I’ve had a bunch of BRPA2004-related items bouncing around my head all week, some new, some forgotten items from our actual trip, but work has been busy. So now, with a free fifteen minutes, a list:

1) Overheard on our way across the Roberto Clemente Bridge to PNC Park, we overheard a kid tell his dad, “We’ll be at the game today, so we won’t have to watch it on TV!”

2) In Pittsburgh, for sale on the street near the ballpark, there was a yellow t-shirt with fake bullet holes on it that read, “Where was Ray Lewis when Joey Porter got shot?” On the back, it read, “Scoring dope for a teammate!”

3) And on a t-shirt I saw outside Comiskey, “Baseball’s not boring. You are.” Luke and I agreed that while the shirt was more or less right, we would neither one wear it.

4) King Kaufman of has been running the Barry Bonds is MVP Stat of the Day for a week or so in his column, running through all the ways in which Bonds is almost lapping the league offensively. It’s been fun–as King Kaufman usually is–so you might check it out. My favorite part of it was a reader’s response to Kaufman’s suggestion that a new term needs to be created to describe second place when it’s as far from first place as is usually the case when you’re looking at Bonds’s stats. A sad Democrat suggested “Mondale.”

5) The Cardinals clinched their fifth division title in nine years Monday while in Milwaukee. According to the Post-Dispatch, several Cardinals after the audience had left climbed to Bernie Brewer’s house, posed for photos, and slid down the slide. I assume Steve Kline was involved.

6) I can’t find the story, but it was also reported that at Monday’s game, Tony LaRussa was nearly taken out by Bratwurst when he came out of the dugout right in the middle of the sausage race. Where’s Randall Simon when you need him?

Original comments…

Jim: It mentions the Tony LaRussa bratwurst incident in the same Post-Dispatch story where it mentions the Bernie Brewer slide incident.

By the way, for those not fortunate enough to be hangers-on: after Levi saw the “where was Ray Lewis when Joey Porter got shot” T-shirt, it was pretty much all he talked about for the rest of the trip. And it’s not even baseball-related, except for the fact that the vendor was attempting to sell it to people attending the Pirates game.

Speaking of which, sad news from Pittsburgh…not baseball-related, but related to a different kind of ball. I know Kevin Martin, subject of the article, from 1998, when I was a member of the Steel City Pinball Association, although I’m not sure if he’d remember me at all. You may note, if you scroll down to the individual standings, that he had a 49-17 record and I was 27-39. He also has enough money to buy warehouses, and a Ferrari.

Levi: The Ray Lewis t-shirt just astounded me with its vitriol and crassness. I mean, it wasn’t even a t-shirt about the team playing that day, or a Pittsburgh team at all–it was a t-shirt about one of the Steelers’ rivals! Talk about unpleasant obsessions.

Toby: You have to understand that the Ravens are actually the original Cleveland Browns. Though the rivalry isn’t as balley-hooed (sp.?) as the Yankees-Sox, there is probably as much animosity between Pittsburghers and Clevelanders.

When I visited Pittsburgh (along with Levi’s sister) a couple of years ago, we left the same day as the first-round playoff game in which the Steelers came back from a huge deficit to beat the “new” Browns.

It was quite evident all across town how Pittsburgh felt about the Browns.

thatbob: “Ballyhooed,” according to Google and

Um, thanks Levi, I had never before seen the sausage race as a metaphor for becoming distracted from our Christian faith by the smaller details of Christian community. That’s because I’m not a batshit crazy Christian looking for a homily metaphor in every moment of modern life! Did you look at It’s jaw-droppingly amazing!