Friday, April 29, 2005

Go out on a night like this?

I've complained a few times about how I hardly ever get to see my Detroit sports teams in action, while trapped among the cornstalks in Iowa. But not tonight. Tonight is sports fan nirvana for me. I got game 3 of the Pistons-Sixers playoff series on ESPN, while Comcast SportsNet is giving me Tigers vs. White Sox.

And for an extra layer of hot fudge on this sundae, two 300-game winners - Houston's Roger Clemens and the Cubs' Greg Maddux - are pitching against each other on WGN, while two of the best pitchers in baseball over the past five years - Atlanta's Tim Hudson and St. Louis' Mark Mulder (both formerly of the Oakland Athletics) - are matched up on TBS.

I should wear out the buttons on my remote tonight. It's me, pizza, beer, and the sweet generosity of my television. And I've always wanted to try this "live blogging" thing, so here goes. Sure to be a disaster. Or a bore. No, no one else is with me - why do you ask?

7:00: Hey, did one of these games already start? After two years, I still haven't gotten a handle on Central Standard Time.

7:05: Does anyone actually like that garlic butter sauce that comes with lots of pizzas nowadays? This $#!+ is nasty.

7:15: Has Roger Clemens dyed his hair? I swear I see blond hair poking out from under his cap. If you're 40 years old, aren't you too old to do that?

7:20: Whoops! The bat just flew out of Tim Hudson's hands and hit some dude in the stands. Welcome to the National League, where pitchers have to hit.

7:21: Rasheed Wallace hits a three-pointer for Detroit! The announcer says it's the Pistons' third of the game so far, and I have to believe him because I keep flipping channels.

7:30: The White Sox's play-by-play announcer, Ken Harrelson, calls his team "the good guys." Jesus, I hate that.

7:35: So much for a low-scoring pitching matchup in Atlanta. Brian Jordan just hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 4. Should I be watching this game so much?

7:40: The Pistons have opened up an 11-point lead. Bill Walton just praised Detroit's "mental acuity." No $#!+, Bill. They're a bunch o' stinkin' geniuses.

7:45: The Sixers' coach, Jim O'Brien, is going to have a heart attack by the end of the game. He is screaming at the referees.

7:50: Philadelphia's now within five points. Geez, you switch a few channels and go take a piss, and see what you miss?

7:55: Rasheed Wallace is called for a technical foul from the bench for berating referees. Rasheed has to be the only player in the NBA who gets that. (He routinely leads the league in technical fouls.)

8:05: Harrelson just referred to Tigers pitching Bob Cluck as "Bob 'I Don't Give a' Cluck." Does he actually receive money for his job?

8:20: Craig Monroe just made a sweet catch against the fence for the Tigers. Did he rob Aaron Rowand of a home run? Replays say... no. But still, nice catch. That guy's playing great baseball.

8:30: Goose Island's Pere Jacques beer is awesome. Mis Hooz, you know what I'm talkin' about.

8:45: Uh-oh, Philly's cut it to two points. $#!+, they just tied the game.

8:50: Philly just took the lead, 76-74. What the #$%@ is going on?

8:52: Boom! Rondell White hits a home run for Detroit. White Sox 1, Tigers 1.

8:55: OHMYGOD!! Craig Monroe just got hit in the cookies by a pitch. Bam-o! Right in the jewels. Of course he's down on his knees! No cup's gonna keep that from hurting. That's gonna leave a mark. Okay, his teammates are laughing, so Monroe must be okay. Watching someone get hit in the nuts usually is pretty funny, even if it makes a guy's stomach clench.

9:05: My dial-up finally gives out and disconnects on me. But I stayed online a whole two hours. Not bad. No, it stinks. It stinks like rotten cheese.

9:12: That &@$#sucker Chris Webber just hit a shot to put Philly up by seven points. &$*#!!! Seriously, what the #$%@ is going on here? And why hasn't bad karma made Webber blow out a knee again?

9:18: Detroit down by 10, with five minutes to go. I'm officially worried.

9:20: Okay, it's down to six. Philly calls time-out. I need another beer.

9:21: I pop back to the Braves-Cardinals baseball game, which I've been slacking on. Both Hudson and Mulder are out of the game. #$%@ that $#!+ now, even if it's a close game.

9:22: Tigers take the lead, 2-1, on a double by Pudge Rodriguez! Nook Logan scores. How can you not love a guy with the nickname "Nook." I'm naming my kid Nook. Nook Casselberry. No, that'll sound more like Nook Asselberry. My kid doesn't need that.

9:24: Down by eight with two minutes left. It's not looking good for the Pistons.

