Sunday, June 17, 2007

One for the annals

I don’t have nearly as much to look forward to for the next four weekends, and that’s unfortunate.

This weekend will be one of those that will stick with me for a long time. Rush and Chip finally got to meet.

Chip rolled into town late Friday afternoon and met me at the office. Rush was done working for the day, but hung around to meet Chip. They briefly met, and it was unexciting.

Our tickets on Friday were courtesy of my brother, who used his company’s mighty connections to provide us with both a pre-game spread and seats inside the company suite. The Fonz drank one too many beers during the evening, but it’s hard not to when they’re gratis. Note, I drank one too many, not a few too many. After spending time drinking post-game diet soda I was fine to drive. I know I drank one too many because I felt it on Saturday morning when I woke up.

The Brewers crushed the Twins on Friday night, so it was a lot of fun for Chip and me. (Any Twins defeat typically benefits my lackluster White Sox so I usually root for the visitors.) We had to call Rush from the suite and pour salt on his wounds when the Brewers tallied 8 runs. He said any team that couldn’t score 10 runs off the combination of Twins starting pitcher Scott Baker and Twins disgraced starter-turned-reliever “Razor” Ramon Ortiz should be embarrassed. I noted it was only the 8th inning, and to be careful what you wish for. Final score: Brewers 11, Minnesota 3.

Chip ran around with me on Saturday. We had hoped to tour a brewery, but that fell through. I had a few things to do, however, so we killed much of the day rather easily. We wanted to get downtown before traffic got heavy around the big inflatable toilet, so we were there by 5 p.m.

Rush took Minnesota’s lackluster version of rail transit to the game since he lives a few blocks from the end of the line at the Mall of America. He joined, Chip, German Bear and me at the game. The three of us went to college together and while I see and talk to both Chip and the Bear regularly, they don’t otherwise keep in touch, so I’m often a conduit between them. German Bear also lives north of the Twin Cities, making it more challenging for the two of them to get together when Chip does make it to God’s Country. It has been four or five years since the two of them saw each other. Not surprising as it had been three years since Chip has made it to Minnesota.

Saturday’s tickets were courtesy of my crappy newspaper conglomerate, although the honchos don’t know they provided them. I pulled strings with one of my friends who has access to the tickets. These seats were far enough down the third base line that I wouldn’t pay $20 for them, let alone the $42 they allegedly were worth on Saturday, but they were better than having to pay for seats, and I know Chip appreciated saving a few bucks on his expenses this weekend.

There were plenty of Brewers fans at the toilet for the series, and it was fun to cheer for them. It was a low scoring game for most of Saturday night, with Chip, Rush and I trading barbs. The Brewers scratched out a few runs in the late innings and won 5-2. Rush predicted a 5-3 Twins victory. I kept asking him during the late innings if he needed Pepto, suggesting I had some in my car. I know he was dying to pile it on Chip during this game, so he wasn’t a happy camper. The fact the Twins couldn’t beat Dave “Burning” Bush made it all the more painful for Rush. Poor bastard.

Chip took off by mid-morning Sunday because he had to head to La Crosse for Father’s Day before returning to Stinktown.

So what did I do after Chip left? I biked 33.5 miles. I had taken two days off and I couldn’t let a dry, albeit hot, weekend go by the wayside without one ride. The forecast called for stinkin’ hot and windy conditions today and that was the case by 11 a.m.

The wind was blowing against me on the westbound return to my apartment. Those were 9 slow miles, but in the end I averaged 15.4 mph, so I was rather pleased. Then I spent a couple of hours cooling off and watching the Twins crush Stinktown.

Yet somehow the Brew Crew overcame a 9-2 deficit, thanks in part to a Prince Fielder inside-the-park home run. Rush likes to rip on Fielder because of his size, so after the Brewers tied the game I had to call him and mock his squad. It was bad enough his team gave up what is sure to be the only inside-the-park home run in his career, but it came thanks to light hitting Lew Ford, who has no business being on a Major League roster. That only infuriated Rush more. I told him that even if the Twins win the game, he should be embarrassed by his squad.

We hadn’t even stopped talking when the Twins’ Justin Morneau hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 9th. I mocked Rush’s squad for their excessive celebration at home plate. A win is a win, but it’s hard to celebrate when you blow a 7-run lead, at least in my world. But I guess I’m a pessimist who looks at the big picture not an optimist who lives in the moment.

I guess when you haven’t had reason to celebrate all weekend and you nearly have the bread taken out of your mouth on Sunday you’ll celebrate a win any way you can get it, embarrassing or otherwise.

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