Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Games 135 through 138 - Phillies

Cubs 3, Phillies 2
Phillies 5, Cubs 2*
Phillies 5, Cubs 3
Nationals 7, Phillies 4

Record 75 wins, 63 losses - 2nd place 2 GB NYM

What a glorious weekend, eh? Perfect weather. Almost football-like weather. The prodigal son went home a visitin' Saturday afternoon with the brood in tow. One thing I hadn't quite calculated with my ever burgeoning family was the shear magnitude of ever more complicated travel logistics. I actually spent $30 at an Exxon on 5 prepackaged, cellophane wrapped hoagies, a bag of Hot Fries, some rather unnaturally colored soft drinks for the kiddies called "Bug Juice" (which packed a whopping 36 grams of sugar per bottle) and a bag of Pizzeria Pretzel Combos ( my Kryptonite.)

The trip got off to a rough start when after loading the little farts into the minivan, I realized we needed to stop and get some air in the tires. (See, I can learn from Democrats.) We stopped at a gas station when I realized I had no change. Wifey had none as well in what has to be a considered a relatively mild irony. I swear the lady jingles when she carries her purse. I had no cash as well so I had to go to one of those independent ATMs which charge something like $38 to withdraw cash. I took out $40 and then spent $1.75 on a bottled water because I didn't want to ask for change from the attendant and risk the ensuing uncomfortable stare. He gave me my change which included $2 in quarters so that I could inflate my tires at a nominal cost of only $1.251 Hooray air! So I put in my money and proceeded to hurriedly inflate each tire like I was a member of Tony Stewart's pit crew (I know pit crews don't inflate tires - settle down Virginny boys!) By the time I made it tire #4, the compressor cut out. Of course. I humbly walked back in to get change on yet another dollar and then back to my van to pump up the last tire. The final insult was when I attempted to wash my hands in the restroom which of course, was locked with the attendant busy attending to something else. All the while my wife sat amused perched in her seat. Episodes like these only serve to solidify her belief that she is my intellectual superior I would suppose. She handed me a baby wipe. I hate the smell of baby wipes. On my kids tush they are fine. On my hands, uh-uh.

We managed to get to our destination in just under 3 1/2 hours with no pee breaks! Hooray no pee! Getting everyone extricated from the minivan and into the folks' small apartment proved to be quite a chore as my 3rd child - Georgie, aka The G-Man or Wee Gee - threw up a horrible tirade because he was under the mistaken impression that we were going to my sister's house which is home to an assortment of felines, a rabbit and two dogs. My mom on the other hand, only has one annoying poodle with very bad breath. And of course, my Mom looked on incredulously at the fine display Wee Gee was putting on as if it was something completely alien to her life's experiences as a mother of three and that the only conclusion must be that either Wee Gee is the world's worst little urchin or that I am a woefully incompetent disciplinarian. I just shrugged and kind of intimated that I am out of answers with regard to that boy. Could it be she completely erased all memories of my childhood? I swear looking back, I was an asshole. How can she forget?

Anyway, I dispatched my sister to coax Wee Gee from the van as the rest of us traipsed into the apartment to greet my folks. Pops had just arrived via ambulance after being discharged from the hospital. I was prepared for the worst. My fears were unfounded. He sat in his chair with a huge smile on his ever shrinking mug. No kidding - the dude is a Shrinky Dink. The kiddies bounded in and started tearing that place apart whilst my mom kept trying futilely to keep order.

What happened next was a most assuredly a gift from heaven. The old man and I sat down and watched the Phillies and Cubs on the Saturday Fox Game of the Week. 'Twas providence I tell you, that I got to spend this afternoon with my dad sharing with him one of the greatest gifts he gave me - the love of baseball. It helped tremendously that he gave no ground as he pumped his fists every time Ryan Dempster got some feeble minded Phillie to pop up or swing and miss a ball way off the plate. I gave as good as I got and in the end, the Phils won a much needed game. A game the Cubs obviously did not need. My dad was a gracious loser that day.

I cannot recall the last time we sat down and watched more than one or two innings of baseball. I never recall ever, ever watching the Cubs vs. the Philllies with him. I believe I mentioned before, this is the 100 anniversary of the Cubs' last World Series. It's also the 70 anniversary of my Dad's woeful marriage to these Cubbies. There is something strange afoot and I plan to enjoy every last second of it. I just don't know what I will do if it comes down to these two teams for the NL crown. Maybe Whitney can save me the dilemma.


Nick said...

I hate blogger! Where the hell were all my paragraph breaks? They were in the edit mode and gone in the preview. Any help fellas?

TJ said...

Jesus...I'll fix this...

Nick said...

You know, teach a man to fish...