Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dallas' Running Diary of the Padres v. Cubs Game 5/22

         First off let me say that I have waited so long to put this up because I have been sick, and nothing seems fun, especially typing. That being said…

         This was my first diary written while at the game. I love going to live baseball games. There is really nothing like it. And on top of that there is nothing like going with a bunch of friends who also enjoy and appreciate the game. The day started with fellow Kept Faith columnist Josh Elwell sending out a text asking who would be interested in going to the Pads/Cubs game tonight to see Peavy V. Zambrano? It was Zambrano’s first game back from the DL (He is on my fantasy team, and when you get a chance to see your fantasy players live, you always take it.) and it was Peavy’s first start after rejecting the horrible trade to the White Sox, AND there were post-game Friarworks. I was in, as were many others. 

         I met up with Josh and his brother Justin at 6pm to watch batting practice. We placed ourselves in the outfield to try and get some balls. We had no luck, but we did talk plenty of shit to Milton Bradley and kept calling some random bench player Cole Hamels and/or Mark Bellhorn. He was neither. We laughed hard and he couldn’t hear us. Oh, heckling. Josh bought everyone nosebleed seats that came with a free hotdog and soda. Sweet. While waiting for the others we went to the park in the park and ate our free hotdog and enjoyed our free soda. Justin doesn’t eat meat (he likes soccer.) so he gave Josh the extra dog. We then played tinfoil catch.

         About ten minutes later we met up with fellow Kept Faith columnists Sean O’Donnell and Joe Chandler. Also with them were Sean’s girlfriend and friend Ryan and Joe’s girlfriend. It had been awhile since this many of us went to a game together and it's been a few years since we sat so far away. I will admit that since the Padres opened Petco Park I have been a seat snob. I have had season tickets twice that have both been very close Outfield seats, and when I wasn’t sitting there I never sat beyond Field level. Yes, I became what I hated and I loved it. However, when we went to The Murph we always sat in deep right field and would always scoot up to open seats a bit closer. We loved it back there because the seats were cheap, people were drunk and everyone and I mean everyone heckled. The moment we sat down in our nosebleeds all this came rushing back to me and I couldn’t have been happier. Everyone was eating their 5 for 5’s, yelling at everyone and talking to each other. I felt at home. And then first pitch:


Peavy is welcomed to the mound with a huge applause. We love when our stars reject trades. He strikes out the side in his first audition for the Cubs.


Tony Gwynn Jr. is starting in CF and gets a thunderous applause. Before he walked up to bat they showed a highlight reel of his Dad during the 1984 season. Right before he bats! No pressure Junior, nice timing Pads – AWWKKKKWWWWAAAARRRDDDD! He walks.

A pitch hits my baby boy Eckstein. What the hell?! I’m about to charge the mound. I’m willing to give him a ride to the hospital, or anywhere for that matter. He’s fine. Takes his base. What a guy!

Scott Hairston batting 4th? We have given up. He walks.

Giles up with the bases loaded. He works the count to 3-1 with one outs and HE SWINGS!!! What a retard! This isn’t 1997 – take your pitch! He flies out and Gwynn scores.

Kouz strikes out with two on. Beautiful disaster.



They’re playing the Killers and Justin, who is sitting next to me, is singing along unironically. Did I mention he likes soccer?

They just announced Eckstein is out of the game. Edgar Gonz takes his place and I am ready to leave.

Peavy pegs Bobby Scales in retaliation for Eck. That’s right bitch! You take out our mediocre* player we take out yours!

Some real Chicagoans just walked by me to find their seats. How do I know they’re from Chicago? Well, they were wearing old worn Bears jackets, they were pale, had mullets with bad facial hair. They were either from Chicago or Hemet.


Sean just told me to write down that the new Padre shortstop Chris “Corky” Burke is up to bat. Josh said Chris “E-6” Burke is up. They are both right and he struck out.



Across the aisle right now there is a baby staring at me whose parents dressed it in a sweatshirt with devil horns on top of the hood. I repeat – there is a Satan baby staring at me!

What is up with the last names on the Cubs roster? Hoffpauir, Fukudome, Theriot, Fontenot? It sounds like the discount aisle at BevMo!

Peavy strikes more people out.


The Friar and the “Franken-friar” are dancing on the field right now. I can’t imagine they’d pull this shit at a Red Sox game. I’m embarrassed.


Another thunderous applause for Gwynn. He pops out. “He’s a bust.” – Joe Chandler.

