“You heard me.”
“Wish to hell I didn’t. Say it again.”
“We are going to save John Lennon.”
He gulped down his orange juice. Stared at me again.
“You crazier than Amy, fool.”
He was right, of course. But seeing Lennon pop out on stage at the Elton John concert the other night to do “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” with him put the idea in my head, and I knew right away it was bigger than tripping down to Memphis to keep some fat, washed up 50s rocker from overdosing.
“He’s a Beatle, brother. Who doesn’t like the Beatles?”
‘Beatles ain’t Sly.”
“Aw c’mon. We’re talking worldwide impact here. If John survives he might even come to his senses and do a Beatles reunion! Can you imagine them on The Daily Show? Or on iTunes??”
Fred said nothing.
“Anyway, he moved into the Dakota Apartments four years ago. and there’s like three more to go until that turd assassinates him. Meanwhile we’re sitting around here in ’77 following two slacker teams—”
“Maybe yours is, fool. My Man Reggie hasn’t even lit the stove yet.”
“Yeah, probably because Your Man Mickey and Your Man Sparky keep blowing the stupid fire out. Anyway, instead of stressin’ about getting eliminated, why not do something good for humankind before we leave? I figured out the dates in my head and next week is the 30th anniversary of Lennon getting shot up in the real world. If we can’t find a way to warn his Liverpool ass before then, what good are we?”
Fred just scratched his head, so I knew my idea was swimming around inside it. He sighed, then snapped a finger at the New York Post sitting on the table.
“Gimme the damn sports page. Wanna see how Candy Man did against Philly.”
Game of the Day
PITTSBURGH—Seamus reporting in, Candelaria with a chance to be the first 20-game winner and my designated rooting team Expos on the brink of liquidation out in Cincinnati. But I’m not worried. I got connections with Patriot Inc., see? They’d be out of their skulls to let ME evaporate. Who else is gonna watch these nuts?
But Candy Man’s the nervous one at Three Rivers, hitting Boone in the back to start the 3rd and then giving up a McBride single, Ron Reed sac bunt, Sizemore single and Maddox double, good for two quick runs. Forgot to mention that Luzinski’s out for a game, but Schmidt is back from his injury and the Phils look pretty scary after taking yesterday’s whitewash.
Except for the fact that no one tells the Pirates what to do. Not no one. Not no how. Oliver doubles to start their 4th. Parker singles with one out, Stargell doubles, Robinson singles, Ott singles with two outs and it’s 3-2 Bucs just like that.
On the out-of-town board, the Reds have a 3-0 lead on my Expos after two. One loss or Pirate win finishes them off. So when Sizemore homers in the 5th to tie it here, Mikey Spano isn’t the only one of us to cheer.
Oliver, though. A freaking clutch force all season. He bashes a Reed curve over the wall in the 5th, and after the Phils ties it again on a Bowa single, he homers again to put Pittsburgh ahead. Robinson singles for an insurance run, Ott homers for another in the 8th, and it’s a good thing, because Candy Man is melting.
Taveras boots a Hutton grounder to start the 9th, and after Sizemore whiffs, Maddox lines a homer to left center and it’s 7-6! Out goes Candy, in comes Goose. Johnstone pinch-hits a weak grounder for the second out. It’s up to Mike Schmidt for Candy’s 20th win and the Death of Les Expos. Again, I’m not concerned.
Then my inner cellular transmitter vibrates, and the voice of Barnstable Cox, head of Patriot Act, Inc., fills my ear.
“It has been our pleasure to have known and employed you, Mr. Headley.”
Goose winds, throws, Schmidt grounds one out to short…
Taveras fires the ball into Robinson’s mitt and
DR. GROSSINGER’S REPORT
Any elated feelings I may have had for the Pirate victory were dulled considerably by the regrettable evaporation of Seamus Headley. With two of our patients now in a foolish wayward phase of their self-treatment (one whose name I can barely mention), who will be transporting our bus to each baseball engagement?
My earlier question has been answered, and not favorably. Along with Mr. Headley, our bus has disappeared.
PHI 002 011 002 – 6 9 0
PIT 000 310 21x – 7 11 1
W-Candelaria L-Reed SV-Gossage HRS: Sizemore, Maddox, Oliver-2, Ott GWRBI-Oliver
The Lester Line
at REDS 5-6-0, EXPOS 2-6-2
at REDS 5-8-1, EXPOS 4-6-1
Montreal finishes their awful August by getting dumped twice. Bench and Driessen homer and Seaver wins his 18th in Game 1, before Borbon throws two perfect relief innings to save Game 2 for Soto. The Expos have a 4-0 lead for Dues but Cincy fights back, takes the lead for good on a pinch sac fly in the 7th by Champ Summers.
ASTROS 5-10-0, at CARDS 3-11-0
Early 5-zip lead for Houston almost crumbles, but Tom Dixon of all people relieves Niekro in the 9th with the bases juiced and two outs and gets Roger Freed on a fly.
at DODGERS 6-11-0, CUBS 0-3-0
With Sutton and Hough bound and gagged in the locker room and fed quaaludes, Tommy John goes out and hurls a pristine 3-hitter. Wrapped in his Scotch bandages, Steve Garvey even goes 2-for-3 with a run-scoring double.
at ROYALS 9-9-2, TWINS 3-6-4
In a thrilling slopfest, KC turns around a 1-0 Twins lead for Hassler with three in the 5th and five more in the 6th off Schueler, Butler and Dave Johnson. Amos Otis, by the way, is out for seven games, so Willie Wilson (against LHP) and Pete LaCock (against RHP, with Cowens going to center) will try and fill his speedy shoes. Meantime, the Royals hop back into first because…
WHITE SOX 5-6-1, at RANGERS 3-7-2
Ken Kravec, he of the seven straight losses and eight of nine, handles Texas with ease, Alexander giving up three runs of junk in the 5th to decide it.
at YANKEES 12-16-0, ORIOLES 8-12-3
Only these Yanks can take a 9-1 lead on Palmer through five innings and still make the game interesting. Torrez gives the Birds two in the 8th and four more in the 9th before Tidrow mops up. Jockey Jim just can’t win a game lately, getting racked by a Zeber grand slam and Reggie and Chambliss homers before he’s Yanked.
at INDIANS 8-11-0, RED SOX 6-11-1
Only these Bosox can be down 8-1 after four and 8-3 going to the 9th and make the game interesting. Two singles and three walks off three Tribe relievers keep this in doubt until Jim Choke Rice grounds to Kuiper with two aboard to not only end the game, but a month of August for the Sox that reeks of old chowder.
Final Team Records for August:
10-18 White Sox
9-17 Red Sox
Doubleheaderpalooza for Labor Day Monday!
Expos at Pirates
Phillies at Reds
Cubs at Cards
Dodgers at Astros
White Sox at Royals
Twins at Rangers
Red Sox at Yankees
Indians at Orioles
American League through Sunday, August 31
National League through Sunday, August 31