Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Down on the Farm

With less than a month left in their inaugural season, I'm beginning to feel some urgency to publish this blog entry on the Lancaster Barnstormers that's been festering for some time as a "draft". This thing's still half baked, but maybe it will inspire baseball fans to take a road trip.

Saturday, August 6, 2005: Clipper Magazine Stadium

I was reminded of the brilliant George Carlin bit "Baseball and Football" when I went home to Lancaster to see my first Barnstormers game. My westward trek wouldn't be the only instance of homecoming at this game. The team's manager, Tommy Herr, is the most obvious example. A Lancaster native and solid second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 80s (including their 1982 World Championship), Herr was wooed back to the Red Rose city to lead the Barnstormers in their debut season. The Barnstormers entered the game tied for first place in the Atlantic Division (which includes the Camden Riversharks).

Final Score: Long Island Ducks 8, Lancaster Barnstormers 5
This game was over in the top of the first inning when the Ducks jumped out to a 6-0 lead with a whole lotta singles, and while the 'Stormers battled back and made the game interesting (the tying run was at the plate in the 9th), sloppy play and poor pitching doomed the home team (I had to figure out how to indicate the visiting side batted around on my scorecard).

It was Millersville University night at the ballpark, and the ‘Ville gave away free t-shirts and beer cozies. The stadium was awash in gold and black (MU colors), but just saying "Millersville University foul poles" summoned up STD connotations and the Ice Cube lyric, "found you a college boy who was worse than me, and he probably fucked the whole university"*. The Millersville Marauder was absent and the new mascot (the Marauder's parrot) can't dance for shit. He/she/it was out-Roboted by the Cyclo, the orange-red demon cow. Neither were any match for the winner of the Stoltzfus Sausage Dance Contest (the prize: sausages for the entire row).

Nicole Brewer, Miss Pennsylvania 2005 (and a Millersville alumnus) returned to Lancaster to throw out the first pitch. What? The Dairy Princess wasn’t available? They must be so proud at MU. She has a newsletter. sponsored a toothbrush race around the bases between innings. Two girls armed with giant toothbrushes raced in opposite directions from home plate around the bases, stopping to sweep the dirt off the bases along the way. Didn’t anyone tell them never to run with sticks?

Secondbaseman Travis Hake’s coming-to-the-plate music: “Thank God, I’m a Country Boy”.

Another between-innings race, this one sponsored by Herr's, with fans jumping around in potato (chip) sacks. With all these races and activities (rock wall, etc.), why are Lancaster County residents so fat?

Beer cut-off in 7th inning was standard. Not standard were the beers on tap. Selections from Lancaster Brewing Company sold for the same price as domestic drafts. Delicious brews: Hop Hog and a weizen beer (which may not have been from LBC).

Around the 8th inning I got into an exchange with an Atlanta Braves fan (I was wearing a Jim Edmonds t-shirt). The Cards had lost earlier in the day to the Braves (8-1), and Mr. Brave asked, “What happened to the Cardinals today?” I replied, “What happened to the Braves last night?” when the Cards had won 11-3. The conversation ended amicably when I told him, "Just take care of the Astros in the 1st round, if you face them." The Cards won the rubber match 5-3 on Sunday in dramatic fashion (David Eckstein hit a walk-off grand slam).

Guess the attendance contest answer: 7,545 fans. It was the 2nd largest attendance in Clipper Magazine Stadium History. I had guessed 10,500-something. I didn’t win.

Merry-go-round featured chickens, horses, Dalmatians, Raptors, giraffes, etc.

*from "Look Who's Burning" off Death Certificate.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

Woody Allen: Hobbesian

Woody Allen begins Annie Hall by telling a joke about two elderly women complaining about the food in a Catskills resort: "It's terrible"..."And such small portions". He goes on to explain that the joke basically encompasses his view of life.

I didn't automatically recall Annie Hall the first time I read Thomas Hobbes's The Leviathan in which he writes, "the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short", but somewhere along the line I began to wonder if Hobbes was making a joke.

It would help explain that cartoon about a boy and his stuffed tiger.


Burning Questions

Not to get all philosophical, but there were a few questions at the drinking table tonight that I thought I'd throw out to the BKJ readers (yes, I made a fuckin' abbreviation out of the title of this blog a la NKOTB/New Kids on the Block--I feel no shame or anything else at this point).

Elvis Costello vs. The Pixies
"Alison" vs. "Allison"
"Veronica" vs. "Velouria"

If that latter comparison isn't indicative of drunkeness, try this one...

Would you rather live in a House of Pancakes or a Waffle House?


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Yo, Indy!

Attention Raiders!
Need better directions to the lost Ark than the headpiece to the staff of Ra? Look no further. The Ark of the Covenant isn't buried in Tanis, it's on 10th Street in Philadelphia.

Still searching? eBay doesn't have the Ark (yet), but there are all kinds of Raiders replicas, including the headpiece to the staff of Ra and the idol--which would make a great paperweight at work if it weren't a fertility God (too much potential for sexual harassment suits).