Speaker Loves Chachi
We're now four games into AJ's fledgling soccer career and while he's improving, it's becoming apparent he might be more suited to be the next Vin Scully than the next Ronaldinho. At every stoppage in play--and there are a lot at this age--he turns to the crowd and narrates what just occurred on the pitch, as if all of us sitting over there are blind and dumb. At one point on Saturday, he was dribbling down the sideline near me and paused in his run to make eye contact and give me a face that obviously said, "Daddy! Do you see what I'm doing?!?" an act that had me bursting at the seams with laughter, but also allowed the chasing pack to catch up and overwhelm him. And the dancing? Oh man. It's possible he's watched a few too many goal celebrations on the tube and not quite enough actual play.
That was just a single highlight of one of the better weekends I've had in a while. Naturally, I've been over the moon with the A's sweep of the Twins. It's been 16 years since they've won a playoff series and just writing that makes me feel ancient. It doesn't really seem like that long ago. I've not suffered too much in the interim. But it WAS a long time ago. A different lifetime even. I was at work during that clincher, too, watching TV in the newsroom while Clemens (in EYE BLACK!) sprained a brain muscle and got tossed in the second inning, ensuring the sweep.
I TiVo'd the game and watched the celebration and big moments several times over the past three days. The chants of "Marco! Scutaro!" (whom we've now affectionately nicknamed "Chachi" due to his resemblance to Scott Baio), the overwhelming relief when his crushing double landed just fair, the phantom tag on Hunter (seriously, I've seen it frame by frame and there is NO conclusive evidence Kendall got him; in fact, simple laws of physics would dictate the chances were pretty slim considering the speed of the runner and the angle of approach, but I'm not apologizing for that since the A's have had MANY calls go against them in recent years like that jerk Scott Brosius pretending to get hit by a Mulder pitch), the awakening of Eric Chavez in a big game who, though I don't know him, feel very satisfied for after all the heat he's taken (some warranted, some not) for his occasionally soft-headed approach, the absolute calm I feel when Duchsherer is on the hill (contrasted with my mortal fear when Street's out there) and lastly, spurred and saddened at the memory of Bill King, who was, in many ways, the anchor of this franchise for a lot of years. I'd love to think his passing gives the players another reason to fight, to honor his legacy, and maybe hear his voice in their ears...still...crying "Holy Toledo!"
I've had several moments the last couple days where it just pops into my head from nowhere that they won and I let out a scream or throw in a fist pump. I haven't even let myself think about what's ahead. That'll change soon, methinks. I hope they can keep it up. If they play like they did last week, no worries. Maybe they'll win; maybe they won't. But if they're at their best, they'll get no complaints from this quarter.
Congrats also to the Tigers. I enjoyed their unbridled celebration on Saturday (and the bitter text messages from NYC). I'm not a petty man, but I hold a life-long grudge against one Jason Giambi, who is a two-faced douchebag weasel. I won't go into the litany of specifics surrounding his departure from Oakland, where he perpetuated his outlaw image, one that disappeared as soon as he donned the corporate Yankee pinstripes. I'm always wary of people who can change their personality based on circumstances; you never know who the real person is or what their price is to sell you out. And G, the gutless wanker made sure to twist the knife on the way out. He went on Letterman and insulted the Oakland organization, city and fans. He dropped inane quotes like "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and "I went to New York so I could get a ring."
Well Fat Boy, it's five years and counting now, two years left on that bloated contract, and you still ain't got no ring. Karma willing, you won't get one unless you buy Canseco's off e-Bay. I hope you get another intestinal parasite.
You can guess that I was positively giddy this weekend and celebrated for pretty much three days. Went out Friday night and gorged on a big ass steak washed down with some whiskey and an Italian red. Stayed in on Saturday night with a fridge full of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a poker machine tuned to Paradise, where I final tabled the Special $25 Re-Buy AND got called a donkey in the process. On Sunday, I pulled on our new kit (think Argentina blue and white stripes) and helped to dispatch a team of over-heated Latinos 3-nil. And then last night, I went to a wedding.
I'm happy to inform that I did NOT cry during the vows, partly because that emotion didn't come, partly because it was the funniest wedding I've ever been to. The gentleman who officiated was a family friend, specifically licensed to carry out this wedding (and this wedding only!). He wore a white suit and joked he was not Mr. Rourke and that this blessed union was indeed real and not Fantasy. The bride was gorgeous, the groomsmen sported a tasteful slacks/sport jacket/mock turtleneck ensemble in brown and rust that had my fashion sense spiking with jealousy. I was thinking of slipping one of the groomsmen a roofie and rolling him for his threads in the parking lot. The food was fabulous, the weather and scenery beautiful, the alkeehal plentiful, my date absolutely gorgeous and definitely out of my league. But that's how I roll.
The bride did say one thing that hit me, a fabulous philosophy that I share. She said (roughly):
"I've had a lot of highs and lows, a lot of trials and pain. I'd re-live them all again if I had the assurance I'd end up here, at this very moment."
Nice hand. And congratulations.