Friday, May 2, 2008

Week in Review: Invisible Touch

Since last Saturday, the Sox are 2-4 and have scored exactly four runs. That's two less than Derrick Turnbow of the Brewers gave up in two-thirds of an inning on Wednesday; unsurprisingly, the Milwaukeean was designated for assignment today. We don't have luxury with the entire Sox lineup, which, in a dramatic reversal of fortune is seeing only David Ortiz hit nowadays. They scored three runs total in the Blue Jays series and managed to win two games because Jon Lester and Dice-K managed to finally find the strike zone, possibly using ESPN's K Zone as a road map. See that box? Throw it there!

Ortiz is up to .196 now, and with another even subpar game, he'll be back over the Mendoza Line tonight. Unless it rains. Rain and cold weather have re-infiltrated the Northeast, and we ought to know because we were in what passes as a baseball stadium in Queens on Tuesday night. Holy crap, was it cold. We even left after the seventh inning because of the chill, and we were far from the only ones. The Goddz must have been looking after us, as well, because, despite an hour-long trip home, we managed to catch the final two innings of the extra-innings game. We only went because the tickets were $1 each, slashed fifty percent from their face value price. We have to say that the shame of the new Citifield will be the lack of similarly priced tickets, as the 45,000 seat stadium has a lower capacity than its home club's average 2007 attendance. We've spent probably $50 on $2 seats over the years and have enjoyed our exposure to major league baseball at the price of a subway fare or slice of pizza.

That is not to say we are without complaints. The stadium is concrete, and the ushers, especially on $2 seat days, are rapacious in enforcing the $2 seat rule (as in, they make you sit in your seats). After having a go at some seats about 30 feet in front of us that cost probably a whopping $13 more each, we were asked for our ticket stubs. Now, the friends I was with pulled out their tickets and did the whole natural kabuki theater routine, which is to pretend we're oblivious to the fact that we're in the wrong place. The usher, in on the act, played his part, eye the ticket and jabbing first at its numbers and then into the altitude at our section. I'm not a fan of this play-acting anymore, and just said "These aren't our seats" and started walking up the aisle, waving at all the empty seats right in front of me like a New York jerk who wants something for nothing. Which is exactly what I was, but who can blame me?

Also, the concession stands on the upper level at Shea are abysmal. For cold-weather games about a quarter of them are open, the only offer hot dogs, pretzels, peanuts, beer and soda and there's always a line. On Tuesday I just walked down one level and found a wide range of food products and a completely vacant Sam Adams stand that was charging $8 for a beer. Now, I've paid (against my will) even freaking dollars for a beer in Manhattan, back when I was dating a woman in banking who wanted to Be Seen out on the town, so $8 for a beer at beer at the game doesn't faze me much, especially when just 20 FREAKING FEET OVER they're charging the same thing for Bud Light. I mean, mine came in a plastic cup, but even the residual plastic shavings (mmmm... plastic shavings) couldn't put a damper on this discovery. When my buddy and I went back for round two, there was still absolutely no one waiting there. We both, out of a sense of good fortune at our discovery and sadness that our server would be getting next-to-nothing in the way of tips for her efforts on a 35-degree night (after you factor in the wind chill), gave her two dollars, and I can honestly say that's the first time I've done that at a concession stand at a baseball game or even had the slightest inclination to do so.

For a long time, I wasn't a beer guy at the game: I'd try and get liquored up beforehand or cruise on a pretzel and a hot dog. But the times, they are-a changing. I had a couple beers, an italian sausage and a hot chocolate, and together with my $1 ticket, spent about $25. That, my friends is a deal. Now think about the same operation virtually anywhere else where there's a popular baseball team, including 2009 at Citifield, and we're talking upward of $50 at least. Say what you want about Shea, but even if you're not a complete penny-pincher there's something to be said for the old building and its ancillary pleasures. The Baseball Goddz smile at such economical joys.

Speaking of economical joys, I bought six Phil Collins songs off iTunes today. Don't know what it was, I had Invisible Touch in my head and blasted the 30-second version of the song for NYGK (Not-Yet-Girlfriend K.) today. She had never heard it, and was aghast. Yes, I know what you're thinking: Invisible Touch is Genesis. Well, I don't draw much of a distinction between the two. For the record, Invisible Touch was my favorite album growing up, and despite not having listened to it in 10 years I knew every word to the first trio of songs. Here's what I bought:

Invisible Touch
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
Land of Confusion
Don't Lose My Number
In The Air Tonight

Perhaps unsurprisingly, In the Air Tonight was far and away the top selling Phil Collins song. Sussudio and (Billy) Don't Lose My Number were close to each other, and I remember liking them both, but what surprised me is how much (Billy) Don't Lose My Number absolutely blows Sussudio away. Seriously, it wasn't even close. And now, since this is a baseball blog and not American Psycho, we'll bring it back to the last 365 days in baseball:

Invisible Touch - The story of Matt Holliday's phantom tag of home in the 2007 one-game playoff versus the Padres.
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight - The 21-inning Padres/Rockies game
Land of Confusion - Hitters vs. Max Scherzer
Sussudio - I have no idea what this means. Pass.
(Billy) Don't Lose My Number - Frank Thomas' Plea
In The Air Tonight - The Barry Zito story

(Okay, I looked up Sussudio... it's supposedly an imaginary girl's name, meant to "symbolize any girl," according to Wikipedia. I mean, did that make sense in the '80s? Her name is SUSSUDIO. There's an anti-drug message in here somewhere.)

Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby, but I'll be at a wedding and won't be able to watch. Quite unbelievably, the wedding is right next to the Museum of Sex. Oh, and the good thing about missing the Kentucky Derby is that I don't care.

(And yes, in this Week in Review I reviewed the week and not our posts from the week)

No comments: