why its important to keep it real

sandy koufax, center, the legendary dodger pitching ace wanted

to do something nice for joe torre’s, right, non profit in 2010

so he took the stage to be interviewed by

the notorious tj simers, left.

notorious because tj would tell it like he saw it

and he usually saw things through

bitter-colored glasses.

tj’s biggest fans would say they aren’t bitter, they’re


theyd argue the world sugar coats everything, especially journalists, particularly sports journos because they can’t burn bridges because they have to work with these teams every day, year after year.

i enjoyed reading tj because i wanted to see who pissed him off now

koufax gets his ass kissed by everyone. clearly he wanted to be interviewed live by someone who wasn’t going to kiss his ass.

and thats the lesson i learned from tj, indirectly

if you are known as the person who makes you fucking earn that A

then sometimes the best in the world will want to come to you

and only you.

so keep on keeping it real.

(which was your job in the first place)

photo by Dodger Blue World

today bill buckner died, he was 69

when i was a little kid i got bill buckner’s autograph on my baseball mitt

dumb move because i used that glove a lot and it quickly smeared off.

later good ole #22 would agree to sign autographs at this video store near my home

hardly anyone showed up and i got there just as he was leaving.

his handler said, sorry kid, shows over.

and that changed the way i felt about my once favorite Cub.

then, of course, he let a Mookie Wilson ball roll though his legs when he was playing for Boston in the 1986 world series.

that made me like him again because it was such a Cub thing to do.

but most people don’t remember another important ball that billy buck didn’t catch

in 1974 when Hank Aaron was about to break Babe Ruth’s unbreakable home run record

it was shaggy headed bill buckner in left field, he then of the Dodgers.

when the ball sailed over his bushy eyebrows he tried to scale the fence.

Cubs announcer Len Kasper asked him years later if he was trying to catch the most famous dong

“No, I wanted to jump into the bullpen and get the ball!” he said of the valuable piece of history.

apparently a walk off home run was hit by the dodgers last night

i wouldnt know because the television was turned off seconds before the critical moment.

a pretty girl in my home was the one who did the honors.

moments before the moment she asked

why did the batter, then the pitcher, then the catcher all call time out?

i said because everyone’s very nervous because a hit ends the game and an out gives the Cubs another chance to take this series to Wrigley tied up.

she was very hyper for some reason as i stood in my bedroom staring at the tv

rooting each and every pitch

as my cats snoozed on the nearby bed.

then suddenly she lunged towards the electronics and the tv turned off.

she didn’t hit the power button on the remote

she literally unplugged the complicated set-up.

i raced to the living room to fire up the tv there because Lord knows how long it would take me to resuscitate the bedroom situation

but the living room tv betrayed me as it needed to warm up and and and ahhhhhhh so i ran back to the bedroom and began the arduous task of rewiring the setup

and as i did i heard the familiar strains of Randy Newman’s “I Love LA”

the 30+ year old song that the Dodgers play at the end of a victory.

the television did not show me anything but a sickening blue screen of death

but it did let me know everything i needed to know

because of that music.

i knew the Cubs had lost.

they would not be playing that delightful tune if mighty Casey had struck out.

i stopped what i was doing.

i put on my pants and a shirt.

i found my phone.

i kissed the girl on the cheek, and said, i need to take a walk.

she said, i didnt mean to–  i said, i know you didn’t.

i know.

and i drove.

and i drove.

to the 99 cent store

and bought $27 worth of fuck if i know what.

went to the cubs game last night with todd

i dont know what it is with that guy but every time im with him i want to get back into journalism

the ideas just come flowing out.

he hates all of them, naturally, but whatever, here they come.

he bought incredible seats.

we were near the most incredibly annoying dude in the park: loud, stupid, obvious

i got to the game early because i didnt drive much after work. hadnt eaten well all week and i didnt really want to abuse my body with the typical two dogs nachos and a giant coke. so as i was walking around i saw this lady with a Poke Bowl. i was all, where did you get that?

and i pointed right at her bowl which had an enormous mound of edamame twinking in the sunshine.

she said its called Base Bowls, all the way by the left field pole.

cruised over and saw they also had a chicken teriyaki bowl with tons of broccoli.  my love.

