-Star break for both MLB and the PCL).
Now, I also happen to know that Levi and Stacey are visiting New York next month with friends from the U.K.; I assume either the Yankees or the Mets will be in town, but their schedule might be filled with other plans. (The two minor-league teams in NYC won’t be playing yet, since they’re short-season Class A.)
And I have also suggested a fair number of potential itineraries to Levi and Stacey that would work if they wanted to visit southern California and see the Dodgers, Angels, and Padres. Now, Levi’s predictable enough that I know his top choice would be the last weekend in July, when the Cardinals are in town to play the Dodgers, but he hasn’t made a decision yet on whether or not he can make it then (or ever).
As far as I know, my first major-league game attendance this year is going to be two weeks from tonight, to see the first-place Dodgers play, that’s right, the first-place Washington Nationals on May 2nd. Well, maybe they won’t be in first place in two weeks, but whatever. The post-Opening Day column in the L.A. Times about how horrible the Dodgers were going to be this year is now but a distant memory.
Levi: I just this morning purchased several tickets in a terrible, distant-from-the-plate (maybe not even in Queens!) section of the upper deck of Shea Stadium to see the Cardinals play the Mets on May 14th.
Jim: From what I know about Shea Stadium, sounds like you’ll have a very good view of the underside of airplanes.
Things seen in “Dancin’ Homer,” one of my favorite “Simpsons” episodes, that we will probably experience on this trip:
- The Capital City Goofball, or at least his real-life equivalent, the Phillie Phanatic
- A domed stadium so quiet, you can hear every individual smart-ass remark (in Montreal; of course, many of the remarks will be in French)
Things from that episode which I hope to experience on this trip:
- An advertisement for a savings and loan proclaiming it “Safe from 1890-1986; 1988-“
- A grounds crew/bullpen cart shaped like a baseball
- A live organist playing “Baby Elephant Walk” with a reggae beat
- The intersection of 4th Street and D
Things I hope we don’t experience:
- A 26-minute-long version of the national anthem
- Seats in the upper upper upper mezzanine
The Sports Illustrated cover curse strikes again! The Devil Rays have a losing record since the “10 things that are awesome about baseball” issue came out last Thursday with their name mentioned on the cover (2-4), and now with his blown save today, Eric Gagne is not quite so awesome anymore. The other items specifically listed: “Perfect Randy Johnson,” “Yankee Economics,” and “Must-see Barry Bonds.” So let’s see: Randy Johnson gets hypnotized into thinking he’s a chicken, Barry Bonds falls into a bottomless pit…