Edgar legs out a single.

He is stranded.



Jon Weisbarth, who is a host on channel 4, does all the mid game games on the jumbotron. He is a tool. Words cannot describe how much I dislike him.


Peavy strikes out more people.


Weisbarth is hosting a dance contest on the jumbotron. I’m really starting to miss sitting on my couch and watching Murray Lampert commercials. No wonder people don’t come to games.


I just told Joe a joke. He said that I shouldn’t put it in the diary. He’s right.

This game is moving along at the same pace as the movie Watchmen.

Better joke than the one I told Joe.

PADS – 1 CUBAS – 0


Two wonderful things happened during that break.

1)   In the bathroom they were playing the radio broadcast of the game and I got to hear the beautiful voice of Jerry Coleman.

2)   A kid was kicking his Dad’s leg while his Dad was peeing. Why? Cause Joe and Sean were telling him to.


Peavy has now quietly struck out 8.


Peavy leads off with a single. Thank God we didn’t trade him, or better yet he didn’t trade us.

Gwynn doubles**

Edgar Gonz flies out and Peavy scores.

Just got news Lebron won game 2 by 1 point with 1 second left. Can we trade Peavy for him?***

Pitching change: Aaron Heilman in for Zambrano.

Bad move Sweet Lou, Giles singles in Gwynn and right after I was verbally talking shit about Giles. Apparently I should always be talking shit about Giles.

Kouz grounds out. I really dislike him and his shiny baldhead.

PADS – 3 CUBS – 0


A group 4 rows up from us just held up a huge homemade sign that reads “Peavy 4-life”. Will they still feel that way when he’s a Cub next month? The guy who made the sign also has a Padres tattoo on one arm and a Chargers tattoo on the other. What happens when the Chargers move cities? Is he just gonna tell people he really likes electricity? Oh, and it’s the same guy whose kid was kicking him in the bathroom. This guy clearly does not make good decisions in life.

Peavy strikes out 2 more. I wish Peavy 4-life.


They keep showing Padre highlights from 1984. They just showed Garvey’s game-winning home run in the playoffs. What they didn’t show was the three waitresses and four strippers Garvey took home later that night.


“Corky” Burke grounds out. “I’m not sold on him, anyone else”? – Joe Chandler.

Blanco hits a triple! Viva la Rasa!

Chase Headley pinch-hitting for Peavy.

Peavy’s line: 6 innings, 0 ER, 10 K’s, 2 hits. He’s sooo gone.



Luke Gregerson in to pitch. He cleans up.


I do a mean Twist and Shout. My jumbrotron record stands for itself.


A-Gonz hits a freaking bomb!!! Thank God for A-Gonz. All Padre fans should, regardless of religious affiliation.

Hairston grounds out.

So does Giles.

Kouz strikes out looking.

Seriously, thank God for A-Gonz.

PADS – 4 CUBS – 0


The hat shuffle. I guessed right. Number 3.

Justin is filling out his All-Star ballot and picked Russell Branyan at 3rd. I told you his favorite sport is Soccer right?


Gregerson gives up a hit and a walk. Buddy’s pullin’ the plug.

The three words that have scared me all season: In Comes Mujica!

Mujica strikes out Koyie Hill. Who? And who? Exactly.


“If Chris “Corky” Burke strikes out at Petco and no one notices, did it really happen”? – Joe Chandler.

In an interesting move Mujica bats for himself and actually lightly taps himself a single. They gave him the ball. He should throw it back.

Gwynn strikes out. This ain’t your father’s Tony Gwynn (literally).



Mujica stays in to close it out.

The Satan baby is asleep.

Mujica gives up a hit.

Corky gives up the other hit.

Heath Bell comes running in. I’m not sure if he was even called in. He runs hard. We’re still searching for a theme song. Nick’s woman says it should be “Saved by the Bell”. Once this is mentioned out loud, everyone agrees.

I have stopped writing as I was standing up cheering. It was not an easy save but Bell got it done. I’m really proud of how everyone has handled Trevor’s departure. No one really wanted to breakup cause we had history, and this new girl is a bit big, but boy she sure is fast!



The Footnotes:

*I say “mediocre” because although I love David Eckstein, and have ever since his days with the Angels, he is not going to go into the hall of fame. Although I think players like him should. He was a World Series MVP and is known by everyone who plays with him as the hardest working guy on the field. He’s the Rudy of Pro ball. Or as Nick calls him the Poor Man’s Pete Rose. He will never be called a great ballplayer, but he’ll always be good. Hence using the word “mediocre”. I like him for the same reason I loved Eric Davis. Make sense?

