Monday, April 21, 2008

An eventful day at the ol' ballyard.

I attended the Tigers/Jays game at SkyDome today (I was also at Friday's game), and it actually turned out to be quite a unique and eventful day. The highlights:

1. Catching a foul ball

Alright, so I didn't bare-hand a screaming line drive in spectacular fashion. But hey, when someone during batting practice clanks one off the seat in front of you, even though you weren't paying attention, and it gently lofts itself up and waits for you to pluck it out of the air, it still counts. (I ended up giving it to a kid.)

2. Chatting with Chuck

Because it's interim report card time down at the ol' schoolhouse, and since the J-man leaves his marking to the last minute, I brought a set of Grade 9 Science unit tests to the park. I was marking them as Tiger pitching coach Chuck Hernandez was strolling by on his way out to the Tiger bullpen before the game, and since I was in the front row down there in the corner, he could see that I was writing something, and he came over and asked what I was up to.

We talked for a couple of minutes, and he's actually a pretty funny, laid-back guy. Because this is the closest brush I've ever had with a member of an organization that I've followed since John Turner was Prime Minister, I jotted down a couple of conversation-snippets. And so, Dear Reader, a couple of snippets of My Conversation with a Tiger Pitching Coach.

JTL: So, was the basic idea with the bullpen [with the injuries to Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney] just to go with the guys you've got, and batten down the hatches until Joel and Fernando come back?
CH: That's pretty much it, exactly. You oughtta be the General Manager or something.

[as Tiger starting pitcher Nate Robertson plays catch near us with the height-challenged bullpen catcher]
JTL: Nate's making me a little nervous, throwing so close over here. But I guess he's a professional and can hit a target alright.
CH: Yeah, but the other guy's pretty short, so you never really know.
[not 30 seconds later, an errant throw bashes into some empty seats two rows up and a few seats over from me]

I didn't bother asking Chuck for his autograph, because I think autographs are stupid.* "Here, sign your name here so I can prove that I met you." What's the point? I'd much rather have a quick conversation with a person rather than getting an unintelligible scribble down on a piece of paper or a ball.

3. Sun + Open Dome + JTL - Sunscreen = Ouch

I think this is pretty self-explanatory.

So yeah, there's my day. I also got a ton of marking done (although I stopped during the game at the 4th inning), filled out most of my report-card stuff, and experimented with rosemary turkey-thighs (which I unfortunately overcooked a tad). Add that to my successful 20-minute DJ set last night, composed almost entirely of obscure soul and funk music from the late '60s/early '70s, and I think I can justifiably call this weekend "productive."

* I also think encores by rock bands are stupid. Just play your goddamn music and get off the stage. Lay off the ego-stroking ovation for once, you friggin' attention-whores.

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