$12 seemed a tad less rapey than the other prices at the park

but they also got me for $7 for a Coke.

later i bought three $14 beers.

afterwards we took the shuttle to the train station. i took the purple line to the red line

which only took about four hours.

and i inhaled the most foul stenches of all

and was invited to a duel by a mild mannered homeless dude

who quickly became ill tempered.

im starting to see why ridesharing has become so popular.

well that was easier than predicted

cubs dodgers

im not usually a nervous man. but i was nervous for a few innings last night at Dodger Stadium.

sitting next the the razor sharp nicole cifani in the second row of the upper deck we had a perfect view of the cubs taking a 1-0 lead through 4 innings. i hadnt really eaten all day (bc nerves) and had only drank about 16 ounces of my 20 ounce beer so i thought it would be a good idea to put something in my stomach.

i also think the irresistible aroma of garlic fries were getting to her as well.

plus i wanted to meet up with todd and bob downing’s nephew who had bought my extra tickets higher up in the stands.

and as we were walking along the promenade past very long lines for refreshments the dodgers started rallying.

it got very loud. dodger fans hadn’t seen their team win a world series in 28 years. they werent there to crown the cubs. and in this city of champions usually their wishes come true.

as we waited to pay the dodgers tied the game up. walking around was usually what i did to help the Cubs get hits but alas it was now working for the home team? F word!

so i mixed things up a bit. Todd looked despondent and the peppy young Downing could probably use some newer friends near him so i suggested that nicole and i sit with them up behind the foul pole in left.

nicole mama mia was that a rougher, different crowd from where we originally were. big, tough, fat mexican dudes, drunk from lots of things stood up and chanted for their team. some would eventually get escorted out by well-staffed security and LAPD. we saw tattooed latinas warned by security to take it easy on the profanity. we saw a huge but quiet hispanic gentleman pointed at by a grim faced guard who said, “GET DOWN HERE NOW!” he obliged and never returned to his seat.

there were a few Cub fans around us who cheered at a respectful level because lets face it, if there was going to be a fight it was going to happen in this far, high corner of the park. and lo, around the 7th inning, when things looked dire for the Dodgers who were making unforced errors and giving up walks and hits and homers to the young buck Cubs, a giant latino man with a white tshirt rushed towards another while trying to be separated by a well intentioned girlfriend or wife.  angry looks exchanged but not blows. as kids with Yasiel Puig tshirts watched, fascinated. as Dodger fans seemed to be taking it out on themselves.

so disappointed. all of them. as this very well might be the last time they see their team.

not Ice Cube in the box seats, not Vin Scully who made a guest appearance in the press box, and not their heroes on the field could turn their scowls upsidedown.

by the 8th i wasnt nervous any more. the Cubs had extended their lead to 6 runs, every time there was a close play the replay went against the home team. and the fans slowly made their way to the exits.

and then, it was done. the Cubs had come back from the deficit with two resounding back to back wins at Chavez Ravine and the plane ride back to Chicago would certainly be livlier for the Cubs than the Dodgers. Now the teams face off on Saturday with the Dodgers putting their ace, Clayton Kershaw on the mound and the Cubs will counter with the MLB ERA leader, the mysterious and unassuming Kyle Hendricks for Game Six. It’ll be do or die for the Dodgers.

And a trip to the World Series if the Cubs can pull it off.

After a nite cap at Little Joy followed by some grub at Tacos Arizas, Nicole and I said good night but not before she invited me to her church on Sunday.

but i wanted to tell her, ive been at church all week.

and it was good.

there seems to be two types of people in the world

dodgers cubs heyward

1. people rooting for the cubs to break their 108 year-old curse

2. people who find great joy in kicking Cub fans when they’re down.

this is nothing new to long time followers of the North Siders. it starts with White Sox fans and moves in every direction from St. Louis all the way to LA.

and it’s cool. this year the Cubs were the favorites to go all the way and everyone likes to knock off the big boys.

but how can you really be the overdog if you have never even been to the World Series in 70 years? let alone won it?

last night i was at the game, i wore my hat and jersey, we got lucky and had tickets next to a large group of Cub fans but Dodgers fans were plentiful.

the Cubs were down early and i tried my little trick of moving around the ballpark to generate some “luck” and as we were climbing some stairs we came across two gentlemen that Ralphy666 warned me about: both Hispanic, heavily tattooed, strong, and talking hella trash.

the stairs were between the upper deck and the super upper deck. they were enclosed, narrow, and it was just us and them. no security, no witnesses, nowhere to run.

You’re wearing the wrong colors, ese, the bigger one said.

Are you kidding, I joked, you should love the colors I’m wearing, we just spotted you three runs.

the logic stunned them for a minute. just long enough for us to pass by.

we were walking up, they were walking down.

at some point we realized they doubled back and were following us.

i wasn’t scared. why would i be. the only thing i was scared about was they were going to buy us beers for our generosity

and it would be a Bud Light.

Wow, who knew Bill Plashke was such a sad sad little fat man

cubs wrigleywith such little knowledge of baseball?

One of the many ugly things he claims in his pouty whine in this morning’s paper is the Cubs intentionally lost games so they could draft Kris Bryant – never once giving credit to the Cubs for picking the sole star to emerge so far from that draft and the Cubs didn’t even have the top pick.

He amazingly includes hating on the Cubs for the rainstorm on the East Coast that rained out a Dodger game.

And claims the Cubs have “fancy new bleachers”. As someone who has actually sat in those bleachers recently I can tell you that they’re just as “fancy” as those at Chavez Ravine.

They are backless benches. Fancy in the way tap water and vanilla ice cream is fancy.

Or salt.

Or bitterness from unloved and untalented writer as his home team is about to face its doom.

There were many stories an actual columnist could have written as a table setter to this league championship series but Bill Plaschke chose to dip his pen into the inkwell of jealousy and unexpected bile all while shaking his fist at the storylines and metaphors that The Media has echoed over the years – not the fans – about goat curses and lovable losers.

And no one has played that piano as much or as beautifully as Vin Scully, but for some reason Plaschke just happened to overlook that fact. As if he hadn’t heard it hundreds of times from the lips of the retiring and beloved narrator.

Scully, who is clearly who Plaschke is subtweeting in this piece, gutlessly, foolishly, sloppily. Without the poetry, nor the precision, nor heart to just come out and say it.

It must be so cold there in that shadow.

Vin Scully’s last words on tv

the Dodgers won, thus clutched the NL West with a walk off homer in the bottom of the 10th

then they gave Vin the floor and he had a little speech which led into this

weirdly awkward song sung by Vinny to his wife back in the day

which then lead into Randy Newman’s I Love LA

Vin has more than deserved his strange little request.

Dodger fans, SMH

Dodger fans

Friday Todd and I went to the Cubs Dodgers game.

I splurged a bit and bought these $100 tickets in the Executive Level. The waiters come to your seat. The seats are cushioned. We were in the front row of the section. The bathrooms are nice.

We sat there for a few innings and some guy in a USC Keck Medical jacket says youre in my seats. Turns out we were one section over. He and his clan watch the game for maybe 3 innings and then in the top of the 6th leave.

Todd and I don’t notice it for about an inning, but they never come back.

The cliche about Dodger fans coming late and leaving early held true, even on a Friday night, even against the best team in baseball, even in a 1-run game. Even though the Dodgers are fighting to stay on top of the West.

It’s like, why are you buying these seats if you’re not going to actually sit in them?

Lets hope he had buddies in a better section or in a luxury suite, but i dont think so. There were many empty seats in the Executive Level and all over the stadium.

Maybe Ben Welch of the Times can investigate this weird, decades long, phenomena.

keira-anne from canada-eh asks what the heck

chris with mickey mouse

keira-anne writes: What the heck? You were holding out on me. I had no idea there was a Dodgers Mickey at Dodger Stadium!

there isnt. and there never was. it was all trick photography.

but there once was…

in the year 2010 major league baseball’s all star game was played in anaheim stadium, which is a few miles away from a certain Land.

circling the stadium were Mickey Mouses painted in the colors and logos of all of the teams.

vandals destroyed all but two of them: everyone’s favorites, the Cubs and

the extremely suspicious Dodgers.

the Cubs donated theirs to a Chicago-area children’s hospital

and the Dodgers tucked theirs away in the basement of the Alamo.

weirdly, the basement of the Alamo has a Higgs-Bottom escalator that runs directly into the basement of Dodger Stadium

Mickey LA gang signand the other night after the Guns n Roses show, my buddy Chris and I were roaming around the basement of Dodger Stadium and remembered about this superfast escalator to Texas and seeked it out.

sure enough, right behind a door that said Next Week’s Dodger Dogs was a hole with a ladder that brought us to the Higgs Bottom transporter and in less than 10 seconds we were in the basement of the Alamo.

Chris brought a beer with him to see the effects of beer after particle transfer travel: it turns flat, but gets colder

after rummaging around the Alamo we took a picture of the birthday boy, took a picture of where Ozzy peed on the Alamo (not pictured), took a picture of where Pee Wee took a tour of the Alamo, and then we zipped back to Cali.

heres what i can tell you. youd think the Alamo would be cooler. also, youd think a Dodgers Mickey Mouse would be displayed like all the time.

are the Dodgers and the Mouse mad at each other for some reason?

do kids just lose their damn minds when theres a Mickey Mouse statue right in front of their eyes?

is the Dodger Mickey Mouse super bad luck and thats why they shipped it to Texas in the middle of the night?

none of these questions will ever be answered, sadly. but the next time youre in San Antonio, you’ll know how to get to LA in seconds.

de nada