**When it was announced Tony Gwynn, Jr. would be starting I told everyone who would listen that he was going to hit a double. Being right is awesome. But, while I’m on the subject and I know Joe feels the same way; why are we treating this kid like he is the second coming of Tony Gwynn, Sr. (Although yes, technically he is exactly that.)? He doesn’t want that either. When he first came over he asked to be called Anthony Gwynn. They declined that. Then he asked to have “Jr.” on the back of his jersey. They just happened to forget to do that. And they announce him as “Tony Gwynn” which in turn makes everyone stand up and applaud, because we’ve been taught since we were kids to do that every time we hear that name. Problem is Tony Gwynn, Jr. is not very good. He was sent down to the minors last year by the Brewers and has never hit above .259 in his pro-career. We traded for him to mask the Peavy trade that was supposed to happen the same day but didn’t. I sincerely hope that Anthony does well in a Padre uniform as every fan does, which is why he will get a very long grace period. But, what happens when this kid fails? Given his track record he most likely will. We don’t want another Dale Berra or Billy Ripken situation on our hands. We all want him to succeed for the sake of the team and his father, but don’t try and trick us into cheering for a career .248 hitter. We already did that with Josh Bard. Time to move on.

***I realize it was a dumb joke, but then realized all the odd similarities that there are in that joke. Peavy was going to be traded to the White Sox. Lebron is considered by many to be the best Basketball player in the game and won this years MVP and wears the number 23 – all things he shares with the great Michael Jordan, who also played baseball for the White Sox. Sometimes my jokes work on many levels. Most of the time they work on no levels.

The Padres are on a tear right now winning 11 of their last 12! We’re one game over .500! Let’s enjoy this and Peavy while they last! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

July Live

I’m not paying to see the Padres live unless they are relevant after July 1st. If somebody needs me to go to a game, I will accept a ticket, but I will probably have something better to do. This is a completely reasonable way to consume sports. If I choose to see a band in a live setting it is usually because I love their latest record. If their latest record sucks, I’m probably not going to go. If I loved a band in 1998 and they have put out crap for a decade, I’m probably not going to support the continuation of their demise. In music, baseball, and in life, great lineups always change.

After the 2008 Padres’ abortion of a season, I don’t feel like I should pay good money to watch something for entertainment that isn’t truly compelling. What is dynamic about Nick Hundley? Nothing yet! For baseball to be interesting live, it is crucial for me to be engaged with the game in front of me compounded with being able to constantly think about the division race between innings. I don’t feel like I can even do that before July and respect myself, especially if we aren’t running away with it.

A lot of people think that this doesn’t matter. Well, these people are stupid. These are the same people who in the beginning of the season always fall in love with some hard working new guy who plays seemingly the right way. They say, “oh yeah, the Pads only have one pitcher that matters, but like the game is so sacred and beautiful and relaxing and that Josh Bard…uh well, I just like that guy, you know? He gets what the game is all about.” Ken Burns and Josh Bard can go fuck themselves. Every game is beautiful. Hockey is the best sport live, football is the best sport on TV, women’s tennis is the best sport to watch girls wear short skirts and grunt, and baseball is the best sport to watch when your team sucks. Well I want more. I want the small picture and the big picture to be equally as interesting.

Predictably, it doesn’t look like the Padres will be a compelling product in July. I know that now, and it feels good to be honest with myself about a team that doesn’t really respect me. I don’t care how great David Eckstein is because I know he is not that he isn’t a player that matters when the ball is actually in play. He is the best player in MLB at fostering fake grit that probably gets your dead WW2 grandpa’s dick hard from beyond the grave. Actually, I might have to go to game early this year because I might throw my remote through my TV the next time Mudcat waxes on about Eck’s “old school makeup” followed by a quote from the movie Old School. Shut it Cueball! I’LL TAKE MANNY BECAUSE MANNY HAS PUBES!

