CINCINNATI—So I grab a morning paper as soon as we make a dry landing in Fountain Square, and happen to see an ad for the Southern Ohio premiere of a new “science fiction spectacular” called Star Wars. And suddenly the Reds-Phillies game tonight means nothing.
“How can we not go to this movie?” I ask everyone, “I mean, do we evaporate or something if we skip the baseball game?”
“That movie’s lame,” says Amy, “and haven’t you seen it 65 times by now?”
“No, only 47, but who cares? We’re here on the day it’s opening nationwide! Is that wicked cool, or what?”
“I don’t like spaceship chases,” says Sherman, “They give me vertigo. And the Reds just beat up my Dodgers and I’d rather go watch them lose.”
“Zip it, old man,” barks Amy, “They’re my team now, and when Bill Plummer bats for Bench and wins it with a homer, you’ll be sorry.
“If Bill Plummer even picks up a bat on I’ll eat my dentures—”
“Okay, enough! Far as I’m concerned, as long as we’re in in 1977 we might as well dig on some of the culture, right? I’m up for a cool concert, too, if we run across the right one.”
Amy raises her eyebrows. “Cat Stevens?”
“Cripes, no. I’m thinking more like Talking Heads, or a great punk band.”
They look at me like I have a faucet on my head. “Okay, forget it. I’ll go myself, and we’ll meet here after the game. Lester can score again.”
* * *
The Skywalk Cinemas are right downtown, but when I round the corner I’m shocked to see only about twelve people in line. I side up to a guy in a pink-striped shirt and green pants who kind of looks like he wants to be here. Without saying too much I try and tell him I think this movie will be a gigantic success and there “might even” be sequels down the road.
“Well, I’m just here because the same guy did American Graffiti,” he says, “Do you know if Candy Clark is in this?”
Other people in line are complaining about the ticket prices being hiked to $2.50, and after getting a bucket of popcorn I pick out a seat in an empty row behind two teenage boys.
The movie is fantastic even for the 48th time, but it’s even more fun to listen to the oohs and aahs from the two kids, and on the way out later one says to the other “Darth Vader was the best villain EVER!” I pipe in “Yeah, and it’s amazing he turns out to be Luke’s dad!” before realizing I screwed up. I bolt from the place before I say something dumber, and head back to Fountain Square. I don’t care what happened in that Reds game, there’s no way it beats this.
Game of the Days
Sherman’s right, my guy Bill Plummer doesn’t even get his jock on, but who the fig cares? George Foster belts a two-run homer in the 1st, a two-run homer in the 3rd, a solo shot leading off the 5th, and a three-run ICBM missle in the 6th, for FOUR HOME RUNS and nine RBIs off Larry Christenson! Brusstar tries his luck in the 8th but George rolls out shooting for Number Five with Rose on third.
Too bad Buzz, hope you were happy watching Darth Doofus.
PHL 100 020 010 – 4 8 2
CIN 204 013 21x – 13 14 1
W-Norman L-Christenson HRS: Foster-4 (ties Bench and Carter for NL lead with 13) GWRBI-Foster
Other 5/23 Action:
EXPOS 7-10-0, at PIRATES 4-9-4
The lefty-mashing Montrealers have their way with Candelaria and improve to 5-2 against the Bucs, and Rogers gets some hitting support for the first time in a long while.
W-Rogers L-Candelaria SV-Kerrigan HRS: Carter, Perez, Garner GWRBI-Carter
CARDS 9-14-2, at CUBS 3-10-1
Nine in a row for unstoppable St. Loo, and they’re now ONE-HALF game out of first. Even Rich Reuschel can’t stop them, dishing out two doubles, two walks and a single for five Redbird runs before even getting an out. The Cubs come back with three right away and then thanks to John Urrea are never heard from again.
at ASTROS 2-7-0, DODGERS 1-5-1
I’d say L.A. is in a slump. The Rhoden vs. Richard matchup doesn’t favor them, but it’s still a 1-1 tie in the 7th when Watson cracks a game-winning solo blast.
W-Richard L-Rhoden HRS: Cey, Watson GWRBI-Watson
WHITE SOX 3-6-1 at ROYALS 1-7-1
K.C.’s the other big slumper. Four straight losses now, after they can’t solve Ken Kravec, and their lead over Boston drops to a half game. Larrin LaGrow tries to blow another save but Bannister doesn’t let him, turning a bases loaded DP on Cowens to end the game.
W-Kravec L-Colborn SV-LaGrow HR: Gamble GWRBI-Soderholm
at RANGERS 2-6-0, TWINS 1-6-0
Carew makes us sweat again. Alexander shuts him down the first three at bats, but with two outs in the 8th and Moret in to face him, Rodney rips a single in front of Claudell Washington, and the hit streak reaches 36 games! And…the Twins lose.
W-Alexander L-Zahn SV-Barker
PHILLIES 4-8-0, at REDS 1-2-0
Jim Lonborg is quietly becoming the surprise ace of the league, as he goes to 6-1 and puts a muzzle on Foster and the Reds after yesterday’s butchering. McGraw relieves him in the 8th after he walks three to load the bases, but Bowa turns a nifty DP on Rose to bail him out.
W-Lonborg L-Moskau SV-McGraw HRS: Maddox, Morgan GWRBI-Schmidt
at PIRATES 5-7-0, EXPOS 1-6-0
A Pittsburgh lefty finally takes care of the Expos, and the Pirates stay afloat atop the NL sea.
W-Rooker L-Twitchell HRS: Ott, Oliver
CARDS 13-22-1, at CUBS 3-7-1
Ten in a row. Whatever.
W-Underwood(!) L-Bonham (0-7) HR-Reitz GWRBI-Reitz
at ASTROS 7-13-1, DODGERS 4-14-1
A tough battle, but Houston makes it two straight over the swooning Dodgers. Lemongello even gets a rare win, mostly because he’s gone after five.
W-Lemongello L-Hooton SV-Sambito HRS: Cey, Watson GWRBI-Cabell
at RED SOX 9-11-0, YANKEES 5-12-0
Mike Torrez returns to the scene of his future crime and flat-out sucks. Reggie gives him a 2-0 lead in the 1st with a homer off Jenkins, but Boston gets three right back on an Evans homer, Carbo takes Torrez out twice and the Sox hang on from there, to make it five out of six vs. New York and tie the Royals for first.
W-Jenkins L-Torrez SV-Campbell HRS: Jackson-2, Chambliss, Evans, Carbo-2, Rice GWRBI-Evans
INDIANS 12-16-0, at ORIOLES 1-3-1
Not surprising, with half their lineup still out, the Birds can barley chirp against Jim Bibby. Completely shocking, though, is the complete evisceration of Jim Palmer, who may as well have been out there in his jockey shorts. In five and a third innings he gives up 11 hits and ten runs, including two bombs by Andre Thornton, before Drago and Holdsworth are enlisted for mop-up duty.
W-Bibby L-Palmer HRS: Thornton-2, Fosse, GWRBI-Kuiper!
at RANGERS 7-9-0, TWINS 4-13-2
Per the manager’s instructions, Carew is moved to the leadoff spot against righties, and singles on the first pitch to stretch The Streak to 37 games!! And…the Twins lose. Unable to get a big hit off Adrian Devine, they drop back into last while Texas moves to three games out!
W-Devine L-Redfern SV-Moret HRS: Harrah (14), May GWRBI-May
American League through Saturday, May 24
National League through Saturday, May 24