A Mother for Ya

My First Man Elston

KANSAS CITY—Friendly Fred back at ya. Been a while, huh? Last time we rapped it was end of April up in the Fenway hood, and my Yanks were takin’ it hard from them Bostons, but don’t let me remind myself of that shizz right now. I’ve been busy tryin’ to get over what happened to my honorary soul friend Mikey, and when we pop back in K.C. today, last thing I wanna do is go that stadium again, but my righteous Bombers are can-opening a series here and they have definitely been on the upswing these days.

To help grease my mind, Buzz takes us to this bitchin’ barbeque joint at Brooklyn and 18th called Arthur Bryant’s. Now I’ve had ribs before but nothin’ close to this good, and it doesn’t even graze me when I hear that Royal bad boy George Brett himself eats in the place. Buzz sits next to me in the booth and tells me how he lost his dog back when he was just a nipper, and how all it did was make him tougher, and that I should do the same about Mikey. Not sure it’s him or the Sweet Heat sauce that makes me feel better, but I do decide this Buzz Gip is good people, even for a Red Sox chump.

Headin’ over to the ball park after, to find seats as far from those ghost fountains as we can, I share with the Buzz-man how tough it really is bein’ a Yankees fan. Every day you gotta deal with the rest of the country piling the hate on, and even though the Sox took a boatload of shit for bein’ the last to integrate, the Yanks weren’t too far ahead. ‘Course we were smarter and picked Elston Howard instead of Pumpsie Green, and he was my grandpa’s favorite player for years and years. It just about killed him when he went and helped the Sox win the pennant in ’67, but he had a bunch of great years for us so you can’t diss the guy.

I get the shivers seein’ those fountains again when we hit the stadium parking lot. What kind of field is this anyway, in the middle of rollin’ green nowhere? Yankee Stadium is a real ballpark, stuck in the Bronx across the river from Harlem like it was meant to be. Makes me wanna just burn this place right to the everlovin’ groun—

I know, Buzz, I know. Ain’t cool.

Game of the Days

Like I said, the Yanks have been burning up. Hell, they just took two down in Texasland, against some Ranger fools who took them twice in New York. And they got Gullett on the hill tonight against Pattin, and he ain’t no damn general.

Joe Zdeb drops a ball with one out in the 1st for a two-base fail, and My Man Thurman bombs one out on the next pitch. 2-0 Us! The Munsonizer’s at it again in the 3rd, hittin’ a two-out double, scorin’ on a Reggie single and then Reggie crankin’ the wheels around on a double by my new man George Zeber.

Otis gets a K.C. digit back with a single, but then it’s Piniella Time, as he spanks one out the opposite way and the Yanks are up 5-1! ‘Course I gotta be crazy in the head to think this game’s gonna be easy. Nothin’ is in the Land of Freaky Mojo they call K.C. Brett, McRae and Wathan open their 4th with singles, Zdeb and Mayberry walk, after two outs Otis scratches a single and Cowens walks and guess the shit what? Game’s tied.

Then it’s four innings of leave-on-base scorelessness, and I got my hood over my head ’cause it’s too hard to watch. After Piniella walks with one gone in the 9th, though, Pattin hits Chamblss on the knee with a pitch and he’s gotta leave. Did I just see that? Not only is it just the second time a Yank’s been hit all year, but it’s our first injury! It ain’t bad, it’s a GOOD sign! Things could be normalizing out! Sure enough, My Man Roy White whacks one high and deep to right, where it bounces off the fence just over Cowens’ glove for a double. My Man Mickey Who Never Does a Thing Rivers then slaps a single the other way, and we’re up 7-5!

Frank White singles to start the last of the 9th, and my gut starts doin’ its cement mixer thing. I know Billy is itchin’ to bring Sparky in, but we can’t let that happen. Lyle’s been downtown crud. So Gullett’s left in, and whiffs Otis, gets Cowens on the fly, and just has to beat BBQ Brett for the game. He whiffs his ass! Chambliss has to sit out two games, but who cares! We got it back, brothas, and look out you first divisioners!  See y’all on the flip side.

NYY 202 100 002 – 7 10 0
K.C. 001 400 000 – 5 7 1

W-Gullett L-Pattin HRS: Munson, Piniella GWRBI-White

Two Days of Action should do ya:

RED SOX 11-10-1, at WHITE SOX 8-17-3 (10 innings)
If I was a Chicago brother I might’ve done myself in after this. Reggie Cleveland’s down 6-0 after two innings, but Wood, Dal Canton, Hamilton and LaLousy LaGrow combine to dish out 13 walks for the game and help Boston score six in the 4th, two in the 6th and after Jim Spencer ties the game with a 2-run homer off Campbell in the last of the 9th, three more in the 10th, coming on three walks and a bases-wiping double by Lynn.

