I’ve read a few things, from several sources, about how October is a great month for sport.  I can understand it, but I can’t tap into it.

Given the choice between college football and nothing, I will watch college football.  But I went to a college where the only organized team–playing soccer–allowed a drum circle to break out on a corner of the playing field.  So understand, there was no NCAA affiliation.

I’ve never been much of a fan of hockey, and that’s my fault, not hockey’s.  I can’t get behind the three periods, the power plays.  Some of the rules seem beyond arbitrary.  I relished in the lockout a couple years back; also my fault.  But that was Dolan-related glee at misery; I figured with the Knicks gagging, the Rangers idle, and boxing losing ground by the yard to mixed martial arts, the Dolan family would soon back out of poor investments, and stick to duping people with their shoddy cable service.

I used to be a basketball guy.  I was a Bulls fan for twelve years, starting in 1988, and lost track of them and basketball when I went off to school.  (Friends of the blog will know that Bennington doesn’t provide rooms with cable hookups; antenna reception ranged from laughable to starkly impossible.)

I love football, and though I’ve made a pact to root for the Jets this year, I’m looking forward to being unaffiliated next year; I don’t know why I was fighting it–it’s the place to be.  However, football mainly occurs on Sundays, with a game played regularly on Mondays.

What the hell am I supposed to do with my Tuesday night?  Or my Wednesday night?

I sorely needed baseball tonight.  Making a creative breakthrough in the wee hours of the morning only to have to leave that work and spend the day digging through eighteen months of expense reports was enough to make me put my head through a brick wall; coming home to a corrupted DVR copy of an early episode of The X-Files and… well, that’s it.  That’s all I had for fresh entertainment.  I can’t sink into a movie after a frustrating day; that’s not where my mind goes.  My mind goes to athletic skill.  Plays at the plate.  Monstrous catches and cannon-fired relay throws to third.  Busting heads, in a manner more gentlemanly than hockey.

(Speaking of baseball and gentlemen, you know that remote Conan O’Brien did once upon a time, where he played at being an 1860s baseballer?  It was his all-time favorite bit for his old show, and he presented it again during the last week of Late Night With Conan O’Brien.  Remember the woman he was so fond of–Nell?  He called out her name before managing a hit?  I went to college with her.  Nell Stewart. 

It wasn’t an act.

So now, if I ever run into Conan O’Brien on the street, I have something to say.)

Baseball returns tomorrow, in the Russian nesting doll form of the League Championship Series.  Tonight, on the eve, I’m caught up in the anxiety of impending loss.  There’s this, then the World Series, then three or four months of The Barren Wastes.  This glass of scotch is helping, sure, but scotch is not an appropriate long-term coping mechanism.  Writing?  I’m red-lining on my maximum daily output as it is.  Holidays?  Bogus. 

I think I’m stuck, until the return of Lost and Chuck.  If I mix in a night out for dinner; I think I can cover the week quite nicely, until the return of warmer weather.

If you’ll all allow me another tangent, let me say that ABC’s Flash Forward is like heroin.  It makes me tired, disoriented, and violently sick to my stomach, and as much as I plead with my body to avoid it, I wind up back with it.  Dollhouse, at least, is like cocaine, in that for a couple of seconds each episode, it makes me feel sexy.

…That sound, by the way, was me losing half my audience.  If the remaining two persons would care to move to the front, I can turn off this microphone and keep from having to shout.

Your League Championship contenders are:

Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Yankees
Philadelphia Phillies

They are not only presented alphabetically by city, but in my general order of preference, descending. 

I need to see more of Torii Hunter to know why he’d be a bad idea for the Mets, or a good idea for the Mets, or a middling idea for the Mets, or a decent understudy to Jude Law in the umpteenth version of Hamlet, or the guy I want making guacamole out of those tasty Haas avocados I just picked up.  Mmm, Haas avocados…

Besides, if the Angels win, I say we get at least two made-for-TV movies out of it.  I demand casting against type. James Marsden as John Lackey!  Horatio Sanz as Scott Kazmir!  Danny Glover as Mike Scoscia!

Having watched most of the Dodgers-Cardinals series, I find the Dodgers have all of the fight and most of the skill of the Philadelphia Phillies, without the studiously obnoxious fan base and odious, miserable town-as-home.  I’ve made my feelings (scroll to near end) on the Phillies plain; as soon as they learn not to throw up their hands in despair but punch people in the back of the head as those hands come down, they will earn some measure of respect from me.

The Yankees are still New York and they were not the ones who hosed the Twins.  The Twins hosed the Twins, with a little assistance from Phil Cuzzi, who, as reported by Steve Politi of the Star Ledger, was “too close to the [Joe Mauer hit]” to call it right.

I’ve been too close to a burger before shoving it in my mouth, but I have years of training in food consumption.  I’ve always made split-second adjustments and brought medium-well beef, cheese, lettuce, onion, and bun to my chomp-chute without incident.  Even when there were more dinner guests around than usual.

I’ve said my piece about the Phillies.  I can only add that I implore their fan base to chill the hell out.  I would like not to have to think of this ridiculous rivalry anymore.  The Braves are the Mets’ legitimate extended rival in the division; I would like to go back to altering The Chop chant to suit my hilariously vulgar needs without twinges of nostalgia and good feeling.  I’d like to go back to thinking I’d sooner spit on Larry Jones’s grave than applaud him during his last at-bat ever.

…I actually will still applaud Larry Jones’s last at-bat ever.  Part of me will be sad to see him go: he’s been a workhorse for the Braves and for baseball, and quite the serviceable villain.  Part of me will be enormously glad that he’s gone.

(In the nesting doll tradition, let me speak to a certain thing about Larry Jones. It is perfectly acceptable to call the man “Larry” as loud and as often as possible.  It is not, as I’ve seen occur, proper cricket to call the man out for an affair he had over ten years ago.

I’ve been holding that admonition in since 2005.  Hopefully the fan I meant to chastise read this, and is sufficiently chastened.)

So there you are.  Postseason special.  I’ve programmed my television to emit a high-pitched whirring sound whenever Tim McCarver speaks.


As for this:

profilewright2.jpgI’m missing the appropriate tank, the sneakers, and the bat.  The bat I’m buying.  The sneakers I can borrow.  But the tank top?

I’d almost rather Reyes beat me with his bat.