Friday, October 03, 2003

How embarrassing.

Today, I missed the green left-hand turn arrow because I was thinking about baseball, of all things. I glanced up and saw the arrow turn yellow, and finally realized the car behind me was honking. I wanted to apologize, but what would I say anyway? "Sorry about that left turn thing, I was thinking about the World Series." Right.

When I was a kid, we lived pretty close to Tacoma. Some of my best memories are of my mom popping up a big grocery bag full of popcorn, and then my parents loading us all into the van to go watch Triple A ball at Cheney Stadium. I still think fondly of that greasy paper bag being passed up and down our row of box seats behind home plate.

Tacoma was a farm team for a lot of different clubs and they had a lot of different mascots--they were the Twins when we first started watching them, and then I think they became the Tugs. They were the Tigers the last time I saw them, part of the feeder system for the Oakland A's. I loved that last season--it was Jose Canseco's last (and I believe first) year in the minors. He showed up mid-summer, and our attendance record went up accordingly. We were all about seeing Jose play.

The last game I went to in Tacoma was Canseco's last game in the minors. We were bitterly disappointed when we arrived and saw that he wasn't dressed--we came to see him! But then this rumor started going through the crowd: he'd been called up, he was going to the Big Leagues! Ah...I get a sports tear in my eye just remembering the feelings of anticipation and excitement because of one of *our boys* got called up. He didn't play that night, but he did step out and hit a few home runs for the fans. Bashed three over the wall at center field, then stepped across the plate and did the same thing batting left. It was awesome.

Well, he was great to watch, he was the 40-40 man, after all. Before everything started going wrong, before he became a perpetual member of the disabled list and/or police blotter. Somewhere in there, around the time he was traded to Texas, I stopped watching baseball, and the strike made that a more or less permanent decision for me. Yeah, I've still got my collection of baseball cards hanging around, and I still think they're cool, but I guess I don't really watch much ball anymore.

Well, this is a long-winded explanation of why I've decided to go for Oakland to win the Fall Series. I know that "chicks dig the long ball" and all that, but that small-ball moment Oakland had the other night against Boston reminded me that I really need to be rooting for the home team, and for me, that would still be Oakland. So, I apologize to my partner, who is backing the Cubbies, and I apologize to my friend, who is going for the Giants, but I'm all in it for the A's. Or, as the t-shirt says, "My favorite team is Oakland...and whoever is playing against Atlanta."

Play ball.

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