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.

Mr. Headley is as mystified as I am about this incident, but seems to believe that a defect in one of these “4-D dice” apparently caused all the patients to experience the same “backward time surge” when they were thrown en masse. “Cheap-ass Patriot Act Inc. clowns have all their stuff made in Taiwan,” he explained, “What can I say?”

I told him emphatically it is his responsibility to contact or arrange a meeting with me at Patriot Act Inc. to find a way to retrieve my subjects from 1977, and he promised to comply. Two weeks ago I placed no value Mr. Gip’s purported delusions about these dice and the existence of this secret organization Mr. Headley is apparently working for, but it is hard to reject evidence seen with one’s eyes. As long as it is my job to watch over the patients here, I will not abandon them to an uncertain fate in a shallow and unstable age.

Sheila H. Grossinger
Chief of Psychiatry
Squallpocket State Hospital

Game of the Day

BALTIMORE—So I’m perched in the upper rafters here with a bunch of crabcakes, and I’m not talking food. Sherman is still bummed from seeing his Dodgers lose twice, Mikey’s pissed because he woke up in Baltimore without the nudie dancer he went to sleep with in Pittsburgh, Crazy Amy thinks Rick Dempsey’s the least sexiest backup catcher around and he’s starting tonight with Dave Skaggs out, and Fred just wants nothing to do with the state of Maryland because his dad was arrested here once.

So I share a row with good old Lester and his program scorecard, which he’s turned into a number-filled coloring book with a handful of special markers. Kravec’s going for Chicago against Jim Palmer, and Lester does make the quiet game a lot more interesting. He points out, for instance, that the Orioles have weaker hitting numbers than any other team, but are in second place because they’ve managed to score high on his Run Efficiency Per Out Margin Ability Number (REPOMAN). In other words, they get hits when they count.

But for a long time in this one, Palmer doesn’t seem like he’s getting anything. He’s got the Chisox hitless through five, but Bannister leads the 6th with a line single, Spencer walks, and Ralph Garr sizzles a triple down the right field line for two runs. The Birds just have three singles and three walks through six, but a Dauer triple and Dempsey run-scoring grounder (dedicated to you, Amy!) cut it to 2-1.

On the scoreboard, the Royals and Red Sox are having a smashfest in Boston, and Baltimore really needs this game. Meaning it’s time for classic Earl Weaver ball. Maddox walks to start the 8th, Singleton does the same an out later, then Doug DeCinces launches a fly deep to left. Garr runs back and it drops over the wall for a 3-run homer—on one hit. Dal Canton relieves Kravec, but Chicago is shellshocked. Palmer teases them by giving Soderholm a lead double in the 9th, then sticks Gamble, Zisk, and Essian in his jockey shorts and that’s that.

“Where the hell are we waking up tomorrow?” asks Mikey as we exit the stadium, obviously tired of the weird routine. “What’s the matter?” I say, “Don’t you like surprises?” He just about shoves me up against a brick wall. “Surprises are for two-year-olds and weenies,” he says. “I like to know what I’m gonna eat, and drink, what people are gonna say to me, and what air I’m supposed to breathe. Now we better be headin’ back to a Phillies game soon, or I just might get mad.”

“Like I said yesterday, Mikey…we lost the dice.” He frowns, belches out an onion cloud and lets go of me, and I feel four little lumps burning a hole in my back pocket.

CHI 000 002 000 – 2 3 0
BAL 000 000 13x – 4 5 1

W-Palmer L-Kravec HR: DeCinces GWRBI-DeCinces

Other Action, and I mean Action:

at RED SOX 16-15-0, ROYALS 11-17-2
Even though I was five, I seem to remember being at a Royals game at Fenway in real ’77 that the Sox won 17-12. Ah yess…here it is. Anyway, this one almost matches that one.
Jim Colborn’s bid for his greatest season ever is over by the third inning. By then, Rice has homered once to turn around a 2-0 K.C. lead in the 1st off Jenkins, Yaz has hit two out of the park in THE SAME INNING, the second a grand slam (and his 10th of the year), and it’s shockingly 11-3 Boston after three. Gura comes on to surrender solo bombs to Evans, Carbo, and Fisk, and then the Royals still make it a game, torching Jenkins and later Campbell for five doubles, a Brett homer and eight runs of their own in the last five innings—

Oh hell, this’ll take me all night. Take a look at my scoresheet (above) and enjoy yourself.