9:25: How are the Cubs and Astros doing? No Clemens or Maddux anymore? Then I don't give a $#!+. Everyone here in Iowa loves the Cubs. I hate the Cubs. #$%@ the Cubs.

9:32: Detroit is down by seven with 42 seconds left. Their coach, Larry Brown, is smiling in disbelief. I'm with you, Lar. When you have to foul the other team every time they have the ball, that's not a good sign. Philly fans are starting to leave. Is this game over... ?

9:35: This game is over. Pistons lose, 115-104. Mother#$%@er. Okay Philly, you got yours. We'll see what happens on Sunday. Back to the baseball game.

9:36: Everybody Loves Raymond is on TBS. So the Braves game is over. Braves win 6-5. Bet that was a good game. Oh well. I sure as hell ain't watchin' Ray Romano.

9:37: Cubs and Astros are still going. Back to the Tigers game. Uh-oh, the White Sox have runners on first and third base. But - Kyle Farnsworth gets Jermaine Dye to hit a weak ground ball back to him! Tigers get out of the inning and hold onto their 2-1 lead. Nice work. And this might be the beer talking, but Farnsworth is a damn fine looking guy.

9:45: Every time a White Sox pitcher strikes out a Tigers hitter, Harrelson says "he gone." Seriously, is the guy married to the owner's daughter or something? How does he have a job?

9:55: You know, this is a hell of a lot easier when you just watch one game. Tigers bring in Ugueth Urbina to pitch the 8th inning. The Tigers' manager, Alan Trammell, seems to be getting a handle on this managing thing. He did the same thing last night, using his relievers to shut down the Cleveland Indians in the late innings of the game. Of course, he actually has good players to work with now, which helps.

10:00: Holy $#!+, how much of that pizza did I eat? Oh Christ. Maybe if I walk from here to the bathroom 38 times, I can burn some of that off. Or type really, really fast.

10:15: Disconnected again. I hate my phone service. I could rip it out of the #$%@ing wall.

10:18: Still flipping. Martin Short is one of Bill Maher's guests tonight. Hopefully, he's funnier without that Jiminy Glick fat-suit. I think I'll stick with the Tigers game.

10:20: Bottom of the 9th, Troy Percival is in for the Tigers. Oh yeah. This thing is over.

10:26: Percival just walked Carl Everett. The first two White Sox hitters are on base. FRICK!

10:28: Percival hit Paul Konerko. The bases are loaded. You gotta be kidding me. There are no outs.

10:30: Aaron Rowand drives a ball deep to centerfield - holy #$%@ing $#!+, is that a home run? No, it's caught. But deep enough for a sacrifice fly. Game is tied, 2-2. I'm wondering why I bothered doing any of this tonight. Mother#$%@er.

10:37: Percival intentionally walks so he can face Joe Crede (who's 0-for-4) instead. Crede pops up! Wow! Percival blew the save, but still got out of a bases-loaded jam with only one run. Game's still tied, going to extra innings. My purgatory blog continues...

10:47: No runs for the Tigers. Oh no. No, no, no. The Tigers are bringing in Jamie Walker for the bottom of the 10th. Trammell must want to lose this game. The statistics say Walker is a decent pitcher. But in my world, Walker has given up a home run almost every single time I've seen him pitch. If he gives up a home run here, this becomes a psychic hotline blog on Monday.

10:56: Chris Widger flies out to centerfield. We're going to the 11th inning. Walker didn't give up a home run! I've cancelled the order for my psychic's turban and crystal ball.

11:05: My main man, Nook Logan, hits a ball into the right-field gap to score Carlos Pena. Tigers lead, 3-2. And holy $#!+, Logan is fast - he's on third base when any other player would be on second. (By the way, Logan's real name is Exavier Prente Logan. I'd go by "Nook," too. Unless I was a James Bond villain.)

11:07: Disconnected again. My internet connection is made of tin cans and string. No, tin cans and string would be a $%#@ing improvement. Jesus.

11:16: Franklyn German (who, at a beefy 270 lbs., looks like he should be on a beer league softball team) gets Timo Perez to fly out to centerfield. Game over! Tigers win, 3-2! The night isn't a total loss! Unless you consider I've spent four hours with the TV, my laptop, four beers, and 1/2 a pizza.

And that's five wins in a row for the Tigers. Their record is over .500, at 11 wins and 10 losses. Not bad. This team looks like it's getting better. Is it time to get excited?

Okay, enough of this. Hell, more than enough. The Pistons' loss chaps my ass, but they can't win 'em all. But they'll still win this series, and relatively easily. Before I sign off, a tip of the cap to Sam at Blue Cats & Red Sox, who can do this much better than me. And she's a hell of a lot funnier with it. Good night, kids.