I always hope I’m wrong in May. I’m a Padre fan for life. Living in a city that doesn’t really have seasons, this is the time of year where I’m extremely negative about the future of my team. They give me that. I know summer is coming when hope starts to feel stupid. However, I hope I eat my words, because I’m hungry. Put me in my place friars…I would love for that place to be Petco. If not, have a great summer. KIT! And I hope you change.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dallas' Running Diary of the Padres v. Dodgers Game 5/3

So, I was going to do a running diary of this game and then decided this morning I wouldn’t because I was pretty wrecked from a very fun weekend. HOWEVER, after watching most of the first inning I cracked open the computer and have already got some shit to say. I missed the top of the first inning but we struck out, popped out and grounded out, so who cares:



I’m half way through the inning and the Padres are already down 3 runs! Chad Gaudin is making his second start for the Pads and is showing why he’s been released or traded more than he’s started in his career. The Dodgers scored their 3 runs by doing something we were doing when we were winning – playing fundamental baseball! We have lost our way. My roommate Travis has just walked out to go fold laundry.

Gaudin nails former Friar and current asshole Mark Loretta with two outs and Loretta heads down to first.

Gaudin strikes out Brad “I’ve Actually Never Been Good” Ausmus and the inning is over. Thank Jesus.

End of the Inning:



The Padres play a commercial for a promotional night they are doing during the upcoming home series versus the Reds (I’ll be going.) in which you can get a free Padres 6-pack cooler. This is a great promotion, but it’s also a big slap-in-the-face reminder that we can’t tailgate anymore. Petco kind of sucks.



A-Gonz leads off with Chad “I Sound Like I’m A Villain From Animal House” Billingsley. A-Gonz flies out. He is a villain.

Chase Headley up and he legs out a double that drops down the Right Field line.

One out, one on second.

Edgar Gonz in the lineup for Kouz who is taking a day off to think about things. I have always liked Edgar the same way I liked Chris Gwynn.

Channel 4 just showed a shot of Jane Seymour “Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman” in the stands, and right after that Edgar Gonz lines a double through the glove of Juan Pierre, Headley scores. Wow, Dr. Quinn is a miracle worker.

Nick Hundley up. Pops up. Two down.

Luis Rodriguez grounds out. Three outs.



Fidel Castro singles to start of the bottom of the inning: Wahoo!

Billingsley pops a bunt behind the plate and Nick HUNDLEY MAKES A SWEET ASS CATCH! Oh man, that was gorgeous! Hundley could be a great player in a couple of years – after we trade him.

Juan Pierre (yes, that is a pro baseball player’s name.) grounds into a double play.

End of Inning:




Chad Gaudin strikes out to start the inning. Hmm…Chad Gaudin and Chad Billingsley, it’s like the ultimate team of douche bag seniors from any 80’s movie about high school.

Giles, who is batting .154, pops up. Way to go champ!

My golden boy Eckstein takes a 4-pitch walk. I’m glad someone is watching pitches!

Jody Gerut again swings at the first pitch! STOP DOING THAT! Grounds to first and the inning is over. My little boy is stranded.



Mark Grant is a little lost this game. He’s been a little lost during this losing streak. I think this is really where Matty V. came into help. He just finished a minute long stretch talking about flip-down sunglasses.

Grant then goes into a rant about how the Blue Jays should go back to their old uniforms. I agree since I was on the Blue Jays in little league and kept my hat until it didn’t fit anymore. BUT, the Padres should also go back to the old brown and gold uniforms. Come on Grant – say it, you wuss!

Gaudin strikes out Matt “Shawn” Kemp to end the inning.




Quick ups, nothing notable happens except we look baffled by the game of Baseball.



Gaudin strikes out former Astro Mark Loretta.

Another former Astro (and Padre) Brad Ausmus is up. I’m pretty sure Ausmus was supposed to retire with Bagwell and Biggio but forgot as he was too busy working on his lifetime batting average of .252! Gaudin walks him.


Mark Grant just reminded me why I like him: After Chad Billingsley just popped out he said “He looked more like Barbara Billingsley on that swing.”

Inning over:




Hundley flies out to center.

Luis Rodriguez strikes out.

Chad Gaudin walks. It kinda sucks that our pitcher is the only one watching pitches.

Giles, after a walk to the pitcher, swings at the first pitch and flies out to left. WHAT THE EFF?! I’m sorry, I was a big Giles supporter, but so far this year he has looked horrible. He used to be able to take pitches and have a great OPS, but now, he just looks like he doesn’t care. I bet we trade him. I’m sorry – I hope we trade him.



Of course after I talk shit about him Giles makes a great catch to rob James Loney and end the inning. Shut up.




Little Davey singles up the middle. Blush.

Gerut flies out to left center.

A-Gonz strikes out while Eckstein steals second with a big smile on his face and mine.

Headley walks.

