Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Suspended-Game Suspense

To pass the time during, this, THE LONGEST 6TH INNING IN BASEBALL HISTORY, the Big Yokel (Middle Name: "Fuqua") who manages the Phillies is likely sittin' in his office with his chief lieutenant, Jimy Williams, breaking down game films and talkin' strategy.

Y'know ... important championship stuff such as how to deal with more two-deep-zone looks ...

And more pick-n'-roll plays w/ guys goin' back-door ...

And, say ... howzabout at least considering the neutral-zone trap?

The scene is likely reminiscent of that time when bail bondsman Eddie Moscone was losing faith in Jack's ability to bring The Duke back to L.A., so Eddie thought it over and then confessed to Jerry that it was time to make a change.

"It's time to bring in Marvin. Call him up. He's in Pittsburgh."

JERRY (showing surprise): "Marvin Dorfler?"

EDDIE (shouting): "That's 'D' in the Rolodex for jerk, Jerry!"

Ahhh, the life of a bail bondsman and the bounty hunters who complicate his life, etc ...

Was it really 20 years ago when we first saw the conflict amongst Jack n' Eddie n' Jerry n' Jimmy Serrano n' Alonzo Moseley n' Marvin Dorfler, that's "D" in the Rolodex for jerk, Jerry! ???

Apparently, so ...

Kinda makes ya wanna go to Casper, Wyoming (no, Anchorage, Alaska ... no, Boise, Idaho) and stand in the lobby of a Howard Johnson's wearing a pink carnation.

Well, that might be Jack Walsh's way of killin' time, but it's not foremost on our minds right now as America is imprisoned by Selig's Game 5's 6th inning, which is now 20 hours old.

The drudgery of such an oddity on a blustery East Coast day is made more painful that we're talkin' about something that's not happening as we watch it not happen.

Kinda reminds ya of what happens every time that the cliche-ridden jerk-off Kirk Herbstreit appears on the TV screen and uses his gelled hair and slightly-raspy voice to yap about "the offensive side of the ball" and "the defensive side of the the ball" ... and running backs who run downhill ... and receivers who catch the ball with their hands and not with their facemasks ... and guys who make plays "in space" ... and quality play from the quarterback position (as opposed to quality play from something merely known as "the quarterback" -- no, seriously, didja expect less than 58 cliches per game from a stiff who had an 0-8-1 record vs. Michigan and in bowl games?).

Jimmy Serrano sez, "You and that other dummy had better get more personally involved in your work or I'm gonna stab ya through the heart with a fucking pencil."

Ahhhh, the life of a mobster with whom Jack Walsh refused to do business ...

Memories of Walsh v. Serrano is sometimes all we have when the InterWeb is infected with Selig bashers and the unclever pro-Phillie rabble who routinely demonstrate a lack of wit or a flair.

When you're married to a sugar plum who's spent the past four months kicking the crap outta breast cancer, it seems appropriate to use this final week of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to inform her that when the Fightin's do make that trip to the White House during the first week of February (or whenever), they'll be handing President Oprah an OBAMA 08 uniform top, not an OBAMA 1 Phillies shirt.

Get with the program, sleepyheads ... 1 on the back of a Phillies' shirt (it's not a "jersey," people) should never have a last name above it.

Because 1 is the nameless shirt which Richie Ashburn wore.

Then again, if someone had a '78 Phillies retro shirt with a CARDENAL 1 on the back, that might be acceptable (maybe for a week) because it would be soooooo uniquely retro.

More on the mystical side of matters, the '08/'80 angle cannot be discounted or diminished (or, as they say, nowadays ... "marginalized" ... or "thrown under the bus").

Because, held up to the bathroom mirror, 08 is 80.

And, upside-down ... 08 is 80.

However, if one were to stand on his/her head and looking at 08 in a mirror, it's still 08.

So, don't do it, okay?

Instead, spend some time with your '08 calendar and flip through the months until you arrive at the realization that it is exactly the same as the '80 calendar -- meaning that when Brick Myers was born on Aug. 17, 1980 (two months before the Phillies' only world championship), it was a Sunday (just like 2008).

It's the same deal for Joe Blanton (a 6-0 record, 10 no-decisions in his 16 games as a Phillie).

Kentucky Joe was born two months after the Phillies clinched the only world championship in their history.

Baby Blanton showed up on a Thursday.
Four days after Lennon was gunned down during Monday Night Football ...

Nobody can say for sure if these cosmic forces make the Fightin's "destiny's darlings," but you can damn well bet that something which caught the eye of the Big Yokel and his 1st Lt. was this:

In the '80 World Series (during the era when we had DHs for the entire series in '76, '78, '80, '82 and '84 ... 'til they changed it to "the pitchers must bat" in NL parks ... which normally sucks 'cept when Kentucky Joe is comin' outta his cleats while swingin' and linin' one over the wall), the bottom third of the Phillies' lineup consisting of Trillo, Bowa and Boone batted a combined .328 (21 for 64) with five doubles, 8 ribbies, 10 runs scored and -- get this -- ZERO strikeouts in those 64 ABs.

What first-rate production from the No. 7, 8 and 9 hitters who wore Nos. 9, 10 and 8.

There's something symbolic about that.

Isn't there?

Anyway, it's really the only data that the Big Yokel and his 1st Lt. have to work with.

Well, THAT ... and the oddity from the first inning of Game 5 (which seems like it began two weeks ago).

Somebody somewhere somehow shoulda noticed that when Chase Utley was walking from on-deck circle to batter's box, the P.A. system (as usual) was blaring Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" -- and the Stingray pitcher on the mound was Kazmir (!!!).

As the kids say: "No frickin' way!!!"

(Way ...)

Some of us who were in the ballpark for Game 4 predicted that there would be serious repercussions in a "Kashmir" vs. Kazmir showdown -- albeit not quite the same confusion we felt all those years ago when we heard "Kashmir" cranked up as Mark was driving his sister's car for that big date w/ Stacey -- an act of defiance perhaps after Mark's Ridgemont High classmate, Mike, specifically instructed Mark to fire up side one of "Led Zeppelin IV."

Actually, Mike told Mark that "Led Zeppelin IV" should serve as the backdrop for when it came time to make out w/ a chick -- lousy advice, it seemed, since everybody knew that the ultimate makeout song of that time period was what it was a decade earlier.

"Helter Skelter" ... what else would it be?

Hey, just before the start of the magical '80 season, some of us DID make out with a 16-year-old and then went home and fired up our favorite side (two) of The White Album.

It still resonates today (whatever "resonates" means) ...

Besides, "Physical Graffiti" wasn't in the LP collection, anyway.

So, these are the immutable laws of nature which govern these times when '08 is connected to '80.

It's likely that nobody informed Chase Utley that a little more than one week before the end of the Phillies' '80 regular season, Zeppelin drummer John Bonham left us permanently when he gagged to death on his own vomit after another drinking binge.

If Utley knew that, maybe he'd opt for something just-as-hardcore-but-maybe-less-popular from the Zeppelin vault, such as, oh ... "The Battle of Evermore" (unless he feels it has too much mandolin) or "When The Levee Breaks" (unless he feels the song is too harmonica-heavy).

Looks as though we've found our metaphor right there:

"Cryin' won't help you / Prayin' won't do ya no good ... "


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