W-Jenkins L-Colborn HRS: Mayberry, Brett, Rice, Yaz-2, Evans, Carbo, Fisk GWRBI-Yaz

at YANKEES 8-11-1, TWINS 4-6-2
The Big Twin Machine hits a road block in the Bronx, as Nettles redirects a 2-0 deficit in the 1st with a grand salami off Redfern, while Chambliss triples in some 7th inning insurance.

W-Torrex L-Redfern HR: Nettles GWRBI-Nettles

at INDIANS 4-8-0, RANGERS 1-3-0
Doyle Alexander loses his first game because Don Hood is extra special in an unhittable sort of way, missing a CG shutout by just two outs.

W-Hood L-Alexander HR: Blanks GWRBI-Fosse

CARDS 14-17-0, at EXPOS 8-15-1
Junior version of the Fenway game. All seven pitchers used by both sides have nothing, as the Cards choose to hit their three homers with people on base.

W-Underwood L-Bahnsen HRS: Reitz, Freed, Hernandez, Perez, Carter, Valentine GWRBI-Underwood

at PHILLIES 7-7-2, CUBS 4-8-1
Carlton finally wins his first, and Reuschel turns in his only sorry effort so far. Late Philly runs break a 3-3 tie through six, and put them over .500 for the first time this season.

W-Carlton L-Resuchel HRS: Trillo, Schmidt, Johnstone GWRBI-Luzinski

at PIRATES 8-15-0, ASTROS 4-8-1
Holy Honus. I just looked through my past scoresheets and realized that the Bucs’ winning streak is up to NINE! The mystery and magic of Odell Jones is on display in this one, as the ‘Stros can’t get anything going against the worst starter in Pittsburgh’s rotation, while Bannister is hammered (pile-drived?) for nine hits and six runs in less than three innings. The Bucs will be off to Montreal and then points west after this series, where at least their patented miracle walkoffs will be impossible.

at REDS 8-8-1, DODGERS 5-11-0
Not doing the pennant race any favors all of a sudden is L.A., with Rick Rhoden serving up a 2-run shot to Griffey and yet another grand slam, this one to Driessen. Oblivious to all of this is the King of OPS Reggie Smith, who collects a single, double, homer and walk in five trips.

W-Moskau L-Rhoden SV-Sarmiento HR-Smith, Griffey, Driessen GWRBI-Griffey

American League through Tuesday, May 6

Kansas City 16 5 .762
Baltimore 13 9 .591 3.5
Boston 13 10 .565 4
Texas 10 12 .455 6.5
Chicago 9 11 .450 6.5
New York 9 12 .429 7
Cleveland 9 14 .391 8
Minnesota 7 13 .350 8.5

National League through Tuesday, May 6

Pittsburgh 15 7 .682
Los Angeles 12 9 .571 2.5
Cincinnati 11 10 .524 3.5
Philadelphia 11 10 .524 3.5
Houston 10 13 .435 5.5
St. Louis 10 13 .435 5.5
Chicago 9 12 .429 5.5
Montreal 8 12 .400 6


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4 responses to “The Baltimore Minimalists

  1. scottsimkus

    Pittsburgh is on greenies. I’m filing a protest.

  2. The O’s are starting to roll, ’77 is a nice distraction from the shit show they are putting on in 2010. Unfortunately, I’m too young to have seen real winning baseball around here.

    • Distraction is my middle name. But yeah, Jockey Jim Palmer could slide down to the mound from his broadcast booth right now and be more effective than Brad Bergesen. Hang in there, bro. You could be a Cubs fan.

  3. Oh, if only I had a nickel for every time I woke up without the nudie dancer I went to bed with…

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