Beware the Ides of July

CINCINNATI—They’re after me, I know it. I can see all my inmate roommates filing into that great box seat section here at Riverfront before tonight’s game with the Dodgers, and am I ever pissed.

First of all, I was convinced I’d seen the last of that creep Seamus after he tried to put the moves on me a few weeks ago and I put my shoe in his nutcakes, but I also had to take three different buses to get down here from Cedar Point today and almost missed batting practice.

The good news is I’m in a seat way down the right field line next to the Reds bullpen, with a perfect angle on Bill Plummer’s sweet behind. I already told you all how he’s my second favorite backup catcher hunk, and now, if only Seaver could get in trouble for a change, I might get an inning or two of serious squat viewing while he warms a reliever.

Just my luck, the ball game turns into a Tom-Tom club, with John and Seaver both dealing. Reggie Smith cracks out a solo shot right past me in the 1st, but the pitchers take over from there. Actually it’s Seaver who does the taking over, because the Reds lineup abuses John all kinds of ways without scoring a run. Four out of the first five innings they put two guys on base, then get two more singles with two gone in the 6th before Griffey finally ties it with another single.

Then that skinny, weird-looking Foster does it again, mashing homer number 37 leading off the 7th and the stadium goes nuclear. I borrow binoculars from a lady next to me and can make out Seamus half up in his seat, scoping the stands with his binocs and paying no attention to the game. Bench and Concepcion single after the Foster bomb to finally drive John out of the game, and you’d think because we’re outhitting them 13-3 we’d have a huge lead, but then Geronimo bounces into a 4-6-3 on Sosa’s first pitch to prove why we don’t.

Lasorda puts Hough out there for the 8th, and he’s as bad as Tommy John, handing out three walks and a 2-run Bench single to put them away. Smith hits another homer in the 9th, though, and could it be? Is Seaver losing it? C’mon, Sparky, c’mon. They didn’t call you Captain Hook for nothing.

Yes! Sarmiento’s taking off his jacket. And there’s my boy Bill donning his mask, grabbing his glove! I love you, Bill Plummer, I love—

Amy F. Gulliver, a female Reds fan, was arrested last night at Riverfront Stadium during an assault attempt on reserve catcher Bill Plummer in the home bullpen during the 9th inning. No charges were filed, and Miss Gulliver’s $500 bail was quickly paid by a couple of alleged friends of the assailant.

L.A. 100 000 001 – 2 4 0
CIN 000 001 12x – 4 14 0

W-Seaver L-John HRS: Smith-2, Foster GWRBI-Foster

The Buzz Line

PHILLIES 12-17-0, CUBS 2-9-1
Boy, that Phillie offense sure suffers when Boone, Schmidt and McBride are out of the lineup. Jim Kaat is today’s lucky pitching bastard, and Renko, Todd and Broberg are the Cubbie dartboards.

at PIRATES 3-4-0, ASTROS 2-9-1
Someday soon I should do a research study on Houston’s inexplicable road losses, because they’re piling up like cordwood. Today Niekro outpitches Reuss but the Astros choke their way out of scoring chances time and again, including a 5-single, 1-run effort in the 8th. Ed Ott leads off the Pirate 9th with a solo walkoff to get another day of rest for their overworked bullpen.

CARDS 4-9-1, at EXPOS 3-8-0
And Don Stanhouse should be pitching for the Astros, because his 3-11 record is filled with 1-run losses. Here’s another. A Cash single off Eastwick ties it in the 8th, two singles, a walk and Hernandez sac fly off McEnaney wins it in the 9th.

at RED SOX 8-10-0, ROYALS 2-8-3
Boston is the only AL contender to win tonight, and suddenly Lester and Fred are giving me threatening looks. All I do is roll, man. Aase with a great outing after getting shelled by Chicago last time, Carbo with two bullpen shots and Evans with a screener. K.C., after racking up 21 runs and 26 hits in Cleveland, play like the Mudhens.

TWINS 5-8-0, at YANKEES 4-8-0
To celebrate team GM Joe Sheehan’s vote of confidence, Figueroa and the Yanks take a 4-0 lead and 3-hit shutout into the 9th…and drop dead. Bostock walks, Wynegar singles, Carew smacks a double to pay Figgie back for snapping his 46-game hit streak the last time they were in town. Sparky Lyle comes on and gets practically no one out. Three more singles and a sac fly later, Geoff Zahn has the shocking CG win. Circle me speechless.

WHITE SOX 8-8-1, at ORIOLES 7-9-1
Just as bizarre, Belanger flubs a DP ball in the top of the 1st, leading to five quick Chisox runs. The Birds peck back against Wilbur Wood to trail 7-6 after three, but just can’t get the equalizer. Silver lining: Dick Drago relieves a trashed Grimsley and throws nearly six innings of 1-hit relief.

at INDIANS 3-9-2, RANGERS 2-5-0 (11 innings)
Another haunted one, on this freaky day. Texas steals five bases on Bibby, the Tribe grounds into four DPs against Ellis, but Hargrove and Bevacqua go zero-for-10 with runners in scoring position and a Larvell Blanks double off Barker eventually wins it. I will now throughly wash my dice for tomorrow.

American League through Tuesday, July 15

Boston 51 37 .580
Kansas City 51 40 .560 1.5
New York 49 40 .551 2.5
Baltimore 45 43 .511 6
Texas 46 44 .511 6
Chicago 40 48 .455 12
Minnesota 37 51 .420 14
Cleveland 36 52 .409 15

National League through Tuesday, July 15

Philadelphia 54 36 .600
Los Angeles 50 37 .575 2.5
Cincinnati 52 39 .571 2.5
Pittsburgh 51 40 .560 3.5
St. Louis 46 41 .529 6.5
Houston 40 50 .444 14
Montreal 35 54 .393 18.5
Chicago 29 60 .326 24.5

1 Comment

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One response to “Beware the Ides of July

  1. It does my heart good to read the name Tommy John without surgery next to it!

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