Monthly Archives: April 2010

Field of Rutabagas

Here we are, hiking up from a lower parking lot to the Dodger Stadium gates, and Mikey picks the wrong time to push every one of my buttons.

“Give me a good reason why we’re not in St. Louis.”

“Because the first place Pirates are here, and none of us want to see your damn Phillies, so shut your hole before I—”

BAM! His fist hits my right cheek, I bounce off a teenage Dodger fan with a big foam finger, tumble onto my back—and the 4-D dice I’ve had in my back pocket clatter across the warm asphalt.

“Are you kiddin’ me?” he yells, “You had those the whole time??” The rest of the group is staring at me too as I sit up, feel my chin for a pulse.

“‘Course I did…Why do you think we’re still showing up at the best games every damn day—”

“You freakin’ doofus!” He raises his foot. I grab the three smaller dice but Mikey’s shoe-boot slams down on the 20-sider. The parking lot flashes twice around us, vanishes—

—and we’re suddenly lying in warm piles of dirt and roots and green leaves. Continue reading

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Can’t Get There From Here

Seamus Headley back with ya. It’s been a rough couple weeks stalling Doc Sheila on the all-important meeting at Patriot Act Inc. which we finally had today, mainly because I had no freaking idea why Gip and his cracker patch vanished from our funny farm in the first place, and wasn’t sure how to even bring the subject up with the Big Boys, let alone the tools at C.O.M.B. I told you about the last time. The nice thing is I got to spend some quality hours with Doc Sheila, who in spite of her glasses and starchy outfits has kind of a bottled-up sexy thing going on. Continue reading

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Crunchy Good Numbers

Gonna try to make these stat things a regular feature every other Tuesday. Always nice to know what kind of mirrors the Orioles are winning with.


1.209 Carew, MIN
1.079 Gamble, CHX
1.048 Yaz, BOS
1.047 Brett, KC
1.035 Harrah, TEX
1.034 Jackson, NY

.472 Carew, MIN
.363 Yaz, BOS
.358 Cowens. KC
.349 Bell, CLE
.349 Lynn, BOS
.348 Bostock, MIN
.337 Brett, KC
.337 Gamble, CHX Continue reading


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A Tale of Two Karmas

LOS ANGELES—Yeah, we’re still out here for tonight’s second straight Dodger Stadium Game of the Day, and Mikey is one happy hoagie because his Phillies are involved, but as far as I’m concerned it’s been two days too many in L.A. I got a wicked smog headache, and I’m sick of eating pita sandwiches with sprouts sticking out of the pitas. Crazy Amy’s idea of fun is dragging us up a canyon road to see the house where Charlie Manson’s creeps killed Sharon Tate and her friends. Worst of all, it sucks to see the ocean and not smell salt in the air.

So I figure it’s as good a time as any to talk about the weirdness surrounding the Orioles and Yankees so far. I’ve watched a lot of ball and played quite a bit of Strat in my time and I’ve never seen such a perfect mirror image of good and bad luck going on. It’s like an evil dice professor is offering them up as examples A and B in some kind of wacked karma science project. Continue reading


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The Mother of All Sundays


Seamus Headley finally confirmed a meeting for us at Patriot Act Inc. next Wednesday morning, which I’m pleased about because it has become nearly impossible to keep the fact we have six missing patients a secret. Lester’s mother appeared today to pay her son a visit, as she always does on Mother’s Day, coming all the way from New Mexico, and was rightfully distressed when I informed her that Lester was off on a “special outing” to Washington, D.C. with the others. She announced she would check into a local hotel until he returned, and there was little I could say to dissuade her.

After she left, I drank my coffee and sat at my computer to think about my own mother. She was a methodical, emotionally distant individual, but there are still times when I drive by Bunny’s Bakery here in town, and smell fresh walnut bread coming out of the oven and think of her regardless.

Chief of Psychiatry
Squallpocket State Hospital Continue reading


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Notes on the Nice Rivalry

ST. LOUIS—Lester reporting again, with Buzz Gip and the others somewhere in the stands. Seeing that two out of my five and maybe six favorite teams are starting a series today, I figured I might take the time to offer up a little numerology about my Cubs and my Cards. Continue reading

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LaGrowing Pains

“Baltimore? How the hell can we be back in Baltimore??”

It’s Mikey’s big mouth again, and this time I shove him against a brick wall. “These are my 4-D dice, Mikey, and if I say the best games the next two days are gonna be White Sox ones, first in Birdville and then in Chicago, then that’s where the hell we’re gonna be.  So shut your Philly hole and enjoy yourself.”

“Right on!” says Friendly Fred.

“Kick his ass, Gipper!” says Crazy Amy.

“The chances of two straight White Sox games—and three out of four, I should add—are less than ten percent,” adds Lester, “and because I’m a big fan of theirs, you should let me report the action.”

I tell him I thought he was a Cubs, Cards, Royals and Twins fan, and he gives me a very creepy look. “Oh no, I’ve always been a White Sox fan…Carlton.” I turn away and see we’re two blocks from Memorial Stadium.

“Good, Lester.  Then knock yourself out.” Continue reading

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Lost in Wahooland

I could’ve seen this one coming. On our crazy ’77 road trip we haven’t been ending up anywhere we thought we would, so Cleveland seems like the perfect icing on the cake—er, lake.

From the moment we wake up on these frigid benches in Edgewater Park and Mikey sees Lake Erie and yells out, “Jersey shore!” the day is just plain weird. We find a neighborhood called Slavic Village and have a fat-tastic late breakfast at this corner market/cafe with old ladies making pierogies in the back room. Then we have one argument after another with Mikey because he wants to either go to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame (which doesn’t open for another 18 years) or see the Raspberries play at the Agora Ballroom, even though the band broke up two years ago. Continue reading


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From Busan With Love

Ahhh, nothing like kicking back at a Lotte Giants game with a kosher kimchee dog, a cold, frosty Hite beer and a show-stopping cheerleader performance between innings—or as in the video below, into the next one.

I remember going to Anaheim Stadium some years back when Disney briefly owned the team.  Before the game they had freshly scrubbed, Up With People-style cheerleaders doing what can only be described as suggestive square dancing atop the dugouts, and fans looked like they were ready to either scream or faint or flee the premises.

No such problem here. In fact, dance all you want, because at South Korean ballparks, it’s always the 1970s. Or 1960s. Or 1980s. Or some decade I can’t really place.  Kind of makes you question the entertainment value of a sausage race, doesn’t it?

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The Baltimore Minimalists


I was forced to meet with Seamus Headley last night in a nondescript parking lot adjacent to a nondescript warehouse in the old industrial section of North Squallpocket. As yet, no one else at the hospital is aware that our six patients have mysteriously disappeared, thinking they either escaped out an unlocked window, or are off receiving shock treatments in a far chamber of the facility. Continue reading


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