W-Campbell L-LaGrow HR: Spencer GWRBI-Lynn

at CUBS 6-11-0, PIRATES 5-15-0
Another whacked one. The Bucs beat up Bonham all day, steal four bases, but lose thanks to two good-timed three-run rallies by the Cubbies. Sutter gives up four hits in the 9th but somehow gets the save by gettin’ Ott on a fly with two brothas on.

EXPOS 5-7-1, at DODGERS 3-6-0

L.A. can’t take advantage, with their hitters just plain shaky against Twitchell, whiffing 12 times. Cromartie gives the Expos the win with a pinch 2-run shot in the top of the 9th off Unhappy Hooton.

W-Twitchell L-Hooton SV-Dues HRS: Carter, Cromartie, Cey GWRBI-Cromartie

PHILLIES 5-8-1, at ASTROS 1-4-0
Know who the best Philly pitcher’s been? This Lonborg cat. While he’s smotherin’ the ‘Stros in their beds, the Phils are busy gobblin’ up Lemongello with a big four-run 4th.

W-Lonborg L-Lemongello HR-Luzinski GWRBI-Schmidt

INDIANS 6-10-1, at WHITE SOX 5-10-1
Tight back-and-forth number, won on a sac fly by Grubb. The Chisox ain’t goin’ nowhere fast until My Man Oscar gets back, and Soderholm gets knocked out for a game in this one.

W-Garland L-Barrios HRS: Bochte, Thornton GWRBI-Grubb

RED SOX 9-16-1, at TWINS 2-8-4
Down 9-1 in the 9th, after Boston’s whacked Goltz upside the head for the whole game and the Twins can’t do a fuggin thing with Tiant, Rod Carew is 0-for-4 on the day, and with two outs, two folks have to get on base for him to stretch his 33-game streak. So Bostock doubles. And Wynegar singles. And here’s Rodney, facing Looie DOWN. And there goes a shot double into the gap! 34 straight games!

ORIOLES 3-5-0, at RANGERS 2-10-1
More proof the Birds got some full-time witch doctor in the clubhouse. Singleton goes out for three games, making it three of their outfielders injured at the same time now, and they still win the game when the Rangers leave 12 on base against a pretty bad Grimsley and even more bad Tippy M. And after winning his last two starts, Blyleven loses another spooky one for no reason whatsoever.

W-Grimsley L-Blyleven SV-T. Martinez HR-DeCinces

PIRATES 2-8-2, at ASTROS 1-8-0
Without a doubt, most devastatin’ loss for Houston yet. Niekro takes a 4-hit shutout to the top of the 9th, but after a lead single by the Cobra and a wild pitch, Sambito comes in to force Stargell out of the game. Fregosi grounds out but Robinson singles in Parker. Gonzalez bats for Ott and hits into a force, but then Garner and Taveras single and the Bucs squeak out a killer.

W-Gossage L-Sambito GWRBI-Taveras

at DODGERS 8-9-0, REDS 5-9-0
Cincy’s in bad need of that Oriole witch doctor now. Up 4-0 on another Bench homer, Capilla having shut down the first 13 Dodgers, Garvey singles and Baker homers, Cey singles in two the next inning and we’re tied. Then Geronimo gets knocked out for eight games. Reggie Smith leaves for one, but in true Dodger style, Lee Lacy takes his place and ends the game with a 3-run shot in the bottom of the 9th. The Reds got nothing in their pen; it’s the fourth game Many Sarmiento has lost on a walkoff homer.

W-Hough L-Sarmiento HRS: Bench, Baker, Lacy GWRBI-Lacy

PHILLIES 8-15-0, CUBS 1-9-0
Ron Reed gets his first start in place of Randy Lerch, and guess that worked, huh?

W-Reed L-Burris HR: Maddox

at CARDS 1-5-0, EXPOS 0-5-1
Six in a row for St. Louis, as the Forschmeister rules over an also-fab Jackie Brown show. Templeton’s hit streak ends at 17 but he don’t care.


American League through Tuesday, May 20

Kansas City 23 12 .657
Baltimore 22 14 .611 1.5
Boston 22 14 .611 1.5
Texas 17 19 .472 6.5
New York 15 19 .442 7.5
Chicago 15 19 .442 7.5
Minnesota 13 21 .382 9.5
Cleveland 14 23 .378 10

National League through Tuesday, May 20

Pittsburgh 23 14 .622
Los Angeles 20 14 .588 1.5
St. Louis 20 16 .556 2.5
Philadelphia 17 17 .500 4.5
Houston 17 20 .459 6
Cincinnati 15 18 .455 6
Montreal 15 19 .441 6.5
Chicago 13 22 .371 9

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