Wild pitch, Eckstein and Headley advance to 3rd and 2nd respectively.

Edgar Gonz up. The tension has mounted and Edgar Gonz walks. Bases loaded with two outs.

Hundley is now up and I swear if he swings at the first pitch I’m throwing my laptop at the screen. Three straight strikes and Hundley is out swinging. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAHHHHHH!



Gaudin strikes out Kemp again.

Former Brewer Mark Loretta flies out to right.

Brad Ausmus singles over the head of Davey Eck. Not hard – he’s 4ft. tall.

Castro singles to left and somehow Ausmus hustles to third.

They’re letting Billingsley bat for himself. (Please read the following sentence like a bitter 17-yr old homosexual male.) Such a Torre move. And just like everything in Torre’s life – it all works out and Chad singles Ausmus home. Shit.

Gaudin is done. Buddy Black making a change for a pitcher named Arturo Lopez. He’s making his 2nd major league career appearance. I smell trouble.

Juan Pierre loops one to center and Castro scores. Told you, my nose never lies.

Orlando Hudson hits a 2-run double and I am spent. Who is Arturo Lopez? The guy who just raised my blood pressure by 10 points, that’s who.

Loney pops up and the inning is over. Ah, if it wasn’t the afternoon, I'd be 4 deep by now!

End of inning:




Does anyone feel the way I do that Dodger stadium sucks? I hate that place. Broadcasters always talk about how beautiful it is and I don’t see it. The area around it is lame, the parking is horrific and you can’t walk around the stadium. It also looks like it was designed by the guy who designed the original People Mover for Disneyland.

Giles, trying his best to get back in my good graces, hits a homerun. He’s getting there, but not yet.

Even little Davey is failing on me. Strike out.

But, honestly Dodger stadium is a shit hole.



You know what Dodger stadium does have that Petco doesn’t (Besides gang fights in the parking lot.)? An organ for ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’. I miss that organ.

Luis “G-Baby” Perdomo in to pitch and he quickly sits down the first two batters. I know last time I rode Perdomo, but he’s young and will make mistakes. I hope we can keep him around this season because I actually think he’ll work it out.

Former Red Stocking Mark Loretta up to bat. He grounds out.

End of the inning:



I hate Fosters Farms commercials. Can we do something about that? They’re more annoying than the Aflac spots.



Will Ohman in to pitch for the Doyers.

Gerut smacks a homerun to right. I knew I liked him.

A-Gonz singles through the whole in center. They shifted him and he shifted them! Ha!

And just like that Joe Torre comes out to pull the hook on Ohman. As Mark Grant just said “Oh Man!”, eww. Torre hangs out with Mafia guys, right? He has to. 1) He’s Italian 2) He was the man in Yankee land and 3) He killed a guy.

Ramon Tronscoso in to pitch for the Dodgers.

Headley up with one on and no outs. He strikes out looking.

Edgar up to bat. He’s battling and is the ONLY one who has been doing so in this game. Tear, he flies out to right.

Nick Hundley up with two down and one on. Swings at the first damn pitch AGAIN! Ground out.



Perdomo still on the mound and Brad Ausmus is up to bat.

Ausmus grounds out to short.

Loretta flies out to center.

Casey Blake pinch-hitting. I always liked Casey Blake and wished he became a Padre. He’s not that good anymore, so we’ll most likely get him in two years. He pops out.

Inning over:




Last chance for romance.

Luis Rodriguez up. He flies out the right.

Scott Hairston in to pinch-hit. He grounds out to first.

Brian Giles flies to Left.





Man, that one hurt. That one really hurt. The Pads have now lost five in a row and have dropped from the top to the bottom of the division in less than a week and a half. I know it’s early and we all knew the Pads were overachieving. No one was really under the impression that we’d go to the playoffs or something, but it’s like I said in the last game recap: It was fun to watch because we were playing old school baseball and looking good doing it. Taking pitches, moving runners, forcing the walks and then taking advantage. But, what happened is what I was afraid of, we lost a couple games in a row and then started to press and get off-balance. We look a lot like last years Padres and that ain’t good. All I asked for this season was to watch fun baseball not winning baseball. I was going into it knowing we would not contend and being okay with that. I’m not okay with watching the team I love lug around the field like a bunch of Goth kids who just got told they had to run the mile in P.E. I need this team to pick up the pace and go back to doing what made them good in the beginning of the season: Fundamentals. I mean FUN is right there in the word!


See ya next week.